Travel News: February 5, 2018

Queensland Australia

2 Amtrak workers killed, 116 hurt in South Carolina crash
Travel Weekly

An Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina early Sunday, killing two Amtrak crew members and injuring more than 110 people, authorities said. It was the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months.

The Silver Star was on its way from New York to Miami with nearly 150 people aboard around 2:45 a.m. when it plowed into the CSX train at an estimated 59 mph, Gov. Henry McMaster said. The crash happened around a switchyard about 10 miles south of Columbia.

The governor said investigators have yet to determine how the Amtrak train ended up on that stretch of track.


Richard Branson announces Virgin Hotel for Scotland in 2020
Dallas News

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson says Virgin Hotels plans to open a property in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2020.

It will be Virgin’s 10th hotel and its first in the United Kingdom.

The only Virgin Hotel opened so far is in Chicago. Others are planned for New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Palm Springs, Calif.


Airlines try and fail to raise fares as fuel-price threat looms

U.S. airlines are asking shareholders to believe they can raise ticket prices while ramping up the supply of seats. To Wall Street, that sounds like a fairy tale.

Six attempts at broad-based fare increases have failed in the last two months, most recently a bid by Delta Air Lines. The last successful widespread price hike was Oct. 10, said JPMorgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker, even as oil prices rebounded from a three-year slump.

That’s creating a confidence crisis for investors, who recently sent airlines to the biggest drop since 2015 when United Continental announced an aggressive expansion plan. The No. 3 U.S. carrier is hardly alone. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Air are also planning to grow faster than the economy.


Chris Hemsworth really, really wants you to visit Australia

Chris Hemsworth isn’t the only successful Aussie in Hollywood (Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie — the list goes on). But he just might be the proudest.

The star of “Thor” is the official celeb ambassador for Tourism Australia, and he’s more than just an award-winningly handsome face when it comes to repping travel to his home country.

During Super Bowl LII, as the Patriots and the Eagles battled for victory, a “Crocodile Dundee”-themed commercial for Australia starring Hemsworth and American actor Danny McBride became the first-ever tourism spot to air during the big game. (There was an ad for Ecuadorian tourism a few years ago, but it didn’t air in all markets.)

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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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