The U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) Fines Air France, British Airways & Lufthansa

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The U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday fined Air France ($200,000), British Airways ($150,000) and Lufthansa ($200,00).

DOT Fines Lufthansa British Airways Air France

The airlines had failed timely reply to complaints that passengers with disabilities had filed. The airlines are required to reply to these complaints within 30 days.

Hong Kong Chief Executive In Hot Water Over Special Treatment At Airport Security

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Hong Kong‘s Chief Executive (their effective Head of State, though it’s a SAR of China) is in hot water after he allegedly invoked exceptions for his family not to undergo the usual security procedures at HKIA.

Hong Kong AirportThe widely unpopular politician has denied the allegations even though various media reports and statements by the airport authority shine doubt on his accounts.

The Economist: “International Airlines Price V Service”

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The Economist’s 1843 Magazine has made an interesting graphic about international airlines and comparing the prices they charge to the service provided.

The Economist International Airlines Price V Service

They have used Skytrax (not my favorite source for quality info) for the service and had run ticket price tests between 30 most popular airports in the world to come up with the cost.

Europe Contemplates Visa Requirement For US/Canadian Citizens Due To Lack Of Reciprocal Action

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European lawmakers in Brussels are discussing to cancel the Visa Waiver Program for U.S. and Canadian citizens based on a regulation that requires reciprocal action with all EU countries.

Europe Visa ReqCurrently the United States and Canada still require some E.U. Member countries to apply for visas since these do not fulfill the requirements for Visa Waiver Travel set by the U.S. and Canada.

Chinese Selfies In Japanese Cherry Trees

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Chinese tourists have received bad publicity in Japan after Japanese television station exposed their activity with the cherry trees.

Chinese Tourists Cherry Season Japan

Shanghaaist (access here) reported on their website with photos about the “Cherry Selfies” that these tourists had taken after climbing to the trees and causing damage to them.

Chinese Hotels Becoming More Expensive May 1, 2016 (VAT Introduced)

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A LoyaltyLobby reader alerted me the other day to the changes in China (mainland only) that will affect hotel pricing (basically making them more expensive).

China Tax Change

Until now, there has been a 5% Business Tax that will become 6% VAT on May 1, 2016. Many hotels have only been charging 10% or 15% service charge, but will start adding this 6% VAT from May 1st.

World’s Busiest Airports In 2015

Airports Council International (ACI) released its preliminary passenger traffic figures for the 2015 by number of passengers, number of international passengers, plane movements and various other categories.

Top 20 Busiest Airports Bloomberg

The Atlanta is still the busiest airport if you count the total number of domestic and international passengers, and also by plane movements. The Dubai (DXB) is the busiest airport by number of international passengers that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

I’m Outta Here! United Airlines Flight Attendant Exits Aircraft After Landing Over Emergency Slide

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A United Airlines Flight Attendant must have had a bad day at work as right after landing and the plane stopped she opened the emergency exit door and left the aircraft over the inflated slide.

UA B787 FA ExitUnited Airlines clarified that they believe this was done fully intentional and that the staff involved has been relieved of duty.

Brussels Airport Re-opened Sunday Operating Three Flights Since March 22nd Terror Attacks

Brussels International Airport re-opened yesterday after shutting down operations since the March 22 terror attacks that left 16 people dead and many more injured.

Brussels Airport ReopenedThree flights left Brussels on Sunday to European destinations through temporary departure areas that have been installed by airport authorities.

Chinese Tourists Now Represent 10% Of All (World Travel & Tourism Council Study)

The World Travel & Tourism Council released its report about the travel in 2015 that includes some interesting info that both CNN & Financial Times covered yesterday.

FT Chinese

Chinese tourists have really taken over (if someone hasn’t noticed it). They now represent 10% of all the tourists and spent $215B outside of mainland China last year.

Bombings At Brussels Airport And Metro Station Leave At Least 10 Dead – Airport Closed!

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A series of two bomb blasts at the check-in area in the Brussels International Airport terminal building this morning left several people dead and many injured. The airport has been closed for the time being.

BRU Airport BombIn the meanwhile a third blast has been reported from a Metro Station in the city, Metro service has been suspended as well.

Bangkok Airport Express Train Breakdown – Passengers Escaping Over The Tracks!

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An Airport Rail Link train from Bangkok Airport to the City Center suffered a malfunction this morning and got stuck after the power went out which also caused the air conditioning to fail.

BKK ARL TrainWith temperatures in Bangkok hovering between 36-40 degrees Celsius these days the train quickly became an oven with passengers starting to faint.

Lufthansa Jet Almost Collides With Drone At 5000 Ft Near Los Angeles Airport

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A Lufthansa jet approaching Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) reported a near collision with a drone last Friday which the pilots spotted in the very last moment.

LH A380 DroneThe remote controlled drone was flying about 200 feet above the jet which was on 5000 feet during it’s approach towards LAX.

New York Times: “Eurowings, Lufthansa’s Budget Service, Is Off to a Rocky Start”

When I was reading the International New York Times at the airport lounge this morning, I came across this good article about the teething issues surrounding the launch of the Eurowings.

New York Times Eurowings

Eurowings is a low coast airline within the Lufthansa group and handles all short-haul flights that are not touching Munich or Frankfurt. The airline also started long-haul operations recently with two leased planes that have caused the recent issues.

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