Gatwick Airport’s baggage woes

Blackpool SuitcaseArrives

London’s Gatwick Airport is promising to help unload and move luggage and deliver checked baggage to homes for free in hopes of avoiding a re-run of last weekend, when a shortage of handlers reportedly left some passengers waiting four hours to be re-united with their bags during one of Britain’s busiest air travel periods.

Airport officials blame the bag delays on Swissport UK, which provides baggage handling services for many airlines.

In a statement, Gatwick said Swissport failed to meet service standards set by the airport and “[a]lthough bags are being delivered on time for 95% of flights, this is not good enough.”

In its apology statement, Swissport said it hopes to minimize inconvenience that might occur “during any times of future schedule disruption.”

 

(My ‘quick bit’ on Gatwick Airport’s baggage woes first appeared on NBC News Travel in a slightly different form.)

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Surf’s up – again – at Munich Airport

Surfing at Munich Airport - alt image

Passengers hanging out at Munich Airport in Germany can now hang 10 as well.

Free surfing, with complimentary loaner surfboards and wetsuits, is available through Aug. 24 in a giant standing wave pool set up outdoors between Terminals 1 and 2.

Pre-registered guests can surf 10 at a time for 45-minute sessions. Twice a day, a bar will be placed across the water so beginners can hold on.

Non-surfers can watch the action between flights from the poolside grandstand or from a temporary beach, which has palm trees, lounge chairs and a cocktail bar.

This is the fourth year surfing has been an option at the Munich Airport Center, a public space that also hosts an annual beach volleyball tournament and a Christmas Market.

Surfing at Munich Airport

(My story about surfing at Munich Airport first appeared on NBC News Travel)

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Capsule hotel opens at Tokyo’s Narita Airport

NineHoursSleepingPodswithnumbers

Travelers now have a snug option for sleeping and showering between flights at Tokyo’s Narita Airport.

The first airport branch of a capsule hotel called nine hours — the estimated minimum time needed to shower, sleep and groom — offers guests individual pod-like sleeping spaces, luggage-storage lockers, high-speed Wi-Fi and shared shower and lounge facilities in a pre-security area at Terminal 2.

Men and women sleep in separate areas of the hotel, in door-less pods that are 43 inches http://stuckattheairport.com/wp-admin/plugins.phpwide, 86 inches deep and 43 inches tall. Prices start about $39 for one night and about $15 for one hour if you’re just in need of a nap and a shower.

Narita’s nine hours is the newest addition in the airport “capsule” hotel trend.

Yotel rooms – they call them “cabins” – at Amsterdam’s Schiphol and London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports measure about 75 square feet. And napping rooms by Minute Suites, at the Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas-Fort Worth airports have enough space for daybeds, HDTVs/computers, desks and office chairs.

9_hours_hotel_tokyo

(My story about Narita’s capsule hotel first appeared on NBC News Travel)

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Fresh new safety video from United Airlines

If you’re flying on United Airlines on a 787 this summer, you’ll start seeing this new safety video that includes crew members delivering all the crucial instructions and warnings from a variety of locations around the world.

Not a joke-fest, but there are plenty of cute touches.

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Museum Monday: Hawaii by Air exhibit

Hawaii by Air

Courtesy National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Dreaming of a trip to Hawaii?

So, evidently, are the curators at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

They’ve put together “Hawaii by Air,” an exhibition featuring Hawaiian travel posters, photographs and ephemera that explores how air travel to Hawaii developed and grew, how the travel experience evolved along with the airplane and how air travel changed Hawaii.

Also on display: airplane models, airline uniform badges, historic film footage, a high-resolution satellite image of the islands, broadcasts from a vintage Hawaiian radio show and live Hawaiian plants.

pan am brochure

National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Hawaii, exhibition notes remind us, is one of the most remote places on Earth. It got its first air service in 1935 and, by 1936 Pan American Airways was delivering passengers on its famous flying clipper ships.

From the exhibition notes:

“Flying to Hawaii was luxurious but expensive; most people still traveled by ocean liner. That changed after World War II, when new propeller-driven airliners and then jets made travel to this remote destination much more common, comfortable and affordable. Hawaii experienced a tourism boom that exceeded all expectations.”

The exhibit runs through July 2015.

Continental Hawaii

National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

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