Remember the great Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 that spewed ash across European airspace, stranding millions of travelers throughout the continent—and beyond? Iceland may be giving us a repeat performance, this time care of the Bárðarbunga volcano (that's Bardarbunga to English speakers), which has been increasing its seismic activity over the last week.
A few days ago, the agency that monitors the volcano raised the threat level to the aviation industry to ”orange,” the second-highest rating, putting airlines around the world on alert for possible flight disruptions due to ash clouds. Though it’s still unclear if the volcano will actually erupt, travelers planning to fly to or through northern Europe in the coming weeks should be prepared. Here’s what you need to know:
Dallas/Fort Worth is the third busiest airport in the world (and larger than the island of Manhattan). It only makes sense that there’s now a way to easily travel from the hub into the city itself.
The Orange Line extension of DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) opened this week, and finally connects travelers and locals via light rail from Terminal A in DFW straight into downtown Dallas. This means visitors can access key destinations in the city, such as the popular Dallas Arts District and Fair Park, as well as large convention centers for business travel. The Terminal Link takes passengers between terminals within DFW, to get to or from Terminal A.
Less than a year after debuting a Centurion Lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—which we profiled in detail here—American Express is at it again, this time in New York LaGuardia's Terminal B. Like its counterparts in Texas and Las Vegas's McCarron International Airport, the 5,000-square-foot space provides all you would expect from a world-class airport lounge, including high-speed Wi-Fi; numerous power outlets; private, noise-buffering work stations; and a food-and-beverage program that goes beyond stale bagels for breakfast and an uninspired wine list.
We already know that Munich International Airport is one of the best for a long layover—and now it's even better, thanks to “Surf & Style,” an indoor wave-riding pool located between Terminals 1 and 2.
Think you know what it takes to make airport security checkpoints less hellish? The Transportation Security Administration has put a call out for ideas on Innocentive, asking for ways to create a more efficient screening process that accommodates all levels of travelers—standard, premier, and TSA Pre✓™—employees, flight crews, and passengers in wheelchairs.
On August 4, Finnair is upping the airline lounge ante with a new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, open to Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers. Set near Gate 36 in the non-Schengen area, the space has interiors by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co—and includes everything you’d expect from the design-forward carrier: Eero Saarinen’s renowned Tulip and Womb chairs, Marimekko tableware, and Iittala Ultima Thule glasses—originally created for the airline in 1968. Other perks: private shower suites and a Finnish sauna, complete with Finland-made toiletries that incorporate forest berries.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Finnair
First impressions of a new country are inevitably colored by the airport you arrive in -- landing in JFK feels hugely different from, say, Denver International. Which is why Singapore's Changi Airport, one of the busiest in the world, has decided to raise the bar with a $1.5 billion facility expansion.
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Photo courtesy of Safdie Architects.
Leave it to the efficient Germans: Düsseldorf Airport now uses a robot to park cars, rather than have travelers search for a spot on their own.
Ray, as the new robot is called, picks up vehicles from six drop-off "transfer boxes" near the terminal before leaving the cars in one of 249 parking spots available through the program—the first of its kind in the world.
Traveling abroad? Be sure to keep your gadgets fully charged. A new mandate by the Transportation Security Administration is asking airport security to pay special attention to travelers’ electronics, following reports of terrorist threats involving explosives concealed in phone look-alikes. While Apple and Samsung phones were specifically called out on the TSA’s memo, any electronics that can hold a charge—laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.—are being screened. Those that don’t turn on will be confiscated, and their owners will be subject to further investigation.
What do you do when you're stranded overnight at the airport? That's the question Richard Dunn asked when he found himself alone at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport.
The answer he came up with has since gone viral: Using his phone to create a lip-synced music video to Celine Dion's 1996 hit "All By Myself."
Even better? The songstress saw the video and responded with a video of her own, inviting Dunn back to Las Vegas so he wouldn't have to be alone.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.