Heathrow is scolded for handling snow poorly, Boston learns to handle pet travel emergencies, China plans to ban smoking and more. Here are the top stories that travellers are buzzing about:

Investigators slam Heathrow over snow chaos
In a report released this morning, officials criticised Heathrow Airport for its response to a snowstorm last December, when the airport had to cancel about 4,000 flights. The Winter Resilience Enquiry Report places much of the blame on a lack of preparedness by BAA, the airport's operator. BAA plans to do better during future emergencies, BBC News reports.

Making travel safer for pets
Boston's Logan International is the only US airport that's prepared to cope with pet health emergencies. It routinely trains paramedics, firefighters and baggage handlers in how to handle ill and injured animals, reports The Wall Street Journal. This news means that Logan not only handles snowstorms better than Heathrow, it even does a better job of caring for pet emergencies, such as by providing CPR to four-legged passengers.

China to try to ban smoking in public
On 1 May, the nation plans to ban smoking in public areas, such as hotels, museums and restaurants, reports AFP. But the country's officials have not said if the law will be enforced with any fines. The Passport blog is amused to think China may impose a smoking ban before Germany does, given that many Germans style themselves as being world leaders in health-consciousness.

Simplifying family travel
Conde Nast Traveller's U.S. consumer editor Wendy Perrin offers The A-to-Z Guide to Traveling with Kids in the April issue, just published online. A favourite tip: find out which aircraft have personal TVs in coach to entertain the kids by going to SeatGuru.com.

The mega retweet
We scour Twitter and republish a standout travel tweet.

My first-hand account of the disturbing #NightingaleIsland oil spill w/ pictures http://ow.ly/4l4Vn (More images to follow).

-- @WheresAndrew (Andrew Evans)

Andrew Evans published this tweet during his trip to the Tristan Da Cunha island group "the remotest set of inhabited islands in the world" off the South Atlantic coast of Brazil. Evans came upon oil-slicked birds on one of the islands, Nightingale, which had been affected by a March 16 boat crash. Evans is tweeting about a globe-trotting trip for National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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