In brief: Airports face Irene flight backlog
US airports struggle to rebook passengers after Hurricane Irene wiped out their flight schedules, pilots avoid disaster when a Gulf Air flight skidded off the runway at India's Kochi Airport, Qantas apologises for a blackface stunt, a wild bear may have killed a hiker in Yellowstone, Dick Cheney reveals his unconscious travel dreams, reporters reveal the spot where a famous Windows wallpaper image was snapped, and more. Here are the stories travellers are buzzing about:
Airports cope with Irene flight cancellations
US airlines struggle to rebook passengers after having scrapped more than 11,000 flights this weekend in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. Airports in New York City reopened, which means that all East Coast airports have resumed operations. But delays, cancellations and confusion will continue. Fliers can only request a full cash refund if their flight is cancelled.
Gulf Air flight skids off the runway
This morning, at least seven passengers were injured when a Gulf Air flight carrying 137 skidded during a landing at Kochi Airport, reports the Times of India. The pilots blamed heavy rain, but a formal investigation is pending. Several Indian airports have been dealing with the effects of massive rainfall in the past several days.
Wild bear attack suspected in Yellowstone
Investigators at Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park suspect that a grizzly bear may be responsible for the death of a young hiker at the park, reports the AP. The hiker was found Friday morning on the Mary Mountain Trail, which runs 21 miles north of the Old Faithful geyser. Meanwhile, in other wild bear attack news: a 16-year old mauled in a polar bear attack in the Norwegian Arctic has shared his story with the public for the first time in London's Sunday Mirror.
Qantas says sorry for blackface stunt
Australia's largest national airline has been slammed for posting on Twitter a photo of two men in blackface. Qantas had run a Twitter competition promising tickets to an important Tri-Nations rugby match in New Zealand to the most inventive effort at showing their enthusiasm for the match. The winners Qantas picked wore black face paint and afro wigs in homage to one of the team's main players. But the costumes stirred controversy, and the airline apologised via its social networking account.
Dick Cheney's ultimate travel fantasy
After undergoing heart surgery in 2010, former vice president Dick Cheney was unconscious for weeks, according to his memoir In My Time. Cheney experienced a "prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers". This gives new meaning to the term "dream trip".
Location of famous Windows XP wallpaper image, revealed
Speaking of undisclosed locations: For many years, nearly every PC sold in the US carried the Windows XP default wallpaper image of a rolling green field. It turns out that the field was an actual place in Sonoma County, California, shot by an actual photographer in 1996. Yet today the field is nothing special to look at on Google Earth, according to the Next Web.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"Talk about awful timing -- flooding in Vermont, Catskills happening right at start of very important ($-wise) fall foliage tourism season."
-- @davidlandsel, aka David Landsel, long-time travel editor of the New York Post, commenting on the flooding related to Hurricane Irene. While media coverage has focused on the coasts, the hardest hit tourist areas have been in the mountains.