This week: Olympic strikes, blackout & 3-day late departure

Less than a week to go to the London 2012 Olympics and tensions are high with a few major issues still waiting to be resolved. One of them is the announced strike of the British Airport Guards – more about that later. We also have 2 airport news stories from Australia and the delay of the week is coming from the United States.

Back to those British Airport Guards now: Their union announced on Thursday that they will walk off their jobs on the eve of the Olympics. The New York Daily News reported that members of the Public and Commercial Services Union have voted for the 24-hour strike on July 26 in a dispute over pay and job losses — an Olympic-sized headache for British officials. No kidding!

Australia provided us with two pieces of airport related news this week. Both major cities, Sydney and Melbourne made it into our round-up. First up was Melbourne (MEL) with rather bad news for many travellers on Thursday when a blackout blackout temporarily grounded flights and threw schedules into disarray, sparking passenger confusion as reported in the local newspaper The Age. The article detailed that the power cut meant the airport’s lights went out, security gates were closed and shops were unable to serve customers.

Sydney had slightly better news – well, actually this depends on where you sit on this one, we guess. The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the federal government said Sydney desperately needs a second airport and has commissioned a scoping study into building one in the southwest Sydney suburb of Wilton. In the same article Infrastructure and Transport minister Anthony Albanese said the main purpose of the study is to identify as early as possible the challenges and the opportunities of airport development. Hang on a minute, didn’t politicians rule out an entirely new airport a few months ago? Hm.

The final story for you this week involves a true “late departure”: A 13-hour flight that took 3 days! The New York Daily News reported that over 200 furious United Airlines passengers finally landed in Newark New Jersey (EWR) last weekend after a trip from Shanghai, China that should have taken 13 hours ended up taking three days. According to the article United Flight 87 touched down at Newark Airport in New Jersey Saturday morning after days of cancellations and violent, heated encounters between passengers and United Airlines employees. Read the full story and we bet you wouldn’t have been happy either!

That’s all for this week – safe and on-time travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by Mabacam]