Today’s Top Headlines: May 22, 2012


Four climbers’ lives were claimed by altitude sickness while descending Mount Everest; travelers are finding plenty of alternatives to hotels this Memorial Day; travelers might start hating airlines even more; an earthquake devastates northern Italy; and a budget Spanish airline is hip to the kids using Instagram. Here’s all the news we’re taking in today.

Four climbers die from altitude sickness on Mount Everest.

Four mountain climbers died over the weekend while descending Mount Everest, while a Nepalese sherpa still remains missing. The climbers were a 61-year-old German, a 44-year-old South Korean, a Chinese-born climber, and a Canadian, all of whom suffered from altitude sickness and exhaustion. Their deaths have again raised concerns about overcrowding and congested trails. {International Business Times}

Hotels aren’t popular for Memorial Day trips this year.

Despite Memorial Day being the official kick off of summer and one of the most traveled holiday weekends this time of year, reports show that hotel bookings are down. Only 39% of travelers who booked online plan to stay in hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, while the remaining bulk of travelers will stay in an RV, an owned vacation home, or a vacation rental. {USA Today}

Airlines could start charging for adjacent seats.

After reports of a decline in baggage revenue for airlines, it comes as no surprise to find that airlines are beginning to reserve window and aisle seats for passengers willing to pay an extra fee. This additional charge means that unless you book a ticket two or more months ahead, it could cost $25 extra just to sit next to your friend or family member. {Huffington Post}

Italy earthquake devastates historical area, kills seven.

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit northern Italy on Sunday, killing seven, injuring 50, and devastating historical sites. The epicenter was reportedly between Modena and Mantova, about 22 miles north-northwest of Bologna. Churches and towers in the town collapsed, while other structures have significant cracks. {Yahoo News}

It was only a matter of time: Check out Vueling’s Instagram jet.

KLM chose Facebook, and now Spanish budget airline Vueling has chosen Instagram. The airline is asking their Facebook fans to take photos of one of their 76 destinations using Instagram for the chance to win one of 50 roundtrip flights and to see their photo on the outside of a jet. {Jaunted}

Photo credits: Airline interior via Shutterstock; Mount Everest via Shutterstock