Travel Bulletin

Air Berlin Files for Bankruptcy

Germany’s second largest airline, Air Berlin, is filing for bankruptcy after its main shareholder, Etihad Airlines, said it won’t make any more financing available after years of unsuccessful turnaround attempts.Air Berlin will get a 150 million euro government loan to keep flights running and not leave travelers stranded during the peak season.The loan is expected to last for three months, but after that the airline’s future is uncertain. I’ve read that Lufthansa is in talks to buy them, so keep your fingers crossed. They’re still selling tickets, but I highly recommend to avoid them until the situation becomes clearer!

Airport Sherpa

The Airport Sherpa food delivery app has launched at the Baltimore Airport! You can order food for pick up or delivery at your gate prior to boarding. You can place an order up to a week in advance, and the app tracks delays and gate changes. There are even plans to expand into 15 other airports by the end of 2018. Delivery charges are 3.99 to 7.99 but free if you pick up. I think this is a great idea!

Ziplining in London

London just opened the world’s fastest urban zipline near Lambeth Palace just south of the Thames. Check it out if you’re in the area! It’s a short ride, but you’ll get incredible views of major landmarks like Big Ben, The Eye, and Parliament. It’s open every day 10am to 7pm until October 1st. You have to be over 8 years old and it costs 22.50 pounds per person with discounts for groups of five or more.

Loose Change

Have you ever wondered what happens to that loose change you forgot to pick back up after going through TSA screening? TSA collects it and puts it into a special account to be used for improvements to civil aviation security. Last year they collected a whopping $868,000! Passengers at JFK were the most forgetful – their portion was $70,615!

Alaska Is Officially Retiring Virgin America

Alaska Airlines has decided to officially retire the Virgin America brand sometime in 2019 and operate all of it’s flights under the Alaska brand. They’ve promised to maintain a “modern, warm and welcoming vibe”. However, they will be doing a complete redesign including new cabins, seats, music and uniforms. They will be keeping the mood lighting and will expand business and first class options. They’ll also be renovating some of the lounges. I’ll be sad to see Virgin America go!

Cosmopolitan Hotel Has a Robot Concierge!

The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas has a new concierge named Rose, and she’s a robot. Guests are encouraged to text Rose with any requests they might have from recommending a great restaurant to sending up more towels. She can even recommend events and help guests purchase tickets. She’s supposed to have a distinct personality and a good sense of humor!

EU to End Mobile Roaming Charges in 2017!

In December the European Commission voted to approve what it termed a “fair use policy” that will eliminate the charges for phone calls, texting, and data. Starting June 15, 2017, travelers will be able to use their mobile devices anywhere in the EU and pay the same price they would at home. This means that the EU will put an end to extra charges when all travelers are calling, texting and surfing abroad from their mobile phones and devices.