Week in Review - April 26, 2013

st luciaThe Caribbean was top of mind for our readers this week as the news of United Airlines' new nonstop flights between New York and St. Lucia shot to become the most-read story on our site. The weekly nonstops between Newark International Airport (EWR) and Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) begin July 13, 2013. The new route also offers connections to 22 U.S. cities via Newark, including Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.

“This new partnership with United Airlines will help make Saint Lucia even more accessible for travelers from many of the island’s major gateways in the northeast, mid-west and west coast as well as provide added convenience for connections with a number of new markets," said Louis Lewis, director of tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.

This week also saw a lot of buzz around cruise news. Our cruise editor spoke with Drew Daly, vice president of sales performance, CruiseOne (www.cruiseone.com) and Cruises Inc. (www.cruisesinc.com), Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion (www.nexion.com) and Michelle Fee, president and CEO, Cruise Planners (www.cruiseplanners.com), about the pros and cons of offering incentives to your cruise clients. Top agents were also talking about Carnival's new $300 million fleet upgrade, and how the company is working to repair its image with the public, particularly first-time cruisers.

Rounding out the week, air travel was also in the news with the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) decision to delay implementation of its new rules governing small knives on planes and the flight delays caused by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) sequester furloughs - a story which saw some progress today as word broke the Senate has passed a bill aimed at ending the furloughs.

The new knife policy touched off a lively discussion on our site and on our Facebook page as agents discussed what the new rule could mean in the event of an incident involving an unruly passenger.

"I am glad someone understands the danger it poses," says irie876. "Just because there has not been an incident involving unruly passengers with pocket knives, does not mean it cannot happen."

Others, however, argued for deferring to the TSA. "I wouldn't want a flight attendant making security policy decisions any more than I would like a TSA agent fixing my car," says Paul B. "Everyone has a role and we should leave security decisions to the experts who have the background necessary to make them."

"It's time for the U.S. to catch up with the rest of the world," counters Informed. "Knives such as TSA is proposing to once again allow, are allowed on European flights...haven't seen any unruly passengers take down any European flights, now, have we? Get real, people. Pocketknives aren't putting anyone in harm's way."

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