I’ve been in Brisbane quite a few times but whenever I landed there it’s always been the domestic terminal. So when I recently got a chance to fly out of Queensland’s capital to Port Moresby (IATA: POM; LD reviewed), I took the opportunity and reviewed the international terminal of Brisbane Airport (IATA: BNE) for my loyal readers:
It was easy to pick this week’s biggest airport event. And no, it wasn’t the free roaming airport bear in Montana nor was it the airport toilet song writing artist. More of that later. It – of course – was all about the volcanic ash cloud over Britain and mainland Europe. After the eruption of Icelandic volcano “Grímsvötn” on Sunday evening, we posted an article on Tuesday asking whether this would bring down much of Europe’s air traffic again similar to last year. Luckily the outcome so far wasn’t as grim as widely forecasted. The Wall Street Journal even calls the threat to be entirely over while other media aren’t all too sure yet.
Well, well – don’t they say what goes around comes around? After last year’s disastrous effect on European air travels caused by the ash cloud from the erupting Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, many voices were heard on how to better deal with such an event the next time it occurs. Last year the resulting airspace closures cost economies world-wide billions of dollars, no wonder everyone is eager to handle the problem better this time.
It seems as this week was mostly about Delta Airlines and Minneapolis St Paul International Airport (IATA: MSP). The news started on the good side when Delta Airlines announced new dining options and Apple iPads to rent at the airport as published by the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. The article read that the changes are part of a $2 billion investment to improve the overall travel experience for customers after similar upgrades at New York-area airports. Then, just when it was all happy days, on Saturday, local time, the news came from the same airport that Delta had to cancel 250 flights due to a power outage at the airport. According to a CNN report, the cause of the extended outage has not been pinpointed yet.
It’s no secret, LateDeparture has always had a love-hate-relationship with the UK’s third busiest airport. Whilst the airport itself is quite alright, it can feel crowded plus the pure nature of mainly operating low cost carrier can add to the airports stress level (as reviewed a while back). Now, however, the airport presents itself in an entirely different light. And it’s not because of the UK Competition Commission’s turnaround of allowing BAA keep owning the airport, it’s a different story: the actors from the controversial but highly acclaimed comedy show, Little Britain, Matt Lucas and David Walliams launched a spoof of British documentaries Airport and Airline. The series officially started in Britain on Christmas day last year and follows the activity at a fictional airport and three airlines: FlyLo (a low-cost airline), Our Lady Air (an Irish low-cost airline) and Great British Air (a major international British airline).
This week three US airports caught our attention: First on Tuesday there was San Francisco’s International Airport (IATA: SFO; LD reviewed) which made headlines with the arrival of the first scheduled Airbus A380 flight. The Lufthansa plane with flight number 454 landed at the Northern Californian airport on Tuesday morning for the first time and was welcomed by a fire truck and many eager plane spotters as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Flight delays and even more so cancellations are a pain in the #$%## for any traveller. We all heard anecdotal stories of airports or airlines that are said to be more likely to occur delays or cancellations. But is that good enough for us to make a call on who to fly with and where to stop over? Maybe. A better way though is to look into some actual numbers.
This week we published our 35th airport review. And it wasn’t just a review about some large, well known airport – no – we wrote about one of the more exotic airports in the world: Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby airport. It’s our first review of an airport in Oceania outside Australia and while Port Moresby’s airport doesn’t have many shops or other “ready made, time consuming attractions”, we nevertheless provided a list of interesting things to do when your flight is delayed or you simply have ample time. Check it out here.
Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG) – a beautiful and vastly unexplored country North of the Eastern tip of Australia – is nothing you’d call out of the ordinary. Yes, Port Moresby is fairly accessible from Australia and a few Asian countries, but the people you’d see on those planes wouldn’t be your typical tourists. In fact, most of them won’t be tourists at all. Locals then? Nope, the locals mostly can’t afford the western priced airfares. Papua New Guinea’s per capita GDP lies at only US$2,500, putting the country at the bottom quarter of the global statistic. So who flies to PNG? Expats, businessmen, politicians and the one or other adventurous traveler, is the answer. It’s therefore not surprising that when you land at Port Moresby’s Jacksons International Airport (IATA: POM) the queue at the foreign residents visa counter is the longest; followed by the queue for visa-on-arrival (many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival for 100 Kina/per person; check with the embassy of PNG in your country prior to your trip).
The long Easter break didn’t just bring travellers to their loved ones or chocolate eggs to the kids, it sadly, also brought the tornado season to the South of the United States with devastating effects in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and elsewhere. The New York Times even calls it the worst tornado disaster since 1925. The storms also had severe effects on the aviation industry with delays and some closures throughout the US. One of the worst hit airports, however, was Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL). The drama was even caught on CCTV when the tornado hit the airport; watch it here.