What a busy airport week this one was again! We’ve got more strikes albeit this week from a different European country, a culinary feast about to be unveiled in the UK, Chinese turtles and a couple of “interesting” stories from the US of A. So let’s get started right away!
Probably the most dominating airport related news this week were the airport strikes in Germany. While last week it was Air France that kept travellers on their toes, this week Frankfurt had the strike headlines to themselves when Thursday and Friday flights had to be grounded due to a strike by the airport’s ground crew. Reuters reported on Friday that almost 300 flights were cancelled that day after a small group of ground crew resumed a strike over pay and warned the action could continue next week.
The United Kingdom for once had two positive airport headlines in the bag for us this week. The first one was about the upgraded Heathrow Terminal 2 (IATA: LHR). The Guardian wrote that the shell of Terminal 2, a glass-walled, undulating counterpoint to Terminal 5 across the airport, has been completed, an impressive feat of construction made doubly so for having been achieved in the middle of a fully functioning, groaning-to-capacity hub airport and continued that the £2.3bn ($ 3.6bn) development will handle up to 20 million passengers a year. Terminal 2 is scheduled to open to passengers in 2014.
The second positive headline was a culinary one and came from Heathrow’s arch rival Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW). There celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will be bringing a brand new restaurant concept to Gatwick’s North Terminal this summer. Breaking Travel News wrote that the one-off offering, to be launched in June, will include a bespoke ‘grab and graze’ Jamie’s Italian Bakery – exclusively designed for Gatwick – which will provide passengers with high quality food, to take onto the plane or eat on the go. The new restaurant area will include a Jamie’s Italian, a Jamie’s Italian Bakery and a Union Jacks Bar – the newest concept from Jamie Oliver serving an all British menu.
Not for consumption but to be sold as pets was the reason for someone to smuggle live turtles to China when on Monday Time.com reported that seventy-nine live turtles were found in a package at the Shanghai airport (IATA: SHA) on Saturday, presumably headed toward China’s animal black market. According to the article the desire to have rare pets is slowly gaining popularity in China, leading to the import of illegal animals.
Now to the United States where we have to unique stories for you: First the story from ajc.com reporting that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (IATA: ATL) is opening its first cellphone (for non-Americans, this is what the rest of the world calls a mobile phone) waiting lot Thursday, offering a free place for people to wait while arriving passengers get to the curbside. Apparently these kind of cellphone lots have opened at a number of other airports around the country, allowing people to park and wait for free at a remote lot, often for a limited amount of time, until they receive a call from friends or family ready to be picked up at the curb.
And to finish the week off, this one here from CBS Miami which we find pretty hilarious: The article asks how many hyphens does an airport name need? According to the city of Dania Beach, when you’re Broward County’s international airport, you need at least one more, no matter how long it makes the name, continues the article and then says that the Dania Beach City Commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution to add the city’s name and presence to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (IATA: FLL). The full name would then read Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood-Dania Beach International Airport. Wow, that’s a mouthful, for sure!
With that have a great week everyone – travel disruption and smuggle-goods free!
[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by Jamie Leung Fotos]