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Thursday, September 21, 2017
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IN THE DARK

Maria slams Puerto Rico heads for the Dominican Republic
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21 SEP 2017: The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the US territory deeper into financial crisis.   MORE

UPDATE ON EARTHQUAKE IN CENTRAL MEXICO

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21 SEP 2017: In a statement, the Mexico Tourism Board says Mexico’s Federal, State and Local Governments have activated response plans in order to support the individuals impacted as well as to assess damages caused by the earthquake in Central Mexico on September 19.   MORE

HACKERS

Aviation, petrochemical industries targeted
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21 SEP 2017: A group of hackers suspected of working in Iran for its government, is targeting the aviation and petrochemical industries in Saudi Arabia, the US and South Korea, a cybersecurity firm warned Wednesday.   MORE

IT WONT FLY

Prospects for air traffic control privatization stall
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21 SEP 2017: Despite Donald Trump’s efforts, congressional approval of a plan to remove air traffic control operations from the government and put industry in charge appear slim. Trump has made the proposal a key part of his agenda to boost the nation's infrastructure through privatization, but plans to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote have repeatedly stalled.   MORE

JUST CHECK THAT BAG

Checked bag revenue in US exceeds one billion per quarter
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21 SEP 2017: Travellers who check at least one bag when flying domestically in the US are paying more overall than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog said Wednesday.   MORE

CHRISTMAS CHAOS THREATENS HEATHROW

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21 SEP 2017: About 4,000 Heathrow workers are threatening to strike over Christmas after rejecting the airport's holiday pay offer. Security staff, firefighters, airfield operators and engineers are angry at cuts to early start payments and the airport's threat to remove members of staff who take part in industrial action from its shares scheme.   MORE

RYANAIR PILOTS REJECT CASH BONUS

Demand new contracts
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21 SEP 2017: Ryanair pilots rejected large bonuses to give up their annual leave in order to avoid the airline cancelling more flights. Ryanair announced last week that it was forced to cancel up to 50 flights a day until the end of October after it 'messed up' annual leave allocations.   MORE

INNOVATION LANES AT MSP

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21 SEP 2017: The Transportation Security Administration says new automated security lanes will make air travel safer and more efficient at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The TSA introduced four new “innovation lanes” in Terminal 1 last week.   MORE

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Or at least check it out before you pay
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21 SEP 2017: A Colorado court has ordered four owners of a former travel group to pay more than US $7 million to the state for defrauding consumers, which is an upped price that follows an appeal filed by one of the owners.   MORE

NEW TEAM MEMBERS

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21 SEP 2017: The Travel Agent Next Door has added five new team members this month. The fast-growing host agency recently added team members in admin support, accounting and marketing.   MORE

UBER ACHIEVERS

By DAVID TAIT
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21 SEP 2017: There’s a long-held belief in branding circles that you know you have truly arrived when your company’s brand name is adopted a verb or as a generic name. Over the years we’ve created verbs like “Fedex”, “Xerox” and “Hoover” while the likes of Kleenex, Cellophane, Aspirin, and Biro have become part of the language. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

DEADLY EARTHQUAKE HITS MEXICO

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20 SEP 2017: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 226 people (and the numbers keep rising) as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. The quake is the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 quake on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful quake caused 90 deaths in the country's south. MORE

MARIA DEVASTATES DOMINICA

Heads for Puerto Rico
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20 SEP 2017: Hurricane Maria barrelled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island with virtually no communication. As rains began to lash Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that Maria could hit “with a force and violence that we haven't seen for several generations.”   MORE

UNIONS RAMP UP PRESSURE ON WESTJETTERS

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20 SEP 2017: WestJet is facing more pressure from organized labour as two unions have turned their sights to the airline's regional Encore operation. The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Tuesday that it and the Air Line Pilots Association, International have simultaneously launched their drives to unionize Encore cabin crew and pilots.   MORE

HIGHLY DESIRABLE

Air Canada seeking bank credit card partner for new loyalty programme
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20 SEP 2017: Air Canada says it is launching a search for a co-branded credit card partner for its new loyalty programme. The airline says it will be inviting key financial institutions to participate in a request for proposals to join the launch of the programme on July 1, 2020. MORE

SONESTA AND SUNWING REBUILD IN ST. MAARTEN

Institute employee assistance programme
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20 SEP 2017: Sunwing Travel Group recently purchased the 257 room Great Bay Beach Resort Casino and Spa from The Maho Group with intent to assume operations as of November 1st, 2017. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the resort is now inoperable and will remain closed for the winter season. MORE

BAG PROMPTS EVACUATION OF YWG DEPARTURES LEVEL

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20 SEP 2017: An unattended bag prompted a brief evacuation at the Winnipeg airport. A witness told CTV News the departure level of the airport had been evacuated and people were standing on the airfield.   MORE

SEE FOR YOURSELF

Palm Beach is open for business
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20 SEP 2017: As we all know Hurricane Irma hit Florida last week. The Palm Beaches were in the outer path and were not significantly impacted like other areas of the state. To overcome any misconceptions about the destination, the area’s marketing organization, Discover The Palm Beaches, commissioned an aerial videographer on Friday to capture a Birdseye view of the key areas of the destination. (Video)   MORE

ALBERTA SEES THE LIGHT

Rejects idea of keeping clocks the same all year. For now. Maybe.
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20 SEP 2017: An all-party legislature committee dominated by NDP members of the legislature unanimously voted Tuesday to urge the government to abandon a bill that would keep the province on the same time all year. You’d think this would put paid to this issue, but Premier Rachel Notley says the question of whether Alberta should stop changing its clocks every spring and fall hasn't been resolved yet.   MORE

THE BEST INTENTIONS OR NOT

Are US carriers concerned about fees or control
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20 SEP 2017: The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has called on the US Senate to reject airlines’ arguments that increasing the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) would harm demand for travel. Airlines argue that increasing the PFC by $4.00 will meaningfully dampen demand for travel. However, when airlines state “adding another $3.2 billion tax hike on American travellers simply cannot be justified,” that is when one really needs to pay attention.   MORE

TOGETHER WE CAN HELP

By SAM ION
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20 SEP 2017: Are you getting all kinds of requests on what to take to Cuba to help? I am. Canadians are so anxious to help their “Cuba family” through this crisis. For years when I’ve visited Cuba, I’ve hauled stuff that I hoped would help. You should hear Tom on this subject, he would point out he’s the one doing the hauling. MORE
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