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WASTE AND WATER A BAD COMBINATION

Olympic athletes may have a sickening experience
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31 JUL 2015:  The waters where Olympians will compete in swimming and boating events next summer in South America's first games are rife with human sewage and present a serious health risk for athletes, as well as for visitors to the iconic beaches of Rio de Janeiro. MORE

STILL FREE

Southwest stays the course
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31 JUL 2015:  Three cheers for Southwest!  Although every other major carrier in the industry now charges bag fees, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says it makes financial sense for his airline to retain its "bags fly free" policy.  Southwest is the only  US carrier left not to charge for bags. MORE

BOOK EARLY

Avoid disappointment and fuel surcharges
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31 JUL 2015:  Winter may seem a long way off, but Sunwing is encouraging Canadians to make their vacation plans early this year to avoid disappointment.  “Strong demand from the US market as well as emerging markets in Latin America are already affecting room availability over peak winter travel dates in many of the popular Canadian vacation destinations across Mexico and the Caribbean,” says Andrew Dawson, president of Tour Operations at Sunwing Vacations.   MORE

THE NAUGHTY BITS

Las Vegas attempts to tame rowdy Fremont Street experience
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31 JUL 2015:  A bawdy gauntlet of street performers and tip-seeking costumed characters crowding Las Vegas' Fremont Street have been driving tourists away, city leaders said this week as they moved toward imposing new rules to rein in the rowdy atmosphere. Vegas has already banned people from drinking alcohol out of glass bottles and aluminum cans on the downtown street. MORE

MAKING CHOICES

Boost trade. Create jobs. Screw the planet
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31 JUL 2015:  About 400 protesters blew conch shells on a Hawaii beach on Wednesday to demonstrate against a trade agreement being negotiated by ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations. The demonstrators blew into their shells in unison on the sand in front of the Westin Maui resort on Kaanapali Beach, where ministers were meeting this week to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. MORE

ALL ABOUT COMPETITION

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31 JUL 2015: A lack of competition in the airline industry, following a wave of mergers and acquisitions, is driving the current changes in distribution. A panel session at the GBTA Convention in Orlando heard that Lufthansa's decision to charge a 16 euro fee for GDS bookings from September 1, known as DCC (distribution cost charge), would not have been possible 20 years ago when buyers had more options over contracting and booking. MORE

LIVING THE LIFE

Who better to share European experiences than expat Canadians
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31 JUL 2015:  The latest addition to the Experience Transat blog introduces Transat Expat Experts to help Canadian travellers discover Europe from an insider’s perspective and help them explore destinations based on Canadian travellers’ personal experiences living abroad. MORE

A BIG PROBLEM

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31 JUL 2015:  A man is suing Etihad Airways to claim damages for personal injuries. James Bassos was flying from Sydney to Dubai in 2011, when he claims he got a back injury after being forced to sit next to an obese man.  A judge in Queensland refused to throw out the claim but  has ordered him to undergo a medical exam in December. MORE

EXCLUSIVE GENE SIMMONS INTERVIEW

Why KISS Has Its Own Navy
By WALLACE IMMEN
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31 JUL 2015:  It’s becoming an armada: the KISS Navy will be forming again for KISS Kruise V. This year, the Norwegian Pearl is set to host what’s becoming an annual Halloween celebration, this one nicknamed Five Alive, from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

IS DEBRIS FROM MALAYSIA AIRLINES

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30 JUL 2015:  While officials involved in the investigation cautioned it was too soon to say whether a piece of airplane debris that washed ashore near Madagascar on Wednesday was linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, aviation experts say it is consistent with the curved shape of the flaperon on the wing of the Boeing 777 and no other 777 is known to be missing. Meanwhile French aviation experts are examining the object to determine if it has a serial number that matches that of MH370. MORE

BA DIVERTS TO MONTREAL

On board emergency not divulged
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30 JUL 2015:  A British Airways flight travelling from Las Vegas to London Heathrow was diverted to Montreal after reports of a bomb threat. BA274, carrying 312 passengers, made an emergency landing at Trudeau International Airport at 5.47am local time. Montreal Police and British Airways said the pilot requested to land the plane following an 'emergency' during the flight. MORE

EUROPE IN WINTER

Transat adds connectors in YYZ and YUL
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30 JUL 2015: Transat has launched a Toronto to Paris winter route by adding new connecting flights to Montreal. Air Transat will also be offering a new Montreal-Toronto route allowing passengers to leave from Montreal and board Toronto flights for London, Manchester or Glasgow as well as a new Calgary-Vancouver route allowing passengers to leave from Calgary and board a Vancouver-London flight.  MORE

SHRINKAGE

BA downsizes carry-on baggage allowance
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30 JUL 2015: British Airways is reducing the size of carry-on baggage permitted on board its flights. BA said the move is as a result of "an increase in customers travelling with hand baggage that exceeds their allowance".  One cannot help but wonder at the logic of further reducing the sizes as opposed to simply enforcing the current regulations. MORE

CHARLESTON CRUISE TERMINAL ROW CONTINUES

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30 JUL 2015: The South Carolina Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to a permit for a contentious US $35 million cruise passenger terminal in Charleston. Conservation, preservation and community groups are opposing a state permit to allow the renovation of an old waterfront warehouse as a new terminal. MORE

MEGA SKI RESORT AT VAIL

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30 JUL 2015:  Ski industry titan Vail Resorts is set to make official Wednesday that it is combining Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort under one name and logo. That will make it one of the largest ski areas in North America once a connecting lift is completed. MORE

LOCALS NOT WELCOME

Hotel says employee misinformed
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30 JUL 2015: A hotel in Prince George, B.C., says its employee was “misinformed” when he told a Prince George mother she was not welcome at the establishment. Esther's Inn says a new manager at the front desk was wrong to refuse a room to 39-year-old Aimee Bespoyasny and her two teenaged children after learning they are Prince George residents. MORE

WHEN THERE WAS NO SMOKE

There was ire
By DAVID TAIT
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30 JUL 2015:  I was in a cigar bar in New York City recently with some friends who love puffing on their soon-to-be-legal but as of now ill-gotten Cuban stogies. The place has a special exemption of some description and has allegedly got powerful smoke extractor fans but you could have fooled me: the smell of cigar smoke certainly lingered on my clothing for days. MORE
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