The devastation in Japan after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but if you need a lighthearted distraction here are the travel stories that had us scratching our heads.
Cyndi Lauper sings during airport layover: While on tour in South America, the singer belted out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to stranded passengers at the Buenos Aires airport. [YouTube]
Toddler put in overhead locker: Flight attendant fired over alleged peek-a-boo game, but child’s mother is outraged. [Herald Sun]
Delta passenger slips past security with stolen boarding pass: TSA is investigating the incident at New York’s Kennedy airport. [HuffingtonPost]
Continental cuts flight staple: Claims it will save airline $2.8 million annually. [CNN]
Homeless thrive as tour guides: Offer ‘Unseen Tours’ in London for roughly $10, “depending on your circumstances.” [Gadling]
An earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan on Friday causing at least hundreds of deaths and affecting travel plans around the globe. Reuters reports that most US airlines canceled most of their flights to and from Japan on Friday. American Airlines canceled all of its flights.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Japanese air carriers canceled hundreds of flights and that airlines throughout Asia and Europe diverted or suspended flights to Tokyo Friday.
In Japan, All Nippon Airways reports that it canceled some flights to Tokyo Narita Airport, and its midnight flights from Tokyo Haneda on March 12 have been canceled. Japan Airlines says it’s flights are experiencing “irregular operations and that Sendai Airport has been closed.
British Airways reports that flights to Narita and Haneda “have been disrupted.”
States along the U.S. west coast have issued warnings to residents to stay away from beaches as the tsunami approaches the region. It was expected to reach California shortly after 11 a.m.
After an increase in Mexico’s drug violence, the Texas Department of Public Safety wants college students to rethink spring-break plans south of the border.
Public Safety Director Steven McCraw encourage students to stay on the US side of Falcon Lake, a popular fishing and boating spot on the Rio Grande border. According to MSNBC.com, it’s also the same area where David Hartley was shot and killed last September.
“Drug violence has not discriminated — innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties,” McCraw said in a written statement on Tuesday.
Officials are also warning students to travel with caution in popular destinations, including Cancun and Acapulco, where “various crime problems exist.”
Like the rest of us, our hosts were getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit this week. Of course if your love life is dead, you’d probably prefer to celebrate with the Ghost Adventures guys and their Ghostly Lovers special. And if all else fails, you can fawn over these adorable snow babies.
Here’s the news you might have missed:
Which airline has hottest flight attendants? According to a survey of 1,000 people, 53% picked Virgin Atlantic. [Huffington Post]
Bomb threat suspect: ‘I did it for love!’ The 300 people who were evacuated from the plane moments before takeoff weren’t amused. [MSNBC]
Not knowing wife’s name gets man in serious trouble: But it may also be to blame for getting her stuck in China. [Gadling]
Baggage handler got trapped: Narrowly missed becoming passenger in the plane’s cargo hold. [CNN]
You can still smoke on planes? Electronic cigarettes, that is. And not for much longer if the US Department of Transportation gets its way. [Huffington Post]
Things may be changing at New York’s JFK airport soon. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are looking for developers to build a boutique hotel. The proposed150-room hotel would be built between the old TWA terminal and the new JetBlue building, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The now-vacant TWA terminal was designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The plan is to use the Saarinen-designed space as the hotel’s lobby and entrance, which would also be home to restaurants and shops.
Construction for the new hotel could wrap up 2 years after a developer is signed, but there is an obstacle. The TWA terminal is a New York City landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Sunday, February 6, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will host the largest gay and lesbian cruise ever. Atlantis Events, Inc. specializes in all-gay and lesbian cruises. Already, 5,400 people have signed up for the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise that will leave from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In 2012, the cruise will set sail on January 29. Royal Caribbean will start the sale of that cruise on February 23, 2011.
For more information and to read full story, go to Atlantisevents.com.
On Monday, January 31, 2011, the adventure cruise line M/V Polar Star struck an uncharted rock while anchoring near Detaille Island off of Antarctica. Passengers aboard the Polar Star got a small taste of what it must have felt like aboard the Titanic when it hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912.
Eighty passengers, including 32 Americans, were traveling from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Drake Passage (between Ushuaia and Antarctica), then back to Ushuaia. No injuries were reported. The ship suffered minor damage and within hours was able to travel at a safe cruising speed, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Although the damage on the M/V Polar Star was minor, the Drake Passage is known for rough seas, so on Wednesday, February 2, the Polar Star captain and other officials made the decision to evacuate the ship.
The M/V Polar Star will head back to Ushuaia for minor repairs.