Air Canada

Travel Tidbits: Travel Ban + Air Canada

In the news as the week ends…

A federal appeals court refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

Trump’s response:

Meanwhile…

Air Canada is celebrating its 80th anniversary and on Thursday had a series of events in several Canadian cities  to introduce a new livery design and new employee uniforms.

The new design will eventually appear on Air Canada‘s fleet of 300 mainline and regional aircraft, but the first three aircraft sporting the new livery are already flying.

Stay tuned to StuckatTheAirport.com this weekend for a report on my 24 hour  – intended – stay at Charles de Gaulle Airport, with an overnight at the new in-terminal Yotel.  Plotting out my meals, my shopping and my sleeping in a tiny, windowless cabin.

 

Fun, photo-rich timeline celebrates Air Canada’s 75th birthday

What do Frank Sinatra, Gina Lollobrigida, Louis Armstrong, Chubby Checker, Warren Beatty, Peter Fonda, Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope all have in common?

They were all passengers on Air Canada or its predecessor, Trans Canada Air Lines (TCA), sometime during the past 75 years.

As part of a slew of activities to mark its 75th anniversary, Air Canada has launched a great on-line timeline with more than 300 pictures, videos and vignettes that tell the story of the airline and of the evolution of Canada’s aviation industry.

Don’t worry if you’re not really interested in Air Canada’s story. Spend a little time poking around the timeline and you’ll see some really great celebrity photos, including the Beatles posing with their wax replicas in 1965 and, from 1941, Babe Ruth.

Good, bad and just plain wacky air travel fees and amenities

Heading to the airport this holiday weekend? Check to make sure you’re up on the latest changes.

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Shoes out of the bin, buddy!

Like what? Well, the TSA has decided that you still need to take off your shoes and send them through the X-ray machine, but now those shoes need to ride on the belt on their own, outside of the plastic bin.  Got that?

There are other changes to make note of. Some are good, some are bad and, as I outlined in my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com, some are just plain wacky.  Here’s what I mean:

No Kiss ‘n Drop tax; for now

In April, London’s Luton Airport announced that it would soon be charging a fee for the privilege of dropping passengers off outside the terminal. That “Kiss ‘n Fly” tax is now on hold.

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(O’Hare Airport has a Kiss n’ Fly drop-off spot with a free shuttle)

Ryanair’s “let just say everyone’s fat” tax

Ryanair was going to institute a large-passenger charge, but instead decided to just go ahead and charge everyone a new fee.  Print out your boarding pass before you go to the airport and you’ll pay a fee of about $5.  Forget to print out your boarding pass before you get to the airport and pay a much fatter fee of close to $60.  Ouch.

Loads of reasons to lighten your load

You’ll soon pay an extra fee on United and US Airways if you don’t go on-line and pre-pay the charge to check your luggage.  And Air Jamaica will soon begin taking your money for checking a second bag, but in return only promise to deliver it within seven days.

Pillows, snacks, fee-waivers, refunds, and perhaps a marriage proposal

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There’s  some good news. Experts predict that on-line travel booking agencies will continue to waive booking fees. Air Canada may bring free pillows back.  And JetBlue is extending the “Lose your job, get your money back” program through the end of the year.

There’s more.  To find out about matchmaking flights and on-board weddings, see my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com.

Travel tidbits: bikes & air passenger rights for travelers in Canada

As part of a growing eco-effort, guests staying at Fairmont Hotels across Canada will now be able to take advantage of a cool new amenity:  complimentary use of BMW cruise bikes. The hotels even promise to keep some child-sized bikes in stock.

Of course, they can’t have enough bikes for everyone, so priority will be given to members of the Fairmont President’s Club. (Joining that club is free and in addition to putting you at the front of the bike-line, you’ll also get free high-speed Internet access and some other benefits.)

bike-wheelsAnd speaking of Canada, stay tuned for more details about a proposed new passenger bill of rights that Air Canada and other Canadian airlines are putting forth in hopes of avoiding a new round of government regulations.  Submitted to the Canadian Transportation Agency as a set of proposed “airline tariffs” the new rules spell out, for example,  how the airlines will handle delayed luggage and what will be done for passengers whose flights are delayed, cancelled, or overbooked.

One person – two seats – in two rows?

One of my recent Well Mannered Traveler columns on MSNBC.com discussed the “tush test” Canadian airlines are asking travelers to undergo in order to take advantage of that country’s One Person/One Fare  laws.

So Gregg at FlightsfromHell sent along a  link to a story about a woman forced to purchase two airplane seats “for other people’s comfort.”

Unfortunately, the two seats the airline assigned her were not next to each other.

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