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The QE2 Returns to Service as a Hotel While the Queen Mary's Prospects Sink

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/09/2020, 10:00 AM

In a recent YouTube video about why and how ships get scrapped, maritime historian Chris Frame slipped in a striking fact. Comparing the remnants of Ancient Egypt with the golden age of ocean travel, he said, "There are more pyramids you can visit today than there are original, preserved ocean liners." When it comes to preserving its heritage, the cruise industry is adrift. That's understand...

The Department of Transportation Says It's Not There to Ensure Passenger Safety

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/07/2020, 10:00 AM

In late July, members of 33 transportation unions—flight attendants, pilots, TSA inspectors, ferry workers, bus drivers, and others—filed an official petition with the Department of Transportation begging for a federal mask mandate on all commercial transportation. Such a move clearly would have made sense. Trains, planes, and buses cross state lines, so the only way to have consistent measures...

Rare Good News: Venice's Long-Awaited Flood Protection System Works!

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/05/2020, 10:00 AM

Venice's answer to Watergate had involved actual water and actual gates. The city's MOSE Project (the name is an acronym of the Italian initials for "Experimental Electromechanical Module") is a system of mobile gates designed to protect the Venetian Lagoon from flooding. But the project had devolved into a major political scandal. Nine years late, €4 billion over budget, and with countless ...

Luxury Rock Star Tour Buses Become A Travel Option in This Pandemic

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/03/2020, 12:00 AM

There’s a certain flavor of fear that comes from trying to do something potentially dangerous that you are in no way competent to do. I experienced that intense mix of panic and embarrassment while trying to park a Class A motor home for the first time. Eventually, my husband had to slide into the sweat-soaked driver’s seat and finish the job. Piloting the mammoth vehicle was just one of many o...

JetBlue Can Now Hook Up All Its Passengers with Saliva-Based Virus Tests

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/01/2020, 10:00 AM

United, American, and Hawaiian airlines are gradually introducing Covid-19 tests for passengers who are headed to Hawaii, a state that now demands negative results. But JetBlue is going much further—it's helping all its customers secure prompt viral test results. You don't have to be holding a ticket for any specific destination. The airline has announced a partnership with Vault Health. Usi...

Tampa Bay to Be First U.S. Airport to Offer All Passengers Covid-19 Test

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/30/2020, 1:00 PM

Starting Thursday, October 1, Tampa Bay International Airport (TPA) will become the first airport in the United States to offer onsite Covid-19 testing for all passengers. "As a gateway to the West Coast of Florida with a growing market for international travel, Tampa International Airport has a responsibility to explore safe, rapid and affordable ways to keep our travelers, their destinations ...

In a Pre-Election Gambit, the Trump Administration Announces New Travel Bans for Cuba

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2020, 3:00 PM

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense," the Mad Hatter told Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. "Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” That mercurial milliner's words apply to this week's current events, which saw the announcement of a new curtail...

Would You Travel for Beer? United Airlines Debuts Themed Flight Searches

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2020, 11:00 AM

On a recent episode of NPR's Marketplace, aviation history professor Janet Bednarek of the University of Dayton was asked to describe the current state of the airline industry. She boiled it down to one word: "Armageddon." In her view, we are in the middle of "the worst crisis in the history of American aviation." That's not hyperbole. It is expected that the airlines will cut tens of thousands...

United Is the First U.S. Airline to Offer Covid-19 Tests to Passengers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/24/2020, 2:00 PM

United Airlines will be the first airline in the United States to extend Covid-19 testing to passengers. The program will start small, rolling out only on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii starting October 15. Earlier this month, the state government of Hawaii announced that it would begin accepting tourists again, but only if they arrive with fresh, negative viral tests in hand. United's...

When Cruising Resumes, You Won't Be Allowed to Roam Ports Alone

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/24/2020, 12:00 PM

Large cruises that depart the United States have been paused since mid-March, but we now know one thing about their return. Guests will no longer be able to wander ports of call on their own. In their bid to restart the industry with new, Covid-sensible protocols, the major cruise lines have pitched the Centers for Disease Control with their ideas for how to operate more safely. This week, R...

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