Las Vegas Nevada from the sky

5 Cool Things to do in Vegas that Don’t Involve Casinos

Las Vegas promises to keep your secrets as you enjoy a good time, but not all the fun is found in the strip bars, raunchy shows and casinos. If you are looking for cool things to do in Las Vegas that don’t involve gambling, drinking or other events that could lead to trouble, there are More »

Travel-Insurance-UK-Infographic.jpg

INFOGRAPHIC: Travel Insurance in the UK

Travel Insurance in the UK Did you know that Brits are more likely to make a claim on their travel insurance in Spain than in any other place in the world? Or that women are more likely than men to take out travel insurance? Or that almost half of the folks in the UK don’t More »

Green Vervet Monkey, The Gambia

Getaway to The Gambia

Often overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of more well-trodden African countries, the tiny finger-shaped nation of The Gambia is finally starting to come into its own. Nicknamed “The Smiling Coast of Africa” (although some would argue it resembles more of a moustache), The Gambia is one of the safest places in Africa to More »

Tag Archives: travel news

‘Hobbit’s’ Peter Jackson, Gollum in travel video

Air New Zealand

Peter Jackson.

Passengers on Air New Zealand won’t be sitting through a very dull safety video — instead they’ll see a clip that features Gollum crawling through the aisles and Peter Jackson finding the One Ring on the cabin floor.

PHOTOS: The Hard Road to “The Hobbit”

The airline company has debuted a Middle Earth inspired safety clip that was produced in partnership with Weta Workshop, which created the special effects for the “Lord of the Rings” films and the forthcoming “Hobbit” prequels.

The safety video, titled “An Unexpected Briefing” — a reference to the first Hobbit film titled “An Unexpected Journey” — features an aircraft pilot outfitted as a Grey wizard, an elf explaining how emergency oxygen masks work, passengers trying to pronounce “Mordor,” and even Jackson uttering the infamous phrase “my precious” to the ring.

COVER STORY: “The Hobbit”: Inside Peter Jackson and Warner Bros.’ $1 Billion Gamble

“To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special and Sir Peter Jackson delivers a superb cameo,” said Mike Tod, Air New Zealand’s General Manager of Marketing and Communications, in a press release

The “Rings” films have been filmed in New Zealand, and the country has capitalized on the franchise’s popularity, calling itself the “Home of Middle Earth” on its official tourism site. 

Watch the video!

Related content:

More in TODAY Entertainment:

Commuters face obstacles and long lines in New York

Brendan Smialowski / AFP – Getty Images

People board the NY Waterways ferry with the Manhattan skyline in the background Nov. 1, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Seth Wenig / AP

Commuters wait in a line to board busses into Manhattan in front of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. The line stretched twice around the arena and commuters reported wait times of one to three hours to get on a bus.

Andrew Gombert / EPA

Commuters wait in line to board buses to Manhattan outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 1.

Andrew Gombert / EPA

Commuters wait in line to board buses to Manhattan outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 1.

Andrew Gombert / EPA

Commuters cram onto a bus to Manhattan outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 1.

Jason Decrow / AP

Motorists sit in heavy traffic while crossing the Robert F. Kennedy Triboro Bridge during the morning rush, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in the Queens borough of New York.

Richard Drew / AP

Morning commuters ride a downtown-bound, west side subway train toward New York’s Times Square, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. New York City moved closer to resuming its frenetic pace by getting back some of its vital subways.

CX Matiash / AP

A timetable board displays continued cancellations at Penn Station in New York as MTA resumed limited service on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

Commuters heading into New York City from the five boroughs faced a longer commute than normal, with long lines, crowded buses, trains and highways. Though some subway service was restored, much of lower Manhattan was still without power and without service. Many of the bridges and tunnels were reopened, but not all, and commuters were faced with a new rule for drivers – cars crossing into Manhattan must carry three passengers. Tolls and fares were suspended in order to encourage people to take public transportation following the gridlock on Wednesday. New Jersey Transit was shut down as were many train lines running through Penn Station, one of the biggest transportation hubs in the area, which remained virtually empty. Full story

Video: Traffic snarl seen in aerial view of New York

Video: ‘Unwatering’ team is drying NYC subway tunnels

Video: Northeast airports reopen with limited service

 

/

Superstorm Sandy made landfall Monday evening on a destructive and deadly path across the Northeast.

Launch slideshow

Major airports around NYC up and running, albeit slowly

1 hr.

Video: Northeast airports reopen with limited service

Days after Superstorm Sandy turned flying into a waiting game, airports into hotels and runways into rivers, travelers are on the move again as the word “canceled” began disappearing from flight status boards.

All three New York-area airports are finally back in service and gradually returning to normal.

LaGuardia reopened on Thursday morning after flooding from Sandy forced its closure at the height of the storm, with water right up to the jet bridges. Carriers will be providing limited service, the Port Authority of New York New Jersey cautioned.

“It’s been a mess here over the last few days and today, it’s going to be slow going,” NBC News’ Tom Costello said on the TODAY show.

“The airlines have to fly planes in before they can fly planes out … (and) a big problem has been getting the employees to the airport because many employees have been stuck.”

John F. Kennedy International and Newark International are open for a second day, but flight service is still not fully restored and varies by carrier. If you have a flight scheduled at any of the New York-area airports, officials are strongly urging you to check the status with your airline before heading out.

Airlines canceled about 600 flights on Thursday, according to FlightAware.com. That’s relatively few compared to earlier in the week when thousands of flights were being scrubbed each day. In all, carriers have canceled about 20,000 flights since Sunday, when the storm began to menace the Northeast.

“Barring any unforeseen airport damage or operational issues, such as the ability for staff to get to the airport, road warriors should pretty much be back in business on Monday,” said Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com.

“The trend in cancellations since Monday is a hockey stick in the downward direction.”

Delta is near its full usual schedule at JFK International on Thursday and expects to operate 50 percent of its schedule at LaGuardia.

United has increased its operations at JFK International and Newark Liberty and is offering limited flights at LaGuardia.

American Airlines is flying a full schedule at JFK and about 70 percent of its schedule at LaGuardia and Newark. The carrier is also operating additional flights into JFK to help passengers impacted by cancellations earlier in the week.

JetBlue is operating 80 percent of its total schedule, aiming to return to 100 percent by Saturday. All JetBlue flights originally scheduled to depart from LaGuardia on Thursday will depart instead from JFK International. The airline expects to resume service at LaGuardia on Friday.

Getting around in New York remains a problem as the city struggles to restore subway service. To avoid gridlock in the Big Apple, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a transportation emergency and announced that fares on all mass transit will be suspended for Thursday and Friday.

Related: Commuters face obstacles and long lines in New York

“We want to get people back to work, but we are asking our customers for patience and understanding as they confront crowding and long lines as we repair our system,” said Joseph Lhota, chairman and CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“Be flexible about your travel times. We have come a long way in a short time to repair the damage from the most devastating event to strike our transportation system.”

Limited subway service began in the Big Apple on Thursday morning, but there is almost no subway activity below 34th Street, Costello said.

“That has been a real problem for folks in New York City,” he added. “If you are driving into Manhattan, the mayor has ordered that you cannot be in a car with fewer than three people.”

Meanwhile, car rental companies are reporting unusual activity in the wake of the storm, with travelers desperate to get moving.

“It’s people saying, ‘I’m stuck, I’ve got to get out of here’,” said Richard Broome, a spokesman for Hertz.

The company estimates it will have rented 10,000 cars one-way from the storm-affected area, compared to a few hundred — at most — reservations of this type at this time of the year, Broome said. It means lots of people are picking up a car at one location and dropping it off at another far

“For this kind of activity, you only see it during truly catastrophic events. Major natural disasters and, for example, 9/11,” Broome said.

16 hrs.

Cars line up for gas at the New Jersey Turnpike's Thomas A. Edison service area Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, near Woodbridge, N.J. After Monday's storm s...

New Jersey investigating reports of price gouging

19 hrs.

Turnstiles

Subway-dependent businesses see traffic slow to halt 

Close post

4 workers hospitalized after fall at Miami airport

4 hrs.

Four workers were hospitalized after they fell from a scissor lift at Miami International Airport Wednesday morning, aviation and fire rescue officials said.

The workers, employees of Commercial Jet, were doing maintenance work on an airplane inside their hangar when they fell, Miami-Dade Aviation spokesman Greg Chin said.

All four were taken to a nearby hospital but one of the employees had a more serious injury than the others, Chin said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials confirmed the injuries but didn’t give any other details.

More from NBC6.com:

Close post

Fed up with waiting, air travelers rush rental car counters

12 hrs.

As hundreds of thousands of fliers still stranded by Superstorm Sandy struggle to get home or resume their disrupted itineraries, many are getting frustrated with air travel and turning to four-wheel transportation options.

Car rental companies are reporting unusual activity in the wake of the storm, with travelers desperate to get moving.

“It’s people saying, ‘I’m stuck, I’ve got to get out of here’,” said Richard Broome, a spokesman for Hertz.

The company estimates it will have rented 10,000 cars one-way from the storm-affected area, compared to a few hundred — at most — reservations of this type at this time of the year, Broome said. It means lots of people are picking up a car at one location and dropping it off at another far away, a shift from the typical car rental.

“For this kind of activity, you only see it during truly catastrophic events. Major natural disasters and, for example, 9/11,” Broome said.

Hertz has a very large number of reservations in New York, but it doesn’t physically have enough cars in the city to handle them, he added. The company is moving the cars in as quickly as it can. Orbitz is reporting a 14 percent spike in car rental rates in the Big Apple compared to last week, an indication of increased demand.

For travelers who either couldn’t get a rental car or who are waiting for a flight, there was some good news on Wednesday: JFK and Newark airports provided limited air service. Travelers should check with their airlines before heading to the airport and should take precautionary measures as terminals may have limited food and concessions.

LaGuardia remained closed Wednesday and was described by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as having suffered “extensive damage.” It will open on Thursday and offer limited service, according to an e-mail alert from the airport.

Video: Stranded travelers ‘not going to get next flight’

Robert Reid is among the many stranded travelers waiting to return home after the storm. On Wednesday, he was in Bogota, Colombia, preparing to fly back to JFK International after Sandy unexpectedly extended his trip to Ecuador by several days. His original flight would have put him in New York on Monday just as the hurricane was arriving, so he was relieved when it was canceled. Reid used the delay to relax in Quito.

“These are crazy times,” said Reid, who is the U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet. “(But) I can’t complain. I was lucky. I’d rather spend a few bonus days in the Andes with hot chocolate cafes than be stuck back in New York.”

Carriers have canceled more than 19,500 flights since Sunday, according to FlightAware.com. Almost 3,000 flights were scrubbed today, with LaGuardia accounting for most of them.

Flooded subway tunnels and train tracks in New York are having an impact on carriers who may have planes ready to go but whose pilots, flight attendants, gate agents and other employees are having a hard time getting to the airport.

Limited subway service will be restored to 14 of 23 lines on Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced.

Video: Aerials: LaGuardia tarmac flooded by Sandy

For airlines, it will probably take at least until this weekend for the domestic backlog to sort out, said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. It could take a bit longer for people stranded in Asia and Europe who are trying to come back to the U.S., depending on the number of flights and seats available.

“But we will see many people deciding not to begin outward journeys or postponing non-essential outbound trips until after the mess clears up, so that will help,” Hobica said.

The big job now for airlines is to assess the damage and regroup:

  • Delta resumed about 50 percent of its schedule at JFK on Wednesday. It expects to resume operations at LaGuardia on Thursday.;
  • United resumed inbound flights to JFK and Newark on Wednesday afternoon;
  • American Airlines plans to operate limited flights into JFK on Wednesday evening and will resume flying out of JFK, LaGuardia and Newark on Thursday morning;
  • JetBlue saw its first arrival at JFK International on Wednesday morning and is looking at a phased return to service. There still will be no JetBlue departures from JFK until Thursday when the airline plans on operating at about 50 percent of its schedule. The airline plans to resume flights at Newark on Thursday.

Airlines will use bigger planes and add more flights to speed things up if they can, said Brett Snyder, who runs the Cranky Concierge air travel assistance service.

“It could have been a lot worse, but this is a lower demand travel time so there is more slack in the system to recover than you’d find around the holidays,” he said.

Click here for full coverage of Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath.

41 days

Best apps and websites for travelers

7 hrs.

Turnstiles

Subway-dependent businesses see traffic slow to halt 

Close post