This week: Better passenger rights, Bolivian name dispute and more

Nope, we haven’t forgotten about our dear readers, but we have to admit that we did get so busy, that last week’s airport update just didn’t quite happen – as you might have noticed. So this week, we’ll do a quick recap of what we’ve missed the week before and then go straight into the current week’s activities coming from the U.S., Bolivia and Sri Lanka.

The previous week’s major airport news was probably the one reported in The Australian when it was said that passengers left stranded in airports by delays and cancellations are set to win new rights to food, water, compensation and fresh flights under a package of measures unveiled by the European Commission. The article further quoted that among the proposed new rules, due to become law next year, carriers will have to inform passengers of any delay within 30 minutes, at the latest, of the scheduled departure time. And further that airlines likewise will be forced to provide free water, air conditioning and access to toilets to travellers stuck in planes on tarmacs for at least an hour.

If you like the full week’s recap, then you can find other news from that week, like the one where 26,000 diamonds were seized at a Russian airport on our Twitter feed and then jump directly to the original article:

Let’s forward back to the present and actually look into what happened this week. First up was Sri Lanka’s 2nd international airport. According to the Wall Street Journal Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI), named after the president, was officially opened in his native district of Hambantota, 165 kilometers (102 miles) southeast of the capital, Colombo. In the article aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratn said one of the main reasons for building the airport in Hambantota was “the demand from the nation’s leisure sector.”

Then we heard from South America, when the BBC reported on Tuesday that a general strike is under way in the Bolivian region of Oruro against plans to rename its airport Evo Morales, in a tribute to the current president. Apparently the local assembly, dominated by Mr Morales’ supporters, approved the move in February, after the airport gained international status. But many residents have demanded that it remain named after aviation pioneer and local hero Juan Mendoza, was said in the article.

And then for our last news flash FOX News reported of an incident in the U.S.: Passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) were backed up earlier this week after a security breach was caused when a passenger entered a secure area through an exit. Authorities cleared several concourses until the passenger was located, meaning other passengers in those concourses had to leave the area and about 1,500 passengers had to be re-screened.

That’s it for this week. Next week is Easter and we’re off on a quick break, so with that we will read you again the week after. Safe travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by tiseb]