In brief: Record snow halts New Zealand travel
US carriers to consider cutting flights, record snow halts New Zealand travel, Liverpool puts in bid to host "turnaround" cruises, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
US airlines may have to reduce flights
The faltering economy has made consumers more hesitant to spend money, and as fuel prices rise and the end of the peak tourist season approaches, US carriers may have to cut back on flights. Airlines have raised fares on domestic flights at least eight times this year, but have failed in their most recent attempts to hike prices. The current climate likely will make it difficult for airlines to raise fares again any time soon, so carriers could look to save money by reducing flight frequencies, cutting some routes and replacing smaller planes with larger ones, all of which reduce available seat capacity, Bloomberg reports.
New Zealand experiences “once-in-a-lifetime” snowfall
Travel in the air and on the ground has been halted in much of the country, as the worst snowstorm in decades has hit both islands. Flights at Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin have been cancelled, with around 150 passengers stranded at Dunedin Airport overnight. A reported 8mm of covered the runways at Christchurch airport, snow and ice have forced the closure of roads throughout the country, and thousands of people have lost power. Snow even reached downtown Aukland for the first time since the 1930s. The cold spell is expected to continue through Thursday.
Liverpool fighting for bigger share of cruise market
The UK's lucrative cruise industry could experience a shakeup if Liverpool gets its way. Liverpool has put in a bid to transition its cruise terminal -- currently permitted for only "port-of-call" visits -- into a port with the ability to host cruises for "turnaround" trips, meaning ships could begin and end their journeys there. Other port owners fear that this would give Liverpool an unfair competitive advantage in the £2bn industry, as a significant number of ships could change their routes to take advantage of one of the few cities in the world where liners can berth near the city centre, the Guardian reports.
"It is a dismal experience that you simply put up with because you have to get from point A to point B. It used to be the part of the trip you looked forward to. As an industry, we've found a way to beat that joy of flying out of people."
-Virgin America CEO David Cush, in an Associated Press article that explores how air travel has changed since 9/11. Changes for the worse include less legroom, more fees, worse service and, of course, those irksome security lines.