In brief: A round-up of today's news
SAS diverts a plane to save a flier's eyesight, the EU may change passenger’s rights, the Chinese version of The Grand Tour and more. Here are the stories travellers are buzzing about now:
SAS diverts a flight to save a passenger's eyesight
Imagine you live in remote town in Norway, and you need emergency, same-day surgery to save your eyesight. Then your flight to the city where the hospital is located gets cancelled. What to do? Well, yesterday that happened to a Norwegian woman in real life, and she begged the airline in question, SAS, to act fast. So it put her on another aircraft on the route and flew her right away, reports Norway's TV 2. The passenger made it to Bergen in time for the surgery. No word yet on the outcome, but kudos to SAS for going the extra mile.
EU launches an overhaul of passenger rights laws
European Union officials say they will revise laws protecting stranded passengers within the next year, reports the Financial Times. A key change may spare airlines the full cost of looking after fliers grounded by "exceptional circumstances", such as blizzards.
Since 2004, EU law has required carriers to pay for the feeding and housing of stranded passengers. The required compensation value ranges from €250 ($335) to €600 ($870). But a year of blizzards, air traffic control strikes and a volcanic ash cloud has caused airlines to complain about the financial burden. So the European Union is likely to shift the cost to governments and, hence, taxpayers.
Last week, low-cost carrier Ryanair debuted a €2 ($2.90) surcharge to offset the costs it claims to bear under this law. It's the first airline to take such a step, says the Wall Street Journal.
Europe on 1,500 yuan a day
"The Grand Tour has been a tradition of newly rich countries ever since young British aristocrats took to the Continent in the eighteenth century, picking up languages, antiques, and venereal disease," writes Evan Osnos in the 18 April issue of The New Yorker (posted online yesterday). So what is the Chinese version of The Grand Tour like? To find out, Osnos tags along with 37 young Chinese elites during a five-country, 10-day vacation. He writes: when this group thinks of Europe, they think of "poor-quality Chinese food", a giant "culture" thing called Europe instead of "sub-brands" like Italy and France, and bizarre local practises such as sunbathing to get a tan.
Video: One plane clips another on the tarmac
At New York's JFK Airport on Monday night, the wingtip of a taxiing Airbus 380, the super jumbo jet, clipped the tail of a regional jet. No one was hurt. NBC's local New York City affiliate has the video.
The mega retweet
We scour Twitter to find standout travel tweets. Here's today pick:
"If you're looking for a bit of escapism this weekend, er, you might try something other than 'Gulliver's Travels'"