Thursday, December 27, 2007

Travel Stories 2007

It's been yet another busy year for travel. Countless new hotels and resorts opened around the world, new domestic and international airlines debuted, and technical innovations further transformed an already shifting industry.
I have compiled some interesting stories from travel site, here you go:

1. To kick off 2007, Cambodia took a big step at grabbing some of its neighbors' tourism bucks: Unused for 40 years, a Soviet-built airport in the port town of Sihanoukville was renovated and re-opened, ready for international service.
2. Also in January, Southwest Airlines nearly killed a hepatitis-C patient awaiting a liver transplant because he refused to purchase an extra ticket (due to his weight). Southwest later apologized and issued a refund.
3. A team of explorers from Great Britain and Canada reached the geographic center of Antarctica -- on foot, unassisted.
4. In February, JetBlue famously stranded passengers on the runway, instantly catapulting the low-cost airline into the national news cycle as scapegoat for all long-delay airlines. In a video released on YouTube, CEO David G Neeleman described himself as "humiliated and mortified" by the snafu that left some customers stuck in their seats for 11 hours. Cancelled flights will eventually exceed 1000 for the month, costing JetBlue as much as $30 million in refunds, vouchers and overtime.
5. In March, Las Vegas strip symbol and erstwhile mafia hangout Stardust Resort & Casino was razed to make room for a new casino.
6. Thai Airways switched nearly all of its flights to Don Muang, the old airport; a flight from Jakarta crashed upon landing, killing 32 of its passengers. Other crashes would make the news throughout the year: In May, 114 perished when a Kenya Airways plane fell in Cameroon; 87 souls were lost when their plane crashed while attempting to land in bad weather in Phuket, Thailand; in November, a Turkish passenger jet crashed in the mountains, killing all 57 aboard.
7. The Glasgow airport was closed on June 30 due to an incident involving car bombs.
8. On 7-7-7 (that's July 7, 2007), the new Seven Wonders of the World were announced. The Great Pyramid at Giza was the only Ancient Wonder to make the cut.
9. On 7-8-7, Boeing introduced its new Dreamliner 787, said to be the most environmentally friendly aircraft in the world. It's made entirely of carbon Fiber and uses 20 percent less fuel than other jet in its class.
10. In October, the gargantuan Airbus 380 finally took its first commercial flight, from Singapore to Sydney on behalf of Singapore Airlines. Also, a transit strike crippled Paris.

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