Last week in travel: Hundreds of flights cancelled due to snowstorm

Travel news

December 9, 2017

By | December 9, 2017

As pilots prepare to strike during one of the busiest periods for travel, US airlines are banning disruptive luggage and black musicians get kicked off British Airways flight

Last week was full of crucial information that could significantly affect your travelling experience. Better stay tuned!

Snowstorm made tens of thousands of travellers stranded in Europe and the US

Tens of thousands of travellers stranded because of a heavy snowfall in Europe and the United States — Shutterstock snowstormTens of thousands of travellers have been stranded because of a heavy snowfall in Europe and the United States — Shutterstock

Winter has finally come in its full force, leaving tens of thousands stranded and hundreds of thousands without power.

A huge snowstorm caused cancellation of hundreds of flights and brought roads and railways to a halt in many parts of the United Kingdom, mainly in parts of Wales and the Midlands.

Other flights were cancelled across Europe and the United States where the storm hit the south-west while a quarter of million Americans has been left without electric power, according to the Associated Press.   

Delta Airlines said they cancelled 625 flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday and another 375 on Saturday. The carrier restored regular operations on Sunday.

More than 300 flights were cancelled at Germany’s busiest airport in Frankfurt as well.

British Airways were the most affected carrier in The UK with 24 long-haul and dozens of short-haul flights departures cancelled.

The airline’s spokesmen told The Independent: “We’re very sorry that some of our customers’ travel plans have been affected by severe adverse weather conditions. Heavy rain overnight and snowfall this morning, combined with a reduction in the number of flights able to land at Heathrow, have caused disruption to our flight schedule. Like other airlines, we are experiencing some delays and cancellations.”

Another snowstorm is expected to sweep across the Northeast and upper Midwest of the United States early this week. The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories on Sunday in connection with the expected snowfall for parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and other states.

Customers of who may be affected by the snow are advised to contact Customer Support via chat, email, or by phone. Due to high volumes of incoming contacts, the waiting time might be longer than usual. Thank you for understanding.

Ryanair pilots threaten to strike for pre-Christmas period

Ryanair pilots have threatened to go on strike before the Christmas holidays – JJFarq / Shutterstock smart bags TripAdvisor Ryanair American Airlines Quebec snowstormRyanair pilots have threatened to go on strike before the Christmas holidays – JJFarq / Shutterstock

The biggest low-cost airline is facing another issue. After the cancellation of numerous flights through the autumn, their pilots have now threatened pre-Christmas industrial action across the largest European markets.

In Italy, pilots voted for a four-hour strike on December 15, followed by their Portuguese colleagues. The airline’s staff in Dublin is currently voting on whether to take part as well.

Captain Evan Cullen, the union’s president, said: “The pilot issues which gave rise to the flight cancellations earlier this year have not been adequately addressed. Ryanair pilots, who are members of IALPA, are currently considering their options.”

However, the carrier brushed off the option of potential disruptions as previous threats had not materialised.

In their statement, Ryanair said: “We regularly receive threats of industrial action from competitor airline pilot unions from Italy, Portugal and even Aer Lingus pilots occasionally. Both we and our pilots ignore these letters.”

Airlines in the United States plan to limit the usage of smart luggage

American Airlines have taken the lead in banning "smart bags" because of safety concerns – EQRoy / Shutterstock smart bags TripAdvisor Ryanair American Airlines Quebec snowstormAmerican Airlines have taken the lead in banning “smart bags” because of safety concerns – EQRoy / Shutterstock

US-based carriers are in favour of prohibiting luggage that feature charging devices and other technological amendments. The presence of lithium batteries in such bags has caused safety concerns.

“Smart bags, also known as smart luggage, have become more popular over the last few months, and they are expected to be a popular gift this holiday season,” said American Airlines. “However, smart bags contain lithium battery power banks, which pose a risk when they are placed in the cargo hold of an aircraft.”

Airlines worry that the batteries could cause a fire in the cargo hold that would remain under-detected and could threaten the passenger’s safety.

The approach, started by American Airlines, is now being followed by Alaska Airlines and Delta. Both carriers will require that even carry on bags must have the batteries removed from January 15.

Black musicians kicked off British Airways flight because white woman’s seat was broken

Two black passengers have been kicked off a British Airways’ flight because they complained about being downgraded from business class to make way for a white woman, they allege.

Thabo Mabogwane and Bongani Mohosana, who are musicians from South Africa, were travelling from Cape Town to Johannesburg on a Comair flight flying under BA colours.

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The musicians, who perform as Black Motion, said in their Instagram post: “Black Motion happened to be the only two young black men in the British airline business class.

“We were embarrassed and removed from business class just because a white lady complained about a broken seat.”

While stating that two damaged business class seats were not removed from the check-in system by mistake, the carrier’s spokesman promised an investigation of the whole incident.

“Comair will not tolerate racism, which is why we have taken the allegations very seriously and investigated swiftly and thoroughly. We have asked the customers if they would like the investigation independently reviewed,” he said in a statement.

Man trolled TripAdvisor by turning his shed into a top rating restaurant

A Vice journalist tried, and succeeded, to get his fake restaurant to the top of TripAdvisor's rankings – Pe3k / Shutterstock smart bags TripAdvisor Ryanair American Airlines Quebec snowstormA Vice journalist tried, and succeeded, to get his fake restaurant to the top of TripAdvisor’s rankings – Pe3k / Shutterstock

Despite being usually a reliable source of travel tips and recommendations, TripAdvisor can occasionally be a bit misleading. Not everything written on the site is absolutely true.

Vice journalist Oobah Butler revealed that in the past he used to make money by writing fictional reviews for restaurants. Now he decided to push this to another level.

He created a profile for his “restaurant” that was in fact just his own shed where he lives in London.

“I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society’s willingness to believe absolute bullsh*t, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it’s exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?” Oobah said.

“In that moment, it became my mission. With the help of fake reviews, mystique and nonsense, I was going to do it: turn my shed into London’s top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor.”

In the age of the information society, nothing can be really trusted.

Butler soon owned the top-rated restaurant in London on the site, and his phone was ringing off the hook – so he opened for one night only… Read the whole piece, you won’t be wasting your time.

Violent drunk bit a passenger and punched a crew member

Bernadette Briggs was flying to Hurghada when the incident occurred – Shutterstock smart bags TripAdvisor Ryanair American Airlines Quebec snowstormBernadette Briggs was flying to Hurghada when the incident occurred – Shutterstock

A Thomas Cook flight from Manchester to Egypt turned into a bizarre scene when an intoxicated woman started to yell at the crew and act violently.

Alcohol-induced passenger Bernadette Briggs reportedly behaved “like an animal” 10 minutes before the landing. She punched a crew member Maddison Preece and bit and scratched passenger Noel Johnston, who was helping staff to restrain her.

Briggs, who has previously been cautioned for drunkenness, was handed a six-month sentence which was suspended for 12 months. She has also been ordered to attend a program to address her drinking.

Sentencing, Judge Timothy Smith said: “Your behaviour that day was quite simply disgraceful.”

Bonjour instead of Hi. Quebec has a new French-protecting legislation for shop owners

All adverts will need to be predominantly in French, says new Quebecois legislation – huyenhoang / Shutterstock smart bags TripAdvisor Ryanair American Airlines QuebecAll adverts will need to be predominantly in French, says new Quebecois legislation – huyenhoang / Shutterstock

A former French colony and the largest Canadian province is implementing new laws to protect its linguistic heritage. To prevent shoppers from using foreign expressions the legislation obliges them to greet their customers with bonjour and bonjour only.

As the language legislation makes French the official tongue for government, commerce and courts, all commercial advertisements must only be in French. In the case that another language is added, French must be “markedly predominant,” and the typeface must be at least twice as large as those used for other languages.

The law was driven through by the party that advocates for an independent Quebec, Parti Québécois. Their members proposed a motion in Quebec’s legislature inviting “all businesses and workers who enter into contact with local and international clients to welcome them warmly with ‘Bonjour. ’” And just bonjour.

Say au revoir to hello!