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No U.S. Airline Made It to the ‘Best in the World’ List

Plus, it’s going to be a hectic July 4th weekend.

Skytrax has released its annual list of the world’s best airlines–and guess what? Not a single U.S. airline made it into the top 10. This story’s leading our weekly round-up of travel news.

Other things to know during this busy holiday travel week? Well, the July 4th weekend is expected to break more records this summer while a life-threatening hurricane has reached the Caribbean. So, keep an eye on local advisories if you’re traveling because a lot is happening around the world.

NO.1

QATAR AIRLINES IS THE WORLD’S BEST AIRLINE, ACCORDING TO SKYTRAX

The results for Skytrax’s annual survey of the best airlines in the world is out–and so are all U.S. airlines. That’s because not a single one made it into the top 10 list.

U.K.-based airline rating organization Skytrax surveyed more than 21 million passengers and released the 2024 ratings. Once again, Doha-based Qatar Airlines dominated the list, taking the first spot for the eighth time. Comfort, cuisine, a new fleet, and welcoming service were the markers for this win. 

The complete list: Qatar Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, EVA Air, Air France, and Swiss International Airlines.

NO.2

TSA BRACING FOR 32 MILLION PASSENGERS OVER JULY 4 WEEKEND

Get ready for a cruel summer! The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is preparing for more than 32 million passengers to hit airports from June 27-July 8, a projected 5.3% increase over last year. 

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TSA screened a record 2.99 million passengers on June 23 and seven of the top 10 busiest days occurred over the past month. Given the appetite for travel this season, the agency is once again reminding passengers to arrive at the airport early this summer and pack smart (remember the liquid rule, prohibited items, and firearm guidelines).

It might also help to keep in mind that airports will be busy; staff storages are still persistent; airline staff may be striking in Europe; and extreme weather conditions (like storms and heatwaves) may disrupt flights. It might get chaotic, but flying is rarely smooth these days.

NO.3

SOUTHWEST HAS CLOSE CALLS

A Southwest flight took off from a closed runway at the Portland International Jetport in Maine on June 25. The runway closes for overnight stretches due to an ongoing construction project. And although pilots were warned of the closure, they never heard the communication. Airport employees scrambled to clear out to allow the departure.

No one was hurt and the flight continued without incident. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

This incident happened soon after another Southwest flight came under the radar of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The flight was 9 miles from the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma when it descended too low, dropping to 525 feet above ground, and triggered a low altitude alert.

NO.4

TOURIST CARVES NAME INTO POMPEII WALL

A tourist was detained in Pompeii, Italy, after he carved his name, ALI, into the wall of the House of Ceii. Excavated in the 20th century, it is an ancient house dating back to the 2nd century and it’s decorated with frescos of scenes of animals. 

The vandal, a tourist from Kazakhstan, was detained by the local police after the Archaeological Park of Pompeii authorities reported the crime. He was released after an administrative process that requires him to pay for damages to the wall, but he will not face criminal charges.

Italy’s minister of culture Gennaro Sangiuliano said in a statement that the matter will be treated severely and the tourist will bear the full cost of damages. “Unfortunately, even today we find ourselves commenting on an uncivilized and idiotic disgrace caused to our artistic and cultural heritage.”

NO.5

CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE HITS CARIBBEAN

A life-threatening storm has reached the southeast Caribbean and made landfall in the Grenadines. Classified as a category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Beryl is the first major hurricane of the season and it is the earliest arrival of the Atlantic hurricane seasons in 58 years. The National Hurricane Center has warned that potentially catastrophic damage is expected in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, and the storm surge may raise water levels by as much as six to nine feet above normal tide levels.

Hurricane warnings in St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, and Grenada are in effect. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has told islanders to take the matter very seriously. Several airport in the region closed on Sunday, including the one in Barbados–the island hosted the cricket world cup this weekend and fans and the Indian cricket team are stranded there.