Greetings from warm and sunny Southern California! It’s been unseasonably warm here so we’ve gone to the beach a few times this week because the kids absolutely love it and it’s become our happy place during the pandemic. Note: We always go during off-peak hours so there’s usually no one anywhere near us.
Another crazy and busy week has gone by and there’s some really good news for once. Check out the top 12 most important travel news stories of the past week below.
If you want to see all the travel news I’ve compiled, then click this link for the Daily Travel News Round-Up. I update this every morning and will keep the all the stories I post from the past for the week before deleting them.
And if you want even more travel news stories, then scroll to the bottom of this page.
Below are stories and tips I wrote for the week, which I hope you will find useful.
Top 12 Travel News Stories of the Week
All The Viral Social Media Postings United’s Engine Debris Dropping From Sky on Flight 328 From Denver to Honolulu
Thanks to social media and cell phone video, there’s incredible footage of the United Airlines engine that dropped from the sky on flight 328 From Denver to Honolulu earlier yesterday. All 241 people onboard the plane are safe but after seeing the video of the engine on fire (or burning fuel), as the plane turned around to return to the airport, it sure was scary. On top of that, the videos and photos of the engine parts falling from the sky and landing in neighborhoods is arguably even more unsettling. (Johnny Jet)
Pratt-Powered 777s Could Be Parked for Months on Lengthy Checks
Boeing Co. 777 jetliners with the type of Pratt & Whitney engine that broke apart over Denver on Saturday could remain parked for an extended period — possibly months — while the engine-maker completes rigorous inspections demanded by U.S. air-safety regulators. It will take eight hours to inspect each one of the 44 engine fan blades on each jet with high-tech, elaborate checks needed to spot potential imperfections that could cause them to break apart in flight, Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson said Wednesday in a Bloomberg TV interview. (Bloomberg) <— Another bad public relations stain for Boeing but this time it’s not their fault. It’s the engine makers.
TSA seeks to hire over 6,000 airport security screening officers
Based on anticipated seasonal travel trends in the months ahead and the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations for the general public, TSA has launched national efforts to recruit new employees in support of screening operations at approximately 430 airports nationwide. Targeted recruitment, virtual job fairs, and opportunities in dozens of cities have already been announced for individuals seeking part-time and full-time opportunities. Benefits include access to medical coverage, vacation and sick leave, and retirement plans. TSA is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply, including military veterans and persons with disabilities. (TSA) <— This is great news and just shows the optimism in the travel industry.
Qantas posts huge loss, says no international flights until October
Australian carrier Qantas reported on Thursday a US$5.5 billion plunge in revenue during the second half of 2020 and said international passenger flights would not resume until October as the pandemic continued to devastate the industry. (AFP) <— It’s not surprising since this is when Australia is expected to have all of their citizens fully vaccinated. Let’s just hope and pray the virus is under control by then and Australia opens up their borders without a quarantine.
Singapore opens Changi business meeting ‘bubble’ to revive travel
The “bubble” facility, called Connect@Changi and believed to be the first of its kind, is part of the city-state’s strategy for reviving its pandemic-hit travel industry and maintaining its status as a regional business hub. Visitors will be able to fly in and stay at the venue, where they can attend meetings with local contacts in rooms separated by airtight glass. Documents can be sanitized and passed through special windows. (Nikkei). See Reuters video. <— This is one of the craziest things I’ve seen this week. If you watch the video, who in their right mind is going to fly to Singapore and basically be treated like they’re in a glorious prison? I hope and pray this is not the future of business travel.
Cruise lines have officially started to cancel Alaska sailings
he two biggest cruise lines operating in Alaska, Princess Cruises and Holland America, on Wednesday canceled all of their 2021 Alaska sailings that begin or end in Vancouver, British Columbia. A third, smaller line — Seabourn — canceled all its Alaska sailings for the year. Princess and Holland America on Wednesday also canceled all 2021 voyages along the Pacific Coast of the United States that begin or end in Vancouver. (TPG) <— Alaska and Canada tourism are going to take a huge hit this summer and let’s just hope they can figure out a way to salvage some of it.
The Canada-US Border Could Fully Reopen By July Says One U.S. Congressman
If you were hoping to cross the Canada-U.S. border for discretionary reasons this summer, there could be good news ahead. As President Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau met as leaders for the first time via video call on Tuesday, one U.S. congressman revealed that he “hopes” border restrictions will ease-off starting in May. (Narcity) <— My wife is Canadian so we’re paying very close attention to this because we can’t wait to go visit her family. We know we can go now but we don’t want to do the lengthy quarantine with kids.
American Airlines not denying UFO spotting, says talk to the FBI
An American Airlines passenger jet traveling from Cincinnati to Phoenix encountered a UFO over northeastern New Mexico Sunday afternoon. The pilot on flight 2292 radioed around 1:00 p.m. CST that the UFO was flying right on top of them, according to a radio transmission recorded by Steve Douglass on his blog, Deep Black Horizon. American Airlines verified to Fox News that the transmission is from flight 2292. “Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” the pilot said in the radio transmission. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast. It went right over the top of us.” (FOX News & Independent) <— Three words: What The Heck?! It’s amazing this hasn’t been bigger news.
Marriott names Tony Capuano CEO
Marriott on Tuesday appointed Tony Capuano, group president for global development, as its chief executive officer, replacing Arne Sorenson, who died last week while on treatment for pancreatic cancer. Capuno joined Marriott in 1995 and was in charge of the company’s U.S. and Canada lodging business. The hotel chain also named Stephanie Linnartz, group president, consumer operations, as its president. (CNBC) <— This is not the way someone wants to become a CEO and especially following Arne who was truly loved in the industry.
UK PM Johnson says optimistic about fully reopening in June
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that he was very optimistic that all COVID-19 restrictions in England would end on June 21, and added that the government would hold a review into the use of vaccine certificates. (Reuters) <— More good news for the travel industry and the UK.
Video: Why You Might Want To Travel This Spring and Summer and Not Next Winter
Dr. Scott Gottlieb who is the former commissioner of the FDA and a regular on major news networks told CNBC yesterday that he thinks “Things will be normal in the spring and the summer of this year. I think in the Fall we are going to have to take certain precautions.” That’s a very interesting point of view and might help you decided to plan your vacations. You can see the interview here. <— I was really surprised at Dr. Gottlieb’s opinion because I thought the Fall would be back to normal. This makes it seem like Spring and Summer will be great then we will need to be cautious when autumn hits. Puts a wrench in our Christmas plans.
A COVID-Vaccinated Summer Could Be Wonderful
The summer of 2021 is shaping up to be historic. After months of soaring deaths and infections, COVID-19 cases across the United States are declining even more sharply than experts anticipated. This is expected to continue, and rates of serious illness and death will plummet even faster than cases, as high-risk populations are vaccinated. Even academics who have spent the pandemic delivering ominous warnings have shifted their tone to cautiously optimistic now that vaccination rates are exploding. (The Atlantic) <— Let’s end on some great news as we all need it.
What Does “Heavy” Mean?
If you read my post highlighting the viral social media posts from the United flight, then you may have heard the pilot’s calm and cool Mayday call. He used the word “heavy” and a lot of people Googled it to find out what that means. In our Ask a Pilot column, penned by pilot Spencer Marker, he answered the question in the past. Here’s what “heavy” means.
Everything You Need To Know About Global Entry During COVID-19
Arguably the best thing to happen to international travel is Global Entry. The program, created by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service, allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States so you can clear customs/immigration within minutes instead of sometimes hours. Seriously, I can go from the plane to the curb in five minutes so it’s well worth the $100 for five years. Well, a reader just sent me this email asking: “What’s the deal with getting new GOES interviews. Mine expired during Covid and I’m screwed.” Just to be sure, I emailed U.S. Customs and Border Protection and they responded in less than an hour. Here’s the answer and more.
How to Survive if You Fall Through the Ice
I was watching Good Morning America recently on ABC and they aired a segment about dramatic rescues of people who’d fallen through the ice. The most important part is the last half where an expert gives tips on how to survive if you fall through the ice. I think this is valuable and timely information since much of the country is experiencing below freezing temperatures. Details here.
How To Always Have Clean Water
It’s always smart to carry a LifeStraw water filter since it filters up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals. It doesn’t require batteries and has no moving parts. One of my travel friends uses this wherever he goes in the world. He claims he’s never drunk bottled water before. (Johnny Jet)
11 Great Travel Shows for Kids
I never imagined I’d be writing about the best kids travel TV shows but then I had two kids and now that we’ve been in lockdown for almost a year, I’ll admit – they’re watching more TV than they did pre-pandemic.. Our toddler is no longer in preschool but he’s been learning so much from some really educational shows, especially travel shows that he loves. Here’s the story.
VIDEO: Here’s my weekly travel segment on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy!
Every Saturday I call into Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show to do a 9-minute travel segment. I go on when the clock behind Leo strikes 12:30pm. (Twit.tv)
Airline and Airport News:
- Cathay crew to work 21-day stints to avoid quarantine
- Southwest Airlines encouraging 1 million acts of kindness with 50th anniversary campaign
- The CEO of Delta Air Lines Just Explained a Radical Change. Here’s What It Means for You
- Flying to Hawaii? Here’s what to expect with inflight food and beverages
- Air France Is Unveiling Its New In-Flight Safety Video
- See all the airline and airport news that’s got people talking this week…
- After a Lost Year, Cruise Lines Are Pulling Out All the Stops for 2021 — Here’s What to Expect
- Carnival CEO: “By the end of this year, most, if not all, of our fleet will be in action”
- Crystal Cruises requires passengers be vaccinated
- Small cruise ships are coming to Southeast Alaska, but not all passengers will get to mingle and shop in towns
- Cruise lines with the most flexible cancellation policies
- See all the cruise news that’s got people talking this week…
- What countries can US travelers visit right now?
- ‘Green Book’ inspires new generation of Black travel guides, podcasts
- What you need to know about air travel this summer
- Archer Aviation aims to launch network of urban air taxis in Los Angeles by 2024
- So You Got Vaccinated … And Then You Got COVID. Now What?
- See all the domestic travel news that’s got people talking this week…
International Travel News:
- Europe’s airline and hotel stocks soar after British holidaymakers get the all-clear to book travel
- This Australian beach has been named the best beach in the world
- Here are the government-approved quarantine hotels in Toronto
- U.S. travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico extended through March 21
- Brit woman detained in Dubai after sending a swear word on WhatsApp allowed home
- See all the international travel news that’s got people talking this week…
Hotel and Lodging Travel News:
- ‘Worst 14 days of my life’: Complaints about a Thai hotel quarantine lead to a defamation threat.
- No Recovery in International Flights or Domestic Hotels for Years to Come
- 4 Stats That Show Why Hotels Are in Trouble
- Watch CNBC’s full interview with new Marriott CEO Tony Capuano
- Eerie images show how Covid has left a 5-star hotel in Bali deserted
- See all the hotel and lodging news that’s got people talking this week…
Miscellaneous Travel News:
- A Beautiful 4K Timelapse of a Boat Traveling the Dutch Waterways From Rotterdam to Amsterdam
- Google Maps now lets you pay for parking and travel tickets inside the app
- Why epidemiologist thinks international travel won’t be possible in 2021
- Backpacker Tourism Faces a Changing Landscape Post-Pandemic
- What is ‘extractive tourism’ and what can we do about it?
- See all the rest of the travel news that’s got people talking this week…