As a major legacy carrier, with destinations literally all over the planet, Delta Air Lines keeps things pretty straightforward. On all flights, passengers are entitled to one free carry-on and a personal item (such as a briefcase, purse, or diaper bag). There’s no specific weight limit for carry-ons and personal items — which is definitely good news — though you’ll need to make sure your carry-on fits within the airline’s size limit.

But to avoid the airline’s last-minute checked bag fees and hefty overweight penalties, travelers need to be prepared. Here’s how to avoid the crunch on your next Delta flight.


​Baggage Fees for Domestic Flights

If you’re traveling domestically (specifically, anywhere within the 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Delta charges $25 for the first checked bag, and $35 for the second, with a per-bag weight limit of 50 pounds.


​International Flights

That’s a different story when you’re taking longer international routes, though. For passengers flying from the United States or Canada to anywhere in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, or Southeast Asia, Delta generally provides a complimentary first (and in some cases, second) checked bag.

Say you’re jetting from New York City to Tokyo, for example. Those first two checked bags are free of charge. Of course, these rules vary slightly from route to route, so it’s always best to check the airline’s full list of checked bag allowances.

It’s also worth noting these fees apply only to Basic Economy, Main Cabin, and Delta Comfort+ customers. If you’re traveling First Class, Delta Premium Select, or Delta One, you automatically get two free checked bags (and they’ll even bump up the weight limit from 50 pounds to 70 pounds).


​Skymiles Medallion members, too, are always eligible for exemptions.

Excess Baggage and Overweight Fees

While Delta’s free international checked bags and domestic baggage fees are quite reasonable, things start to go south the minute you add additional luggage. A third checked bag is considered “excess baggage,” and will incur a fee of $150.

Slightly overweight checked bags (51 to 70 pounds) will cost you an extra $100, while really heavy loads (71 to 100 pounds) will do serious damage, at $200 each.

Delta also has a nasty habit of charging separate fees for each offense. So, if you need to haul a third bag (strike one) that happens to be overweight (strike two) and it’s oversize (strike three),  that combined fee could cost you up to $450.

The good news? Delta is committed to keeping track of all of those checked bags. Last year, the carrier implemented RFID-embedded paper bag tags, letting travelers track their bags on the free Delta app.

Lufthansa shows interest in buying Norwegian Air

And one of only five cities in the world.


When it comes to major airports in the U.S., one city stands out from the rest.

Chicago will soon be the only city in the U.S. to offer nonstop flights to six continents (all but Antarctica) when Air New Zealand begins service from O'Hare to Auckland on November 30.

Chicago will then join the ranks of just four other cities — London, Johannesburg, Doha, and Dubai — that can make this claim, Susan Kurland, deputy commissioner for air service development for both O'Hare and Midway airports.


​From these five cities, travelers can book nonstop flights to Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. That just leaves Antarctica.


Launching long-haul flights to Antarctica has been a challenge for airlines considering the area's smaller population and limited resources like fuel, vice president of air policy for Airports Council International—North America Matthew Cornelius.


​Several U.S. airports offer flights to five of the major continents, excluding either Australia or Africa, either because of logistical challenges or a lack of demand, according to Cornelius.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Washington Dulles International Airport, Logan International Airport (BOS), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and John F. Kennedy International Airport provide service to all the major continents except Australia. George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport offer nonstop service to all the major continents except Africa.

The Difference Between Direct and Nonstop Flights 

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While you may have thought the two words were interchangeable, there's an important difference between “direct” and “nonstop” flights. To avoid any future confusion, listen up.

Nonstop flights take you from one airport to another without stopping. Board the plane, buckle your seatbelt, and the next time you touch ground you have reached your destination.

Direct flights, however, don't offer the same convenience. Instead, “direct” means that the flight number doesn't change, even as the aircraft may make one — or more — stops.

As pilot Patrick Smith wrote in “Cockpit Confidential,” a direct flight “is a carryover from the days when flights between major cities routinely made intermediate stops.”

For example, a “direct” flight on Southwest from Denver to San Diego could stop along the way in Oakland or Los Angeles.


​But even though you're officially smarter, booking engines and airlines don't really expect you to know the difference. When booking a flight from point A to B, you're likely to be shown any stops — whether on a direct flight or through connecting flights — on the available itineraries.

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As a major legacy carrier, with destinations literally all over the planet, Delta Air Lines keeps things pretty straightforward. On all flights, passengers are entitled to one free carry-on and a personal item (such as a briefcase, purse, or diaper bag). There’s no specific weight limit for carry-ons and personal items — which is definitely good news — though you’ll need to make sure your carry-on fits within the airline’s size limit.

But to avoid the airline’s last-minute checked bag fees and hefty overweight penalties, travelers need to be prepared. Here’s how to avoid the crunch on your next Delta flight.


Baggage Fees for Domestic Flights

If you’re traveling domestically (specifically, anywhere within the 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Delta charges $25 for the first checked bag, and $35 for the second, with a per-bag weight limit of 50 pounds.


International Flights

That’s a different story when you’re taking longer international routes, though. For passengers flying from the United States or Canada to anywhere in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, or Southeast Asia, Delta generally provides a complimentary first (and in some cases, second) checked bag.

Say you’re jetting from New York City to Tokyo, for example. Those first two checked bags are free of charge. Of course, these rules vary slightly from route to route, so it’s always best to check the airline’s full list of checked bag allowances.

It’s also worth noting these fees apply only to Basic Economy, Main Cabin, and Delta Comfort+ customers. If you’re traveling First Class, Delta Premium Select, or Delta One, you automatically get two free checked bags (and they’ll even bump up the weight limit from 50 pounds to 70 pounds).


​Excess Baggage and Overweight Fees

While Delta’s free international checked bags and domestic baggage fees are quite reasonable, things start to go south the minute you add additional luggage. A third checked bag is considered “excess baggage,” and will incur a fee of $150.

Slightly overweight checked bags (51 to 70 pounds) will cost you an extra $100, while really heavy loads (71 to 100 pounds) will do serious damage, at $200 each.

Delta also has a nasty habit of charging separate fees for each offense. So, if you need to haul a third bag (strike one) that happens to be overweight (strike two) and it’s oversize (strike three),  that combined fee could cost you up to $450.

The good news? Delta is committed to keeping track of all of those checked bags. Last year, the carrier implemented RFID-embedded paper bag tags, letting travelers track their bags on the free Delta app.


Here’s What It Takes to Become a Flight Attendant With Emirates

New Zealand’s government has unveiled plans to implement a tourist tax it says will help protect its infrastructure and natural environment.

The tax, which will range from NZ $25 to $35 (about $17-24 USD), is expected to go into effect in the second half of 2019. All international visitors staying 12 months or less will be required to pay the new fee.

There are some exemptions, including short-haul visitors from Australia and the Pacific Island Forum countries, children under the age of two, and those visiting on diplomatic, humanitarian, business, transit, and medical visas. 

Visitors will pay the tax when obtaining their visa or Electronic Travel Authority. The tax is expected to reel in anywhere from NZ $57-80 million ($39.7-55.8 million USD) in the first year. The funds received will be split between infrastructure and conservation efforts.


The country currently receives 3.8 million international visitors each year, and that number is expected to grow to 5.1 million by 2024, according to New Zealand’s Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis.

As tourism continues to grow, the tax will ensure "international visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural places they come here to enjoy," Davis said.

International visitors to rural New Zealand communities can increase tenfold in the summer months, according to the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network (NZRGPN), often forcing staff to undertake up to six air ambulance call-outs in a day to assist tourists while local communities are often left without support in the case of medical emergencies. 

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It may be something you’ve considered while standing in the security line but never (until now) had the data to confirm: airports are busier than ever.

Across the globe, airports had 6.6 percent more passengers last year than in the previous year.

According to data released Monday by the Airports Council International (ACI), passenger traffic at the world’s 20 busiest airports grew 5.2 percent last year. Almost 1.5 billion passengers passed through the doors of these 20 airports, representing 17 percent of global passenger traffic.


​Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is the busiest in the world, having welcomed almost 104 million passengers last year. However the airport may not retain its top spot for long. Hartsfield-Jackson was the only airport in the top 20 to report a decrease in passengers from the previous year.


​The runner up was Beijing Capital International Airport, with 96 million passengers, followed by Dubai International, with 88 million.

Passenger growth at Asian airports was strong in 2017 — half of the 20 busiest airports were located in Asia and four were in China alone. Earlier this year, Routesonline predicted that China had 11 of the world’s 20 fastest growing airports.

Confirming other travel trends, travelers are increasingly likely to pick international destinations. ACI estimated that the number of international passengers increased 8.4 percent last year.

Of the top 20 busiest airports, five were located in the United States: Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver International all made the list.

5 of the 20 Busiest Airports in the World Are in the U.S.

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If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to land a job as cabin crew onboard one of the world’s best airlines, here's your chance to find out.

Emirates is currently hiring for a variety of positions, including cabin crewmembers who will be based in Dubai. To be considered, applicants need to be at least 21 years old, have a high school education, be fluent in English, and have at least one year of experience in either customer service or hospitality. They should also be able to easily adapt to new cultures

There are physical requirements, including a minimum height of 160 centimeters, or about 5'2", and a minimum arm reach of 212 centimeters, or about 6.9 feet, standing on tip toes, to ensure they can reach the emergency equipment onboard Emirates’ planes.


​No visible tattoos are allowed when wearing the airline’s uniform, and there are also specific dress and appearance specifications when submitting an online photo.

For women, this includes either business attire with a “closed fitted jacket,” knee length skirts, nude stockings, and closed toe heels, or “smart casual wear” like jeans and a plain t-shirt with closed toe heels. Women also need to have their hair tied neatly back and full make-up (but no lip gloss). Men can either wear business attire with a closed jacket, shirt, and tie or go casual with jeans, a plain t-shirt, and closed shoes. Men are also expected to be clean-shaven and have short hair styled with minimal products.


​Emirates is hosting assessment days this June in different cities. Applicants must be in good physical shape for the role: The airline conducts two pre-employment medical tests, first in the applicant's home country and then in Dubai before they’re hired.

The monthly salary averages around $2,600. Benefits include 30 days of vacation, free accommodation in Dubai, free uniform dry cleaning, free transportation to and from work, and getting the chance to travel the world.

You can usually expect a fine dining experience when you’re traveling business class, but one airline is taking premium class meals to a new level.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific is bringing a five-star restaurant experience to its dining service on Boeing 777 flights to Chicago in July, to further expand to 34 destinations by June 2019.

The new program features individually plated meals from an à la carte menu offering up to six entrees and three starters, Australian Business Traveler reported.


​The airline said that the menus will also offer lighter and healthier meals and feature a special entree for each route.


​“The new Business Class service elevates the customer experience towards the First Class service, offering a far higher degree of personalisation,” an airline spokesperson told the publication. “First Class will continue to offer higher degrees of privacy, more space, better amenities and fine dining menus.”

The new changes aren’t just coming to dinner service either. Customers will be able to fill out a customized breakfast card before turning in on super long-haul flights so they can wake up to a special morning meal. Airlines like Qantas also offer similar services.

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The Lufthansa Group is "in contact" with Norwegian Air about acquiring the low-cost, long-haul carrier, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told a German newspaper this week. 


​Spohr said that whether Lufthansa makes the purchase is "a question of strategic added value, of the price and of the competitive possibilities," according to the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Norwegian has been the biggest player in the rapid expansion of low-cost transatlantic air service over the past five years. But the company lost $38 million last year and reported a $5.8 million loss for the first quarter this year.

In May, Norwegian rejected two acquisitions offers from British Airways parent IAG.


Shares in Norwegian Air rose 10 per cent after the chief executive of rival Lufthansa said his company was interested in buying the Scandinavian low-cost carrier. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in Germany, Carsten Spohr said: “Everyone in Europe is talking to everyone right now. There is another wave of consolidation. This means that we are also in contact with Norwegian.” He said all acquisitions were a matter of value, price and opportunity, with “no simple answers”. Lufthansa declined to answer further questions. Norwegian said it had received several expressions of “indicative and preliminary interest in share acquisitions, mergers … and various forms of operational and financial co-operation”. Norwegian has said previously that it has had conversations with several potential suitors about a takeover. British Airways owner IAG bought 4.6 per cent of Norwegian in April 2018 and made two approaches to buy the carrier for an undisclosed price, both of which were rejected by Norwegian’s board.

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Globally, air travel demand rose 7.6 percent year over year in February, according to the International Air Transport Association, a jump from January's 4.6 percent year-over-year growth. Load factor rose 0.9 percentage points to 80.4 percent, a record for the month of February. Capacity increased 6.3 percent. "As expected, we saw a return to stronger demand growth in February, after the temporary slowdown in January," said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.


"This is being supported by the robust economic backdrop and solid business confidence. However, increases in fuel prices—and labor costs in some countries—likely will temper the amount of traffic stimulation from lower airfares this year." 


International Travel

International air travel demand rose 7.2 percent year over year. Capacity climbed 5.9 percent, and load factor rose 1 percentage point to 79.3 percent. All regions experienced higher year-over-year growth. A weak dollar boosted North America demand, offsetting some of the negative impacts of declining traffic to the U.S.

Domestic Travel

Domestic demand rose 8.2 percent year over year in February, up from 4.9 percent growth in January. Capacity increased 7 percent, and load factor fell 0.2 percentage points to 79.8 percent.

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Satisfaction with the airline industry may be up in some major studies, but one travel blogger’s online run-in with a reported flight attendant proves there is more work to be done.

According to the editor-at-large of The Points Guy, Zach Honig, he was on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco International Airport to Newark Liberty International Saturday afternoon when he attempted to order an “old fashioned” alcoholic beverage.

Honig claims the attendant told him the flight did not have the old fashioned, but was forced to bring him the drink after the travel writer pointed out that it was on the menu. When Honig asked for a second cocktail after takeoff, the crew member said they were only provided one old fashion per fight.


​Zach Honig
✔@ZachHonig

First “premium domestic” (biz) flight since @United started serving an Old Fashioned. I was looking forward to having one, so that’s what I asked for. Flight attendant promptly said “no,” and when I asked why he insisted that “we don’t have that” until I showed him the menu. [😔] [🥃]

5:31 PM - Jun 16, 2018 · South San Francisco, CA

66
27 people are talking about this

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Zach Honig
✔@ZachHonig
16 Jun
Replying to @ZachHonig

Update: FA found it, then I ordered a second for after takeoff. “Oh they only gave us one.” (Of course he found more after my “ohhh really?” follow-up.)


​After openly questioning the attendant, Honig received his second drink but noticed it did not feature the candied orange peel skewer the menu described. When he requested his third old fashion, Honig also asked about the orange peel, which he received.

Zach Honig
✔@ZachHonig
16 Jun
Replying to @ZachHonig

It’s missing the “candied orange peel skewer” ... figured they weren’t boarded, but I just spotted a FA eating them from the container in the galley. I feel like @United’s trolling me today.

Zach Honig
✔@ZachHonig

Asked for one more, this time specifically requested the candied orange peel skewer. It’s delicious! I can definitely see why the crew wanted to keep these for themselves... pic.twitter.com/x3enN1pXXN

8:28 PM - Jun 16, 2018


​In addition, Honig complained about the attendant wearing headphones and eating a business-class salad during the flight.

In response, a reported United flight attendant responded to the Twitter thread by calling in to question Honig’s etiquette in the situation and how much responsibility the attendant should take for his actions.

The woman has since deleted her Twitter account, but Airliners.net has the screenshots.

While the actions of the attendant on Honig’s flight were wrong and he should be reprimanded, the reported crew member who followed up on the writer’s complaints by chastising him online doesn’t help the situation.

Even off duty, employees are a reflection of their employer. United must do a better job educating attendants and other crew members on social media etiquette and how to avoid similar situations.

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 United and American have asked the federal government not to use their flights to transport children who have been separated from their families at the border under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.


​"We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it," American said in a statement Wednesday. "We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so." 

United's Oscar Munoz had equally strong words. 

"Our company's shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world," he said in a statement. "This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it."

United and American, along with other U.S. airlines, transport federal passengers under government contracts. Both said that they aren't aware of verified cases of federal authorities using their aircraft to fly children they separated from their migrant parents. 


​The carriers' statements came amid media and social media reports of immigration to the contrary. For example, on Tuesday the Houston Chronicle published an account by Dallas-based flight attendant Hunt Palmquist, who said he worked two fights several weeks ago in which Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had transported children that were approximately ages 4 to 11 to what he called "relocation" sites. Palmquist said he works for a major U.S. airline, but wasn't more specific. 

Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said nearly 2,000 children had been placed in shelters over a six-week period.

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​New app Seek is giving curious outdoorsy types an easy way to identify the plants and animals they encounter, whether they're in the park, on a hike, or in their own neighborhood.

All users have to do is upload a photo of an insect, bird, plant, reptile, amphibian, or mammal to the app, and Seek will use image recognition to try to match it to one of 30,000 species in its database. If there’s a match, Seek will add the photo to your collection. As your collection grows, you will earn badges and work your way up from beginner “Tadpole” to expert “Explorer.”


​iNaturalist, a website where nature lovers can share and discuss their ecological findings with each other, created the image recognition app as part of an initiative to get amateur naturalists involved in “citizen science projects,” according to My Modern Met. To that end, if Seek matches your photo with a particular species, you can learn more about the wildlife through a Wikipedia-provided summary.


​Seek will also tell you which species you are most likely to see in your area, based on wildlife observations recorded and uploaded to iNaturalist. You will be given maps and charts to help you track down nearby flora and fauna — but if you prefer to explore on your own, Seek is happy to tell you about any random plant or insect that catches your eye.

iNaturalist encourages all users to take photos of everything they see – even if it’s not on the list – to develop the AI's ability to recognize wildlife. As co-founder Scott Loarie told My Modern Met, “The only way we can improve our modeling of species is to get more data, and to do that we need more people outside taking pictures.”

Seek is currently available on the App Store and is in beta testing for Android.

Starbucks is back with a new permanent menu item, and this time, it’s bright pink.

As part of their continued effort to stray from limited-edition additions and focus on their core offerings, the coffee chain will begin serving its newest drink—the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher—on Tuesday.


The highly-Instagrammable magenta beverage features “sweet tropical flavors” from mango and dragonfruit, with no artificial coloring or sweeteners. Each drink will be specially prepared with hand-shaken pieces of red-fleshed dragon fruit to give them a more vibrant color.


​If you’re already looking for a way to hack the new menu item, ask your barista to use coconut milk in the drink instead of water for a creamier version of the beverage.

In recent months, the coffee chain rolled out items such as cold brew whipped cream and vegan macadamia cookies, but they have been focusing primarily on revamping their frappuccino menu. So far, they’ve added three new blended beverages to the lineup: strawberry, ultra mocha and ultra caramel.

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TSA will implement stricter rules related to carrying powder-like items onto inbound international flights, beginning June 30.


​Under the new requirements, flyers traveling with more powder than would fit in a standard 12-ounce soda or beer can will be subject to additional screening. If the substance can't be verified as safe, the U.S. is requiring the foreign security authority to prohibit it from being brought aboard the aircraft.

Cosmetics, ground coffee, spices, sugar and flour are among the substances that could be subject to the new screening procedure, American Airlines said in an announcement in which it advised passengers to check powdered substances of more than 12 ounces. 

TSA implemented the same restrictions for domestic flights over the past year as part of a broader enhancement of security procedures at airports across the country.

A range of powders, including pepper spray, can be used to harm aircraft passengers and crew, TSA said.

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A new survey revealed passengers have widely divergent views on what might constitute fair compensation when their flights are oversold.

The survey was conducted by international ground transportation provider The GO Group LLC and asked more than 350 passengers what they believe to be fair compensation when asked to give up their seat and to take a later flight.

Results from the study found that only 22.6 percent of business travelers and 15.5 percent of leisure travelers said they would be unwilling to give up their seats no matter how substantial the compensation.

The GO Group president John McCarthy said the company expected more travelers to flat out refuse to have their flight plans changed.


​The survey also found leisure travelers were more willing than business travelers to accept $750 or less in compensation, with 42.25 percent of leisure respondents approving of the compensation and only 27.7 percent of business travelers accepting it.

On the other hand, 14.5 percent of business travelers wanted at least $2,000 in compensation, while just 6.8 percent of leisure travelers requested that much. Many of the respondents agreed the compensation should be adjusted to reflect the degree of inconvenience of taking a later flight.

Delta Air Lines announced Monday the addition of nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol airports.

With the introduction of the new routes, Delta has now linked all of its hubs in the United States to the airline’s two largest hubs in Europe.


​The year-round Los Angeles-to-Paris service will operate three times weekly, and the Amsterdam flights will take place four times a week.

Delta passengers flying to Paris and Amsterdam will also have access to destinations across Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia through the carrier’s partner airline network offered by Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Jet Airways.

“The start of our new Los Angelesnonstop services to both Paris and Amsterdam offers our customers even more nonstop choice on Delta to its key European hubs,” Delta senior vice president Dwight James said in a statement.

The new service reaffirms Delta’s commitment to Los Angeles, where the airline is investing $1.86 billion to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The carrier operates more than 170 flights from LAX each day.


​The addition of the routes from Europe to LA is in response to increased demand for travel to the West Coast, with visitor numbers from France and the Netherlands to California up 15 percent last year.

Delta also added flights to Amsterdam from Orlando in March and to Paris from Indianapolis in May.

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