International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
TripAdvisor out on its own, iPads headed for Australian cockpits, Fukushima crisis could affect electric cars and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Qantas cockpits could receive iPads
While Australian budget airline Jetstar Airways finalises plans to provide passengers with iPads for in-flight entertainment, its partner airline Qantas could be one step closer to using Apple's tablets in the cockpit, Australian Business Traveller reports. Like most airlines, Qantas still uses voluminous paper manuals and reference materials, so replacing the papers with iPads could make searching through materials easier for pilots.
Last month, the FAA approved the use of iPads in test projects on some charter flights in the US. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, that could be a stepping stone for US commercial airlines to gain approval to use the lightweight tablet in favour of paper or heavy computers. It could also make flight materials the latest in a line of items to be replaced by the iPad.
Passport day is Saturday
If you're a citizen of the US, don't forget: tomorrow is Passport Day. For one day only, passport offices in 26 cities will be providing assistance for passport applications with no appointment, making it easier for people who work throughout the week. So if you don't already have a passport or you need one renewed, head to the passport office and start travelling (unless the government shuts down, in which case there will be no Passport Day).
Expedia and TripAdvisor split company in two
While the deal is still subject to final approval, Expedia announced yesterday it plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies, putting TripAdvisor out on its own in the public market.
If all goes according to plan, Expedia will remain packaged with Hotwire, Hotels.com and several other of its businesses. Trip Advisor will be grouped with 18 other companies in the TripAdvisor Media Network, including AirfareWatchdog and CruiseCritic, Tnooz reports.
While Expedia earns the majority of the profits, analysts believe the move might help TripAdvisor flourish, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, since the announcement, Expedia shares rose more than 13% in after-hours trading.
Fukushima crisis might change direction of electric cars
The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could have unknown consequences for the future of electric and hybrid cars, the BBC reports. Japanese car makers have been the leaders in research and development of such vehicles, and the government has offered consumers considerable incentives to drive them. But electric and hybrid cars require nuclear power in order for them to fulfil their objective of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. After the Fukushima crisis, countries could reconsider nuclear energy, which may impede progress on the vehicles.
However, turning away from nuclear power, combined with high oil prices, might also cause governments to focus on solar and wind energy, analysts say, which could be a positive in the long run.
The mega retweet
We scour Twitter and publish a standout travel tweet.
"The TSA: saving us from terrorists AND tacky souvenirs http://on.fb.me/efb3qv"
Vagabond and travel blogger Gary Arndt tweeted a picture of this rather comical sign at the security checkpoint before boarding his latest flight.