The big travel news in November of course is Thanksgiving. This year, the AAA forecast a slight decrease of some 43 million people would travel. Now that it’s over, be sure to keep an eye on Cyber Monday – and beyond – travel deals. And here are a few other travel-related news items of interest from the past month:
New Direct Aeromexico Route from New York to Los Cabos
Los Cabos in Mexico will be the destination of a new direct route from New York serviced by Aeromexico. The route opens on January 18, 2014. The flight will travel once a week, on Saturdays, between JFK airport and Los Cabos.
New JetBlue Routes
JetBlue Airways announced two new non-stop routes from its Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood base. The routes open May 1, 2014, and will go once a day to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The two JetBlue flights are already available for sale, with special introductory fares. They add to another once-a-day flight to Port of Spain, Trinidad that opens the same day.
New Beijing-Hawaii Route
Air China and the Hawaii Tourism Authority announced the first non-stop Beijing-Hawaii route that will open on January 21, 2014. This makes Hawaii Air China’s sixth North American destination. Previously, travelers had to transfer in Shanghai. The announcement did not specify which city in Hawaii.
Travel News from Southwest Airlines
- Southwest Airlines is raising its pet fee in January by $20 to $95. Though this generated news, the fee is still lower compared to other airlines.
- Southwest also announced customers may now use the airline’s satellite-based wifi from gate-to-gate. This is primarily an expansion on the existing onboard wifi and is thanks to the FAA lifting restrictions on electronic device usage. There is an $8 a day fee for each device and a $5 fee to watch movies on the device.
Cell phones on planes
The Federal Communications Commission said it was going to raise a proposal to allow cell phone use once a plane has reached 10,000 feet. Like the lifting of electronic device usage, this would be up to individual airlines. It will require new equipment to be installed and many airlines say they are also encountering much objection from customers. However, even if installed and allowed, high costs will likely still be prohibitive for most customers.
Columbus-Chicago high speed rail plans
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is taking another look at the possibility of a high speed rail connection between Columbus and Chicago. An earlier plan stalled but there is a new petition by Transit Columbus. The rail is estimated to cost around $1.2 million to build, which will need to be further examined, as will customer interest, which is believed to be high.