In response to the deaths of five people at a mansion party in California, Airbnb announced changes aimed at protecting the safety of users and bolstering faith in the brand, including a promise to review all 7 million listings on the site by the end of 2020. Airbnb said it has dedicated $150 million to improving community guidelines in three areas: guest standards, a ban on “party houses” and adding a dedicated contact line for local officials. “Airbnb is founded on trust, and for us to succeed in our vision of helping anyone belong anywhere, we must continue to build trust both among our own host-and-guest community and across the communities in which we operate,” said Margaret Richardson, Airbnb’s vice president of trust, in a statement.
International service first
In-flight services, not ticket prices, are the driving forces for passenger satisfaction on international flights, the J.D. Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study found. “A low fare may be the best way to attract a first-time international passenger, but retaining passengers on routes to Europe and Asia is all about delighting customers with great in-flight experiences,” Michael Taylor of J.D. Power said in a statement. “One of the most powerful ways to do that is with food and beverage offerings that are unique to the airline’s culture and that manage to deliver flavor at altitude.” Among carriers flying from North America to Europe, Turkish Airlines ranks highest in passenger satisfaction. Virgin Atlantic ranks second, while British Airways and Delta Air Lines tie for third. From North America to Asia, Japan Airlines ranks highest, Delta ranks second and Korean Air is third.
You’ll marvel at the dozens of bucket-list vacation ideas found in National Geographic’s new book “Epic Journeys: 245 Life-Changing Adventures.” One of the least densely populated countries in the world, Namibia begs to be explored. From the capital of Windhoek to the stark Skeleton Coast, you’ll find a timeless landscape where desert-adapted wildlife — elephants, lions and the rare black rhino — share the vast landscape with birds, antelopes, cape foxes and brown hyenas. Drive through barren moonscapes and search for small herds of Hartmann’s zebras or find pink flamingos and other migratory birds in a coastal wetland. Hike up Namibia’s highest ocher-colored sand dune and watch the sunset before slip-sliding down. Sparse development translates into a magnificent display of stars. Don’t forget to look up (namibiatourism.com; andbeyond.com).
Bad passengers, look out
Passengers who make trouble on international flights beware. An amendment to a global treaty will soon make it easier for countries to prosecute passengers who cause disruptions or delays or threaten the safety of the flight by tussling with other passengers or flight attendants. The amendment to the Tokyo Convention allows countries where the plane lands to prosecute a troublemaker. Incidents involving unruly passengers had become less frequent but the offenses had become more serious, according to a study by the International Air Transport Association. But about 60% of the onboard crimes have gone unpunished, the study found. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration said it recorded 90 incidents of unruly passengers in 2017, down from 101 the previous year.
Los Angeles Times