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It's springtime in the United States, which means it's also time for another round of travel freak-outs as storm clouds darken and rains dampen. Just in time, NBC News adds to the travel paranoia with a look at a phenomenon called "Dark Lightning."
Dark Lightning is an especially powerful version of that special onslaught of gamma rays experienced by air travelers, when an airplane passes through clouds containing this radiation. Not a whole lot is known about this Dark Lightning or its impact on a human, but then that's exactly why it's now being studied by Florida Institute of Technology physicist Joseph Dwyer.
Hong Kong in April. Victoria Harbour.
All this week we'll be answering the Who, What, Where, When, Whys and Hows of Hong Kong. Of course the answer to "WHO should go to Hong Kong" is YOU. Whether you've never been or you're a regular through Chek Lap Kok, this no-visa-required peninsula hanging off of China should absolutely your next stop.
Thinking of taking the leap and a long flight to visit Hong Kong? Excellent idea, but you should know that it is a destination with weather mood swings.
Hong Kong sits in the Northern Hemisphere, so the summer and winter coincide with that of New York or Europe. Still, when NY or London are being battered with below-freezing temps and blustery winds, HK is enjoying ideal weather with maybe a light jacket needed at night. To make sure you book that dream trip and have the best possible time, we've got some recommendations for when.
Winter Travel / JetBlue / Airline News / Snow Travel / JFK / BOS / Weather / → All Tags
We learned something very important these last few weeks, as did US travelers hoping to head into or out of the east coast. That lesson learned: never trust a groundhog who magically predicts weather.
After Punxsutawney Phil "declared" an early arrival of spring weather, Mother Nature revolted and dumped even more snow and cold on travel plans. Headlines like the USA Today one above just keep on coming.
Even as we type this, we sit in Amsterdam as it experiences historic levels of cold for late March. It's not supposed to be 32 F with a wind chill of 25 F and 30mph winds. We didn't pack for that!
So when will winter finally take its leave for the year? Even the airline big wigs are wondering the same, as JetBlue's COO Rob Maruster tweeted this morning:
Weather / Airline Industry / Travel Hell / Snow Travel / Travel Tips / Delays / Winter Travel / → All Tags
Good God in heaven. It's getting worse. 2,792 cancellation this morning have become 4,500 flights canceled since Thursday, with numbers still "likely to grow." As we told you this morning, the New York airports are pretty much shut down, and have now reached more than 1,800 total flights canceled today and another 640 shut down for tomorrow. In Boston Nemo is scoring a perfect 10/10 on the Weather Channel's Winter Impact Index. If you were thinking of traveling to New England in the near future, make other plans.
Also be ready to make other plans if you're traveling to any airports with airlines that have New England hubs. It's not just people trying to get to and from the East Coast any more. It's anyone who was going to pass through, or anyone who needed a plane that's currently there. Houston's already had 100 preemptive cancellations and Miami's up to 90. A "ripple effect," is how we believe the airline industry refers to it. Flightaware's cancellation page is where you want to go to see if you've been personally screwed by Nemo, or whether it's just everyone else in the country.
Weather / Delays / Travel News / Winter Travel / Snow Travel / Airports / → All Tags
Nemo's in town! No, we don't mean the clownfish from the cutesy Disney animated movie, but rather the Nor'easter storm hitting the East Coast this morning, given the name "Nemo" by The Weather Channel. Airlines have already canceled thousands of flights (2,792 according to a 9:30am update by FlightAware) and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have already announced that they're not taking it laying down; JFK Airport in particular has 900 tons of salt, 200 tons of sand, plenty of liquid de-icers, trucks, plows, blowers, and staff ready to beat Nemo's butt.
There's all of this focus on New York City and travelers stuck in the Big Apple's airports, which is understandable considering it's the city at the center of the world with major international flight connections, but let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks delayed at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from the East Coast as a whole.
It's that time of the year again, when Scandinavia touts its reindeer meat and hotels made of ice. Luckily they've got a few other good qualities to keep attracting tourists even in the depths of dark winter...like the Aurora Borealis!
We may have previously told you about viewing the phenomenon from a plane, and Finnair knows that their flights are the best for Northern Lights-spotting. That's why they not only wrote a giant blog post about how the Finns sometimes take it for granted, but they're reminding travelers what side of the plane to sit on for the best viewing (hint: whichever side will face north).
Some other Aurora Borealis tips from Finnair:
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / LGA / JFK / EWR / → All Tags
We have good news and bad news. The bad news first: airport operations are limited at all airports in the immediate NYC area, including the big three (JFK, LGA and EWR), but also Stewart and Teterboro. The good news: the airports are OPEN. YEEEHAWWW. Let's take a moment to recognize what airlines and flights got their sh*t together fastest and were first ones in, in a step towards resuming normal operations:
LaGuardia Airport: The last of the three major airports to reopen, LGA sustained the most overall flooding and resulting damage. Limited services began this morning, November 1, with a Delta flight from Syracuse. Even NY Governor Cuomo announced the arrival on his official Twitter, complete with the above Instagram.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Expedia / LGA / → All Tags
Photo source: shared by Jaunted tipster
Doubtless by now, you've seen every photo of major flooding in New York City that've gone from Instagram to Twitter, to the TV news networks. But we have another.
Above is a new photo of LaGuardia Airport, submitted by a Jaunted tipster. Taken by Blackberry this morning, the photo shows water levels nearly breaching the jetbridges of Terminal C (which used to be all US Airways and is now mostly Delta). There is flooding in the baggage rooms and other first-level areas. Though the water has receded, we're not sure how far; regardless the airports are going to have much larger problems than just worrying about how their employees will get to work without public transportation, some bridges and tunnels.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Space Shuttle / Enterprise / → All Tags
Commercial airplanes may have escaped damage from Hurricane Sandy by canceling flights early enough on Sunday and Monday to get themselves off the east coast tarmacs to safer (and mostly warmer) climes, but one bird that's no longer able to fly sat scarily exposed on the deck of the Intrepid Museum aircraft carrier, floating in the Hudson River at Manhattan's west side docks.
She's the NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise, and though Sandy seems to have spared her dock-neighbor, the British Airways Concorde G-BOAD, the spacecraft didn't fare so nicely.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Expedia / Travel Booking Sites / → All Tags
Now that Hurricane Sandy is upon the East Coast and canceling flights in droves, we're dedicating today to using all our travel know-how (and some on-the-fly advice, as half the Jaunted team is stuck at airports as well) to help you ride out the storm despite delayed travel. Stay tuned and stay safe!
Now, a first-person account from one of our writers who's stuck in the rebooking mess:
When I heard that United was offering free schedule changes for proactive travelers willing to postpone their flights a few days due to Hurricane Sandy, it was an absolute no-brainer. For one, I'm currently in sunny Santa Barbara where the weather has been beautiful, so if I'm stuck, so be it. Why the hell would I want to go east when the storm's a-coming? You know what I mean?
Perhaps more relevant to my decision was the fact that there would no doubt be cancellations all across the board Monday and Tuesday. My first piece of advice to people, especially those who aren't thrilled about airline travel to begin with, is to take initiative when it comes to your itinerary.
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Delays / Weather / Airports / Airport News / Floods / JFK / LGA / New York City / → All Tags
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) mid-day today:
LaGuardia airport runways are being flooded from flushing bay
- FDNY Incidents, on Facebook
Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc on the famous too. The storm has caused all major NYC productions and Broadway shows to go dark today, including Jimmy Kimmel's first live show from BAM, and screwing up plenty of travel plans.
Here's a look at what some celebs are Tweeting about Sandy: