As another busy airport week is ending we have snow, strikes, brains, one exotic animal and new and exciting airport art for you. But first, the most exciting day in the history of airport news must have been Monday when we launched our reader campaign for you to vote for the Airport News of the Year. Make sure you check it out, we’ve secured some awesome prizes for a lucky few!
This week we’ve done something different by pairing up the airport news of the week. Before we get into it, we would like to make an announcement of our own: if you’re reading this on LateDeparture, you might have noticed that we changed our site layout quite dramatically. The old layout has seen its days, so we redesigned the whole thing with the aim to make it a lot more user friendly and give you a better experience. Let us know what you think!
As another week comes to an end another weekly round-up of airport aviation news is due from us! There’s a bit of interesting follow up to do from last week’s news, news from a often forgotten continent and finally a three-letter-acronym that oftentimes makes news – this time it’s, well, juicy…
It’s been a turbulent week with plenty of airport related news. Earlier in the week we reported about the future of airport security, a topic that keeps being on top of travellers and airport managers minds alike, especially now with the approaching anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Then towards the end of the week the news headlines were dominated by hurricane Irene with severe implications for air travel.
With Christmas out of the way, it’s time to look back and reflect on 2010. Let’s therefore bring back a tradition I started two years ago and provide you with the top 10 airport news of 2010. You will find odd stories about stranded passengers or missed world cup games but also serious disruptions caused by bad weather, accidents or terrorist alerts among LateDeparture’s “Top 10 Airport Stories of 2010”. Let’s begin and start with number 10:
(Title Photo from Flickr – some rights reserved)
10. Virgin Atlantic passengers stuck on tarmarc in Connecticut
Hundreds of travelers parked in a diverted Virgin Atlantic plane en route from London to Newark spent a hot, dark and miserable four-hour stretch on the tarmac at Bradley International Airport outside Hartford, Connecticut (IATA: BDL). The incident attracted significant media attention, and highlighted how the recently-implemented Airline Passengers Bill of Rights does not extend to international flights.
(AP photo/Journal Inquirer, Jim Michaud)
Everyone who climbed mighty Mount Kilimanjaro knows the Swahili expression “Pole Pole” meaning “slowly, slowly”. Apart from a few Diamox tablets and a good fitness level walking slowly up to the 5,895m (19,331 ft) high summit of Africa’s highest mountain is the key for success. Unfortunately the Tanzanians extended that philosophy also to the local airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (IATA: JRO).
But let’s first start with the basics: As you would think, the airport mainly serves travellers as their destination airport for the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is located between the two cities Arusha and Moshi and is also in close proximity of what must be two of Africa’s best wildlife reserves: Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. KLM is the only non-African airline with frequent flights from Amsterdam Schiphol.
Alright, now back to the airports relaxed efficiency: I thought we had plenty of time at our hands when we arrived at the airport 3 hours before our scheduled departure back to Amsterdam (read the related article). But with various security checks, a long check-in queue and, worst of all, a stupidly strangely complicated immigration system, we basically just got to the gate right on time for boarding. Another annoyance was that all the shops are located before the last security check. My suggestion therefore is to take it easy (Pole Pole), have a look at the shops, eat something and wait until the queue for the gate dies down. Just make sure you don’t miss your flight!
There are still a few things you can do, so here are my top 3 things to do at Kilimanjaro Airport:
- Look at the people boarding your flight and guess who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (hint: watch them walk!)
- Make your fellow travel companions happy and buy some Coca-Cola, Snickers, Kitkat, Pringles and Cookies (17.500 Schilling)
- Flick through your digital camera’s pictures and smile about the unforgettable moments during your trip
Unfortunately the airport’s duty free shop did not have either Veuve Clicquot or Chanel No. 5 for my usual price rating but then, in my opinion at least, buying expensive French champagne in Africa doesn’t sound right in the first place.
[Picture from Flickr]