This week in travel

Wanderlust's select guide to the top travel-related news stories from around the globe

By Susanna Stromberg
Published February 12, 1999 8:00PM (EST)

- - - - - - + From
For all those passengers who've been stuck on a plane that's just sitting on the tarmac, your day of vengeance may have finally arrived. After travelers were stranded on airplanes in the Midwest for more than eight hours this past New Year's, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee has recommended that airlines financially compensate travelers detained for two hours or more. The recommendation is the latest addition to a passengers' rights bill filed by Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa. The new bill would require airlines to pay passengers double the amount of the ticket if stranded for two hours, three times the amount for three hours, four times for four hours and so on.

- - - - - - + From ABC News
A labor dispute over American Airlines' acquisition of Reno Air led hundreds of pilots to call in sick, grounding 2,500 flights and stranding about 200,000 people. On Wednesday, a federal judge intervened, ordering the pilots to go back to work or possibly be held in contempt of court. The dispute stems from the pay differential between the pilots from the two airlines; some American Airlines pilots make twice as much as those at Reno -- a difference in pay the American pilots want corrected as soon as possible.

- - - - - - + From the Washington Post
Avalanches in the French Alps buried 17 mountain chalets Tuesday, leaving 10 dead and others still missing. Throughout the week search parties continued to look for a missing skier in Courchevel and at least two others in the mountains near Le Tour and Montroc-le-Planet. The snowfall, which trapped thousands in the province of Tyrol, Austria, and caused evacuations in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, is being called the heaviest to hit Europe in decades.

- - - - - - + From the London Times
In the future, flights to Asia from America and Europe may be rerouted over the North Pole. Russia is opening up its airspace, a move that could save up to one hour on flights from Britain to Japan and five from New York to Hong Kong. Russian officials expect to open the polar airspace to foreign planes by next year, and to earn money from it -- $200 million in the next decade alone.

- - - - - - + From the Miami Herald
Semester at Sea, an educational program that takes U.S. students to destinations around the world, will sail into Cuba later this month with what is believed to be the largest group of U.S. citizens to travel to the embargoed country in 40 years. The U.S. Treasury Department and the Cuban government approved the trip, which will last three days and include lessons on Cuban education, health care and architecture.

- - - - - - + From CNN
Citing the recent kidnappings of foreign visitors, British Airways announced that it will delay its scheduled relaunch of flights to Yemen. The airline canceled its Yemen route in 1994 but had planned to recommence service this April. In light of the kidnappings, it will push back its planned two-flight-a-week service until November.

Susanna Stromberg

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