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World’s Longest Sea Bridge Opens Over Jiaozhou Bay

Costing $2.2 billion as reported by the Chinese state media, and taking four years to build, the Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge opened on Thursday, cutting travel time in half for those wishing to travel to the other side of the bay. This is the world’s longest sea bridge and has been built to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, as well as typhoons, and also the impact of a 300,000 ton ship, Chinese officials report. This Y-shaped bridge is quite an achievement, stretching 42.5 kilo meters across the Jiaozhou Bay, connecting the port city of Qingdao in the north to the airport which was built on an island close by in the industrial suburb of Huangdao. There are six lanes for traffic, and travel time is cut in half to about 30 … Read entire article »

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Nigerian Used Expired Boarding Pass To Fly from N.Y. To L.A.

It has come to the attention of the media that last Friday a Nigerian man used an expired boarding pass that was not even in his own name to fly from JFK International Airport, New York to Los Angeles. Apparently, Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi boarded a Virgin American flight after clearing all screening processes, with no one noticing the invalid travel documents. Officials said that the flight attendants only realized once they had taken off that they had an extra passenger on board because a seat that was empty had Noibi sat in it, and as a result asked to see Noibi’s boarding pass which was from the previous day. According to the FBI the pass did not belong to Noibi. The man who used the boarding pass was contacted by the … Read entire article »

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United Airlines Fixes Computer Problem That Grounds Flights

Thousands of airline passengers hoping to fly with United Airlines on Friday evening had their travel plans disrupted by a five hour computer outage, stranding thousands of passengers around the United States. In a statement from United Airlines, Alexandria Marren, an executive for systems operation control says that “While we will be experiencing some residual effect on our flight operations throughout the weekend, United is committed to restoring normal operations as soon as possible.” It has been reported that 31 flights were canceled, and about 100 flights delayed due to the computer shut down. Network problems started on Friday night when the computer system which handles departures, reservations and the airport processing systems crashed at 8:15 p.m. E.D.T. A reason for the crash has not yet been given, and although United are … Read entire article »

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Chilean Ash Clearing Over Australian Skies For Now

Domestic airline flights in Australia are expected to get back to normal on Wednesday when the ash cloud from the Puyehue volcano which erupted in Chile clears the coast of Western Australia and Tasmania. The volcano which began erupting on 4th June is responsible for the cancellation of hundreds of flights, with a number of flights to Chile, Paraguay and Brazil being suspended. As yet, experts from the national service of geology and mining in Chile have said that the volcano is not showing any signs of stabilizing, which means that the volcanic eruptions could continue for months, and with this of course is the dust and ash cloud which is causing havoc with flights. Even where flights are able to perform, there are long delays as airlines try to clear the … Read entire article »

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Australia, New Zealand Cancel Flights Due To Volcanic Ash From Chile

Qantas, Australia’s national air carrier has cancelled all flight to and from New Zealand and Tasmania, as well as Flights to and from Melbourne, it was reported on Sunday, due to the cloud of ash which has spread over the region from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile which erupted over a week ago. The cancellations have left thousand of airline passengers stranded, with some estimates up to the 30,000 level. Some airlines are booking passengers in hotels, but no airline knows for sure when it will be safe to begin flying again. However, Air New Zealand has a different tactic, and does not expect any cancellations or even delays. Captain David Morgan is a general manager at Air New Zealand and reports that “The ash has traveled a great distance at … Read entire article »

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Air Canada Has Contingency Plans In Place Should Workers Strike

In case of a strike possible as soon as Tuesday this coming week, Air Canada has said that it has plans in place so it can still operate a full flight schedule. However, it is warning travelers that they should be prepared for long lineups at the airport, and recommends that passengers obtain their boarding passes from online, but also arrive early at the airport, and if at all possible avoid checking in luggage. The Canadian Auto Workers union, CAW, represents some 3,800 Air Canada employees, and on Friday night they issued a 72 hour strike notice, meaning that if the two sides do not reach an agreement a work stoppage could begin on Monday at 11:59 p.m. eastern time. However, the national air carrier and the union have both said that … Read entire article »

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Turn Off PEDs When Flying, Just To Be Sure

When it comes to turning off cell phones and other electronic devices during flights, many airline passengers are reluctant to do so, but a confidential study may convince them otherwise. The study, obtained by ABC News, shows that there could be some serious safety issues which are related to flights and cell phones and other personal electronic devices such as iPods or blackberries. The International Air Transport Association, IATA, is a group which represents over 230 cargo and passenger airlines throughout the world, and it has documented history of 75 individual cases where airline pilots and crews believe that electronic devices interfered with the handling of the planes, covering the period from 2003 to 2009. The responses to the survey were from 125 airlines accounting for about 25 per cent of … Read entire article »

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Volcanic Ash Cancels Flights in Buenos Aires Again

Airport officials reported on Thursday that all flights from the two largest airports in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, were cancelled because of more columns of ash spewing from the Puyehue volcano in Chile. The ash even forced the Presidents of Argentina and Uruguay to change their plans, with President Cristina Fernandez traveling to work by car, but her meeting with Jose Mujica the Uruguayan leader was canceled when he was unable to fly into Buenos Aires for their scheduled meeting. The Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano began erupting on Saturday, after being dormant for decades, forcing the evacuation of some 3,500 residents, killing fish in local rivers, and raising fears of flooding as debris from the volcano flows down into rivers and streams. The wind has carried the ash from the eruption … Read entire article »

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Flights Grounded In Chile Due To Volcanic Eruption

Thousands were forced from their homes on Monday in South America when the Chilean volcano Peyuhue, erupted forcing ash and rocks into the air, cancelling air flights in southern Argentina and Chile. Argentina’s state-owned international and domestic airlines Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral canceled all their flights until further notice because of the ash level, and international carriers also canceled flights for Tuesday and Wednesday between Buenos Aires and United States’ cities as well as Europe and South America. Chile also canceled its flights that pass over Argentina. After experiencing swarms of earthquakes on Saturday, the eruption sent toxic gases as well as ash and rocks into the air from the three mile long fissure in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex in Chile close to the border with Argentina. Ash was spread around … Read entire article »

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Groupon And Expedia To Offer Travel Deals

In a move which will benefit many travelers, Groupon Inc. and Expedia Inc. are working together to provide a new service which will enable subscribers to book hotel rooms and flights through Expedia, but a big discounted price. Groupon Getaways with Expedia will begin later this month by offering travel deals for about 50 per cent off, but for a very limited time only. Once the deal is purchased, the coupon does not have to be used immediately. It can be redeemed for travel in the future. According to an Expedia spokesman, the deals will be with hotels in Canada and the United States to begin with, but hope to add travel bundles including airline tickets, cruises and car rental at a later date. They are planning to expand the travel outside … Read entire article »

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Iceland Volcano Erupts, Cancels Flights

On Saturday. Iceland’s Grimsvoetn volcano had an eruption of some power which sent a plume of ash and steam some 17 kilometres into the air. The good news is that although this eruption was larger than the one in April 2010 causing travel chaos as flights were cancelled for 5 days, scientists believe this latest eruption will not have the same effect. There are fears however, based on the weather forecast for the region that ash will reach Scotland by Tuesday and areas of Britain and Europe later in the week, and this could cause flight cancellations at that time. It was Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano that erupted in April 2010, forcing the closure of airports, and the redirection of flights around the cloud of ash produced by this eruption. Although this … Read entire article »

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Tourists Ignore Travel Warnings, Study Finds

During the month of April the United States State Department issued nine travel warnings which cautioned the public about the risk of violence associated with traveling in countries like Mexico, Syria and Iraq. In fact on 25th April all U.S. citizens were advised to leave Syria because of the violent clashes between government forces and protesters. Shortly afterwards on 29th April, Dorothy Parvaz, who holds a Canadian passport as well as from the U.S. and Iran where she was born, and works for Al Jazeera as a reporter was detained by the Syrian authorities when she landed in Damascus Syria, and not heard from for 19 days. Parvaz was later released to Iran, and has since returned home to Canada, where she tells of her imprisonment in Syria. However, despite cases like … Read entire article »

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U.S. Department of State Issues Worldwide Travel Alert

Following the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in Pakistan, the U.S. Department of State has warned of the danger of reprisals against Americans traveling or living abroad and issued a world-wide travel alert. The travel alert, which remains in force until August 1st, 2011, states “Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.” The alert goes on to say “U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.” However “U.S. Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any … Read entire article »

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FAA Orders Inspection Of Older 737 Jets

On Tuesday the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, ordered the inspection of older model Boeing 737 aircraft, looking for metal fatigue and cracks after a Southwest Airlines airplane flight 812 was forced to make an emergency landing due to a tear five feet long appeared in the roof of the airplane, just above the left wing. The plane landed safely with only two minor injuries, but immediately Southwest Airlines grounded their 737 planes for inspection, causing the cancellation of many flights. Inspections of about 175 of the most heavily used airplanes must be completed within five days of the airline receiving the order, and the inspection must be performed again when the planes have completed another 500 flights. there are more airplanes that need to be checked using the electromagnetic metal fatigue … Read entire article »

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81 Jets grounded by Southwest Airlines

On Friday, the operator of the most Boeing Co. (BA) 737 jets, Southwest Airlines grounded 81 of their aircraft after one flight was forced to perform an emergency landing when a hole appeared in the roof of the aircraft. The flight number 812 had 118 passengers on board and left Phoenix for Sacramento when there was a sudden loss of cabin pressure. As a result oxygen masks were deployed and the plane executed an emergency landing at a military base at Yuma in Arizona. Reports state that one passenger and one flight attendant were injured on the flight. When the aircraft was examined in Yuma by the flight crew of flight 812 they found a hole towards the middle of the plane in the top portion of the aircraft, the airline … Read entire article »

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Passenger Service Between Vancouver And Seattle Stopped for 48 hours

After a landslide on Wednesday night in White Rock, British Columbia, the Amtrak passenger trains have stopped running between Vancouver and Seattle temporarily for two days. Gus Melonas of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway said that the crews were alerted by the signal system that there was a problem. The slide, consisting of mud  rocks and trees from an adjacent slope, pushed debris up to the rail which is the closest to the cliff. All rail traffic was stopped for a while as the tracks were cleared, but freight trains began running again on Thursday, although at reduced speeds. Despite this, the passenger trains will remain standing for 48 hours, to ensure that the route is once again safe for passengers. This means that the service between Seattle and Vancouver should … Read entire article »

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British Airways Get Ready For Strikes

With Easter fast approaching, the cabin crew of British Airways voted on Monday for more strikes, which is bad news for travelers. The dispute began two years ago with the reduction of the number of cabin crew used during long-haul flights, and was also initially about a pay freeze too, but things got worse when the British Airways bosses penalized the staff who had taken part in earlier strikes by withdrawing their travel concessions. Len McCluskey is the general secretary of the Unite union whose members voted 83 per cent in favor of continuing the fight, and he commented that the cabin crew remain very determined about this. Strike dates are to be announced within 28 days, and these dates are expected to include the busy Easter period which is in … Read entire article »

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Travel Delayed at Miami International Airport

Tens of flights were either delayed or canceled Thursday due to a blaze which broke out Wednesday evening at around 11pm in a fuel tank at a tank farm on the perimeter of the airport. An airport spokesman Marc Henderson said that although many flights were still landing and taking off, some 83 flights had been affected by delays or cancellations. The American and American Eagle flights were those that were the most disrupted due to the fire, said Henderson. By 1:30am Thursday the fire was extinguished bu firefighters and there were no reported injuries. Although the fire was not close to the runways or the terminal, there was some damage to the underground lines and hose system which is used for fueling the planes. In an unrelated incident, a bomb scare … Read entire article »

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