Travel News – April 29, 2014



Newark Airport Transit Will Be Temporarily Unavailable
Newark Airport’s Air Train service will be shut down from May 1 through July 15 for much needed repairs. During this closure, complimentary shuttle buses supplied by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will serve as an alternate mode of transportation between the airport and lots P2 and P3 (daily parking and rental car areas), as well as the P4 garage (including valet and hotel courtesy vans). Bus service will also be available between the airport and Newark Penn Station for customers taking rail service to and from Manhattan and other areas. Please keep this in mind when planning your travel, and allow extra time to get to and from the airport.

Frontier Airlines Now Charging for Carry-Ons
Frontier Airlines has unbundled its economy fare, which means customers must pay a fee for carry-on bags in addition to checked bags and seat assignments. The new policy is in effect for travel booked on and after April 28. Customers are allowed to bring aboard one personal item for free (handbag, purse, pocketbook, backpack, briefcase or laptop), but an additional carry-on will cost $25 at the time of initial travel purchase at Frontier’s website or the airline’s call center. Paying for a carry-on at airport check-in will cost $35; at the gate, $50. Frontier’s Ascent and Summit level members of its Early Returns loyalty program will continue to receive a free carry-on bag and two free checked bags. A few items can be carried on for free in addition to one personal item, including canes, portable oxygen, child safety seats, diaper bags and prayer rugs. Customers still have the option to purchase a Classic Plus fare, which includes a refundable ticket, no change fees, a seat with extra legroom, one checked bag and one carry-on. The airline’s GDS-only fare has been discontinued.

JetBlue Partners With Coat-Checking Service
JetBlue has partnered with Coat Chex, a ticketless coat check service in the main marketplace area at its Terminal 5 at New York’s Kennedy Airport. There’s no claim ticket to lose and no long line to stand in, thanks to mobile technology and smart tags that grab the necessary information. Passengers step up to a digital kiosk and enter phone number, initials and other details. They then smile for a quick photo and they’re done. When passengers deplane, they provide the last four digits of their phone number. Staff confirms identities by checking photos and then hands over the winter attire. Coat Chex plans to add a centrally located kiosk this fall to supplement its current kiosk. Rate to check a coat is $2 a day, $10 a week. Coat Chex has been doing this for several years at concerts, sporting events, malls, theaters, conferences and stadiums. This is a great idea for those of us who travel during the winter months in the north and are heading south where those heavy coats won’t be needed.

Oasis of the Seas Testing New Satellite System
The Oasis of the Seas is testing a revolutionary new satellite system that could make annoying slow Internet connections on cruise ships a thing of the past. The new system will give Oasis more Internet bandwidth than every other cruise ship of every other cruise line in the world combined. Royal Caribbean is testing the new satellite system on Oasis of the Seas from a company called O3b Networks, based in Jersey, Channel Islands. The system now being tested on Oasis could increase download speeds to as much as 500 mbps. Satellite latency could be reduced from 750 to 140 milliseconds. The line also plans to expand the system to Allure of the Seas and the Quantum-class ships now under construction. If it lives up to expectations RCI will install it on all ships in its fleet.

Crystal Serenity Hit by ‘Rogue’ Wave
A wave that struck the luxury cruise ship sailing in the Mediterranean broke windows and caused damage to the ship’s main dining room. The wave hit Crystal Cruises’ 1,070-passenger ship Crystal Serenity while it was en route from Spain to Monte Carlo. The wave struck Serenity during the early hours of Saturday morning (April 26). Three windows in the Crystal Dining Room were blown in and of course water also entered. On its Facebook page, Crystal Cruises confirmed the damage to the ship was likely caused by a rogue wave. The line said repairs are underway and no one was injured in the incident.


News is courtesy of ARTA Online.