Showing posts from September, 2009

Airports Receive $15.7 Million for Baggage Screening Systems

The Transportation Security Administration on September 25 announced that two airports have been awarded a total of $15.7 million for new in-line checked baggage screening systems. John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, CA received $8.8 million, while Kansas' Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT) gets $6.9 million.
From TSA:
"Inline baggage handling systems use state-of-the-art technology to screen baggage for explosives quickly while streamlining the ticketing and boarding process. This eliminates the need for passengers to walk checked baggage to a screening location before proceeding to the security checkpoint. Additionally, the systems provide on-screen resolution capabilities for security officers screening baggage which reduces the number of re-scans and physical bag searches."

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By Planet Data

TSA Awards Two Airports $11 Million for Surveillance Cameras

Last Friday, TSA announced that it had awarded a total of $11 million to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for the purchase of additional equipment for closed circuit television (CCTV) systems. The money, $6 million for DFW and $5 million for SFO, comes from TSA's fiscal 2009 funding.

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By Planet Data

Iran Test Fires Warhead-Capable Missile

Iranian media is reporting that the Republican Guard on Monday (9/28) successfully test fired a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Shahab-3 has a range of about 1,200 miles - making it able to hit targets inside Israel.
Also, on Sunday Iran tested a number of other short- and medium-range missiles.

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By Planet Data

Italian Aviation in Mental Meltdown

Greetings from Rome Fiumicino FCO, where I was officially informed today by an Alitalia Customer Service Operator that, and I quote... "In this airport the minimum wait for baggage is 45 minutes". It appears the average is even more, like 1 hour and in my case 1 hour, 20 minutes, so beware when checking in luggage for a flight to Rome! 

Italian Aviation overall these days has gone beyond decline to Mental Meltdown! To start Volareweb collapsed recently and Alitalia has been on the brink of ceasing operations for years and the current National outfit is merely the bare bones of its former self. What's worse is that Air One the only viable alternative is part of the same operating group called CAI and the service is actually no better. To add insult to injury, the poor travelling Italians have to suffer a vastly reduced time-table created to further cut costs and for many its wholly inadequate. 

Ryanair and the "Budget Boys" are filling the void, but only by hand p…

Lufthansa Flight Makes Mid-Atlantic U-Turn Back to Germany

A Frankfurt to New York Lufthansa flight turned around over Greenland on Saturday because of a suspected oil leak in one of the plane's engines. The plane landed safely back in Frankfurt.
Read moreBy Planet Data

NASA Names Final Shuttle Flight Crew

The last scheduled flight for NASA's space shuttles is in September 2010. In preparation for this historic flight NASA on Friday (9/18) announced the crew assignment. The entire crew is comprised of very experienced astronauts.
From NASA:
"Veteran shuttle commander and retired Air Force Col. Steven W. Lindsey will command the eight-day mission, designated STS-133. Air Force Col. Eric A. Boe will serve as the pilot; it will be his second flight as a shuttle pilot. Mission Specialists are shuttle mission veteran Air Force Col. Benjamin Alvin Drew, Jr., and long-duration spaceflight veterans Michael R. Barratt, Army Col. Timothy L. Kopra and Nicole P. Stott."
Read moreBy Planet Data


SummaryThe Hungarian Authorities have removed the epidemic alert at the airport on the grounds that they consider new cases are no longer predominantly caused by foreign travel. The rising number of confirmed cases is caused by domestic, in-country transmission. Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
Hungary Country Profile

There are occasional political demonstrations against the Government in Budapest and elsewhere in the country. These tend to take place on or close to important national holidays with a political relevance - such as 15 March (anniversary of 1848 Revolution) and 23 October (anniversary of 1956 Anti-Soviet Uprising). There have been some cases where generally peaceful political demonstrations ended in violence. As a precaution, you should avoid all political demonstrations.
Local travel


How to make a professional travel Complaint

For the past 25 years I have been training people working for Companies in the Tourism Industry and Service Sector how to "Handle Complaints" professionally. Now it is high time I shared this knowledge directly with the consumer and proceed further to create a revolutionary code of conduct for "Making a Complaint", which is comprises to form the essence of this article.

First and foremost its important to recognise that for most instances for the Tourism Industry and Service Sector, when you reach the point of actually making a complaint you are only dealing with a front line representative of the Company. Subsequently you should not at any juncture become angry, hot headed, rude or nasty, as the person on the receiving end is merely a messenger. Moreover, the anger of losing your cool is an expression of helplessness or put simply loss of control, so it most likely will not support your claim. Moreover, you should communicate in a polit…


SummarySkyEurope Airlines announced on 1 September the cancellation of all its European flights for the foreseeable future due to bankruptcy. Travellers who booked directly with the airline are unlikely to get a refund and should make enquiries with alternative carriers. Travellers who booked with a credit card may be able to get a refund at a later date, but should in the meantime make enquiries with other carriers. Travellers who booked through a Tour Operator should contact them to make alternative flight arrangements. A number of airlines (British Airways, Olympic, Aegean and Easy jet) offer flights to various London airports from Athens.
The Greek Government have confirmed a number of cases of Swine Flu in Greece. You can check for updates on the number of cases and their locations through the World Health Organisation (WHO) website at: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised its Pandemic Threat Alert Phase to Level 6. You should monitor local media reports fo…

Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory)

SummaryGibraltar is a British Overseas Territory. There is no formal British consular representation in Gibraltar and the local authorities deal with all requests for consular assistance.There is an underlying threat from terrorism in Gibraltar. Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.Local laws and customs

You should be aware that there is a low tolerance of any alcohol or drugs-related crime e.g. being drunk in a public place. Driving with a blood/ alcohol level greater than 0.5 ml is illegal.

We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.
Import and Export of Goods

Gibraltar is not part of the EU Common Customs Territory.

The amount of goods (e.g. tobacco and alcohol) that you can take into and out of Gibraltar is therefore more limited than for visits between th…

$35 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Airport Security Projects

On Thursday, DHS Secretary Napolitano announced another $35.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds would be used to pay for three airport security projects around the country. 
The projects include:
$30 million for reduced-size Explosive Detection Systems (EDS). These are checked baggage screening units designed for airports with space limitations.
$4.1 million is going to Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport for a new closed circuit television system (CCTV).
About $1.3 million for an explosive detection baggage handling system at an existing off-site facility at Orlando International Airport. It total the ARRA allocates $1 billion in funding for TSA projects.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Obama Makes TSA Chief Choice

President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Erroll G. Southers to be the Department of Homeland Security's next Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
About the Southers' nomination, DHS Secretary Napolitano says, "[His] expertise in counterterrorism and airport security will be a great asset to the Department in our efforts to ensure the safety of the nation's transportation systems."
Southers is currently the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department Assistant Chief for Homeland Security and Intelligence.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Secret Service Announces Security Details for G-20 Summit

The G-20 Summit takes place September 24 and 25 in Pittsburgh, and because DHS has designated the Summit as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) the Secret Service is the lead federal agency responsible for designing and implementing the operational security plan.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Shuttle Makes Safe Landing in California

The space shuttle Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California Friday night. Rain showers and high winds in Florida forced the shuttle to put down at the backup site.
Read moreBy Planet Data

SkyEurope go belly under!

Slovakian Budget airline SkyEurope is the latest carrier to go belly under, after canceling their flights from airports throughout Europe, many of which with no notice given. This reality left literally thousands of passengers (many on vacation) stranded at European airports.Airlines in Austria however did offer to return passengers to their home country and others carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair, offered passengers cheap replacement tickets. Already committed consumers are not likely to be offered refunds either if they paid SkyEurope direct. Passengers that purchased flights with a credit card are best advised to contact their credit card issuing bank to seek a potential refund for unused portions of SkyEurope's flights. If by chance you are reading and ordered flight tickets via a travel agency or organizer, its best to discuss the matter with them first.
AirEurope operated in key central and eastern European destinations with a hub in Vienna, Prague and Bratislava. They we…

Worldwide September Events

The end of summer is nigh in the Northern Hemisphere and September brings a civilized end to the proceedings before those rather depressing early dark nights start to kick in.

As the leaves start to fall, September brings great variety across the globe and with Historic events in the UK and Highland Games in Braemar, Scotland on the agenda, in addition to the Beer Fest “Booze up” in Munch and the Oyster Festival Binge in Galway, which caters for all tastes and is my pick of the bunch! If that does not tempt you, take a stroll on the artistic avenue of life at the Fringe Festival in Melbourne or wave the Green Flag on September the 22nd for the World Car free Day.

Whatever your flavor, enjoy the summer while is lasts!

Sharon Mckinley

Here below are the Perpetual Traveller Worldwide Top Events for September…

Scotland The Braemar Gathering 5th September 2009 

The Braemar Gathering, whose patron is Queen Elizabeth II, is one of Scotland's largest Highland games. It's probably the most f…

Waste audit on wheels

We live in the 21st Century, an age whereby the modern day traveller is somewhat prone to accumulate Airmiles in abundance, whilst leaving a trail of carbon and disposable products in the wake, otherwise known as plain rubbish! Few can truly deny, unless they bury their heads in the sand or have been living in a cave for the past 10 years, that collectively we produce literally tons of waste, much of which upon deeper analysis can be rendered as wholly unnecessary or at least non essential.

There is a growing trend towards an appreciation for the concept of “carbon footprint” especially where travellers are concerned. In essence a carbon footprint is a measure of the impact that our activities have on the environment and in particular related to climate change. It is naturally linked to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc. The carbon footprint is a measurement of all greenhouse gase…

Boeing Plans First Dreamliner Flight This Year

Boeing today announced that its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner is expected to make its inaugural flight by the end of 2009, with the first aircraft delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010. 
Originally the first Dreamliner flight was to have taken place in September 2007.Read more
By Planet Data

Yemenia Flight 626 Black Boxes Recovered

Both data recorders from the wreckage of Yemenia Flight 626 were recovered in the last few days from the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Search teams recovered the flight data recorder Friday, and the cockpit voice recorder Saturday.
The Yemenia Airbus 310-300 went down off the coast of Comoros on June 30. One survivor, a teenage girl, was found floating in the sea.Read more
By Planet Data

New York Metro Airspace Restrictions in September

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared the upcoming session of United Nations General Assembly a National Special Security Event and issued a Flight Advisory (168 KB PDF) for the New York Metro from Sept. 15 through Oct. 2. Read more
By Planet Data