Week in travel: Seattle Airport to allow visitors beyond security checkpoints

Week in travel: Seattle Airport to allow visitors beyond security checkpoints

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World’s biggest cruise ship reaches the US shores, while Flybe appears to be on the verge of collapse, and pilots report UFO above Ireland

Passengers travelling to or from the Seattle-Tacoma International will soon have the opportunity to take their loved ones behind the security checkpoints with them.

Loved ones can get an SEA Visitor PASS to access the domestic gates  — cdrin / ShutterstockLoved ones can get an SEA Visitor PASS to access domestic gates — cdrin / Shutterstock

The airport has recently launched a trial of a program called SEA Visitor Pass allowing people without tickets to access domestic travel gates.

The daily pass will also give the visitors a chance to spend time in the airside area with shops and restaurants. It is believed this will increase the airport’s revenue.

“For me it is nostalgic,” Lance Lyttle, managing director at Sea-Tac, told the Seattle Times.

“As a child, I used to go to the airport and watch loved ones board the plane and depart. The fact that you can say goodbye to your loved one or child or meet them at the gate and surprise them is very exciting.”

However, the pass will only be available for 50 visitors a day who will still have to undergo the TSA check as ticketed passengers do.

Seattle is not the first airport in the US that has decided to bring this pre-9/11 feature back. Similar programs are also available at Pittsburgh International Airport.

World’s largest cruise ship reaches Florida

Florida finally has the option to enjoy the Symphony of the Seas, as the new Royal Caribbean cruise ship has docked in Miami.

The enormous vessel, that was launched in March and took first passengers on board in April this year, currently holds the title of the largest cruise ship in the world.

Now based in Miami the Symphony of the Seas will take guests to seven-night voyages across the Caribbean — Roberto Sorin / ShutterstockNow based in Miami the Symphony of the Seas will take guests to seven-night voyages across the Caribbean — Roberto Sorin / Shutterstock

With a length of 362 metres and width of 66 metres, the Symphony of the Seas can carry up to 6,680 guests.

It provides 22 restaurants and 40 bars over 18 decks and cost $1.35 billion to build. It also features various attractions, such as a zip wire, ice rink, mini golf course, climbing walls and surf simulator.

The cruise ship will now be based in Miami from where it will be taking holidaymakers on seven-night voyages across the Caribbean.

Pilots report UFOs flying over Ireland

The sky of Ireland might be a bit busier than previously thought. A number of Pilots flying above the country on Friday reported sightings of very fast and very bright unidentified objects flying around them.

The speed the objects were travelling was peed of the object — or objects "absolutely astronomical" — ShutterstockThe speed the objects were travelling was “absolutely astronomical” — Shutterstock

According to their audio logs, the pilots exchanged conversations with at least four aviators confirming that they’d seen the same thing.

The chat started with one pilot asking the Shannon air traffic control if there was any military activity taking place nearby. After receiving a negative answer, the pilot reported that he’d seen an object moving very fast.

“It came up on our left hand side rapidly veered to the north, we saw a bright light and it just disappeared at a very high speed … we were just wondering. We didn’t think it was a likely collision course… we were just wondering what it could be,” she said.

A pilot on another flight operated by Virgin added that his flight crew had seen “two bright lights at 11 o’clock which seemed to bank over to the right and then climb away at speed.

Another pilot joined the conversation saying that the speed of the object — or objects — were travelling was “absolutely astronomical, like Mach 2 or something.”

However, the possibility of an encounter of the third kind is rather improbable.

“In all probability, they were meteorites,” aviation journalist Gerry Byrne told the Irish Examiner.

“It’s not uncommon for meteorites to come in at a low angle, a low trajectory into the earth’s atmosphere.”

A spokesman for the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said: “Following reports from a small number of aircraft on Friday 9 November of unusual air activity the IAA has filed a report. This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process.”

Flybe might be the next European airline to collapse

European low-budget carrier Flybe could soon follow in the unfortunate steps of Monarch and Primera Air.

The carrier has announced that rising oil prices are hitting profits, which has forced the airline to begin takeover talks with several parties.

HIgh oil prices have put Flybe into jeopardy — ShutterstockHIgh oil prices have put Flybe into jeopardy — Shutterstock

Flybe‘s announcement follows last month’s warning that profits for the year would be significantly lower than investors expected. The carrier blamed softening in the market as a consequence of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit.

The carrier has reportedly appointed an investment bank, Evercore, to help with finding a buyer. One of the possible buyers might be UK’s largest budget carrier, easyJet, which has also shown interest in parts of troubled Italian carrier Alitalia.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “We’ve always said that we will play a role in consolidation where it makes sense. We evaluate all opportunities as they arise and have no further comment to make.”

Cannabis-infused restaurant opens in Brighton

A new vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Brighton, United Kingdom, has decided to implement a rather controversial ingredient.

As a part of its mission “to change the way people view the cannabis plant”, the Canna Kitchen located in the city’s historic quarter plans to serve cannabis-infused dishes.  

For the infusion, the team of cooks will use solely non-psychoactive organic cannabinoid substances that are legal in the UK, such as CBD (cannabidiol – commonly used for medicinal purposes), CBG (cannabigerol) and CBN (cannabinol).

The menu will consist mainly of organic, local and seasonal ingredients with self-explanatory names like zaa’tar roast cauliflower; smoked aubergine, or hemp heart tabbouleh.

Head chef Charlotte Kjaer said: “I aim to create honest, balanced and vibrant food. CBD has become something of a buzzword in recent months, but CBD isn’t the only property that makes cannabis a wonder plant.

“Cannabis produces a variety of compounds known as cannabinoids, many of which have not been detected in any other plant.”

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