Categories
Transport

Spirit halts flights to NY NJ Conn coronavirus

Spirit Airlines is temporarily suspending all service in New York,
New Jersey and Connecticut as those states are under a domestic travel
advisory. 

Service to New York LaGuardia; Newark; Hartford, Conn.;
Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Plattsburgh, N.Y.; are being drawn down through
Wednesday. The carrier expects the suspension to last through at least May 4. 

Individuals booked on an impacted flight will be emailed
about rebooking options, Spirit said. 

On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
issued an advisory that urged residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
to refrain from all but essential travel for 14 days.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Cruises

Marriott Discloses Data Breach Affecting Around 5.2 Million Guests

Marriott is notifying some of its guests about an “incident involving a property system” according to its public statement released today. A cybersecurity breach, which is currently under investigation in cooperation with relevant authorities, was identified at the end of February, but the illicit activity is believed to have begun in mid-January 2020.

The personal information of as many as 5.2 million Marriott guests has been exposed through an apparent hack of “an application to help provide services to guests at hotels,” which used the login credentials of two employees at a particular franchise property.

There was no indication given as to whether the employees whose credentials were used to conduct the theft are themselves suspect in the inquiry.

While not all information was accessed for every guest involved, leaked details are believed to have included contact information, such as name, mailing address, phone number and email address, and further personal details like company, gender and birth date.

Marriott Bonvoy loyalty account information (excluding passwords and PINs), linked airline loyalty programs and corresponding account numbers, and such guest-indicated preferences as language and room selection were also potentially exposed.

Marriott has pointed out that it “currently has no reason to believe” that the incident involved the exposure of such sensitive particulars as, “payment card information, passport information, national IDs, or driver’s license numbers.”

Marriott is currently contacting all guests involved to notify them about the incident and suggesting steps they might take. The company has also set up a dedicated call center and website with information for affected guests about enrolling in a personal information monitoring service that Marriott is providing.

In response to questions about why the company waited a month before going public about the breach, Marriott said, “We are still investigating the incident. We identified that an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property. We have several policies and controls in place related to the relevant property application. Marriott remains committed to further strengthening its protections to detect and remediate incidents such as this in the future,” reported Travel Weekly.

This latest incident hearkens back to the 2018 cybersecurity breach of Marriott’s Starwood network reservations system, in which the personal information of around 383 million guests was ultimately found to have been stolen.

In that instance, such highly sensitive data as payment card details and passport numbers was leaked, in addition to guests’ names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

For more information, visit mysupport.marriott.com.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Holidays: These stunning virtual tours allow you to explore the world from your home

For many people around the world holidays are on hold as countries lock down their borders and ask citizens to stay home in an unprecedented pandemic. However, just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t explore all the beauty that the world has to offer thanks to these incredible virtual travel tours. Who knows, perhaps they will inspire you for your next big adventure in the future.

READ MORE

  • easyJet refund: How to get refund from easyJet

Technology experts at Uswitch have been working hard to round up some of the best virtual tours to help those seeking to relax and escape the current climate.

Whether you are looking to immerse yourself deep within nature, get up close and personal with wildlife, or simply just want to experience the calming tides of the ocean, these five virtual tours could be for you.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are a series of sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare.

Spanning 14 kilometres, these rugged wonders make way for the crystal blue waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Transport yourself to the coastline, imagine the wind in your hair and the soothing tides all thanks to this virtual tour.

Take in the views from Blarney Castle gardens, fly high above O’Brien’s Tower and watch the day turn to twilight.

Visit https://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/virtual-visit-tour/ for the full experience.

Kenai Fjords, Alaska, USA

Thanks to Google Arts and Culture, intrepid explorers can experience a guided tour of one of Alaska’s most beautiful national parks, the Kenai Fjords.

The Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 and covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska.

It is known for its vast expanse of ice fields and glaciers – containing the Harding Ice field, one of the largest ice fields in the United States along with 38 glaciers.

Led by experienced tour guides and showcasing breathtaking imagery, users are shown things many people may never get the chance to witness, and can navigate their way around the park.

Kayak through icebergs, explore deep crevasses and watch a glacier melt before your eyes.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, Hawaii, USA

As part of Google’s package, explorers can transport themselves to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, located on Hawaii Island.

At the heart of this stunning natural wonder are the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa active volcanoes.

As part of the virtual tour, users will find themselves looking down upon one of the bubbling, active volcanoes, exploring a lava tube, and taking in the awe-inspiring views of the volcanic cliffs.

The tour is guided by a park ranger who grew right beside the national park and has dedicated her life to learning all about the natural environment.

DON’T MISS
Google Maps Street View: Two women caught in bizarre glitch [PICS]
Northern Lights: How to watch the Northern Lights at home [INSIGHT]
Costa Rica travel: Hang out in an eco paradise [REVIEW]

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, USA

Nestled in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico is the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

This area is home to more than 100 caves, decked out in naturally formed stalactites.

These impressive caverns burrow deep into the earth, with huge underground chambers for visitors to explore.

The virtual tour, led by a park ranger, will take users deep underground and through these incredible caves which remain a mystery even to the experts today.

The tour also boasts stunning desert views, canyons and brings users up close and personal with thousands of bats.

READ MORE

  • Family holidays: All aboard for the very best spring days out

Dry Tortugas, Florida, USA

Dry Tortugas National Park, just west of Key West Florida, is situated in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounded by crystal clear cerulean waters. Made up of 7 islands, plus protected coral reefs, the area is home to beaches, the 19th-century Forth Jefferson, and a wealth of wildlife.

Popular amongst divers, aquatic adventurers can dip below the surface and catch a glimpse of the stunning Loggerhead Reef, the Windjammer Wreck, the remains of an 1875 ship.

This virtual tour is led by a National Park Services Diver who takes users through 99 percent of the park which is hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

Visit https://artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/welcome to experience all of the above national park tours.

The National Aquarium, Baltimore

Baltimore’s famous aquarium is home to almost 20,000 animals, from sea life to beautiful birds.

Though the museum has closed its doors in a bid to enforce social distancing, enthusiasts can still sneak-a-peek at some of its finest creatures thanks to this virtual tour.

The non-profit aquarium has an annual attendance of 1.5 million visitors, holds more than 8,300,000 litres of water and is home to more than 17,000 specimens representing over 750 species.

Walk around the aquarium’s exhibits, taking in jellyfish, alligators, and sea turtles, as well as an in-depth look into wildlife native to the Channel Islands and the Amazon River.

Visit http://samuraivirtualtours.com/example/nadc/index.html to experience the tour.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Qantas flight diverted to Sydney after baggage handlers test positive

A Qantas flight was forced to make a mid-air U-turn on 31 March after baggage handlers working for the airline tested positive for coronavirus.

Flight QF741 left Sydney at 3.34pm local time, and was due to reach Adelaide at 5.15pm.

However, about an hour into the flight, news broke that six Qantas baggage handlers based in Adelaide had tested positive for Covid-19.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

There were no other Qantas staff available to service incoming flights, news.co.au reports. This prompted the flight to be diverted back to Sydney, where it landed just after 6pm. 

A number of flights due to depart Adelaide were also cancelled at short notice.

In a statement posted to its Twitter account, Adelaide Airport said: “We have this afternoon been advised of cases of COVID-19 involving Qantas employees working in the baggage handling area away from public areas.

“We are assisting SA Health by notifying other stakeholders who work within the terminal precinct, as well as informing and supporting our own staff.

“SA Health has advised that other areas of the terminal, including public areas, are unaffected at this time.

“SA Health has advised any passengers who arrived on flights in the past 24 hours to wipe their baggage and monitor their health.”

Flights out of the airport from 1 April are currently scheduled to operate as normal.

Confirming the incident, the South Australia Health Department said in a statement: “We are currently investigating six cases of COVID-19 in Qantas baggage handlers at Adelaide Airport.

“We are working closely with Qantas to ensure flights are not disrupted and the carousel area is fully cleaned.”

There are currently 337 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of South Australia, and 4,557 across the entire country.

Australia is already restricting entry for foreigners and is increasingly restricting domestic travel.

Despite this, The Independent was still able to book a last minute Australian cruise with Cunard.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

10 best livestreaming experiences to help make-believe you’re on holiday

Getting quarantine cabin fever? There may be a temporary solution: become an armchair traveller.

Destinations and attractions around the world are wising up to the fact that people would still like to “visit”, even if they can’t physically be there, and have made use of technology accordingly.

Plenty of parks and outdoor spaces have set up webcams that allow you to livestream video at any given moment for a bit of accessible escapism.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Here are 10 of the best livestreaming experiences that let’s you travel without setting foot outside your lockdown pad.

Go on a virtual city tour

Travel Curious has started running livestreamed tours all over the world. The first one took place on 24 March and saw guide Dennis, a retired NYPD Police officer who worked for several years as a detective with the Manhattan North Tactical Narcotics Team, take viewers for a virtual Mafia Tour of NYC.

This weekend also featured a tour of the ancient cathedral city of St Albans and an Historic Dublin and the Road to Independence tour.

More tours will be announced on the company’s Instagram page, @TravelCuriousTours.

Make like a star in Hollywood

There are a range of live cams around Los Angeles, showcasing iconic views of Hollywood and Vine, Hollywood Blvd and Venice Beach (sadly minus the body builders), all in real-time. There’s also a full virtual tour of LA available at discoverlosangeles.com.  

Gasp at the Northern Lights

Why not tick-off a bucket list activity while under lockdown? Explore.org and Polar Bears International are live streaming footage from Churchill, Manitoba, in Canada, for those keen to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The camera is set up under the aurora oval, considered one of the best places to spot the aurora borealis. The feed is streaming 24 hours a day at explore.org.

Escape to the Caribbean

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is inviting people to escape to Saint Lucia with a social media series that’s airing twice a week on Instagram. There’s everything from a live DJ dance party featuring Reggae, Dancehall and Soca hits, to a cooking class with Saint Lucian chef Shorne Benjamin; from a guided meditation on the beach to a garden guide to herbal plants and remedies. Follow @TravelSaintLucia on Instagram and click the “story” in the top left corner to take part. 

Hit the beach 

San Diego’s historic beachfront Hotel Del Coronado, or “The Del”, is one of the few surviving examples of an American wooden Victorian beach resort. Armchair travellers can watch the waves crashing on the shore and sun beating down on the golden sand via The Del’s live beach cams.

Swim with sharks

Palma Aquarium in Mallorca is offering virtual visitors the chance to discover the Mediterranean’s marine life. Tropical reefs, exotic fish and even sharks will be on display in the aquarium’s live streaming sessions, taking place on Monday to Friday at 10am (UK time). The aquarium is home to more than 8,000 specimens of almost 700 species. 

Get down to some country music

Nashville, the official home of country music, isn’t going to let a global pandemic silence it. The Grand Ole Opry, the famed weekly American country music stage concert founded nearly 95 years ago, paused all shows with a live audience on 16 March, but is still streaming acoustic performances with musicians and minimal crew. Check listings on Facebook and YouTube to catch the next show. 

Elsewhere in Music City, plenty of artists are sharing their talents on social media and live streaming apps. See visitmusiccity.com.

Talk to the animals

Various zoos are livestreaming to allow viewers to meet and greet the animals during lockdown. Chester Zoo has been doing live sessions on its Facebook page, including feeding time with the giraffes and pandas; Marwell Zoo has seen a huge surge in people tuning in to watch its live animal webcams featuring flamingos, penguins, giraffes and black and white ruffed lemurs, with viewer numbers hitting 64,000 last week; and the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales is inviting people on virtual tours to experience feeding time with crocodiles, dingos and koalas.

Go birdwatching

Explore currently offers live web cam feeds of all sorts of critters, including bald eagles in Iowa, courtesy of the Raptor Resource Project. Head from there to the osprey nest at Chesapeake Conservancy; a feed of Great Horned Owls; and even watch exquisite hummingbirds at play. 

Explore Yosemite

Experience this natural wonder in real time by clicking through to its webcams. The views include Yosemite Falls, the view of the Half Dome from the floor of Yosemite Valley, and vistas from the High Sierra captured at 8,000 feet.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Holiday

Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Aulani Resorts Taking Bookings After June 1

Disney resorts issued a statement last week notifying guests that its “parks are closed until further notice” and, now, the parks have advised travel agents that bookings will only be accepted for dates after June 1, 2020.

The statement from Disney read: “At this time, the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort call centers will not be taking any new bookings for the months of April and May. New bookings for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Aulani Resort will be available for stays starting June 1, 2020.”

Despite this announcement, there has been no update on when the parks will be reopened.

As previously stated, travelers with hotel reservations that take place while the parks are closed can cancel or postpone their trips without penalty, and the resorts are working with guests to rebook stays that are affected by the closure.

For those who just can’t wait for the parks to reopen, relive the experience through the eyes of others with virtual videos.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Qantas moves one step closer to offering world’s longest non-stop flight

Pilots working for Qantas have approved the airline’s proposals for operating nonstop flights between London and Sydney.

The Australian carrier plans to use Airbus A350 jets to launch the world’s longest air link in the first half of 2023.

The 19-hour flight would cover 10,573 miles between Heathrow and Kingsford-Smith airport in Sydney – more than 1,000 miles longer than the world’s current longest commercial route, between Singapore and New York.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

That link is temporarily grounded because of the coronavirus crisis. 

The plan to link London and Sydney is part of a wider “Project Sunrise” initiative that could also see a UK-Melbourne link, as well as flights from New York, Paris and Frankfurt to Sydney.

But in February, Qantas warned that it would hire new flight crew for the London-Sydney nonstop if existing pilots did not agree to its working arrangements for the link. These include concessions to cut costs.

At the time, the union representing Qantas pilots warned the new-hire plan could “damage the airline for many years to come”.

Discussions have continued for more than six months, with particular focus on paying the second officers less than at present. These pilots support captains and first officers on longer flights.

The airline said cutting crew costs is “a major contributor to making the Sunrise business case stack up”.

Now, members of the Australian & International Pilots Association (AIPA) have agreed to the Qantas proposals – which also include a planned annual 3 per cent pay rise and extra overtime payments for the ultra-long-haul flights. 

The airline says 85 per cent of pilots approved the deal.

But it may prove academic, as the coronavirus crisis undermines the global aviation industry. 

Qantas has grounded its entire international fleet at least until the end of May.

While the Australian airline had promised a decision on Project Sunrise by the end of March, it will be deferred until the future of aviation is clearer.

Before the grounding, Qantas flew nonstop between London Heathrow and Perth, a distance of 9,009 miles.

One effect of the coronavirus crisis that may work in the airline’s favour: the slump in the price of oil and therefore aviation fuel means that one of the biggest costs of the plan has dropped sharply.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Coronavirus in Belarus: Is it safe to travel to Belarus? Nation NOT on lockdown

Coronavirus has taken to nearly every country in the world, as the pandemic causes hundreds of thousands of cases and thousands of more deaths. Most governments have responded to the crisis with strict measures to prevent further spread, but several governments have drawn harsh criticism for their perceived inaction.

Is it safe to travel to Belarus?

Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has instituted few measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Belarus.

Currently, social distancing measures are in place over limited areas, with no lockdown in place, a stark difference to other nearby nations such as Poland.

President Lukashenko and much of the country continue to indulge in Belarus’ thriving sporting scene, and thousands of people continue to attend football matches in the nation.

READ MORE

  • Catherine Zeta Jones in isolation clip with Michael Douglas ‘Gone mad’

Mr Lukashenko was questioned about his response on the weekend while playing ice hockey, and when a reporter asked him whether anything would make him stop, he said “there are no viruses here”.

He said: “Did you see any of them flying around?

“I don’t see them too. This is a fridge.”

President Lukashenko also branded nearby countries’ use of lockdown as “frenzy and psychosis”, and vowed he would only introduce one “when it is really needed”.

The lack of controls make Belarus ripe for spreading infection, but the country has a relatively small total, with 152 cases amongst its nearly 9.5 million-strong population.

Currently, the UK Government has set down strict travel restrictions in line with the lockdown.

They advise against “all but essential travel” anywhere in the world, regardless of the measures they have used against COVID-19.

Government guidance states: “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

DON’T MISS
Coronavirus flights: UK government plans to bring Britons home – INSIGHT
Train refund: Can I get a refund for a ticket booked before lockdown? – EXPLAINER
Coronavirus lockdown: Social distancing could last into 2022 – INSIGHT

READ MORE

  • Spain: Coronavirus lockdown tightened – what should tourists do?

“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”

Flights will not operate in the UK for at least another three weeks, as lockdowns continue over most of Europe, the US and Asia.

The restrictions have left potentially millions of Brits stranded abroad, and the Government today announced it would operate flights to return them home.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government had partnered with some of the UK’s biggest airlines to bring people home.

The £75million initiative will see people put on chartered or compensated commercial flights from all over the world.

Airlines which have signed up to help include easyJet, British Airways and Jet2 amongst others.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Cruises

Globus cancels travel until July

Globus, one of the world’s largest tour operators and the
parent of river cruise line Avalon Waterways, has cancelled all tours, cruises
and vacation packages through June 30 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

While many travel companies earlier this month suspended
operations through April, they have increasingly over the past few weeks pushed
back expected restart dates through at least the end of May.

President Trump on Sunday extended until the end of April
his call for Americans to stay home and practice social distancing. Many
countries have closed their borders indefinitely.

Click for links to travel companies’ schedule changes and
cancellation, refund and commission policies.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Love of Travel in the Time of Coronavirus: Why I Kept Going


“Don’t you ever stay home?”

an orange sunset: Happy traveler waiting for the flight in airport

I get the same question from my mother whenever I tell her I’m traveling that weekend (which is often). She herself is by no means a shut-in, having cruised the Nile on a barge and hiked ancient footpaths in the Andes, but the sheer frequency of my travel is what unnerves her.

Some travelers are exhausted by travel, and need time in between trips to recover, while others are energized by it. Me? I’m an introvert and like my “alone” time, but when it comes to travel my appetite has few boundaries.

So in the midst of (quite legitimate) concerns about coronavirus, I took a weekend trip to Puerto Vallarta. I spent some time rationalizing: there aren’t many cases in Mexico; the flights and airports aren’t very full; I love fresh Pacific seafood.

Some of my assumptions panned out. The flights weren’t very full, and the atmosphere felt similar to what it did in the fall and winter of 2001: everyone polite and patient in spite of their obviously frayed nerves.

After getting through the rationalization, the next question is one of self-actualization: why? Why do I keep traveling, even when it’s clearly much safer and less stressful to stay home?

RELATED: You can virtually tour these 20 landmarks without leaving your couch

a large building: Most travel plans are on hold for a while during the coronavirus pandemic. To pass the time after working from home with the kids or for a fun digital happy hour with friends, take a vacation without ever leaving your couch. Numerous world-class destinations and man-made marvels offer virtual tours that you can take online while you are social distancing. The other benefit? It’s free.

I wouldn’t argue the “safe” bit, but less stressful? After a couple of posts about my journey, I stopped scrolling through Facebook to find endless jokes about toilet paper and admonishments to supply hoarders. There are opportunities for stress wherever you are—even when you’re sipping Pacifico in the sand—and I wasn’t about to let them creep in.

Sometimes I feel like my urge to keep traveling has a documentary quality. There’s something romantic about the correspondents who rushed into the fires to chronicle them, like Ernest Hemingway commandeering a military Jeep to be the first American civilian into Paris in 1944 to “liberate” the bar at The Ritz Hotel. In Mexico, among tourists from the north, it’s as though everyone is taking pains not to discuss the elephant in the room, and that’s the snapshot I’m after.

For me, the desire to see the world isn’t one of postcard idealism. I want to see what the world looks like when it’s not perfect, too. There was a strange beauty in how we traveled just after 9/11. The additional security checks were frustrating, but travelers saw their value. The uncertainty among travel industry workers about their futures put their more authentic humanity on full display; travelers saw that and responded with understanding.

It’s also interesting how humans have the capacity to think of whatever hurdles stand up during their present as extraordinary. Suddenly COVID-19 facemasks are different from SARS facemasks. Post-9/11 security checks were different from Gulf War security checks. A generation from now, travelers of this period will bear witness when the next generation looks upon their struggle as unprecedented. 

The word “Quarantine” itself dates back to the middle ages when the city-state of Ragusa (modern-day Dubrovnik) imposed a forty-day (Italian: quaranta giorni = forty days) waiting period on arriving ships to ensure their occupants didn’t carry the plague. What strikes me is that even during the Black Death, which wiped out roughly a third of Europe’s population, there were still ships arriving to quarantine.

Even in those days, when there was little relief for an ailment of any kind (contemporary prescriptions overwhelmingly did more harm than good) and everything from a sore leg to a sniffle was potentially fatal, there was still a basic understanding that isolation could put a stop to a pandemic. Even then, they traveled on.

Every generation has its intrepid travelers, and as with most adventures, everyone has their endurance limits. Several of my friends were also traveling at the same time. One returned early from Europe, awakening to news of new travel restrictions to the U.S. One had an abbreviated trip to New Zealand after the country announced entry restrictions and airlines began to cancel flights.

I myself am also about ready to pack it in for a while. The calculus has shifted. Concerns of catching and subsequently transmitting the virus have morphed into acceptance of the eventuality that free movement will be curtailed as borders close in efforts to contain the threat.

I’ve seen the warts-and-all realities I was curious about, and it’s time to retire to the couch (yes, Mom, I do stay home sometimes) with a stack of treasured books and films about travel. Instead of the rush I get at the ink of a customs stamp hitting my passport I’ll be transfixed as Bergman is coaxed onto the silver Air France propliner in Casablanca, or Streep, anxious that her crystal and china aren’t broken on the train across Kenya.

And when the next crisis hits, I’ll probably travel right up until the gates swing shut then, too.

RELATED: How You Can Livestream the Northern Lights Right Now


  • a cup of coffee

    How to decide if you’ll be traveling this summer
    A lot of people are re-evaluating their summer travel plans. Veuer’s Natasha Abellard has the story.

    Veuer Logo
    Veuer

  • Living alone on a paradise island

    Living alone on a paradise island
    In 1989, Mauro Morandi's boat docked on Budelli Island in Italy. Discovering that the island's caretaker was retiring within the next two days, Mauro decided to extend his stay indefinitely. – Great Big Story

    CNN Logo
    CNN

  • Determined to still travel, then a forced change

    Determined to still travel, then a forced change
    Maria Cousins, who's from New Zealand, was set to start some big travel plans despite the coronavirus outbreak, but a development beyond her control halted her plans.

    CNN Logo
    CNN


Travel + Leisure Logo
Source: Read Full Article