ICYMI: Delta gives private flight to two passengers; Disney shows its magic at sea; Sir Richard Branson welcomes middle-class travelers; and JetBlue hits the breaks at JFK

By Susie Reese

How to eliminate the legroom issue in economy, by Delta Airlines

Delta might be creating a new basic economy—without assigned seats or much personal space—but on a flight from Cleveland to New York City, there weren’t any arguments about legroom or lack thereof since there were only two passengers on board.

Since the flight was delayed more than two hours, many passengers took an early one but not Brooklyn-based Chris O’Leary, who took to Twitter once it became clear he would be the only one on the flight.



That changed, however, when the plane returned to the gate to pick up a second passenger, who slept most of the flight. Still, O’Leary received a personalized safety briefing and one-on-one time with the pilot. He also received his fifteen minutes of fame with all the media attention.

“It was definitely the most memorable flight I’ve been on in recent memory if only for the sheer lack of passengers to become bothersome,” O’Leary told ABC News. “There were no screaming babies, no one listening to loud lyrics or reclining their seats or taking their shoes.”

So Delta teaches how to eliminate passenger fights—by lowering the number of passengers on the flight.

Read the complete story here.


Do you believe in Disney magic? Perhaps you should if you’re taking a cruise.

A 22-year-old passenger on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship fell overboard on Jan. 8 during the early morning hours, only to be saved hours later by the crew of the Disney Magic cruise ship.

Scott Campbell, a passenger on the Disney Magic, told ABC that he was on his balcony at about 6:30 a.m. when he heard the man cry out for help. Moments later, the crew raced through choppy waters in an orange lifeboat to bring the man aboard.

Cozumel Port Captain Alfonso Rodriguez told CNN that the man was treated at a local hospital before being flown back to the United States.

“The man was reborn,” said Rodriguez. “Most people that experience that kind of fall, break their neck. It’s like hitting concrete.”

And thus, we ask, do you believe in magic? We hope the unidentified 22-year-old man does.

Watch the daring rescue and read more about the events here.


Wild waters await you aboard cruise ships…

This article is about fun, not survival!  Though not quite news, “The 5 Craziest Cruise Ship Water Slides” was featured on The Huffington Post last week, and we thought we’d point it out in case you missed it. (It’s sort of what this blog post does.)

Showcasing Disney Cruise Line, NCL, MSC Cruises, and Carnival Lines, these waterslides take you over the edge of the boats; through illuminated, “disco” tubes; about the twist and turns of an “aqua coaster,” and more.

Who wouldn’t want to ride the Aquaduck on the Disney Fantasy?

(Possibly those readers who are afraid of heights?) 

Check out the rest of the amazing slides setting sail in international waters here.


Sir Richard Branson welcomes middle-class travelers to Chicago.

You’ve heard of Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island where he welcomes celebrities and royalty alike. Now, Branson has begun catering to the middle class with his new brand of accommodations. Virgin Hotels’ first property opened this year, a 250-room hotel in Chicago, which includes free Wi-Fi, won’t have early check-in or late check-out fees, room service delivery charges, business center transactions, or other fees, according to TravelMole.com.



The Virgin Hotels Chicago is located in the historic Old Dearborn Bank Building with a 1920s Cigar Bar that serves as the hotel’s front desk (does it serve cigars, too?), ornate brass elevator doors, and the original mail slot and chute serving all floors. The hotel also fosters socializing with a nightly hosted Social Hour the “The Commons Club.”

Virgin Hotels looks to open a second property in Nashville in summer 2016, followed up by a third hotel in New York in autumn 2017. By 2025, Virgin Hotels looks to operate 20 locations worldwide.

Read more about Sir Richard Branson’s newest endeavor here, or if you happen to be royalty or the 1%, read about your next getaway to Necker Island here.


Everything you need to know about the Disney Theme Park Measles outbreak

No joke with this story (though don’t tell my boss that half of my stories this week included Disney in some capacity—oh, man. He reads this!), but as many as 39 cases of measles among Disneyland visitors between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 have been confirmed. More than 50 cases all together have been identified as far north as Washington (where “patient zero” is believed to reside) and as far south as Mexico. Most of the cases, 42, have been identified in California.

Late last week, the first cases of the disease were identified in people who had not traveled to Disneyland in southern California during the holidays. “I think we’ll see some satellite outbreaks,” says William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and professor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, told USA Today. “It’s going to take a while to control.”

According to CDC (via The Guardian), measles is so contagious that “90% of the people close that person who are not immune will also become infected.” 

To learn more about this outbreak, check out “Everything You Need to Know About the Disney Theme Park Measles Outbreak” from the Associated Press; to learn the latest updates, read “Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread” by USA Today, and to learn more about the measles disease and its vaccine, click “Measles outbreak spreads in US after unvaccinated woman visits Disneyland” by The Guardian.


JetBlue hits the breaks at JFK

Jetblue Flight 1295 was in mid-take off Saturday night when air traffic controllers ordered it to cancel takeoff and stop. Caribbean Airlines Flight 526 “taxied across” Runaway 22, putting it in a collision course with JetBlue’s Airbus A-320, according to FAA officials.

“The closest proximity of the two aircraft was more than 2,800 feet,” FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told Newsday.

The flight returned to the gate for inspection and after two hours, continued on to Austin.

The incident is under investigation, but the important fact is, no one was hurt.


Read more about the incident here.

Cover Credit: Eugenie Photography/Shutterstock.com