Tropical storm Emily is forming, Venice is levying an extra hotel tax to keep the city afloat, Airbnb issues apology, amends its policies, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Airbnb issues apology, $50,000 insurance
The rental site, which directly connects property
owners with renters, issued yesterday what many deemed was a long-overdue
apology and announced changes to its
policies — including a $50,000 insurance guarantee — in light of a recent
incident, TechCrunch reports. The company was widely criticized for its
handling of a highly publicized issue in which a woman’s home was ransacked and
essentially destroyed by guests who arranged their stay there through Airbnb.com. Gawker posted about additional Airbnb horrors.
Tropical storm develops in Caribbean
Tropical storm Emily began to form in the Caribbean
yesterday, and nearby areas are under a tropical watch. Meteorologists expect
tropical storm conditions to materialize over the next few days, CNN
reports. The storm signals the start of peak hurricane season, which is expected
to be more intense than last year.
Venice to tax tourists
To offset the sinking city’s maintenance costs, guests
staying at five-star hotels in Venice will pay
an extra tax of 4.50 euros starting 24 August, Time reports. Guests at
less-pricey hotels will pay reduced rates. Taxes will be levied primarily
during high season when the city sees up to 60,000 visitors per day.
Two sisters kicked off Southwest flight for
Southwest Airlines’ customer service track record
keeps taking hits. First employees kicked off overweight passengers like Kevin
Smith, then one of the pilots went on an offensive rant, and now yesterday, two
sisters flying to see their father who had just suffered a heart attack were
kicked off the plane. Jezebel
reports the women were booted for crying, though after a verbal altercation
between one of the sisters and a flight attendant, the attendant assumed the
woman was drunkenly crying.
“The hotel’s 100 permanent residents will be allowed
to stay, but they have been told nothing beyond what the startled hotel workers
learned late last week: that all reservations after Saturday were cancelled”.
–The culturally historic Chelsea Hotel, favoured
lodgings of such legends as Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, shuttered
for an indefinite amount of time over the weekend. It is still unknown what
will come of the place, the New York Times reports.
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