In brief: A 116-day rowboat journey across the Indian Ocean
New trusted-traveller program will only benefit a select few, first people-to-people visitors to Cuba have mixed reactions, Britons narrowly escape the final day of a 3,200-mile journey across the Indian Ocean, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
JetBlue pilots vote against union representation
The 58% majority of JetBlue pilots who voted against joining a union helped the carrier retain its status as the biggest US airline without an organised labour group. Avoiding union costs has helped JetBlue keep expenses below many of its competitors throughout the 11-year history of the company, Bloomberg reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, the airline has never furloughed pilots or administered pay cuts, measures many other airlines have taken during times of financial constraint.
New trusted-traveller program will only benefit a select few
The first phase of the TSA's new trusted-traveller program — meant to reduce security lines in the United States for those deemed worthy — is set to kick of this fall, but only a select few will avoid removing their shoes and laptops, Chris Elliott reports. The program, which will only be available in Atlanta, Detroit, Miami and Dallas in its initial phase, will also only be available for elite frequent fliers with American Airlines and Delta, as well as members of other programs like Global Entry. Eventually, the program might open up to all air passengers, but with added costs of a possible $100 application fee and potential pre-flight fingerprints or iris scans. Welcome to the future of air travel.
First Americans to visit Cuba have mixed reactions
The first American travellers to travel to Cuba as part of the new people-to-people tours have shown mixed reactions to the orphanages, medical facilities, art museums, music performances and tobacco farms they have visited (sunbathing on the Caribbean beaches is not allowed). While some people have enjoyed experiencing a long-forbidden culture, "some people feel horrible that getting coffee is a struggle and food stuff is hard [to find] and that there's two economies and that a doctor has to drive a taxi to supplement his income," Insight Cuba's Tom Popper told Reuters.
"It was a wall of water. It just seemed to black out the sky. We knew we were going to get rolled. When it hit us it was a turmoil of white water. Our oars were gone, we were thrown overboard, everything was ripped apart. We just thought we were going to die."
- James Adair, who paddled alongside Ben Stenning as the first pair to row the 3,200 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean unsupported. They are only the third pair in history to complete the task with or without support, BBC News reports, and they barely survived. On the final day of the 116-day journey, their boat capsized in sight of shore, and a flotilla of Mauritian rescue boats came to the rescue.