Last news of 2011: Christchurch again, French strikes & free Wi-Fi

Only seven more days remain in 2011 and it’s therefore time for us at LateDeparture to pack up and enjoy a little (well deserved?!) break. But of course, we won’t leave you before we put another, final round of airport news in front of you. Besides that, you should already get excited for coming back to LateDeparture in January as not only will we continue to review airports and bring you weekly airport related news, but also we will be presenting you with the very first Airport News of the Year Award in early January. The best of all this is, that you can vote for the news you liked best and as a result win some awesome prizes! So stay tuned and get ready for a big 2012!

For the last airport news of the year now though, we start with the most recent news which reached us from New Zealand. There CNN’s Breaking News Twittter Account alerted us yesterday of another earthquake in Christchurch only 10 months after the last, devastating 6.4 magnitude quake in February. This time CNN reported that the tremors have injured at least two people and resulted in the closure of the Christchurch airport (IATA: CHC). The airport later reopened and Chief Executive Jim Boult said through the airport’s media release that there has been no damage to the airport’s runways, which are open for landings and departures again.

Over in Europe France made it in to the news on an almost daily basis but this time not because of the Euro crisis, but because of a continued strike by French airport security staff in French airports causing delays at security checks. The strikes started the previous week on Saturday (we wrote about it) and kept continuing. On Wednesday Reuters informed us that the French government threatened to deploy police at airports to ensure that striking security staff do not paralyse flights in the travel rush ahead of the December 25 Christmas holiday and end-of-year festivities.

And finally some great news for our American friends and those who plan travelling to the States in the next few days. The Huffington Post announced on Tuesday that Skype offers free Wi-Fi for travellers at US airports. From December 21 through 27, the company will offer free Wi-Fi to fliers at more than 50 airports across the U.S. The airports participating in the holiday giveaway include New York’s JFK (IATA: JFK) and LaGuardia Airports (IATA: LGA), Boston’s Logan Airport (IATA: BOS), San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO) and Chicago’s O’Hare international (IATA: ORD).

With that we would like to leave you with a little festive video from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS) and thank all of you for reading LateDeparture throughout 2011. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New (travel disruption free) Year!

[Photo shows Prague Airport in December 2008, by Flickr – Some rights reserved by Cem K. (iyiinsan); video from Schiphol Airport, all rights reserved]

  • the airport at Christchurch (and amywhere I guess) closes after a a quake so runways can be inspected 🙂 🙂