Travel News: August 2-8 (Shamu, Scanned Passports, Plane Buzzing and More)

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline travel news – from scanned passports, customer complaints, and Shamu, to in-flight meals, foreign exchange fees and plane buzzing. Enjoy!

Southwest and SeaWorld to Part Ways

It seems Southwest will not be renewing its marketing partnership with SeaWorld at the end of this year, so don’t expect to see Shamu on any of their airplanes next year. Southwest says the decision was prompted by a desire to focus on its new international service instead. However animal activists have been petitioning the company to end its relationship with SeaWorld ever since a documentary “Blackfish” was released.

United Becomes First Airline to Allow Scanned Passports for Check-In

United is now offering customers the opportunity to scan their passports so that they can check in for international flights 24 hours in advance, using the airline’s mobile app.

American Airlines May Soon Have Hungry Passengers

First and business class passengers flying on American Airline flights that are less than 2 hours and 45 minutes in duration are about to lose the perk of a free meal. Instead they will be offered “snacks” starting September 1, 2014.

Tips for Reducing Foreign Exchange Fees

This article is for anyone who is about to travel internationally. Peter Greenberg shares his top three tips on how to reduce or even eliminate those pesky foreign exchange fees from your bank statement.

Yikes – United Sends Template Letter in Response to Customer Complaint

Complaining to an airline can sometimes be frustrating. The one time I made the effort to email a complaint (to Virgin Atlantic) they didn’t even bother to respond. But which is worse? Getting a response that involves being mailed a template letter where the customer service rep hasn’t even bothered to fill in the blanks, or getting no response at all? You decide.

Random Story of the Week: Commercial Pilot Uses Flight to Buzz His Home

It seems hard to believe, but FAA documents from 2012 reveal that a pilot (who at the time worked for Piedmont Airlines) deliberately flew 24 passengers over his home…at just 500 feet. Updates

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