Travel News: December 16, 2016

Eiffel Tower Paris France

DOT tries to ‘close the floodgates’ against voice calls on planes
USA Today

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Wednesday his proposal to require airlines to notify travelers whether voice calls are allowed during flights is an attempt to limit calls rather than “open the floodgates.”

The Federal Communications Commission has banned cellular services including calls on planes since 1991, to prevent jamming relay stations on the ground. But the FCC has considered since December 2013 whether to lift the ban because it is obsolete.


Alaska Airlines’ parent finishes buying Virgin America, but the airlines will operate separately for now
Los Angeles Times

With the parent company of Alaska Airlines closing its deal to buy Virgin America, the now fifth-largest domestic carrier is set to do battle to be the dominant airline on the West Coast.

Alaska Air Group closed the $2.6-billion acquisition of Burlingame, Calif.-based Virgin America on Wednesday, a week after the Justice Department gave the deal its blessing.

Even though the two airlines’ operations won’t be combined immediately, travelers can buy Virgin America tickets on the Alaska Airlines website starting Monday.


Tourists disappointed as strike closes Eiffel Tower for second day

The Eiffel Tower closed for a second day on Wednesday due to a strike over salaries and working conditions, in the latest blow to the French capital’s battered tourist industry.

The monument’s management apologised to visitors stranded at the gates of the tower, lamenting an ill-timed blow to the city’s image.

The strike comes as Paris is struggling to revive tourism after a string of deadly attacks and a year marred by floods, violent labour protests and polluted air.

“I wonder if they (the strikers) really understand the current context,” said Anne Yannic, director of SETE, the company that manages the tower.

Paris’s most famous landmark, the tower has seen visitors decline from about 7 million in 2015 to an estimated 6 million this year, and forecasts a corresponding 14 percent drop in revenue, Yannic told the Associated Press.


More Americans than ever before to travel this holiday season

More Americans than ever before will hit the roads, tracks and skies this holiday season for a record-breaking end to the year.

Automobile club AAA projects 103 million will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, a 1.5% increase over 2015. Lower gas prices and increased optimism about the economy are spurring the uptick, which marks the eighth straight year of holiday travel growth.

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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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