This week: Ice Age in Europe, Super Bowl congestion and Bieber’s apology

Wow, what a big week for LateDeparture this one was! On Monday we announced the winner story from our Airport News of the Year award voting process. As you probably heard by now, the story about Jack the Cat who was lost at the JFK airport won the title. Subsequently many of you commented on the sad fate of Jack and reinforced on your views about who was to blame. If the award did one thing, then it showed that some airlines still have a long way to go in regards to handling incidents like this one.

Let’s move on to the regular airport news from this week now though: Newark airport in New Jersey (IATA: EWR) made it twice into the headlines this week: First, on Tuesday, the New York Post wrote that a burgeoning federal probe into allegedly lax security at Newark Airport has led to the suspension of eight workers for everything from stealing from passengers to sleeping on the job to even failing to screen luggage for potential bombs. Wow, that’s quite something, we think!

Then one day later, on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported on its online news that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said an airline employee had caused a security breach that briefly closed a terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport. Not so nice either!

Over in Europe it’s the winter that’s causing disruptions. In the United Kingdom for example, SKY News reported today that a number of airports across Britain have been closed as heavy snow blankets runways and surrounding areas. According to the news, Luton (IATA: LTN), Stansted (IATA: STN) and Birmingham (IATA: BHX) are most severly affected. The news continued by saying that passengers at Gatwick airport (IATA: LGW) were warned of possible delays, while Heathrow airport (IATA: LHR) has made a pre-emptive decision to cancel around a third of today’s flights. We advise all UK bound travellers to check their flight status frequently.

Speaking of the UK, earlier in the week BAA got a slap on the wrist when it lost its appeal against a ruling that it must sell Stansted airport (IATA: STN). According to the BBC, the Spanish-owned company BAA will be unhappy about having to sell Stansted in such an unfavourable economic climate. The company sold Gatwick and recently agreed to sell Edinburgh, but it has continued to fight the Stansted decision.

Back to the United States where on Sunday (local time) the biggest sporting event is held: the Super Bowl. This year the mother of all events is held in Indianapolis and we wouldn’t be LateDeparture if we couldn’t find a matching airport related news article: Fox News reported that the nation’s wealthiest football fans are descending in droves on Indianapolis Airport (IATA: IND) for Sunday’s Super Bowl, setting off a scramble by airport officials in this modest Midwest hub to accommodate the influx of private jets. According to the article, about 1,100 private planes are expected to ferry in corporate chieftains and other bigwigs to see the New York Giants face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. That is one of the largest fleets of luxury planes in the Super Bowl’s history, flying into one of the smallest cities to ever host the game.

And finally to our odd airport news of the week. This time it’s about teen idol Justin Bieber. According to Hollywood Life, the star took the time to explain why he didn’t stop to talk to fans in the French airport earlier this week. According to the article his appology ended with “I would never run by my fans and for those that i did pass that day I AM SORRY. I know my fans are my everything. I know my responsibility to them. I LOVE MY BELIEBERS.” Okay then.
With that, have a good week everyone!
[Photo from Flickr – taken one hour ago in snow covered London – Some rights reserved by vitch]