CDC Expands Miami’s Zika Advisory

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory for the trendy neighborhood of Wynwood in north Miami, after 14 cases of locally transmitted Zika infections were reported, marking the first time the CDC has issued a travel advisory for the U.S. Today, the CDC expanded the advisory to include a 1.5-square-mile area located in South Beach, a popular tourist destination. This came about after five new cases, including travelers from New York, Texas and Taiwan, were believed to have contracted the virus in Miami Beach. CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, advised pregnant women and their sexual partners to void Miami altogether if they are worried about exposure to the virus.

Third Record-Breaking Week for Firearms

Another week goes by, and the record for the number firearms found going through airport security has been broken again, making it the third time this year this record was broken. Back in April, 73 firearms where found at airport checkpoints, breaking the record set back in October 2015 of 68 firearms. Then in May, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found 74 firearms. And from Aug. 5 to 11, officers found 78 firearms in carry-on bags at U.S. airports, 68 of which were loaded and 21 had a round chambered. The TSA noted in their blog that they have “the authority to impose civil penalties of more than $12,000 per violation on travelers found with loaded or unloaded guns and realistic replicas.” If you absolutely need to travel with your gun, it has to be in your checked bag but you’ll have to declare it to the airline beforehand.

Family Out Thousands Over Delayed Bags

The last thing anyone wants to encounter on a trip is delayed, or worse, lost luggage. The Smith family from Abington, Mass., arrived in Prague, the Czech Republic, for their daughter Emily’s hockey competition when their discovered that their bags along with all her equipment didn’t arrive with them. While Emily sat on the bench for several practices and games, her mother, Kristine, was home spending hours on the phone with Swiss Air before getting approval from a representative to go ahead and replace Emily’s equipment. 12 hours after spending $2,300 on new items including a chest protector, helmet and skates, their missing bags arrived. Kristine now claims that Swiss Air has changed their mind about covering the cost of the new hockey gear. Swiss hasn’t issued a reply at time of article being published. Tip for next time: if you’re going on a long trip overseas and have a lot of things to take, it might save you a lot of grief if you ship it in advance.

Woman Banned for Life from Virgin Airlines

Some airlines aren’t kidding around anymore. Lauren Johnson, a British national, is the unlucky recipient of a lifetime ban from Virgin Airlines after a drunken altercation with a flight attendant and a police officer. Back in June, Mrs. Johnson was flying from Dubai to London when in her drunken stupor told a flight attendant, “You wear too much make-up. Look at you, you old hag, old slag covered in fake tan.” She later started banging on the cockpit door while holding her child asking to be let in because her “baby wants to wave to the captain.” Things got worse during the approach landing when Mrs. Johnson stood up with her child and refused to sit down and started cursing at the crew. Upon landing, she was greeted by the police and taken to the police station where her bad behavior continued and she hit a policewoman in the chin. During her court appearance on Monday, Judge Robin Johnson said, “Those who get drunk on an airplane and abuse staff often go to prison. The only thing saving you is that when you were violent it was after you left the plane.” Mrs. Johnson received a jail sentence of four months, suspended for 18 months, fined £4,500 (approximately USD$5,870) and ordered to compensate the injured officer.

Random News Story of the Week: Baby Born on Plane Gets Bonanza Birthday Gift

No expectant mother wants to go into labor 5 weeks early, and certainly not on a flight. However, impatient baby Haven decided it was time to come out when her mother was four hours into a flight on Cebu Pacific from Dubai to Manila. Fortunately, the flight had two nurses on board, as well as two flight attendants who are trained as nurses, to assist with the delivery. The flight was then diverted to Hyderabad, India, where the mother and baby received medical assistance. The diversion doubled the flight time which is usually nine-hours long. And as for Haven’t first birthday present? One million GetGo points, the budget carrier’s frequent flyer program, with no expiration date for travel to over 60 destinations including Australia and the U.S., which may be shared with her family (sounds like a better gift than the one Saw Jet Star received after he was born on a Jetstar flight). In order to have that many points, one would have to spend 5 million Philippine peso (over USD$107,000) with the airline. Looks like baby Haven is born travel ready!

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Kim has been hunting flight deals and writing travel articles for over 13 years. His articles have appeared in the Boston Herald, Chicago Daily Herald, and Frommer’s Budget Travel, among other publications. Amsterdam, Bangkok, Rome, and Sydney are some of his favorite destinations and he aspires to one day live in Italy. La dolce vita!

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