April 30-May 8: First US-to-Cuba Cruise in Decades; Oslo’s Solution for International Travelers; TSA Collected $750K in Loose Change; All-Robot Kingdom in Japan Theme Park; & Baby Named After Airline

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline and travel news – from the First US-to-Cuba cruise in decades sets sails, Oslo Airport’s solution for international travelers, and TSA collected $750k in loose change, to Japanese theme park to open all-robot land, and baby born on flight named after airline. Enjoy!

First US-to-Cuba Cruise in Decades

This past Sunday, a U.S. cruise ship left Miami for Cuba, the first in 25 years. The Adonia with its 700 passengers, part of Carnival’s Fathom line, departed Port Miami at 4 p.m., and arrived in Havana on Monday. The Fathom brand is designed to foster cultural exchanges between American and Cuban citizens. Among the ports of calls will be Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, with programs such as meet-and-greet sessions with artists, musicians and business owners, as well as dance classes and guided tours. According to Carnival, the week-long cruise will sail to Cuba twice a month. Regularly scheduled commercial flights are expected to begin later this year.

Oslo Airport’s New Solution for International Travelers

Anyone who has travel internationally most likely has encountered this problem: having to go through customs at your point of entry even if you’re just headed to a connecting flight to another city within that country. The biggest hassle in that situation is the worry of making your connecting flight as you wait in the long immigration line (it’s happened to me where I missed my connecting flight to Rome by minutes because the line in Milan took an incredibly long time and I had over two hours). Luckily for travelers to Norway, Oslo Airport is working on a solution called Connecting Norway. Currently this pilot program is limited to SAS, Norwegian or Widerøe passengers, where they can skip having to leave the secured area, re-check their bags, and go through security all over again. Instead, the lucky travelers can just follow signs to their connecting flights, and all their bags will be transferred to your next flight. If all goes accordingly, Oslo Airport will include more airlines. Hopefully major airports around the world are taking note.

TSA Collected $750K in Loose Change

The next time you make your way through airport security, don’t forget your loose change. People have a tendency to just abandon stray coins in the plastic bins and that has served the TSA well, as the agency collected $765,759.15 in 2015. This finder’s-keeper’s practice is perfectly legal as Congress passed a law in 2005 where any unclaimed change and items belongs to the agency. And with travel rising year-over-year, so has the amount the TSA has collected. Back in 2008, they collected just under $340,000, and the number has risen steadily every year since.

Japanese Theme Park to Open All-Robot Kingdom

It should come as no surprise that the first all-robot park would be in Japan, the land of technology. Located in Nagasaki, on the southern island of Kyushu, Huis Ten Bosch (designed to resemble the Netherlands) is set to open the “Robot Kingdom” in July, where over 200 androids who will cook Japanese pancakes, mix at least 10 cocktails, and serve and bus tables. This new land is an expansion of a hotel located within the park that opened last year with robots in the shape of a Velociraptor and a woman among others, that can check in guests, provide information and handle luggage. A day pass to Huis Ten Bosch is 6,500 yen (approximately $59.33) for adults, and guests are allowed to touch and interact with most of the robots. Guess Isaac Asimov knew what was in store for the future when he wrote I, Robot.

Random News Story of the Week: Baby Born on Flight Named After Airline

Moxie CrimeFighter. Audio Science. Apple. North West. Lemon Meringue. Ok, so we made up the last one, but it doesn’t change the fact that some of the names celebrities give their children are head scratchers, but at least the parents of Saw Jet Star had a somewhat legitimate reason to name him after an airline. Little Saw Jet Star’s mother was on a Jetstar Asia flight from Singapore to Myanmar when she went into labor. Fortunately for her, the flight crew along with three doctors on the flight assisted in her delivery on the plane once it landed in Yangoon. Both baby and mother were taken to a hospital and have since been discharged. To show her appreciation, the mother named her new born Saw after Saw Ler Htu, the flight attendant who organized the delivery, and Jet Star, well, after the airline. The airline also presented the family with $745 in newborn supplies as a present. Luckily for Erkan Geldi, who was born onboard a Turkish Airlines flight and now works for the airline, his parents didn’t go the same route.

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