News and Deals: February 17, 2012 – European woes would hurt US travel industry, Tuscany invites tourists to shipwreck island, Customers jettisoned as another airline crashes and burns‎ and United says pets not in cabin to fly as cargo

Paris Metro sign

European woes would hurt US travel industry
‎Washington Times

Europe’s pain is our pain, too, a new study says.

If Europe’s economy worsens, U.S. travel industries such as airlines, hotels, car-rental companies and restaurants will see a downturn, too, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

“This data serves as a wake-up call to the entire industry as we watch European policymakers work to contain the debt crisis,” said Michael McCormick, executive director at GBTA.

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Tuscany invites tourists to shipwreck island
‎NEWS.com.au

THE Italian region of Tuscany has invited tourists to visit the island of Giglio – the scene of a cruise ship disaster last month that locals fear could destroy the local economy.

“We will ensure that the island of Giglio is favoured in our campaigns but the main promotion is for everyone to make a gesture of love by going to Giglio,” said Cristina Scaletti, head of Tuscany’s tourism department.

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Customers jettisoned as another airline crashes and burns‎
Sydney Morning Herald

Air Australia was never able to pull up from its financial nosedive, writes aviation reporter Matt O’Sullivan.

Make no mistake, there should be no surprise about Australia’s newest international airline, Air Australia, going bust. As an airline executive told me today, “Everyone is gobsmacked that they lasted this long.”

It is a cruel summation for as many as 4000 passengers stranded as far afield as Phuket and Hawaii and others who handed over money up until yesterday for tickets.

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United says pets not in cabin to fly as cargo
USA Today

Some military families living overseas are outraged by a new United Airlines policy that will require pets that can’t fly in the cabin to travel as cargo — potentially costing their owners hundreds of dollars more.

As of March 3, United, which is merging with Continental, is adopting Continental’s pet transport program known as “PetSafe.”

That means Fido can no longer be checked as luggage, which generally costs $250 when pets fly from the U.S. to most foreign destinations. Now, some military families say they’ve been told it could cost up to $1,400 to fly pets home as cargo, and they’ve launched online petitions to get the policy change reversed.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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