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News Roundup: An Invisible Train, Cuba Runs Out of Beer and More

A Beer-pocalypse is nigh in Cuba, Japan flaunts a super-cool invisible train and JetBlue expands its Mint cabin—this week in travel news.

Seat regulation voted down

Bad news for anyone with hips. Travel Weekly reports that the Senate has voted down a proposal that would have required the FAA to set a minimum seat width for all commercial airlines.

It also would have put a stop to further seat-size reduction and required airlines to post seat dimensions online.

The proposal was considered as an amendment to the FAA authorization bill currently under review. The vote was split largely among party lines.

‘Invisible’ train to roll out in 2018

The future is now! Sort of. CNN reports that award-winning Japanese architect Kazuyo Sehjima has designed a train that will better blend into the scenery when traveling. The cars are constructed with semi-transparent and reflective materials.

The new model will debut in Tokyo in 2018.

Delta gets rid of phone ticketing fees

Travel blog One Mile at a Time reports that, effective immediately, Delta Airlines has eliminated their direct ticketing fees. This means the $25 ticketing fee for purchasing by phone and the $35 fee for purchasing at the airport are now a thing of the past!

 Cuba is running out of beer

Don’t panic! Cuba’s beer reserves are nearly tapped.

NBC News reports that the massive influx of American tourists to Cuban shores, along with a growth in new private-sector restaurants, is putting a real strain on Cuba’s main brewery.

And this shortage couldn’t come at a worse time. Cuba received a record 3.5 million tourists in 2015, and numbers are expected to grow. On top of that, next month marks the first cruise ship en route from Miami to Cuba since 1959. And no one drinks more booze than folks on a cruise.

LGBT+ cabin crew don’t particularly want to fly to Iran either

Air France resumes flights between Paris and Tehran this month, but not without controversy.

One Mile at a Time reports that, while female flight attendants were given the choice to opt out of the route due to Iran’s headscarf requirement, the option to opt out of the route was not extended to LGBT+ crew members.

Homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment or execution in Iran.

Luck prevents terrorist attacks

In unnerving news (that should really surprise no one), Travel Weekly reports airport security experts cite advantageous geography, intelligence gathering, and luck as primary reasons why the U.S. hasn’t had a major aviation-related terrorist attack since 9/11.

With the exception of two lone-gunman attacks at LAX, airports in the U.S. have by and large avoided violent attacks. But recent events in Brussels and the November attacks in Paris have led experts to question the effectiveness of current security methods stateside.

Dubai to build the world’s tallest building… again

Paste Magazine reports that the same developer responsible for the 2,716 foot tall Burj Khalifa announced plans to construct an even taller tower by 2020 (just in time for the UAE to host the World Expo). The building will house condos, shops and its own hotel.

Though this newest project will have competition for the title of world’s tallest. Specs on the new tower have not yet been released, but the building is set to be complete the same year as Saudi Arabia’s 3,281 foot Jeddah Tower. Let the race to the stratosphere commence.

JetBlue Mint expansion

Rejoice, lovers of elite flight classes. One Mile at a Time reports that JetBlue has announced a major expansion of its Mint product. Mint offers lie-flat seats, individual suites and elite meal service.

Mint is currently available only on JFK – LAX/SFO routes, BOS – SFO and select Caribbean routes from JFK. JetBlue plans to add these premium cabins to the following routes:

LAX & SFO – Ft. Lauderdale

JFK – Vegas, San Diego and Seattle

BOS – San Diego and Seattle



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