Finnair Will Weigh Some Passengers Before Flights
Check-in, baggage drop and security — just a few things passengers have to deal with when flying. Now, stepping on a scale could be added to the list.
Finnair has announced a program to weigh passengers before they board flights. This may sound alarming and even offensive to some, but fortunately Finnair has said participation will be voluntary.
Over the course of November, Finnair will ask at least 150 travelers departing from Helsinki (HEL) airport if they can weigh themselves and their baggage. The Finnish carrier will use the data to more accurately calculate an aircraft’s average weight and balance.
Right now the Oneworld airline is still using data and standards from 2009 provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Finnair wants more updated and relevant information, not generalized numbers from EASA.
An aircraft’s weight can determine how much fuel it burns — and jet fuel is one of the biggest costs of an airline. With more accurate weights airlines can better predict how much a flight will cost and increase operational efficiency.
Finnair’s media relations director Päivyt Tallqvist told YLE News the reasoning behind the study:
“Loads are different in the summer, for example, when people don’t have their winter jackets and shoes and other paraphernalia. There is also a considerable seasonal difference in hand luggage weight for business and leisure travelers.”
The scales will measure the total weight of the passenger and any hand luggage they are carrying. And for those worried about privacy, Tallaqvist said that “no one but the customer service provider will see the results, which will be entered into the database anonymously.”
In addition to weight Finnair will collect the customer’s age, gender, reason for travel, class of service and whether they had checked-in luggage. Finnair is one of 15 airlines worldwide flying the Airbus A350. It flies the A330 to the US, where it serves New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco (SFO) and Miami (MIA).
Tallqvist hopes to woo 150 travelers into the program’s first phase, and once that is complete the airline will determine how much more data it needs. She predicts that between 1,000 and 1,500 will need to participate in the study before it’s over.
Other airlines have garnered media attention for weighing their passengers, including the now defunct Samoa Air, which actually based the price of a ticket on the passenger’s weight. Hawaiian Airlines also weighed passengers on its Honolulu (HNL) to Pago Pago (PPG) route in order to properly distribute weight around the aircraft for safety reasons.
Featured image by Vladimir Floyd/Getty.
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November 1, 2017 at 06:49PM
Ctrip Buys Trip.com for Skyscanner to Enhance Local Recommendations
Trip’s pace of user acquisition increased after it launched Tribes, a questionnaire-style filter that lets users sort results by up to 13 interests, such as foodie” or local culture. Backpackers likewise have a tribe. Trip.com
— Sean O’Neill
Originally called Gogobot, neither Trip.com nor Ctrip would disclose the terms of the deal. The Palo Alto,-based startup had raised $39 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Expedia’s HomeAway, Redpoint and Battery Ventures were among the investors in the startup, which was founded in 2010.
“Everyone who uses the Trip.com mobile app will keep working and the community will still be able to update reviews, but in addition we’ll start to create content that will appear on Skyscanner’s websites and apps,” said Katz, Trip.com’s founder and CEO. No timetable was given.
Ctrip acquired flight-search engine Skyscanner in late 2016.
Trip.com spent recent years trying to shed the label of being a social travel app — or a Facebook knock-off for travelers — and instead a saw itself a reviews site for locals and travelers travelers who could recommend the best in-destination activities to other travelers.
It was a year ago that Gogobot rebranded as Trip.com, only two days later to have the marketing buzz be stepped on by Airbnb launching an advertising campaign for a new Trips product aimed at offering tour experiences via its platform.
Trip.com’s team of 30 will stay on. Most of its traffic has been organic, driven by word of mouth rather than through paid advertisement, the company says.
“Everyone who uses Trip.com mobile app will keep working and the community will still be able to update reviews, but in addition we’ll start to create content that will appear on Skyscanner’s websites and apps,” said Travis Katz, CEO and founder of Trip.com. No timetable was given.
“Skyscanner is biggest flight metasearch company in the world in volume and it has recently expanding inventory in hotels and cars,” said Travis Katz, CEO and founder of Trip.com. “The idea of this deal is for Skyscanner to marry in-destination reviews content in Trip.com’s arsenal to Skyscanner’s platform.”
“The aspiration is not to add static details, such as about the opening times of restaurants or museums, but to enable Skyscanner users to see and eventually add social reviews within Skyscanner’s website and apps,” said Katz.
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November 1, 2017 at 06:00PM
Looking for Jann Wenner
It’s difficult to imagine what Jann Wenner—the editor and publisher of
Rolling Stone, and a man with more firsthand insight into the psychic
hazards of the celebrity profile than almost anyone else alive—thought
might happen when he cajoled the investigative reporter Joe Hagan into
writing his autobiography.
Whatever Wenner’s hopes were four years ago, when Hagan first signed on,
he is now is plainly unhappy with “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of
Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.” (He called the book “deeply
flawed and tawdry” in a recent
and cancelled several planned appearances with Hagan.) At first, the
depth and tenor of Wenner’s displeasure—the book was too invasive and
sensationalistic; too much was made of his sexual escapades—made me
wonder if the two men were in fact colluding, staging a provocative
public feud to make a very long book about a seventy-one-year-old
magazine editor seem impossibly tantalizing.
But Hagan’s portrait of Wenner is crisp and cutting: using Wenner’s own
archive, and more than two hundred and forty interviews (including
conversations with Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, and Paul
McCartney), he narrates the story of an indulgent and widely disliked
man who is obsessed with celebrity and consumed by ambition. (When the
editor Will Dana, who worked with Wenner for twenty years, tells Hagan,
“I basically think he’s 51 percent good,” it feels like a moment of
circumspect generosity.) Hagan’s story is so aggressively substantiated,
and so alarmingly consistent, that it’s difficult to imagine how “Sticky
Fingers” could have turned out any other way.
In the book’s prologue, Hagan cites the magazine’s “radical
conventionality” as Wenner’s most striking innovation; Rolling Stone,
he explains, “instantly legitimized and mainstreamed the underground.”
This process involved equating “confession and frank sexuality with
integrity and authenticity,” a wild conflation that quickly became
dogma—precious and paramount to the new-media companies (like Vice) that
ultimately usurped most of the magazine’s cultural capital.
Hagan makes these points early on in “Sticky Fingers,” and the book is
adamant throughout about the ways in which Rolling Stone invented
cultural value: the journalistic forms it introduced and cherished, the
readers it innervated, the brazen and devious ways it commercialized the
counterculture. “The framework of American narcissism has its roots in
Jann Wenner’s pioneering magazine making,” Hagan explains. He asks his
readers to seriously consider Wenner’s role in establishing the tenets
and behaviors now associated with modern celebrity: “Today the
signifiers of fame—confession, preening self-regard, and blunt
sexuality—are so built into modern media manners that few can even
recall a time when they were novel.” (That time, he implies, was before
1967, when Wenner and Ralph Gleason founded the magazine, in San
Francisco.) Though I mostly agree with Hagan’s judgment, this is a vast
and odious legacy to drop exclusively at Wenner’s feet.
Rolling Stone has, at least, always been an engine of progressive
politics, and Wenner boldly published some of the best and most
interesting New Journalists of the last fifty years, even if—and by now,
anyone who writes regularly about the Western canon is resigned to how
this sentence ends—most of them were deeply troubled white men who also
engaged in wildly sexist or otherwise bigoted behavior. Gonzo is a
thrilling but troublesome tradition; even before Rolling Stone published, in 2014, a strangely uncorroborated story about a rape at the
University of Virginia, it was hardly a bastion of journalistic
integrity. Hunter S. Thompson, probably the magazine’s most famous
former contributor, was a stunning stylist but a noted fabulist.
Likewise, many of the magazine’s reporters grew uncomfortable with the
close relationships that Wenner had with the rock stars they were tasked
with covering. Cameron Crowe—whose semi-autobiographical film, “Almost
Famous,” is, at heart, a cautionary fable about getting too friendly
with your subjects—bristled at being made to play softball with the
Eagles. “I felt it was blurring the line that had been so sculpted and
held as precious and true,” he told Hagan.
The book also describes how, in 1979—when the alarms at Three Mile
Island, a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, were wailing, and most
residents of the eastern half of the United States were spooked if not
fully panicked—Wenner was on vacation in Aspen, with the actor Michael
Douglas, who was about to appear on the cover of the magazine for the
first time. Wenner refused to let his terrified staff leave the office,
and instead required that an editor, Harriet Fier, keep faxing him
drafts of the Douglas profile, so that Douglas himself could make
Hagan calls cocaine “the lingua franca of countercultural risk,” and it
is plentiful throughout this story, as are extramarital, intra-office
dalliances and various other vices. (“Everybody slept on their desks and
had sex on their desks,” Wenner’s publicist, Bryn Bridenthal, told
Hagan.) For writers like me, who came of age as magazine journalists at
the beginning of this century, just as print was starting to falter—when
you could smell the smoke, but couldn’t yet see the flames—the wildness
of our vocational predecessors can sometimes feel bewildering. By the
time I started writing regularly for periodicals, in the mid-aughts,
there was very little patience for ribald shenanigans. Freelance rates
had been decimated; contract gigs were scarce and coveted. If you were
fortunate enough to get a steady job, you protected it by behaving as
responsibly as you could. Yet, reading “Sticky Fingers,” I began to feel
self-conscious about the professionalism and workmanship inevitably
borne from that toughening up. What am I doing, neatly tallying my
expense receipts and filing clean copy on time? This isn’t how art gets
made! What of rock and roll? What of freedom?
Of course, nobody in “Sticky Fingers” appears especially happy or
satisfied, including Wenner. (His ex-wife, Jane, whom Wenner left for
the Calvin Klein model Matt Nye, after finally publically identifying as
gay, in 1995, is the book’s most tragic figure; her heartbreak feels
heavy and infinite.) Even some of the book’s more salacious tidbits are
fundamentally depressing: Keith Richards, comparing Jagger and Wenner,
tells Hagan, “They’re very similar people. They’re both very guarded
creatures. You wonder if there’s anything worth guarding.” Wenner
himself appears oblivious to the darker side of his own story. At one
point, he suggests to Hagan that he use “Wilson,” a 2013 biography of
Woodrow Wilson, by A. Scott Berg, as a model for “Sticky Fingers.”
Wenner’s stake in Rolling Stone itself is now up for
and it remains unclear how the magazine—which, in addition to losing
credibility as a source of unbiased criticism, was catastrophically slow
to adapt to digital platforms—will be reborn under new leadership. For
Hagan, the two institutions—Wenner and his magazine—are inseparable. He
approaches his topic with an essayist’s instinct: dismantle, question,
question again, and surmise. Though “Sticky Fingers” is, at five hundred
and forty-two pages, a formidable read, it’s also terrifically smart and
full of anecdotes that anyone remotely interested in rock and roll,
publishing, or the legacy of the nineteen-sixties will find engrossing.
Some who have worked closely with Wenner have described Hagan’s book as
fair but perhaps uncharitable. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the
critic and author Alan Light points out how “simple ruthlessness can get you a long way, but it can’t sustain a
five-decade career.” Writing in
the journalist Corey Seymour expresses gratitude for Wenner’s
willingness to take risks on young, hungry writers: “Jann had sent me,
barely out of college, on a mission to work with my teenage self’s hero,
Hunter S. Thompson, telling me to simply meet him at the airport and
‘see what happens.’ ” When I asked Baron Wolman, Rolling Stone’s first
chief photographer, what he thought of the book, he reiterated the
magazine’s importance and its singularity. “ ‘Sticky Fingers’ (and I’m
not a fan of the subtly pejorative title) is a compelling read about a
unique man and an equally unique publication who and which commented
upon and influenced our culture for five of my eight decades,” he told
me in an e-mail. That part of Wenner’s legacy, at least, is undeniable.
Whether the ends justified the means is a question only he can answer,
though perhaps not just yet.
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November 1, 2017 at 05:59PM
Your Citi Hilton Credit Cards Will Be Converted to Amex Hilton Cards in January
We’ve known since June that Hilton chose to drop Citi in favor of an exclusive co-brand credit card relationship with American Express. On Wednesday, Hilton and American Express announced the biggest news we’ve heard since the June decision to drop Citi — there will soon be three new Hilton co-branded Amex cards. Now, we also know when Hilton will phase out its Citi co-branded cards.
Hilton is emailing Honors members who have a Citi co-branded card, either the Citi Hilton Honors Card or the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card. Here’s what you need to know about both of the Citi cards, and what the switch to an Amex-only agreement means for you as of January 2018:
- If you currently have the no-fee Citi Hilton Honors Card, it will be replaced by the no-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card.
- If you currently have the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card ($95 annual fee), it will be replaced by the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (also a $95 annual fee).
If you currently have a Citi Hilton card as mentioned above, you’ll get your new Amex-branded card in the mail in mid-January. You’ll be able to start using the new Amex card on January 30, 2018. Until January 30, you’ll continue to earn Hilton Honors points as normal with your Citi-branded credit card, but as of January 30, the Citi card will no longer be active.
If your Citi account is eligible and open, Hilton will automatically transfer and link to your Hilton Honors account on January 30. There’s no need to reapply for an Amex card, and no additional credit check will be performed.
The transfers appear to be about equal — at least as far as the annual fees are concerned. The new Ascend Card, which Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card holders will be getting, will also be distributed to current Hilton Honors Surpass cardholders, and earns 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x points at US grocery stores, US restaurants and US gas stations and 3x points on everything else.
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November 1, 2017 at 05:35PM
The Democratic Civil War Is Getting Nasty, Even if No One Is Paying Attention
On the morning of October 5th, President Trump was on one of his Twitter
rants from the White House, denying as “fake news” an NBC report that
his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had called him a “moron” and
threatened to resign. Elsewhere in Washington, the drama over whether
Tillerson was actually on his way out threatened to overwhelm other news
stories for a second straight day. But, when I arrived at the townhouse
of Stanley Greenberg, the veteran Democratic strategist, on Capitol
Hill, later that morning, it was not the distractions of the Trump White
House that had him worked up. Greenberg was still fuming about Hillary
Clinton was guilty of “malpractice” in how she conducted her 2016
Presidential campaign, Greenberg told me. Even worse, he said, Democrats
were repeating the same political mistakes a year later. “Look at
Virginia right now,” Greenberg said, as soon as we sat down in his
second-floor office. “We have a candidate”—Ralph Northam, the Democratic
gubernatorial nominee—“running as Hillary Clinton. He is running on the
same kind of issues, and has the same kind of view of the world. It’s
the Republicans who talk about the economy, not the Democrats.” This was
the approach that doomed Clinton against Trump. The electorate was angry
in 2016 and remains angry now, Greenberg said, and Northam, a Norfolk
doctor, didn’t get it. Neither did Clinton and the team of Obama
veterans who staffed her Brooklyn headquarters. “If you live in the
metro areas with the élites, you don’t wake up angry about what’s
happening in people’s lives,” Greenberg said.
His rant was notable for a variety of reasons, not least because
Greenberg was the pollster who helped Bill Clinton win the White House
in 1992, and he has been a participant in every Democratic nominee’s
Presidential campaign since, including Hillary Clinton’s. His criticism
illuminates an urgent question for the Democratic Party, not just in
next week’s governor’s race in Virginia but in the midterm elections of
2018 and beyond. Could Trump, as deeply polarizing and unpopular as he
is, even be reëlected?
Greenberg and other prominent Democrats still furious about last year’s
Clinton campaign think it’s entirely possible, unless the Party figures
out, and fast, a way to tackle the problem that sealed Clinton’s fate in
2016: how to appeal to the disaffected white working-class voters who
provided Trump’s unlikely win a year ago.
“That debate,” Greenberg told me, “which would have been pushed off had
she won, is immediate.”
For months, Greenberg has been stewing over how Clinton conducted her
campaign, and he finally unloaded, in The American Prospect, a
small-circulation progressive journal founded back on the eve of Bill
Clinton’s Presidency. Greenberg’s
article—in the form of a
book review of
the best-selling insider account of the Clinton campaign, published
earlier this year—came out in September and drew relatively little
notice. But here was Bill Clinton’s pollster accusing Hillary Clinton’s
campaign of strategic errors, mismanagement, and failure to heed the
advice of him and others to appeal to the Party’s traditional
working-class voters in the Midwest. Compounding the errors, Clinton’s
team conducted no state polls in the final three weeks of the campaign,
relying instead on flawed data analytics to predict turnout and the
vote. As a result, it didn’t even know that final disaster loomed.
“Malpractice and arrogance contributed mightily to the election of
Donald Trump,” Greenberg concluded.
Greenberg disclosed in the piece that he was speaking as more than an
outside critic. He had served as “invited noodge” throughout the 2016
campaign, Greenberg revealed, secretly critiquing Clinton’s speeches for
months at her request, pushing for more attention to be paid to the
economic struggles of the white working class, and advising her campaign
chairman, John Podesta. In our interview, Greenberg elaborated, saying
Podesta had sought his counsel after it became clear that Podesta was
failing to sway Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook—a young,
data-driven veteran of Barack Obama’s two winning Presidential
runs—whose strategy was to focus on turning out loyal Obama voters
rather than persuading wavering Rust Belt voters. “It came out of his
needing to win the argument internally,” Greenberg told me. Both Podesta
and Greenberg had worked for the Bill Clinton White House, where Podesta
served as chief of staff, and had been allies ever since.
In the weeks after Greenberg published his critique, I spoke with
several other veterans of the Bill Clinton years who shared his
appraisal of Hillary’s campaign—and said that their advice had also been
ignored. “They viewed people like me and Bill Clinton as yesteryear,”
one, who ran his campaign in a key Midwestern state and played a public
role in Hillary Clinton’s campaign there as well, said. “They thought
the world has changed, politics has changed. But their analytics were
flawed. They were treating this like a third term for Obama, and it was
a big mistake.” The internal critics, they told me, had also included
the former President, but he was, as Greenberg put it when we talked,
This was, I realized, one of the hidden stories of the 2016 election. A
former top adviser to the Clinton campaign said that Greenberg’s gripes
were a “misplaced diagnosis for why we lost” and noted that Bill Clinton
had been a vigorous participant in the campaign’s strategic discussions.
Hillary Clinton herself alluded to Greenberg’s critique, though not the
campaign’s internal debates over it, in her recent
dismissing as “baloney” Greenberg’s argument that she “went silent on
the economy and change” in the key final days before the election. But,
even if the fight is in part an exercise in after-the-fact
finger-pointing, the campaign’s internal struggles over how to talk to
the Trump base in the formerly Democratic states of Middle America are
just as relevant, polarizing, and unresolved today as they were a year
ago. Should Democrats bet their future on attacking Trump and pledge, as
the California billionaire donor Tom Steyer now wants them to do, to
pursue Trump’s impeachment, at all costs, if they win back the House
next year? Should they give up on the white voters who went for Trump in
2016 even though many had been reliably Democratic in the past? Was
Clinton’s defeated primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, right to try to
pull the Party to the left?
Without a resolution to these questions, the next Democratic nominee may
well end up caught in the same trap in which Hillary Clinton found
herself, stuck defending the legacy of the two-term Obama Presidency,
even as the economic dislocations of the Obama era fuelled the rise of
populism on both left and right.
It can be difficult, if not impossible, in Washington these days to pay
attention to the Democrats’ war within while what appears to be the
full-fledged implosion of the Republican Party unfolds. After all,
hardly a day goes by when the President of the United States isn’t
publicly attacking leaders in his own party, and being attacked back.
And this week brought a new obsession: the first indictments in the
special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that the brewing fight over the Democratic
Party’s future gets so little airtime. In the wake of Trump’s win, it’s
easy to blame Hillary Clinton for being a flawed candidate with a tin
ear for politics. Or to rationalize Trump’s unexpected victory as an
accident of history. But I haven’t talked with a single Democrat or
independent analyst who doesn’t think that the Party remains in serious
danger of another electoral catastrophe.
Recently, another former Bill Clinton adviser, the onetime White House
political director Doug Sosnik, published an
op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that, as the headline put it, “Trump is
on track to win reelection.” Sosnik contended that Democrats needed to
immediately start figuring out how to appeal to voters in Pennsylvania,
Michigan, and Wisconsin, where a shift in votes for Trump won him the
election. I mentioned the Sosnik article when I recently ran into a
Washington operative who had also served as a key White House aide to
Clinton. “Of course, Trump could win,” he said. “We’re the party that
doesn’t have a message that speaks to the country or stand for anything
other than being against Trump.”
When Democrats handicap their prospects for 2020 these days, the list of
potential candidates is huge and invariably includes septuagenarians
like Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden—both of whom appear
eager to run—as well as an array of younger, relatively unknown
officials, like Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general
who is now a first-term senator. While the Democratic National Committee
is now being led by Obama’s former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who has
promised a technocratic approach to the problem of resurgent
Republicans, the energy in the rank and file remains with the Bernie
bros and Sandersistas, who are determined to pull the party to the
left—toward a future of universal health care and free college for all.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, could appeal to this fervent
new activist base, and conceivably win the nomination in 2020. But more
centrist Democrats worry that she couldn’t do so without forever
alienating not only the Trump base but also the Wall Street moneymen who
have provided the Party with key financial backing ever since Bill
Clinton introduced his New Democrats to the nation, in 1992. As for
Trump’s angry white working class, no one’s sure if there are any
Democrats at all in the mix for 2020 who can really speak to them. And
to the extent that there are such politicians, figures like Biden or
Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, no one’s sure there’s a real place for
such a candidate in a party moving left quickly.
“The Democratic Party today is divided over whether it wants to focus on
the economy or identity,” Greenberg said when we talked. That is, as he
pointed out, just what the Clinton campaign was fighting about a year
ago. Greenberg and others who came out of the Bill Clinton era—like the
former President himself—had never really let go of the economy-first
mantra that got them to the White House in a different time, and they
felt that there was a generational conflict with the Obama operatives
who held sway over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 strategy. It was a fight that
dogged the Clinton campaign all the way until its final days, when
Greenberg and his allies inside the campaign pushed unsuccessfully to
close with a focus on her plans for the economy.
“The caricature of this debate is, Bill Clinton says you have a problem
and the numbers people say you don’t,” Jake Sullivan, who served as
Clinton’s top policy adviser for the campaign after working with her
closely at the Obama State Department, recalled. But it wasn’t that
Hillary Clinton’s team disagreed over the problem, he insisted, just
over what to do about it: “Everybody recognized we had a huge
working-class, non-college white issue. The question was, How do you add
up to victory? Do you attack it head-on or by compensating elsewhere?
That was the fundamental strategic debate.”
And it still is.
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November 1, 2017 at 05:30PM
TripIt Updates Its iPad App for Travelers On the Go
Traveling app TripIt just issued an update for travelers who rely on their iPad. TripIt, which says it is the highest-rated travel-organizing app, organizes all travel plans in one place. Users simply forward travel confirmations to TripIt and, from there, they will create a master itinerary with all travel details in one place. The update will have a new look and feel, and the new features make it even easier to plan how you will get around once you reach your destination.
“Travel can be stressful, especially when you’re planning a trip and trying to figure out where to go—and how to get there,” said Jen Moyse, director of product at TripIt. “We’ve focused on refreshing our iPad app to adapt to the way you travel. Next time you’re on your iPad powering through emails, researching the best places to go or organizing your calendar, TripIt can help you keep track of it all,” Moyse said in a press release.
Updates include the Drag-and-Drop feature on the iPad. This allows users to drag and drop items from the Calendar, Maps, Safari, Contacts and Photos apps into their TripIt account. For instance, if travelers are searching for a restaurant or another point of interest in Maps, using the iPad’s multitasking mode, users simply drag the item into TripIt, where it will be added to your plans instantly.
The app now has all the capabilities that were once only available on the iPhone. iPad users can now get where they’re going faster using the Navigator tool. Additionally, users can find ATMs and other points of interest while using the Nearby Places feature in the app.
TripIt has also partnered with AirHelp, a company that helps travelers claim compensation for lengthy delays or cancellations that happen on eligible flights in the European Union. TripIt will email users if their flight is eligible for compensation. From there, they will help them file a claim, and AirHelp will take over from there.
iOS 9 or higher is required to access the new iPad update. To use the new drag-and-drop feature, users must have an iPad with iOS 11.
Images courtesy of TripIt
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November 1, 2017 at 04:55PM
Bahrain Restricts Travel From Qatar Making Blockade Even Tighter
The Gulf states’ blockade of Qatar is getting tighter. Pictured are tourists at the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama, Bahrain. Luca Mauri / Flickr
— Dan Peltier
Bahrain now requires Qatari nationals and residents to obtain a visa prior to arrival, the latest move in the ongoing diplomatic rift between Qatar and its neighbors.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday the decision to introduce visa requirements for people traveling from Qatar was made in order “to preserve the security and safety of the country.”
It cited Qatar’s “decision to strengthen its ties with Iran,” and said Qatar was offering “shelter” to alleged fugitives who threaten Bahrain’s security.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in early June, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism. Qatar denies the allegations.
The quartet also stopped direct flights to Qatar and expelled Qatari residents, with exceptions for mixed-nationality families.
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November 1, 2017 at 04:49PM
News: American Cruise Lines triples capacity in Pacific Northwest
American Cruise Lines has announced two new itineraries for 2018 in Puget Sound – five-day Highlights of Puget Sound and 11-day Grand Puget Sound.
These spectacular cruises are round-trip from Seattle, Washington, and will triple the line’s capacity in the region.
American Cruise Lines already offers a popular eight-day cruise to Puget Sound & the San Juan Islands and cruises to Alaska.
Earlier this year, American Cruise Lines announced it was sending its newest ship, American Constellation to Alaska for the 2018 season, doubling its capacity there.
The new ship will enable the line to offer these two new itineraries in Puget Sound, positioning it to meet the industry’s hot demand for cruise travel to Alaska and the entire Pacific Northwest.
“The Pacific Northwest is one of the most captivating locations in the United States and we are thrilled to be able to offer so many unique itinerary options aboard the newest ship in the region.” says Timothy Beebe, vice president of American Cruise Lines.
American Constellation will transition to the west coast in time to sail several of the eight-day Tulip Festival cruises on Puget Sound in April, before it heads to Alaska for the summer season.
The new Grand Puget Sound and Highlights of Puget Sound cruises will start in the fall.
Each itinerary offers award-winning enrichment programs and guided tours at each port, as well as on-board historians, naturalists, and local experts.
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November 1, 2017 at 04:28PM
News: Qatar Airways takes Airbus A350 to Maldives for first time
Qatar Airways has become the first airline to fly the state-of-the-art Airbus A350 to the Maldives.
The airline has upgraded its current double-daily A330 service to an A350, with the first A350 beginning operations today and the second A350 service joining shortly afterwards on November 3rd.
Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the first airline to fly our Airbus A350 to the Maldives.
“As one of the airline’s most in-demand destinations, we are delighted to be upgrading our aircraft and providing our passengers with the ultimate comfort and services on board one of the most technologically innovative aircraft in the sky.”
Renowned worldwide for its pristine white-sandy beaches, idyllic diving spots and preserved natural wonders, the Maldives is truly one of the world’s most exotic and tranquil leisure destinations.
The picture-perfect islands are located in the Indian Ocean and are just five hours from Doha.
Qatar Airways first launched service to the Maldives in December 2001.
Qatar Airways was the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 in January 2015.
The award-winning airline has the largest fleet of this aircraft type of any airline in the world and currently operates 19 A350 aircraft across its global network to destinations, including Adelaide, Brussels, Geneva, Singapore and Tokyo.
It was the first airline to fly the A350 to the United States and to Australia.
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November 1, 2017 at 04:28PM
Grandparents Pushing a Stroller, Then Running From Terror, in New York
Jackie and Cliff, married and both retired, live on Long Island. Several times a month, they come in to the city to visit their two daughters, who live in Tribeca, and to take their year-old grandson for a walk in Rockefeller Park, along the Hudson River. On Tuesday, the couple, who asked that I not use their last name, had just picked the boy up from the family’s nanny, in front of Stuyvesant High School. He was dressed in an elephant costume, for Halloween, and they were pushing him in a stroller toward West Street when they heard a bang and then a scream. Jackie turned around and saw a body flying in the air. “There was this truck,” she said. “My instant thought was, Oh, my God, that poor bike rider got hit by a car.” But there were bodies and bicycles everywhere.
Cliff, a doctor, ran forward to try to help the man lying nearest to them. “He was on his back,” Cliff said. “His eyes were fixed. He was bleeding from his ears. He wasn’t breathing. He was staring straight up.” Jackie, standing with the stroller, called for him to help two other victims—he ran toward them, only to realize, when he got close, that it was a single person, whose body was badly mangled.
A woman ran out from a nearby building, shouting at Jackie and Cliff. “Run, run, run!” she said. “He’s got a gun! Get out of here!” With the nanny, who had doubled back when she heard the sounds of a commotion, and the baby, still asleep and swaddled in the stroller, they began to run west, toward the Hudson River. “I’m worried about Cliff,” Jackie said. “I’m turning around and shouting, ‘Go, go, go. He’s got a gun. Run!’ I just had back surgery. I didn’t know I could even run.”
As they neared the water, they heard a burst of gunfire. “There were cops everywhere,” Jackie said. “I thought, Let’s hope that’s them shooting him and not the other way around.” The family ducked into a public restroom to take cover. “We didn’t know if this was the beginning of an attack, or the end of one,” Cliff said. “There weren’t many people around.” In the bathroom, they found tourists with no idea what was happening outside. A few minutes later, police officers arrived and led everyone back across West Street and away from the crime scene.
It would be another half hour or so before they learned that they’d narrowly avoided being victims of a terrorist attack. By evening, news reports had identified the driver as a twenty-nine-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan named Sayfullo Saipov. Police officers said they heard him shout “God is Great” in Arabic when he emerged from the truck. Eight people were killed, and at least eleven more were injured.
Jackie and Cliff met their two daughters, and eventually, the family went out, as planned, to celebrate Halloween. “We had just witnessed a horrendous scene, and here everyone was just out on the street,” Cliff said. They thought it important not to be cowed by what they’d seen. “I was happy to see the kids outside so oblivious to what was going on,” Jackie told me. And yet they were both upset, obviously rattled. “We felt like we should go back there to tell someone what we saw,” she said. But what exactly did they have to tell?
A few hours later, Jackie and Cliff were still obsessing over the details of their afternoon. Cliff hadn’t been able to find a parking space when they arrived in the city after lunch; there’d been some confusion with the nanny about where exactly they would all meet. Jackie said, “It could have been us on the street, run over with our baby.”
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November 1, 2017 at 04:12PM