Security officers fired after United probe

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

CHICAGO, 19 October 2017: The city of Chicago revealed, Tuesday, that it fired two airport police officers in connection with the controversial removal of a passenger from a United Airlines plane earlier this year.

Video of the April incident went viral online, showing airport officers dragging a bloodied David Dao off a full plane to make room for airline crew needing to be repositioned for future flights.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who heads the mid-west US city’s watchdog office, had been pursuing an internal probe of the officers’ actions. Read more

Plane rides: Uber of the sky

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

LAGUNA BEACH, USA, 19 October 2017: Eviation Aircraft chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay pictures a day not too far away when summoning a bargain plane ride with a smartphone will be as easy as hailing Uber.

The Israel-based start-up working on a self-piloting, electric aircraft was at the WSJD Live conference here Tuesday with a vision of “Uber meeting Tesla in the sky.”

Bar-Yohay spoke of a future in which people could take Uber to a regional airport, then use another smartphone application to summon an Eviation electric plane to whisk them inexpensively to destinations hundreds of miles away. Read more

Oxfam fights for housekeeper rights

October 18, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Hospitality, News

OTTAWA, 18 October 2017: Profits in the global hotel industry are based on the systematic exploitation of housekeepers, the majority of whom are poor women living in fear of losing their jobs, says a new report by Oxfam Canada entitled Tourism’s Dirty Secret: The Exploitation of Hotel Housekeepers.

The report points out the alarming truth that it would take a Thai housekeeper based in a hotel in Phuket 14 years to earn what a the highest hotel CEO earns in a day.

Findings were based on interviews with current and former hotel housekeepers in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Thailand. Read more

Trump slump confirmed by ForwardKeys

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 16 October 2017: International airline passenger arrivals in the United States have fallen consistently since President Donald Trump’s original travel ban on people from several mainly Muslim countries, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys.

ForwardKeys predicts future global travel patterns by analysing more than 17 million booking transactions daily.

The period of decline also coincides with a strengthening US dollar making the US a more expensive destination to visit. Read more

Virgin jumps in Hyperloop

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 16 October 2017: Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced last week it is investing in Hyperloop One in a strategic partnership aimed at establishing new passenger and cargo transport services for the superfast rail concept.

As part of the deal, Branson will join the board of the California startup, which will be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One in the coming months, according to a joint statement.

No financial details were immediately available. Read more

Vegas: Tourism takes short term hit

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

LAS VEGAS, 9 October 2017: The attack that left 58 people dead in Las Vegas could impact America’s tourism capital, but only in the short term, experts say, predicting a full recovery within months.

The iconic Vegas Strip, lined with glitzy hotels, casinos and neon signs, still had a heavy police presence on Wednesday, a stark reminder of Sunday night’s tragedy — the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

“The attack should affect tourism badly in the short-term as the memories remain fresh and vivid in people’s minds,” said Federico Guerrero, an associate professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Reno. Read more

Selfie craze upsets animals

October 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

BRASILIA, Brazil, 6 October 2017: The craze for tourists taking selfies alongside wild animals then posting on Instagram is fuelling cruel treatment of iconic species in the Amazon, activists warn.

The charity World Animal Protection said in a report that Instagram has seen a 292% increase in wildlife selfies since 2014 around the world. Of these, more than 40% involved humans “hugging or inappropriately interacting with a wild animal.”

World Animal Protection said in the report released Tuesday that the animals are captured and often battered to make them perform for tourism businesses. Read more

More US travel bans in the making

September 25, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 25 September 2017: More countries could be hit with tough travel restrictions to the United States after the ban on people from six mainly Muslim countries expires from Sunday, Trump administration officials hinted at the weekend.

White House and Homeland Security officials said that after a 50-day review, they had identified a number of countries that could not or were not willing to meet US standards for identifying potential terror threats.

President Donald Trump, whose initial measures against the six countries were blasted as an effective “Muslim ban,” has yet to make a final decision on which nations will make the new list for much-restricted issuance of US visas, they said. Read more

World’s top 10 museums

September 21, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEEDHAM, USA, 21 September 2017: TripAdvisor announced, Tuesday, the winners of its Travellers’ Choice® awards for Museums.

Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for museums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

TripAdvisor has also highlighted top-rated bookable tours and passes on the site and the cost of admission for each winning museum. Read more

Blackout hits Panama airport

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

PANAMA CITY, 20 September 2017: A blackout at Panama’s main international airport — a major hub for Latin America — caused more than 200 flights to be cancelled and many others delayed on Monday, airport officials said.

A malfunction in a circuit panel distributing power internally to the facility was to blame, according to the airport authority, which set up a “crisis room” to handle the disruption.

Thousands of frustrated passengers faced lines and clogged halls as harried airport staff struggled before blanked-out check-in screens. Read more

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