Monday, September 24, 2018
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FRACAS OVER BAGGAGE FEES

Lukacs swoops in
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24 SEP 2018: An air passenger rights advocate has filed a regulatory complaint against Swoop Inc. claiming the new low-cost airline is unlawfully charging baggage fees. In a complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Gabor Lukacs says the commercial carrier is flouting Canadian law by failing to offer passengers a basic fare that includes a carry-on and a checked bag. MORE

BOTTOMED OUT

Congress to regulate airline seat width and legroom
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24 SEP 2018: Lawmakers have scuttled a plan to prohibit airlines from charging “unreasonable” fees for changing or cancelling tickets. But US House and Senate leaders say they will direct the FAA to set minimum dimensions for passenger seats as part of a new spending bill. The bill also prohibits airlines from removing passengers against their will from overbooked flights. MORE

IT’S A WRAP

Transat completes cross country training
By MICHAEL BAGINSKI
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24 SEP 2018: Tis the season for tour operator launches and road shows and Transat is no exception. The tour company wrapped up its cross-Canada product training series last week with events in Toronto, Hamilton and London, following earlier September stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax and Montreal. MORE

OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS FLOODS

Rescues, evacuations and a drowning
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24 SEP 2018: A storm system dumped record amounts of rain in parts of Oklahoma and caused flooding in Texas, including in the Dallas area, where floodwaters swept a man from a bridge to his death near the University of Texas' campus in nearby Arlington.  A witness stated that the victim was swept under a bridge by rushing waters, shortly before midnight Friday, according to Arlington Fire Department. MORE

R E S P E C T

The Hawaiian Pono Pledge
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24 SEP 2018: The Big Island visitor’s bureau and Hawaii County have launched a campaign that aims to create a more conscientious tourism industry on the Big Island. The ‘Pono Pledge’ will remind tourists to treat the island and its people with respect. MORE

CROWD CHAOS IN CROATIA

Cruise ships, soccer fans and Game of Thrones
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24 SEP 2018: Marc van Bloemen has lived in the old town of Dubrovnik, a Croatian citadel widely praised as the jewel of the Adriatic, for decades, since he was a child. He says it used to be a privilege. Now it's a nightmare. Crowds of tourists clog the entrances to the ancient walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as huge cruise ships unload thousands more daily.  MORE

ARMED MAN CAUGHT AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE

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24 SEP 2018: London police say a man has been arrested at the visitors' entrance to Buckingham Palace carrying a firearm. Police said Sunday a 38-year-old was arrested on suspicion of carrying a stun gun. He is being questioned at a London police station. The man hasn't been identified or charged. MORE

SEABOURN OVATION PASSENGERS HANG ON

Grab a grab and chow down
By WALLACE IMMEN
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24 SEP 2018: It was billed as a chance to check traps and find a king crab to cook for lunch. But for our group from Seabourn Ovation in the tiny town of Honnigsvag in Norway’s far north, it turned out to be a much wilder adventure than that. Our first stop was the shop of an adventure tour company that features rentals of off-road vehicles for heading out into the wilderness near the North Cape. We were going out to sea in very small boats, the guide explained and he started handing out bright red flotation survival suits that covered us head to toe. MORE

ROUND-UP

Sept. 17-21, 2018
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24 SEP 2018: In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news: MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

PASS IT ON

Will American Airlines bar customers from changing a ticket
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21 Sep 2018: American Airlines is threatening to prohibit customers from making changes to nonrefundable tickets if Congress makes good on a proposal to crack down on unreasonable airline fees. MORE

ONE YEAR LATER

Dominica gets back on track
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21 SEP 208: One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, the island nation is rebounding. Dominica’s airports – Douglas-Charles and Canefield – are fully open for commercial operations with same-day connectivity with international carriers to and from Douglas-Charles. Several cruise lines are planning calls to Dominica in 2018 and 2019 and the ferry service operated by L’Express des Iles is also available. MORE

CANNABITION

Looking but no smoking
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21 SEP 2018: A glass bong taller than a giraffe. Huggable faux marijuana buds. A pool full of foam weed nuggets. Las Vegas' newest attraction - and Instagram backdrop - is a museum celebrating all things cannabis. It's a made-for-social-media museum where every exhibit has lights meant to ensure people take selfies worthy of the no-filter hashtag. MORE

WHERE ON EARTH

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21 SEP 2018:  In researching YouTube for videos on travel for this edition we were astounded to find a number of them pertaining to the relative ignorance of people today when it comes to geography.  This is not limited to any one country, but we have selected three videos to illustrate the generally dismal state of world knowledge.   MORE

NO FRILLS

Mexican President okay with delays
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21 SEP 2018: Mexico's austerity-minded president-elect has vowed to sell the presidential jet and fly commercial. And he even appears prepared to suffer the plight of average travellers: being trapped on delayed flights. MORE

WHERE ON EARTH II

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21 SEP 2018: So here in the second, ‘We pretty well don’t have a clue’, video. National Geographic Bee host Soledad O'Brien takes to the streets to see how worldly New Yorkers are - compared with Nat Geo Bee participants - who are in fourth through eighth grade. Think you could handle the challenge? MORE

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE ELYSEE PALACE

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21 SEP 2018: Behind-the-scenes quirks of the Elysee Palace,  got a rare airing last weekend, when the home of French presidents since 1848 opened its heavy and usually tightly closed doors to a small, but lucky group of ordinary citizens. They got to see the French presidential wine cellar which holds 14,000 bottles regarded as so precious, few people are allowed to enter the room.  MORE

WHERE ON EARTH III

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21 SEP 2018: It’s not just on this side of the pond that we are so tragically geographically-lite. These Brits were given the task of trying to name all 44 countries in Europe and failed miserably. Let’s be fair though, naming all the countries in Europe is definitely harder than picking out a single country on a world map, but come on guys – Italy is just hanging out there for you to see! MORE

OPEN WATER DIVING

Royal Caribbean offers something new
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21 SEP 2018: Royal Caribbean has partnered with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) to offer a full Open Water Diving course for guests onboard. They are the only cruise line in the world to do so and once the course is completed guests are certified to discover incredible new world of underwater beauty on their own. MORE

MUSIC OF THE CITY

Streets of Philadelphia
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21 SEP 2018: The Sting video, 'An Englishman in New York', that we ran a few weeks ago, was so popular that we thought it might be an idea to regularly feature music videos about places. And why don't you help us choose - we welcome your suggestions for future ideas. This week we’ve chosen Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia (because I like it), but feel free to suggest any place/country/ locale that might have a song you enjoy connected to it. MORE
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