Seoul today, Shanghai tomorrow
Executives, officials and Korea enthusiasts on Monday celebrated the first nonstop flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Seoul’s Incheon International. Meanwhile, Bill Lentsch, executive vice president of flying operations at Delta, told the audience that the airline is still angling for an MSP-Shanghai nonstop flight that could begin next year. Lentsch said he hopes the airline hears back from the U.S. Department of Transportation in the first half of this year so it can begin service between MSP and Shanghai by next summer on its new Airbus A350 plane. He’s confident that Delta’s MSP hub can support daily nonstop flights to Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai.
Kristen Leigh Painter
Kudos for MSP
Minneapolis-St. Paul once again topped the Best Airports list in the Airport Council International’s 2018 Airport Service Quality Awards. The listings are based on surveys of travelers. MSP tied with Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in its category: North American airports serving 25 million to 40 million passengers annually. MSP had also earned the top spot on the list in 2016 and 2017.
Brazil nixes visa for U.S.
U.S. citizens will no longer need a visa to get into Brazil. Beginning June 17, American citizens will no longer be required to obtain the $44 passport stamp granting entry. Until then, they will still need the electronic visa. The changeover to the e-visa last year replaced a process that many visitors found slow, cumbersome and expensive at $160. Brazil Tourism said the number of visas issued had risen by nearly 60,000 after the e-visa introduction. Beginning June 17, U.S., Canadian, Australian and Japanese citizens can spend 90 days in Brazil from their date of entry, Brazil Tourism said. They can extend their stay for 90 more days, not to exceed 180 days in a year.
Los Angeles Times
Disney’s NBA Experience
A basketball-driven attraction at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs will open to the public on Aug. 12, the company announced. The new NBA Experience will include virtual and real-life play, including some re-enactments of key professional basketball moments, such as slam-dunk challenges or walking through the players’ tunnel before tipoff. It will feature 13 interactive elements, Disney says. The two-story, 44,000-square-foot structure is currently under construction in the West Side section of Disney Springs. It’s going up across from House of Blues, where DisneyQuest operated for several years.
New coaster at SeaWorld
Tidal Twister, SeaWorld’s latest roller coaster, will debut May 24, the San Diego park announced. Billed as the first coaster of its kind in the world, Tidal Twister features a nearly 300-foot-long single-rail figure-eight track, elevated 16 feet off the ground. Designed as a horizontal ride, the coaster’s 16-passenger trains will reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. While not a speedy ride, Tidal Twister will still thrill its passengers with a 360-degree inversion — or zero-G roll in coaster parlance — that will occur when the two trains meet up and cross paths. At that point, the car on the lower track will invert. Because there is a lower height requirement of 48 inches, the ride will still be suitable for younger ages.
San Diego Union-Tribune