NYC Tourism Creeping Back: Reopening Date Set for Empire State Building

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/13/2020, 2:00 PM

While the coronavirus continues to rampage across most of the United States, New York City has recorded its first 24-hour period with no Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.  That's a remarkable occurrence, considering that the city was once the world's epicenter of the disease. And though there remain troubling signs with regard to infection rates among New Yorkers (especially thos...

Airline Now Requires Full Face Shields Plus Masks During Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/10/2020, 11:00 AM

As part of an effort to ramp up safety precautions amid the global health crisis, Qatar Airways is now requiring passengers to wear full face shields as well as masks throughout flights.  According to a news release, the airline will distribute disposable plastic shields, which sort of resemble welder's masks except that they're entirely see-through, at departure gates prior to boarding.  Fa...

WATCH: Hilarious Video on How to Ride a Japanese Roller Coaster Without Screaming

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/09/2020, 9:00 AM

Back in May, when amusement parks began reopening in Japan following coronavirus closures, owners imposed a widely reported ban on screaming while riding roller coasters.  Letting out squeals, shrieks, and howls can expel droplets that spread the virus, the reasoning goes, even when the screamer is wearing a mask (another requirement at theme parks).  But as the Wall Street Journal discovere...

EU Releases Safety Guidelines for Resuming Cruises in Europe

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/08/2020, 12:00 PM

On the same day the European Union announced that Americans would be barred from entering member states due to the U.S. coronavirus surge, the EU also released guidelines for the resumption of cruises in Europe.  In a lengthy document, the bloc's Healthy Gateways program recommends numerous regulations for lowering the risks of Covid-19 infection among cruise passengers and crew members, from p...

WATCH: Italy's Great Attractions Reopen with Social Distancing and New Gadgets

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/07/2020, 3:00 PM

If you were wondering how the treasures of Europe are doing during the reopening of tourism, CBS sent a reporter to check out the scene in Italy as visitors are gradually welcomed back. We should all be grateful that the world's museums and attractions are doing everything they can to figure this out, but if you watch the video carefully, you quickly realize that not all of the problems have be...

Airbnb Limits Home Rentals to People Under 25 to Combat House Parties

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/07/2020, 7:00 AM

I wrote yesterday about the fact that Airbnb may be shrinking because of the current crisis. It looks like the hospitality giant is also intentionally shrinking its client pool in order to protect its property owners and public health. Stung by a spate of headlines linking Airbnb home rentals to house parties that illegally circumvent temporary bans on social gatherings, the platform has ins...

Can Airlines Legally Force You to Wear a Mask?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/06/2020, 3:00 PM

Their airline, their rules. If you don't like the rules, get your own plane.  That's what it boils down to. Catharine Hamm of the Los Angeles Times looked into the legality of airlines forcing passengers to wear masks during flights. Hamm found that passengers don't have a choice. Whenever you buy a ticket, you agree to what's called the "contract of carriage." That contract covers you from ...

Two Top Cruise Companies Join Forces to Develop Safety Plan

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/06/2020, 1:00 PM

Two top competitors in cruising, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, have decided to put rivalry aside and work together to create a comprehensive safety plan that will enable the entire industry to move forward. The "Healthy Sail Panel" the two companies have forged is comprised of a roster of blue-ribbon experts. The group has been meeting for a month to formulate new industry standards that will ...

Will Love Find a Way? An EU Movement to Lift Bans for Unmarried Couples

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/06/2020, 3:00 AM

In the era of Covid-19, Romeo still lives in Verona. But Juliet? She's a native New Yorker, and the course of their true love ain't running too smooth. When the world shut down in mid-March, many long-term, unmarried couples found themselves separated. And for those in the United States, the separation has no end in sight. Right now, Americans are banned from traveling to many parts of the worl...

Airline Accidentally Gives Multimillion-Dollar Refund for Canceled Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2020, 10:15 AM

Given the high volume of cancellations and refunds that airlines are processing amid the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that mistakes are popping up.  An eyebrow-raising one was reported last week on the Australian Frequent Flyer travel site.  Forum moderator Jessica Tam wrote that she was supposed to get a refund from Qatar Airways for business class seats on a round-trip flight be...

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