E-devices on planes could soon be OK, even on takeoff

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 6:32 PM
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 6:32 PM

Don’t you hate that part of flying when you have to turn off your iPods, video games and everything else electronic? Well, as soon as next year, that might come to an end. The FAA is considering scaling back how many electronic devices are banned during the takeoff and landing of an aircraft.


The FAA is expected to give approval to use of e-books, DVD players, music players and video game systems below 10,000 feet. But, cell phones and WiFi are expected to stay on the restricted list. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Aero Icarus)

The FAA’s ban on electronic devices has come under a lot of criticism lately.

And while airlines have reported instances of electronic devices interfering with cockpit instruments, according to The New York Times:

“ ... the evidence is largely anecdotal, and regulators have never been able to establish conclusively that electronic devices interfered with flight instruments.”

 So what’s the real reason behind the ban? The Huffington Post reports:

“ ... the FAA requires airlines to conduct tests to prove that any device allowed for use is safe — but since there are so many different phones, tablets and laptops coming out every year, it’s been easier just to ban them altogether.”

 So is it just a case of “better safe than sorry?” CBS News national transportation safety expert Mark Rosenker told CBS ‘This Morning’ probably, but not when it comes to cell phones.

“Well that really is an issue, not just because potentially it could create interference with navigational devices, but we do know according to the FCC that it could interfere with cell phone towers when they’re in the air.”

The FAA panel is meeting on the issue this week and is expected to submit its recommendations by the end of the month.

Opening date announced for Pandora: The World of Avatar, Star Wars land

Published: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 @ 7:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 @ 7:03 AM

            Opening date announced for Pandora: The World of Avatar, Star Wars land

The opening date for Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom has just been announced. 

During the Walt Disney Company's Q1 FY17 Earnings Call, Disney CEO Bob Iger shared the news that the new land will debut on May 27, 2017.

Based on the 2009 sci-fi film, Pandora: The World of Avatar is expected to be the biggest expansion in Animal Kingdom's history.

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In addition to an amazingly detailed setting guests will enjoy 2 new attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey which will take you through the jungles and rainforests of Pandora.

There will also be themed restaurants and shopping when the area opens this summer.

During the same event Iger announced new details on the opening of Star Wars lands on both coasts.

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will debut their respective Star Wars-themed expansions in 2019. 

The land will take guests to a new and never seen before gateway planet located in the Outer Rim; filled with familiar characters and locations based on stories from a galaxy far, far away.  

Walt Disney World also announced the land's signature attraction: a new ride that allows guests to take control of the Millennium Falcon.   

At 14 acres, the Star Wars-themed land is set to be the largest single-themed expansion in Walt Disney World history.

List ranks best U.S. cities to get married

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 @ 5:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 @ 5:16 PM

            List ranks best U.S. cities to get married

Looking for a place to get married? A new study claims that there is a premiere wedding destination in our own backyard.

According to WalletHub, Orlando ranks as the second-best city for weddings in the United States, and Atlanta is right behind at third. The study looked at factors such as the average cost of a wedding, the number of wedding chapels, churches and bridal shops in an area and the area with the most attractions.

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WalletHub said its methodology involved comparing 15 U.S. cities in cost, activities and attractions and facilities and services.

The eastern half of the country dominates the list. Not surprisingly, Las Vegas tops the list.

Cincinnati, Ohio; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Miami and Austin, Texas, made the top 20 of the list at fifth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 18th, respectively.

Other cities on the list include Spokane, Washington, 24th; Pittsburgh 29th, Seattle 32th, Tulsa, Oklahoma, No. 36th, Los Angeles 39th and Memphis, Tennessee, 43rd.

The full list ranking 150 cities can be found at WalletHub.


Kelcie Willis of the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

Airline offers $69 fares from US to Europe

Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 11:44 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 11:44 AM

            Airline offers $69 fares from US to Europe

An Icelandic airline is offering American globetrotters tickets from the West Coast to any of four European cities for less than $70 starting Tuesday.

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WOW air announced Tuesday that travelers can get one-way tickets from the Los Angeles or San Francisco international airports to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bristol or Edinburgh for $69.99. The sale applies to trips between Jan. 15 and April 5.

The airline billed the fares as the "lowest airline prices yet" from the "ultra-low cost transatlantic airline" in a news release Tuesday.

WOW air is also offering tickets from Miami and Boston to Iceland for $99. Tickets to fly on to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin or Frankfurt are also available for $149 for travelers flying from Miami and $129 for tickets from Boston.

The sale prices are available for a limited time, the airline said, although the company hinted that similar offerings could be forthcoming.

"WOW air's goal is to enable everybody to fly by offering the lowest fares on the market," airline founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen said. "I am very proud that by offering $69.99 fares, we are enabling thousands of people to travel that otherwise could not afford it."

The announced fares are the latest salvo in an ongoing transatlantic fare war.

Norwegian Air Shuttle announced transatlantic flights last year for as little as half of what its competitors charged, Reuters reported. The move was possible because of low labor costs and exceptionally fuel-efficient planes, the airline said.

These are the best and worst airports in the country, travel site says

Published: Friday, December 23, 2016 @ 10:53 PM
Updated: Friday, December 23, 2016 @ 10:53 PM

            These are the best and worst airports in the country, travel site says

Just in time for holiday travel, a travel blog has ranked the best and worst airports to go to in 2016. It may be a challenge to avoid New York airports.

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Today reported that the blog, called The Points Guy, compiled a list of the best and worst airports in the United States.

According to The Points Guy, the list was compiled based on criteria the blog's research team deemed important, including timeliness in terms of wait times in security, cancellations and delays; accessibility, including drive time to and from the airport to popular areas and public transit factors; and amenities at the airport, such as Wi-Fi, eateries, lounges and cost of parking.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Federal Aviation Administration and airport websites were also used to compile information matching the criteria.

New York has two airports in the "worst" list, along with other major-city airports in Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. The top 10 worst airports, according to The Points Guy, is below:

  1. LaGuardia (New York; LGA)
  2. John F. Kennedy International  (New York; JFK)
  3. Newark Liberty International (New Jersey; EWR)
  4. Chicago O’Hare International (Illinois; ORD)
  5. Detroit Metro (Michigan; DTW)
  6. Orlando International (Florida; MCO)
  7. Washington Dulles International (Virginia; IAD)
  8. Denver International (Colorado; DEN)
  9. Los Angeles International (California; LAX)
  10. Houston George Bush Intercontinental (Texas; IAH)

Seattle-Tacoma, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Philadelphia all made the "best" airports list. The top 10 is below:

  1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Arizona; PHX)
  2. Portland International (Oregon; PDX)
  3. San Diego International (California; SAN)
  4. Salt Lake City International (Utah; SLC)
  5. Honolulu International (Hawaii; HNL)
  6. Seattle-Tacoma International (Washington; SEA)
  7. Philadelphia International (Pennsylvania; PHL)
  8. Charlotte Douglas International (North Carolina; CLT)
  9. Las Vegas McCarran International (Nevada; LAS)
  10. Minneapolis-St. Paul International (Minnesota; MSP)
For more information, visit The Points Guy blog.