Flooding in Jakarta, January 17, 2013.
Flooding in Jakarta, January 17, 2013.

Here are some of the relevant travel news headlines and stories from the previous week:

  • Delta Airlines introduces new threshold to meet for elite status – Coming in 2014, Delta frequent fliers who would like to earn elite status must meet a new monetary spend threshold, called MQDs (Medallion Qualification Dollars), in addition to meeting the necessary amount of either segments or miles flown. (Dauntless Jaunter)
  • Boeing’s 787 nightmare won’t end anytime soon – Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner plane, said to be the most technologically-advanced, has been pulled from service in the United States by the FAA until they can have more certainty that the spate of mechanical problems has been addressed. Japan’s two major airlines pulled their Dreamliners from service as well, and other airlines might follow suit. (NYT)
  • New awards programs for Amtrak passengers – Amtrak’s most loyal (and those with the highest expenditures) customers have a new awards programs in store for them now. (In Transit Blog)
  • Jakarta still flooded, tourists and residents shut out – Jakarta, the large capital city of Indonesia, is continuing to struggle with major flooding. (Dauntless Jaunter)
  • Cuba eased travel restrictions on its citizens – After decades, Cuba has eased travel restrictions in order to maintain connections with the many Cubans living abroad. (NYT)
  • Beijing finally approved to get new airport – Beijing Capital International Airport, ranked recently as the world’s 2nd busiest airport, will be getting backup soon; the Beijing government has approved a new $11.2 billion airport, scheduled to open in 2018. (NYC Aviation)
  • TSA will remove “naked body” scanners – After strong criticism by passengers in the United States, the Transportation Security Administration will remove its full body image scanners by June. (CNN)
  • Loganair will continue to operate the “world’s shortest flight” – Scottish Airline Loganair will continue to hold the title for operating the world’s shortest flight, started in 1967. The flight is for 8 people, costs $30 (£21), and flies a distance of about a mile in about 47 seconds, from Westray to the Papa Westray Islands. (Travelers Today)

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