This week’s round-up brings the latest airline and travel news – from airlines setting another record breaking year with ancillary fees, and Orlando-to-Miami express train in the works, to research explains why airline food tastes bad, flight attendant sues airline aver extreme turbulence, and man held at London airport for hunting knife and kidnap notes. Enjoy!

Airlines Set for Another Record Breaking Year

At this point, most travelers are probably resigned to the fact that ancillary fees charged by airlines will never go away. It certainly looks that way as CarTrawler and airline revenue consultant IdeaWorks Company reported that in 2015, airlines will make $59.2 billion on ancillary fees, up 18.8% from 2014’s record-breaking total. The fees include everything from baggage fees to premium seating to reservation changes, with bag fees accounting for 20% of the total. From that $59.2 billion, 30% of it came from six U.S. airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. IdeaWorks estimates each passenger spends $16.72 in ancillary fees versus $10.36 on food, beverage and onboard retail.

Orlando-to-Miami Express Train in the Works

The U.S. has always lagged behind other developed countries when it comes to train travel. But a new service connecting Orlando and Miami will inch the country closer to its European and Asian counterparts in this regard. The 235-mile inter-city train service, Brightline, will also stop at Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2017. This service isn’t classified as a high-speed service, although the train can go as fast as 125 mph. Budgeted at $3 billion, the trains will offer free Wi-Fi and power outlets in every seat, and will take travelers between the two cities in three hours, versus the three-and-a-half hours it takes to drive without traffic.

Research Explains Why Airline Food Tastes Bad

If you’ve ever wondered why the food served on planes are rarely appetizing, researchers at Cornell University claims to have found the culprit: ambient noise. The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, states that eating is “a multi-sensory experience and the loud noise surrounding passengers on a plane cuts down the enjoyment of the airline food, making it taste typically bland and dull.” The researchers said the results weren’t surprising because “nerves connected to the taste buds cross the ear on their way to the brain.” The study probably didn’t take into account that serving green or brown blobs and passing them off as food probably has more to do with airline food tasting bad.

Flight Attendant Sues Airline Over Extreme Turbulence

There are a lot of things that one can expect when choosing to work as a flight attendant, and turbulence is certainly one of them. But that hasn’t stopped former Aer Lingus flight attendant, Cassandra Reddin, from suing the airline for “failure to adequately supervise the landing of the plane by the co-pilot.” According to the lawsuit, Ms. Reddin was working on a flight from Malaga, Spain, to Dublin on Nov. 19, 2009, when the plane encountered turbulence so bad that duty-free alcohol in the overhead compartment broke and spilled onto passengers. Additionally, Ms. Reddin experienced back, neck, and shoulder injuries, and later developed panic attacks. Other flight attendants who were on the same flight testified on behalf of Ms. Reddin.

Random Story of the Week: Man Held at London Airport for Hunting Knife and Kidnap Notes

An unidentified Australian man was detained at London’s Gatwick Airport after security discovered a large hunting knife and detailed kidnapping notes in his checked bags. Turns out, the notes were part of a prank for a bachelor party where he was planning to “kidnap” the groom-to-be, while the knife was because he an avid hunter and was not aware that the U.K. only allows knives of up to three inches. The knife was subsequently confiscated by the police.

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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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