United extends waiver for travel to Denver through Mar. 16 | Update: U.S./Canada ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft | Extended: Adverse weather may impact travel to Amsterdam through Mar. 15 | Update: Power mostly restored in Venezuela; some travel waivers still apply | Runway work at Catania Airport Sicily impacts flight schedules through Mar. 20

Adelman News Line

Travel Briefs

Air Canada no longer accepts cash at U.S. airports
As of January 8, 2019, Air Canada no longer accepts cash payments at its ticket counters at airports in the United States. Air Canada already uses a cashless system onboard its aircraft and at several airports across Canada. Under the cashless system, passengers will have to pay for tickets and added fees with a major credit card. The carrier notes that passengers have the option of converting cash to a prepaid credit card at a ReadySTATION kiosk, which is available at most airports, or at an airport currency exchange office or even at some airport convenience stores. Air Canada advises that when travelers use a prepaid credit card they should keep the card in their possession until after all travel associated with the card is completed. If a refund needs to be issued, it is returned to the original form of payment.

 

Delta will add Comfort+ seating to international fleet
Officials at Delta Air Lines confirmed that the carrier now plans to add its Comfort+ seating product to its international fleet. Comfort+ seats are regular economy seats with more legroom. Delta also offers Premium Select seats that are a true premium economy product since they are larger and wider in addition to offering more legroom. Delta also offers regular economy seating and its Delta One cabin, which features passenger suites. Delta is starting the retrofit with its 777 aircraft. Passengers will be able to fly in Comfort+ seats to Tokyo Haneda and Paris from Minneapolis-St. Paul and Atlanta starting March 1. Additional routes will be added in April and beyond. Delta hopes to have its entire wide-bodied fleet fitted with all four branded seat products by 2021.

 

Seattle Squeeze
The city of Seattle is gearing up for a major road closure that is expected to cause major traffic delays for most drivers in the area starting at 10 p.m. on January 11. Dubbed the “Seattle Squeeze,” the construction project calls for the closure of the aging 2.2 mile long double-decker Alaskan Way Viaduct, which is located along the downtown waterfront on state Route 99. A new four-lane tunnel will replace the old viaduct, but it won’t be ready for use for at least three weeks after the closure as workers realign the highway into the new thruway. During this transition, significant travel delays are expected city-wide even with the many efforts being made to mitigate the headaches. Once open, the tunnel will be free to use initially, but officials expect to begin tolling operations this summer.

 

Tipping on Frontier
In the latest news regarding added costs on ultra-budget airlines, reports indicate that Frontier Airlines is now asking passengers to tip their cabin crew. The request is being made through its new mobile tablet payment device, which states, “Gratuities are appreciated!” Special buttons allow the purchaser to easily add a 15%, 20% or 25% tip onto the bill. Passenger can also choose a custom amount or no amount. According to Frontier officials, “Effective January 1, 2019, flight attendants will earn tips on their individual sales.” No portion of any tips collected will be kept by Frontier.

 

United again tightens policies for emotional support animals
Following Delta’s latest move, United said it will no longer allow emotional support animals less than four months old in the aircraft cabin. Emotional support animals of any age will be banned from flights longer than eight hours. United is also limiting the type of animals allowed in the cabin as emotional support to just cats and dogs. These new policies do not apply to service animals, which are trained to assist a qualified person with a disability and are typically better able to handle the stressful environment and challenges of air travel compared to emotional support animals, which do not require special training.

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