Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.


Breaking travel news for travellers

This week US carriers cancelled nearly 20,000 flights because of “Superstorm Sandy”. Our most re-tweeted hurricane-themed item was: “Gate C34 at LaGuardia Airport in NYC is ready to accept boats.”

Today airlines look to resume full flight schedules at New York City airports.

BBC Travel expresses its condolences to anyone who lost a loved one during this week’s tragedy.

In-flight entertainment       
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week

This week Air New Zealand revealed its Hobbit-themed in-flight safety video, which stars characters from the upcoming movie The Hobbit. During the four and a half minute short video, various minor figures from the Lord of the Rings series pop up, teaching passengers about emergency procedures. Director Peter Jackson, Gollum and JRR Tolkien’s great-grandsons Mike and Royd Tolkien all do funny turns on camera. It may become the one safety video to rule them all.

One of our most re-tweeted items of the week was of a gorgeous video of Iceland’s loveliest summer scenes. The wanderlust-inspiring five-minute film has been viewed more than 300,000 times. [Vimeo]

FlightRadar24 tracks all of the world’s commercial flights on online maps. BBC Travel reader Tomas Longa pointed out to us that you can see a Google Earth flight simulation of any flight by clicking on any aeroplane icon on a map and then selecting "cockpit view.” (Users must download a plug-in from Google first). [Arctic Startup]

Amazing things that should happen more often

Young British couple Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant are travelling the world in a van and getting married everywhere they go. In the past year and a half, they’ve gotten married 26 times, in places as diverse as Peru and Hawaii. [Buzzfeed]

Party with a Local is a new app for Android and Apple devices that aims to connect travellers for fun. But that begs a question: Would you use an app to meet strangers while on vacation? [Party with a Local]

Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

North Korea says that it will open the world's tallest hotel next year, with help from the luxury German hotel brand Kempinski, which runs other famous properties like Berlin’s Hotel Aldon. The Pyongyang Ryugyong Hotel, described as the “worst building in the history of mankind”, has stood vacant in Pyongyang for 25 years. It’s unclear who will be visiting it when it finally opens. [Bloomberg Businessweek; Esquire; The Telegraph]

SAS, an airline jointly owned by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, has been unprofitable since 2007. Its parent company, SAS Group, said this week that it will cut costs to survive. [Bloomberg]

It’s a no-go

The new Dutch government has scrapped legislation that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam's marijuana cafes. No word yet on how the government plans to respond to the rise in organised crime around the trade. [AP]

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