Travel News: December 5, 2017

Hollywood, Florida

Lufthansa becomes first European airline with 5-star Skytrax rating

Lufthansa has become the first European airline to receive the coveted 5-star Skytrax airline rating, it said on Monday, an accolade which it hopes will help it to continue achieving higher yields for its premium products.

The German carrier has been investing billions in renewing its fleet and improving its cabins as it seeks to win customers in a fiercely competitive market and achieve the highest Skytrax rating.

Currently no European airlines hold a 5-star Skytrax rating, with the accolade previously being held by nine carriers including Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, and Etihad Airways.


W Fort Lauderdale Debuts New Look with Drone Race
Travel Pulse

In case you’ve missed it, drone racing has apparently become the next “big thing.”

Some experts are even calling it a professional sport. Not convinced? According to UAV Expert News, the top drone pilot, Luke Bannister is earning up to six figures (and beyond) per year in prize money and sponsorships.

Presumably one of the secrets of success for a popular drone race would have to be an excellent setting with stunning views. Some crazy obstacles probably help add to the nail-biting good time as you follow your favorite pilot.

Which seemingly makes the beach in Fort Lauderdale, or specifically the newly renovated W Fort Lauderdale the ideal setting for such a race.

After completing its $55 million redo, the 517-room property turned to Emmy-nominated digital media brand What’s Trending and drone company Expert Drones to develop the all-new W Hotels Drone Dash.


American Airlines Is Putting a Ban on Some Smart Luggage
Condé Nast Traveler

High-tech suitcases that charge your phone, open at a single touch, and track your valuables may make traveling less anxiety-reducing (lost luggage worries, begone!), but they unleash a whole new risk for airlines, which is why American Airlines is imposing new rules on them.

Effective January 15, American Airlines won’t let passengers check their smart suitcases if the lithium-ion battery can’t be removed, the airline announced on Friday. “We’ve looked at the prevalence of these bags as they most likely are going to be a hot item, no pun intended, this holiday season,” a spokesperson for the airline told The New York Times. “Just make sure the battery is removable,” he continued. “If it’s not removable, we won’t be permitting it to fly in the cargo hold or in the cabin.”


Instagram Fights Animal Abuse With New Alert System
National Geographic

Instagram is rife with photos of cute wild animals—including the exotic and endangered. A picture of someone hugging a sloth or showing off a pet tiger cub is just a click away on the massively popular photo-sharing platform, which serves 800 million users.

But starting today, searches for a wide range of wildlife hashtags will trigger a notification informing people of the behind-the-scenes animal abuse that makes some seemingly innocent wildlife photos possible.

Instagram will now deliver a pop-up message whenever someone searches or clicks on a hashtag like “#slothselfie.” The message reads, in part, “You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”

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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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