United Airlines has stopped accepting reservations to ship pets in cargo holds while it conducts a review of its PetSafe animal-shipping program.
The review, United said, will be “through and systematic” and will be conducted in partnership with independent experts in pet safety and travel. The airline expects to complete the analysis by May 1.
United’s announcement comes after a disastrous week. On March 12, a puppy died in a United cabin after a flight attendant insisted that the animal be stowed in the overhead bin. A day later, the airline shipped a German shepherd from Oregon to Japan rather than to Kansas, where his owners had planned to pick him up.
In an effort to speed up, simplify and digitalize the airport experience, Lufthansa Group has announced that it will use biometric boarding procedures at LAX.
The pilot program has been made possible through Lufthansa’s IT partner, Amadeus, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and Vision Box, and it uses facial recognition to screen passengers.
Self-boarding gates capture passengers’ facial images as they approach the device. Then, the image is securely sent to the CBP database for real-time matching and verification. After a successful, instantaneous match, the system recognizes the passenger as “boarded” and there is no need for a boarding pass at the gate.
Luxury line Silversea has announced plans for a world cruise to all seven continents — an industry first.
The 140-day voyage on the 382-passenger Silver Whisper will kick off Jan. 6, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and include stops at 62 ports in 32 countries. It’ll end May 25, 2020 in Amsterdam.
After leaving Fort Lauderdale, Silver Whisper will head south to the Caribbean, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina before sailing to Antarctica. From there, the ship will head back north up the coast of Chile before sailing across the Pacific to Easter Island, Pitcain Island and French Polynesia.
Nearly six months have passed since Hurricane Maria, and most of the tourists still haven’t returned. Figures provided by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company indicate that there are 12,458 rooms available in 80 percent of official hotels — which excludes such options as Airbnb — that have reopened. The Tourism Company, a government entity, also reported that registrations in endorsed hotels for January dropped from 131,639 in 2017 to 65,321 in 2018. For the fiscal 2017–2018 year (July–January), registration was down to 599,029 compared to 882,234 for the same period in 2016–2017.
Puerto Rico Tourism and Hotels Association (PRTHA) executive director Clarisa Jiménez admits that the recovery process might be long and complicated. But perhaps, she adds, many people who had not planned to travel to Puerto Rico will now want to visit to help the island recover.