United launched a new ultra-long-haul flight from Houston to Sydney, while Australians should protect themselves from alleged polar bear attacks in Norway, and Emirates save world’s largest passenger aircraft
New flights, new investments, but also strange behaviour and misinformation ruled this week in travel.
World’s biggest passenger jet saved: Emirates hands A380 superjumbo a lifeline with $16bn order
Emirates announced they would buy up to 36 Airbus A380 aircraft on Thursday in a deal worth as much as $16 billion at list prices, saving the world’s biggest passenger jet from death row and securing its future for at least another decade.
The European planemaker said Emirates had placed a provisional order for 20 of the double-decker superjumbos, with an option for 16 more. Deliveries are due to start in 2020.
The agreement hands a lifeline to the slow-selling A380, in service for just 10 years, and rescues one of Europe’s most visible industrial symbols overseas. The deal ends months of tough-fought negotiations.
Earlier this week, Airbus confirmed a Reuters report that the A380’s survival lay with Emirates, saying it would have “no choice” but to close production if the Emirates deal fell through despite interest in smaller orders from others.
Passenger arrested at Reykjavik airport for wearing too many clothes
An original way to save money on baggage didn’t pay off well for a passenger travelling with British Airways from Iceland to England.
Ryan Carney Williams, who goes by Ryan Hawaii on Twitter, was reportedly denied boarding his flight at Keflavik International airport in Reykjavik when he showed up wearing all his clothes.
— Ryan Hawaii (@RYAN_HAWAII) January 10, 2018
According to Icelandic news site, Mbl, AB said they turned the overdressed passenger away for being rude. A security guard was called when he refused to leave the desk.
Williams alleges he was then violently detained by police. In his tweet, he claimed they had used pepper spray and had held him to the ground despite him being polite.
The next day, Hawaii was denied boarding another plane – this time with EasyJet. He passed through check-in and security without any trouble, but once he arrived at the gate, he was told he wasn’t allowed to board because of the incident the previous day.
Eventually, Hawaii managed to get both the flights refunded.
17 hours on board – United launches ultra-long-haul route from Houston to Sydney
Imagine travelling 13,850km in just 17 and a half hours. American carrier United Airlines kicked off its second longest flight on Friday evening, which carries passengers from Houston, Texas to Sydney, Australia.
United’s Dreamliner plane, which spends much of the flight over the ocean, has 252 seats in total: 141 economy seats, 63 Economy Plus and 48 flat beds in business class.
The airline’s president, Scott Kirby, said: “We are demonstrating United’s commitment to our customers who call Houston home as well as the millions of customers who connect through Houston each year.”
Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, said: “We are looking forward to visiting Sydney and welcoming our Australian visitors with open arms to Texas.”
The flight is currently the world’s fourth longest route. A flight from Doha to Auckland operated by Qatar Airways covers 14.529km, Dubai to Auckland with Emirates is 14,200km and United’s longest haul from Los Angeles to Singapore is 14,114km.
Australia warning to travellers of polar bear attacks in Norway causes hilarious backlash
A funny exchange of tweets occurred between the Australian government’s foreign office and their Norwegian counterparts last week.
Here’s an example from our Prime Minister’s office. pic.twitter.com/qINeFbiUlu
— Norway MFA (@NorwayMFA) January 12, 2018
The Australian public agency Smartraveller, an office in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, published: “Avoid polar bear attacks in Norway,” on their Twitter feed. It was followed with a statement on their official website: “There are risks for travellers to the arctic archipelago of Svalbard relating to avalanches, glacier accidents, boating incidents and polar bear encounters.”
The Norwegian foreign minister didn’t wait long to make a cheeky response after noticing the advisory.
“Thank you Australia for your concern. We can assure you that in mainland Norway all polar bears are stuffed and poses only limited risk,” the Norwegian foreign ministry tweeted.
The tweet was followed by a picture of a stuffed polar bear from inside the Norwegian prime minister’s office.
Wall Street Journal names JetBlue the worst airline in America
American carrier JetBlue has gone through a rough few weeks. First, their plane slid off the taxiway at Logan Airport on Christmas Day and now the Wall Street Journal decided to name them the worst airline in the US.
The paper has been evaluating seven key factors in their annual rankings for nearly 10 years – on-time arrivals, cancelled flights, extreme delays, two-hour tarmac delays, mishandled baggage, involuntary bumping, and complaints.
“JetBlue, usually a middle-of-the-pack performer, fell to the last place, with significant increases in delayed and cancelled flights,” the WSJ wrote.
The best airline in America, on the other hand, is Delta who received the highest score.