Week in travel: Wizz Air change hand luggage policy

Norwegian launches new route to Tampa, while tourists in Italy face a huge fine, and a teenager helps blind deaf passenger with sign language

Passengers travelling with Wizz Air will now have to put their hand luggage into the hold as the Hungarian low-cost carrier has changed their cabin bag policy.

To take their small bags to the cabin, passengers now have to buy priority boarding.

Only passengers with priority boarding will be allowed to take cabin bags into cabin — Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock. Wizz Air change hand luggage policy
Only passengers with priority boarding will be allowed to take cabin bags into cabin – Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.

“As we have limited space onboard, we cannot guarantee that all passengers’ hand luggage will be travelling with them in the cabin of the aircraft. Only passengers with Wizz Priority will be able to bring their hand luggage onboard,” the carrier explained.

“Hand luggage of passengers who have not purchased Wizz Priority will have to be placed into the cargo hold compartment of the aircraft and can be collected at the baggage belt at the arrival airport.”

The carrier is following similar rules that were recently established by their major competitor, Ryanair.

“The aim of this measure is to minimise hand luggage related delays and increase customer satisfaction,” Wizz Air said in a statement.

“The company’s strategy is to ensure we keep the lowest fares possible for customers while providing them with options to customize their travel and pay only for the services required. This allows maximum flexibility for our passengers while offering them genuinely low ticket pricing.”

15-year-old helps blind and deaf man on board using sign language

An inspiring act of kindness happened on Wednesday when a blind and deaf passenger, Tim Cook, was assisted by a teenager on an Alaska Air flight from Boston to Portland.

Mr Cook was travelling from visiting his sister in Portland who accompanied him to the gate. However, he had to board the plane on his own and passengers soon realized he was travelling alone. Many of them then decided to assist.

Firstly, one man gave up his aisle seat up on boarding so that Cook wouldn’t have to take the window. He also assisted Cook to prepare his coffee.

Then, to find a way to communicate with Cook, the flight attendants on board decided to make an announcement to see if anyone on the flight knew sign language. 15-year-old Clara Daly, who was travelling with her mother to Los Angeles, decided to help.

“The flight attendants were talking among themselves and someone suggested paging to see if anyone on board knew sign language. That’s when this lovely young woman came into the picture. 15 years old, she learned ASL because she had dyslexia and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn,” said Lynette Scribner, a passenger present on board, in her Facebook post.

“For the rest of the flight she attended to Tim and made sure his needs were met. It was fascinating to watch as she signed one letter at a time into his hand.”

“I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being,” Scribner added.

Norwegian extends transatlantic service to Tampa

A Scandinavian budget carrier has unveiled its plans to increase operations in winter 2018. To support its transatlantic connections, Norwegian will launch a service between Gatwick and Tampa on 1 October.

“Norwegian continues to offer customers increased choice, flexibility and value throughout winter 2018 and we are pleased to welcome Tampa, Florida, as a new destination to our network,” said Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian.

“Our modern fleet of aircraft allow customers, whether travelling for work or leisure, to enjoy their trip from the moment they step on board thanks to our award-winning state of the art entertainment system, comfortable and spacious cabin and friendly cabin crew.”

The airline will also give customers options to other parts of Florida, as well as other destinations in the world, as it launches its winter schedule of long-haul flights from London Gatwick.

Norwegian will increase connections to Fort Lauderdale to a daily service, increase their Orlando route from three to four times a week, and in response to strong demand for the London Gatwick to Buenos Aires route, services will increase from four flights a week.

Tourists in Italy to be fined up to $8,000 if caught buying from unlicensed vendors

For some time, holidays on Italian beaches are not only about sand, sea and sunshine. For past few years, the presence of barefoot vendors offering everything from designer sunglasses, towels, children toys, or even tattoos or watches has become a classic.

Tourists buying merchandise from unlicenced vendors on Italian beaches can face fines — GiuseppeCrimeni / Shutterstock Wizz Air change hand luggage policy
Tourists buying merchandise from unlicensed vendors on Italian beaches can face fines – GiuseppeCrimeni / Shutterstock

Now, the Italian government has decided that it is time to put an end to the practice.

“We need to stop the invasion (of vendors) on the beaches, and also stop the sale of counterfeit goods,” said Matteo Salvini, Italy’s hardline interior minister, who is head of the far-right League party and deputy prime minister.

The new measures will make holidaymakers caught buying goods from the unlicensed vendors face a fine of up to $8,000.

Vendors who are caught selling counterfeit products will have their merchandise confiscated and could face fines of between  $2,900 and $18,00.

According to estimates made by Confesercenti association, the trade in counterfeit goods is worth as much as €22 billion a year across the country. The practice costs the tax authorities billions in revenue, the Telegraph reports.

Nearly naked 19-year-old jumps on a landing plane in Atlanta

Passengers on a Delta Air Lines plane landing at Atlanta on Wednesday had a surprising visitor. A half-naked teenager managed to get into the airport and jump on the aircraft from the outside and proceeded to try to force open the emergency exit doors.

The 19-year-old intruder, named Jhyrin Jones, climbed over a four-metre high fence covered in barbed wire, continued running onto the tarmac and jumped upon the arriving flight’s wing.

Half-naked teenager jumped on a landing plane at Atlanta airport — Shutterstock Wizz Air change hand luggage policy
A half-naked teenager jumped on a landing plane at Atlanta airport – Shutterstock

Tim James, one of the passenger on-board, recalled his fear at the sight of Jones on the wing. Jones was attempting to rip open the emergency door of the plane that had just arrived from Miami.

“He actually got it open until the stewardess and the people in the aisle started fighting back,” James, 32, a marketing manager from Atlanta, said in an interview on Wednesday.

“People were crying. My first thoughts were he had jumped off of the plane, so I was more concerned he had something else on the plane that needed to be taken off. It was scary.”

After the flight crew secured the door, Jones walked up to the window where James was sitting.

“He pulled out his ID. Then he put it in his mouth and ripped it apart and threw it on the ground,” James said.

Police arrested Jones and charged him with criminal trespassing, public indecency, causing damage and obstruction of law enforcement officers.