What's New in Travel?
Vatican Accepting Cash Only
If you are visiting the Vatican in the near future, be prepared to pay for the museum tickets, souvenirs and other services in Euros. Italy’s central bank has pulled its authorization for electronic payments. Not being able to accept credit and debit cards is a costly problem for the Vatican, as many tourists don’t carry a lot of cash. Tourists in long lines that snaked around the Vatican City walls were not happy about the inconvenience. Better yet to purchase them before you leave from a qualified tour operator, giving you first-in-line status when you arrive.
Delta to offer new service
Delta to offer new nonstop service between Los Angeles and Seattle beginning April 8, 2013. Delta is rapidly growing Seattle as an Asian gateway.
AmEx to cut 8.5% of staff
They plan to cut 5,400 jobs in its biggest retrenchment in a decade. The company says its travel business has been hammered from the increase in online hotel and airline ticket services.
London’s Newest Tourist Attraction
The Shard building stands at 1,061 feet was briefly the tallest building in Europe. They lost the title to a new Moscow building. You will be able to see 40-mile views from the deck on the 72nd floor. Tickets cost $24.95 and it's located at the London Bridge Tube Station.
Carnival Directors Named in Costa Concordia Criminal Complaint
A weekly British publication, The Week, reports that Italian lawyers are filing a criminal complaint against the CEO and directors of the company. The blame goes all the way to the top. Fourteen directors were named, including Sir John Parker, chairman of Anglo American and Vice Chairman of DP World Limited, Sir Jonathan Band, former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.
New report finds human error biggest safety risk on ships
The new Allianz Safety and Shipping review shows that ship losses have reduced mainly due to technology, training, regulation, and a proactive response from the shipping industry to improve safety, but human error is the biggest issue facing safety on cruise ships. The largest ship loss last year was the Costa Concordia. It was one of 106 ships lost worldwide during the year. The number of losses was up from 91 which still shows a 27% decreased on the ten year average of 146 ships per year.
Record levels of Pollution Hits Beijing
Beijing peaked at 755 on an air quality index. Residents were urged to stay indoors. Schools have cancelled all outdoor activities.
Cruise Lines Face Insurance Hikes of 125%
FAA Grounds 787 Dreamliners
United, ANA and JAL have grounded all planes until problem solved in the 787 planes' electrical systems.
United is the first US Airline to offer international Wi-Fi
This service will be rolled out later in the year and there will be a fee.
Oslo has a new opera house
Visitnorway.com is hoping the Oslo Opera House will be a draw for tourists to the city like the Sydney Opera House is, or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Maureen Jones is president of All Horizons Travel at 160 Main Street. Members of her staff are experts in business travel, cruises, and all types of leisure.