Here you will find a snapshot of the latest happenings in the travel industry for Europe. From travel alerts to the mysterious “Lufthansa Surprise”, skim through the topics for a taste of what you need to as you plan a European summer vacation.
Delta Offers New Direct Flight to Scotland
If you’ve been dreaming of the Scottish Highlands and medieval castles, book your next flight with Delta for non-stop travel from JFK-New York to Edinburgh.Their newly launched flight offers WiFi at up to 30,000 feet and plenty of onboard amenities for comfortable travel.
Frank Jahangir, Delta vice president sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa says, “…as the only year-round non-stop flight between Edinburgh and New York-JFK, we are confident that the route will expand trade and tourism opportunities”.
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive at VisitScotland is enthusiastic about the strengthened connection between North Americans and Scotland, and states that “Our history and heritage is a huge appeal for US visitors.” The new Delta flights have the potential to bring £23 million more into the Scottish economy.
Spontaneous Travel, Spontaneous Savings with Lufthansa
Every American knows that while tickets to Europe are pricey, travel within Europe is usually quite affordable. With a clever package that launched June 1st by Lufthansa, travel just got cheaper and even more exciting. If you’re feeling adventurous, book a surprise vacation through Lufthansa.
Booking is easy even if pronouncing the name –Lufthansauberraschungssommerreise, is not. If you’re feeling tongue-tied, Lufthansa Surprise will do just fine.
For as little as $130 USD, simply choose your favorite theme (Nature, Romance, Sightseeing & Culture, Gourmet Cuisine, Partying, Shopping, Sun & Sand, Bromance and Cities) and your preferred travel dates, and voila! The airline books you a mystery flight to an unknown city in Europe (just make sure your passport is valid!). The more flexible you are, the cheaper the flight. Once you pay, the wait is over and you learn where you’ll be jet-setting off to.
The only catch: flights only leave from Munich or Frankfurt. So, hop a plane to Germany, order up a pint and then toast to the unknown!
Europe Travel Alert Issued by United States Department of State
Travelers to European nations are cautioned to stay vigilant this summer while vacationing. Numerous sporting and religious events across Europe are expected to draw large crowds, which increase the possibility of terrorist attacks.
France recently extended its state of emergency through July to cover the European soccer championship (June 10th-July 10th), which is being hosted there, as well as the annual Tour de France (July 2nd-24th). The Catholic Church’s World Youth Day, from July 25th-31st, anticipates 2.5 million visitors to Krakow, Poland to celebrate. There is concern that this event provides an ideal terror situation.
France, Germany, Spain and the U.K are all considered a “high” for risk of terror attacks, particularly areas bordering the Mediterranean sea. Iceland, Ireland, and Portugal have a low, underlying threat level. Despite these threats, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pocket your passport this summer. It just means to stay informed, cautious and aware.
Tourism Helps Create Peaceful Societies
Yet with all the terror threats and attacks, there is good news for our beloved Earth. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released empirical data that links tourism to peace. Countries who have an open and sustainable tourism sector see increased levels of peace. Government responds to positive tourism by improving its own functioning, and working to create a sustainable and ever welcoming environment for tourists; all of which contribute to future peace.
David Scowsill, president, WTTC, said: “Travel’s economic impact is now well established and widely recognised, and governments around the world are increasingly looking to the sector to provide livelihoods and jobs, and drive economic development. However, the benefits of tourism as a force for good, its ability to bring peace, security and understanding have been harder to quantify. I am delighted that this research now shows that tourism does have a strong link to creating peaceful societies.”
There may be bad in the world, but there’s still a whole lot of good. Tourism opens up doors for people to become more open minded and connected to one another.
Strikes Stall Train Travel in France
Train travel is a terrific way to make your way around France, and a preferred method for getting to other countries like Spain and Italy both cheaply and comfortably. However, as of June 1st, almost 40% of high-speed trains, and half of the regional trains have been canceled due to union strikes. Three of four unions are on strike to contest new labor laws and working conditions.
While many citizens are in support of the strike, as they know it will help improve the working class, others are frustrated with the canceled and delayed trains. Those who rely on the trains to get, to and from work, may be finding it difficult to maintain their own jobs in lieu of the strike and the major delays it is causing.
The strikes are expected to last through next week’s European Championship soccer tournament and affect the anticipated 2.5 million people traveling throughout France for the month long event.
Travel to the Schengen Area
Check the expiration date of your passport before purchasing a ticket to any of the 26 countries in the Schengen Area of Europe. For most countries in the Schengen Area, short-term tourism and business travelers, US citizens are required to have a passport valid for three months past their intended date of departure from the Schengen area. However, France and Italy now require that your passport be valid for six months past the end of your trip. That means if you plan to departure from Europe on June 30th, but your passport expires on December 29th, you will not be admitted.
We recommend that all travelers to Europe maintain at least six months validity on their passports. If your passport will expire any time this year, now is the time to renew!
More Travel Updates
For more international travel news, follow the links below:
- US Department of State
- International Travel News
- Travel & Leisure
- Travel Daily News
- Travel Pulse
- Breaking Travel News