Wednesday, June 26, 2013
All visitors will be screened in Manhattan prior to boarding the ferry. Those with crown reservations will have a second screening on Liberty Island before beginning the climb of 339 steps from the main lobby to the crown platform. An elevator goes only as high as the statue's pedestal, leaving 146 steps to get to the top. The only restrooms are in the statue's lobby. Ellis Island was also damaged in the storm. It requires more extensive repairs and remains closed. There is no reopening date at this time.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Airline passengers may not have to turn off devices in the near future as regulators are set to allow wider use of electronic gadgets in flight. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to relax the ban on using some types of personal-electronic devices at low altitudes, allowing passengers leeway during taxiing and even takeoffs and landings, according to draft recommendations prepared by a high-level advisory panel to the agency.
For fliers, the new rules would likely mean an end to familiar admonitions to turn off and stow all electronic devices. Cell phone calls are expected to remain off limits. The draft doesn't make any recommendations regarding phone use because the FAA didn't authorize the panel to delve into that particularly controversial issue. Details are still being debated by the group and inside the FAA and could change. The draft report reflects a consensus that the existing rules, essentially unchanged since the 1960s, have been overtaken by dramatic changes in technology and passenger expectations.
The FAA's anticipated decision would relax the rules for use of approved devices from the time cabin doors close to when the plane reaches 10,000 feet. Some devices, such as e-readers, could even be used during all phases of a flight, if the FAA goes along with the thrust of the draft recommendations. The debate also has international ramifications, since rules for Wi-Fi systems and cell phone usage, vary among airlines and countries. Formed by the FAA last August, the 28-member panel includes industry, government and pilot-union representatives. Its findings have been eagerly awaited by airlines, regulators and safety experts around the world.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Paris has embarked on a new campaign to improve its reputation and better cater to the needs of tourists, because of its reputation of being rude to tourists. Waiters, taxi drivers and sales staff in the French capital are being given a manual with guidelines on better etiquette. The six-page booklet entitled "Do you speak Touriste?" contains greetings in eight languages including German, Chinese and Portuguese and advice on the spending habits and cultural codes of different nationalities.
France is the world's top destination for foreign tourists. Last year Paris had some 29 million people visited the City of Light. Tourism accounts for one in every ten jobs in the region. The Paris Chamber of Commerce and the regional tourism committee have warned, however, that growing competition from friendlier cities like London meant Paris needed to work harder to attract visitors, especially from emerging market countries such as China.
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