Travelers' Aid: Airline Strike Update, Hoof and Mouth in the UK, and Space Tourism
Some airline strike notes: Delta's agreement with its pilots - reached last week in Atlanta - will make them the highest paid in the industry. Seems like every airline is now pushing the envelope on employee pay, and I wonder what affect this is going have on ticket prices. Nevertheless, United and American (the world's two largest airlines) are remaining sources for strikes this summer.
Over in the United Kingdom, some good and bad news regarding the hoof and mouth outbreak. First the good: attempts to stem the outbreak appear to be working. The number of new hoof and mouth infections are down - way down - and the UK is relaxing many livestock and travel restrictions. Most National Trust and English Heritage historical sites are re-opening.
The bad? This week, despite all assurances against it happening, we have what appear to be human cases of hoof and mouth. Three workers handling infected animal carcasses have come down with hoof and mouth-like symptoms - a slight fever and sores inside their mouths. Now we needn't worry, these cases occurred after direct, intimate contact with infected animals' body fluids. Unless you're planning to visit British slaughter houses, hoof and mouth is not a health concern.
Now, not counting the animals, the biggest victim of the hoof and mouth outbreak continues to British tourism. There are some good websites if you are planning a trip to Britain: travelbritain.org and English-Heritage.org.uk. They both feature the latest Hoof and Mouth news.
Dennis Tito has done it. He's received permission to visit the International Space Station - but only after last week agreeing to a few stipulations. There'll be no lawsuits if he gets hurt, and he must buy anything he breaks.
Now Tito's already shelling out a cool $20 million to the Russians just for the ride up. So, I called NASA to try to figure out what his total bill might be. They told me it's hard to gauge: they bill by module - not individual part. But, for example: should Tito slip and fall on the "Canadarm" - that's the Canadian Robot Arm - he's facing a $1.4 billion dollar, Canadian, fine. The solar arrays that went up last December? $450 million - US. Let's hope Mr. Tito handles weightlessness with the same light touch he used in the delicate negotiations to get him there.
If you'd like us to address your travel questions or concerns, send us an email. Or, you can snail-mail them in. The address is The Savvy Traveler, in care of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90007. Or call us at 888-SAV-TRAV.
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