In brief: Flight cancellations due to volcanic ash begin
Thousands face volcanic ash cloud flight cancellations, hotels will soon have a new tool to fight bedbugs, Good Samaritan doctors complain about poorly stocked medical kits on aeroplanes, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Flights in Scottish airspace are cancelled
Ash continues to drift eastward from an erupting volcano in Iceland, and many airlines are refusing to fly through Scottish airspace for safety reasons. But flights may resume within a day or two as the air clears, though other routes in the UK may be affected within the next 48 hours, reports BBC News. Stranded passengers can find their EU rights listed here.
The battle against bedbugs takes a new twist
Many travellers fear being bitten by bedbugs at their hotels, but hotels don't reveal how widespread these pests are, for obvious reasons. New York City hotels may be the most vulnerable to infestation among all US cities, due to the high count of incidents citywide, according to a new survey by pest-control company Terminex that was reported this morning by USA Today. So what to do? Popular Science has awarded an innovation award for an electronic device that can locate the bloodsuckers more quickly, cheaply and accurately than other methods, thanks to new sensors. The device is set to go on sale later this year under the name Bedbug Detective for about $200. Hotels may be able to use it to combat bedbugs more effectively.
"Is there a doctor on the plane?"
It's luck of the draw if you fall critically ill on a flight. Airlines in the US are not required to have standardised medical equipment, such as a defibrillator or a specified number of latex gloves. In many cases, doctors acting as Good Samaritans have to work with limited equipment, says The New York Times. Nobody knows how many in-flight medical emergencies happen in the US because the government doesn't track such figures. "We know more about animals that die on aeroplanes than we do about people," says the author of a recent paper on the topic in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Air France black box: Captain wasn't in the cockpit
Investigators studying the recordings from Air France Flight 447's final four minutes in the air reveal the senior pilot rushed into the cockpit well after the trouble started, sources tell Der Spiegel. The plane had been flying under the control of co-pilots while the captain, Marc Dubois, was apparently on a routine rest break. This Friday, investigators are scheduled to give their first report on the causes of the fatal crash, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"For accurate #ashcloud updates follow @eurocontrol, came into its own last year with some great tweeting. Best resource out there."