Travel News: Feb. 1-7

Here is a round-up of this week’s travel news – from unusual travel companions, pilot shortages, and updated boarding passes, to new airlines and flight routes. Enjoy!

Eastern Air Lines to be Resurrected

More than 20 years after it ceased operations during the first Gulf War, Eastern Air Lines is being given a new lease on life. A group that purchased the intellectual property and trademarks of Eastern Air Lines in 2009 has submitted an application to the Department of Transportation. If all goes well, the new Eastern Air Lines Group could be operating charter flights out of Miami International as soon as the end of the year.

Your Real Travel Companion

Ever wondered what is being transported in the cargo hold of your plane – other than luggage? Well according to Minneapolis Star Tribune, American Airlines passengers flying out of Miami often have far more than suitcases traveling with them. The list includes everything from tropical fish, live Florida lobsters, monkeys, lions, cheetahs and baby sharks!

For a full rundown on what might be traveling with you on your next flight, check out the great infographic (The Weird Stuff You’d Never Guess Was in the Hold of Your Flight) that our friends over at Schumacher Cargo Logistics created.

Southwest goes International

In case you haven’t heard, Southwest is about to chart new territory. International flights to the Caribbean are scheduled to begin operation later this summer. However anyone looking to book flights can only do so for the following routes at this time.

  • Atlanta to Aruba, and Montego Bay
  • Baltimore/Washington to Aruba, Nassau, and (twice daily) Montego Bay
  • Orlando to (Saturday only) Aruba, and Montego Bay

Who will be Flying Your Plane?

The answer could be no-one. According to a recent news article, U.S. airlines are facing a pilot shortage as thousands of pilots draw near to the mandatory retirement age of 65. Throw in updated rules and qualification standards for new pilots and the fact that fewer young people are choosing aviation careers (due to the high cost of training and low entry-level pay), and the result could be that regional airlines – as well as major airlines – will soon have fewer pilots to fly their planes.

Ironically, a tongue-in-cheek survey from looked at the things travelers would give up for cheaper airfare, and pilots ranked #7.

Upgraded Design for Boarding Passes

Last year we wrote an article called “Lessons learned from Airline Booking Mix-Up” following the amazing story of a couple who ended up in Bangladesh instead of Africa. Our number one piece of advice (aside from using was to check your boarding pass before you get on any flight and cross reference the flight number with the departure information boards at the airport.

However more help may be on the way for passengers in the form of a new boarding pass, designed to help eliminate airport code confusion while also providing other useful information and features.

January Storms Cost Airlines $150 million

Over the last few weeks you’ve read our updates about various flight cancellations resulting from winter storms across the country, but now the figures are officially in for January. Approximately 49,000 flights were cancelled last month (four times the amount as last year). This cost U.S. airlines up to $150 million in lost revenue. Yikes!

Hotels in Sochi Not Ready for Guests

As guests arrived this week for the Olympics, some of the news outlets took to social media to uncover the true state of hotel accommodations in Sochi. From lost reservations, to unfinished rooms and questionable health codes, Sochi hotels scramble to finish ‘last-minute preparations’. Updates

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