Airlines have lost or damaged more than 15,000 wheelchairs since late 2018


“Every airline passenger deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, but too often that is not the case,” Duckworth, a double amputee, said in a statement in 2018. “I know from personal experience that when an airline damages a wheelchair, it is more than a simple inconvenience — it’s a complete loss of mobility and independence. It was the equivalent of taking my legs away from me again. No air traveler should be left in the lurch, immobile on a plane.”



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‘Wyoming hurts today. We lost a good one’: Hundreds travel to Jackson to honor fallen Marine


JACKSON — Hundreds of people, including Marines, came to celebrate the life of Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum on Saturday at a ranch in Jackson, Wyoming.

McCollum, 20, from Jackson, was killed by a suicide bomber when he was manning a checkpoint in Afghanistan on Aug. 26. He was helping the evacuation efforts.

RELATED | ‘He was going to be the best dad.’ Expectant father from Jackson killed in Kabul airport attack.

On Saturday afternoon, Marines escorted Rylee’s wife, Gigi, and their baby, along with Rylee’s father, Jim, and sisters out of yellow school buses to the memorial service. Marines flew in from Camp Pendleton in California to the service.

memorial
Memorial service in Jackson on Saturday | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

The service for McCollum was held at the Gill Ranch located off of South Park Loop Road. The McCollum family invited anyone to come.

Many cried as they heard stories about McCollum from family members.

“I’ll miss his infectious smile. I’ll miss our sibling dates. Rylee and I would go to a dinner and a movie just me and him every once in a while. It was always the best time,” said a tearful Cheyenne McCollum, one of McCollum’s sisters.

Rylee was the only boy in his family. He had three sisters and was raised by his single father.

McCollum made his father, Jim, very proud. Jim wanted to serve in the military but couldn’t due to medical reasons.

“Rylee called me on his 18th birthday from school, ‘Dad, I need you to come sign some papers for me, I am joining the Marines.’ I dropped everything I was doing. I left work, got to the school as fast as I could to hug my kid. I was proud of him,” said Jim, tearing up.

McCollum got married to Gigi before he went on his first deployment to Jordan. He was assigned to Afghanistan shortly after.

“Gigi brought out the best in Rylee,” said Jim.

Gigi just gave birth to their daughter last month in September and named her Levi Rylee Rose. McCollum had big plans to serve in uniform, come home to Wyoming to teach history, coach wrestling and become a father.

RELATED | Mother gives birth to baby of Marine from Jackson killed in Kabul airport attack

Though his family will miss him, they know he died a hero.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice. Not for himself, not for somebody close to him but for people he didn’t even know,” said Jim.

The senators and governor of Wyoming were present at the memorial service to honor McCollum.

“Rylee McCollum’s life demonstrated the best of our nation. His dad, Jim, told me that Rylee was full-blooded, red, white, and blue,” said John Barrasso, U.S. Senator of Wyoming.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon had ordered both the United States and Wyoming State flags be flown at half-staff statewide on Saturday in honor of McCollum.

“Wyoming hurts today. We lost a good one,” said Gordon at the service.



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Airbnb lost $1.2 billion in 1st quarter, blames European lockdowns



Associated Press

Published 7:40 a.m. ET May 14, 2021

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Thirteen years after its founders first rented air mattresses in their San Francisco apartment, Airbnb is making its long-awaited stock market debut. Airbnb raised $3.7 billion in the initial public offering.  (Dec. 5)

AP Domestic

Airbnb reported Thursday that its first-quarter loss more than tripled, to $1.2 billion, as travel remained depressed by the pandemic and the company was weighed down by costs from past borrowing.

However, revenue topped the same period in 2019, and Airbnb recorded billions in new bookings as the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19 raised hopes for a travel boom.

The home-sharing business said in a letter to shareholders that travel is starting to return, “and we expect a travel rebound unlike anything we have seen before.”

Still, Airbnb expressed concern about travel restrictions and lockdowns in Europe, a key market for summer rentals. The San Francisco-based company said it is too early to predict whether the pace of the travel recovery will continue in the second half of the year.

Pandemic-related restrictions are cutting into Airbnb revenue, particularly in Europe. The company has seen growing demand for travel in the U.S., however, with particular interest in rentals in beach and mountain locations. Bookings in cities, which were a strength before the pandemic, have not recovered.

Cancellations have eased from 2020 but remain higher than before the pandemic, although company officials gave no figures.

CEO Brian Chesky predicted that even after the pandemic more people will work outside central offices, providing a ready supply of future guests. He said 24% of Airbnb customers now book stays of at least 28 days, compared with 14% before the pandemic, which he suggested would give home-sharing an advantage over hotels.

“The longer you stay somewhere, the more you are inclined to stay in a home,” he said on a call with analysts.

Airbnb’s first-quarter results were hurt by losses related to debt repayment and an adjustment in the value of stock warrants issued in connection with money it borrowed last year during the depths of the pandemic downturn in travel.

The loss equaled $1.95 per share. Wall Street expected a loss of $717 million, or $1.07 per share, according to a FactSet survey of 27 analysts.

Airbnb’s revenue rose 5% from a year ago and 6% over the same quarter in 2019, to $887 million. That topped the analysts’ forecast of $721 million.

The value of new bookings recorded in the quarter jumped to $10.3 billion, up from $6.8 billion a year earlier and more than $4 billion higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Airbnb released the results after a day in which the shares fell 3.2% in regular trading. They fell less than 1% in extended trading.

The shares have fallen 37% since their Feb. 11 peak, dropping below where they closed after their stock market debut on Dec. 10.

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Abilene travel planner hopes pent-up demand makes up for lost business


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After an intense year of lockdowns, getting out there and seeing the world is in most people’s minds. Many cruise itineraries will be a week or less.

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The Travel Factory partner/manager Russell Berry was with a tour group in the Holy Land last year that was one of the last to fly out of Tel Aviv, Israel, before it was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were the last ones to leave, and we got back here and since that time – I mean for a year already and it’ll be more than that for it’s all over – we haven’t done very much business,” Berry said.

He was forced to move operations to an 800-square-foot space on the second floor of the Plaza Park Central office building, 4150 Southwest Drive. Since 1984, the agency had been located in a 2,000-square-foot suite on the building’s first floor.

He also has reduced hours and staffing. 

Cruises lines continue to delay operations until May and June, he said. Alaska cruises that originate out of Los Angeles or Seattle have not resumed, in part because foreign-flagged ships cannot transport passengers from one U.S. port to another unless stopping in a foreign port in between. Canada recently extended its ban on cruise ships until February 2022. 

More: Eager to cruise again? Royal Caribbean adding Bermuda, Bahamas cruises this summer for vaccinated vacationers

Berry recently was notified that an Alaska cruise booked for June was canceled “because they can’t stop in Victoria,” he said. 

But, Berry said, he is hopeful that the fourth quarter of 2021 will see a turnaround in business, thanks in part to increased COVID-19 vaccinations and relaxing of guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In the past three to four weeks, he has been fielding a few more calls from customers inquiring about vacations.

“I just got off the phone with a lady from Odessa. She said, ‘Russell, we’ve got to get out of here. Can you fix us a trip?,'” Berry said. 

One positive sign is that resorts in Mexico are offering COVID-19 tests on the grounds for the convenience of customers who must show a negative test within 72 hours before returning to the United States.

By contrast, a couple that booked a May honeymoon to Costa Rico is having to arrange the COVID-19 test away from the resort. Cost is about $150 a test, Berry said.

“I’ve had some people go in the last three or four weeks down to Mexico without a hitch,” Berry said. 

Once the turnaround in the travel industry occurs, Berry expects the 18-month pause in cruising to lead to brisk business, he said.

Laura Gutschke is a general assignment reporter and food columnist and manages online content for the Reporter-News.  If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com

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Alleged Car Prowler Arrested in McKinleyville in Possession of Burglary Tools | Lost Coast Outpost


Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On March 25, 2021, at about 7 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of Little Pond Street and Winchester Avenue in McKinleyville for the report of a car prowler.



According to the reporting party, the prowler, later identified as 37-year-old Thomas Manuel Prince, was captured on home surveillance video checking car doors and in possession of burglary tools. A short time later, the reporting party observed Prince at a neighbor’s residence reportedly setting items down near a travel trailer.

Deputies arrived in the area and located Prince walking on Winchester Avenue near Killdeer Road. During a search of Prince, deputies located stolen items, burglary tools and pepper spray. Additionally, deputies determined that the items set near the travel trailer had also been stolen from a nearby residence.

Prince was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of possession of burglary tools (PC 466) and felon in possession of tear gas (PC 22810(a)), in addition to warrant charges of vandalism (PC 594(b)(1)), possession of a narcotic controlled substance (HS 11350(a)), driving with a suspended license (VC 14601.2) and failure to provide proof of insurance (VC 16028(a)).

This case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Car prowl, also known as theft from vehicles, is a crime of opportunity. An offender makes a decision to break into a vehicle based on a perception that there are items of value inside the vehicle, which makes the potential payoff worth the risk. A car prowl can be completed in a minute or less, and a significant number of these crimes occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Car prowl is one of the easiest crimes to prevent with increased awareness and a change in habits. The following steps will reduce the chances that your vehicle will be targeted:

  1. Keep the interior of your vehicle “showroom” clean. Never leave valuables in plain view. Offenders often break into vehicles for items such as gym bags because they assume there are electronic devices or other items inside.
  2. Hide chargers and accessories that indicate a GPS, mobile phone or other devices that support electronics.
  3. Remove garage door openers, key cards, and house or work keys from your car.
  4. Park your car in a well-lit area. Trim back trees and bushes that block the view of your vehicle from your house.
  5. Always lock your vehicle, even if you are home.

To report a vehicle burglary, car prowler or related criminal activity, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.



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Accor Lost Nearly €2B in 2020, Though Limiting Cash Burn


Accor lost nearly €2 billion during 2020, yet managed to reduce its monthly cash burn through cost-saving measures from a monthly average of €79 million during the first half of the year to an average €42 million for the second half, according to the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings report.

“In 2020, the hotel industry navigated an unprecedented crisis,” said Accor chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin in a statement. “[Accor’s] rollout of measures to protect its financials was quick and disciplined. The measures delivered benefits over the second half of the year, and helped to limit the impact of the health crisis.” 

After a steady recovery throughout the summer and early fall, new Covid-19 outbreaks and renewed travel restrictions damped fourth-quarter results. “Only 2 percent of countries have no restrictions,” Bazin said during a Wednesday call. He added, though, that “we have 85 percent of [our] hotels open today and ready for business. Some are fetching 5 percent or 10 percent occupancy, but the light is on and we are open.” The company is encouraging guests to book with “full flexibility on cancellations,” and of the open hotels, 92 percent have implemented Accor’s new health and sanitation protocols. 

Q4 and Full-Year 2020 Results

Accor’s consolidated fourth-quarter revenue per available room was down 66.2 percent year over year. Occupancy reached 31.7 percent, down 37.6 percentage points on a like-for-like basis. Average daily rate declined 18.7 percent.

The North America, Central America and Caribbean region saw the most erosion in performance metrics. RevPAR for the quarter was down 81.5 percent year over year, while occupancy reached just 17.3 percent, down 51.8 percentage points. In Europe, the RevPAR decline was 73.1 percent year over year. Occupancy was 22.5 percent for the region, down 46.5 percentage points. RevPAR in the Asia-Pacific region eroded the least, at 51.5 percent for the quarter. Occupancy was at 48.7 percent, down 23.6 percentage points. 

Full-year 2020 results weren’t much better. Accor’s systemwide RevPAR declined 62 percent year over year. Occupancy fell 37.4 percentage points to 32.1 percent. ADR was down 16.7 percent. The North America, Central America and Caribbean region again reported steep performance declines, with RevPAR down 73.9 percent and occupancy reaching 23.5 percent, representing a 49 percentage-point decline. Europe was a tick better, with RevPAR down 63.3 percent and occupancy off by 42 percent to 29.4 percent. Though still not great numbers, Asia-Pacific showed the most resilience with a 54.9 percent year-over-year RevPAR decline and occupancy reaching 40.3 percent, a 30 percentage-point decline.

During full-year 2020, Accor opened 205 hotels with 28,942 rooms. The portfolio totaled 5,139 hotels with 753,344 rooms open and a pipeline of 1,209 hotels with 212,000 rooms, of which 73 percent are in emerging markets.

Bazin noted his bullishness on lifestyle hotels as the key for future success. “I’m a big believer that lifestyle will account for probably more than 20 percent of all the offerings of hotels in this planet over the next 20 years,” he said, citing the company’s recent deal with luxury brand operator Ennismore. “It is what individuals want, something more unique. So we made a long bet and a big bet in creating Ennismore. It’s a major acceleration and statement of where Accor should be positioning ourselves without forgetting our legacy plans.” 

RELATED: Accor Q3 2020 earnings



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Lost airline revenues tip of the iceberg for domestic testing


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  • New testing requirements for international travel to the United States has reduced overall travel.
  • Possible domestic testing restrictions could impact airline revenues by $6 billion quarterly, adding additional costs beyond those addressed by the CARES Act.
  • The long-term damage would further be felt through the uncertainty of travel domestic restrictions would bring to the flying public, further delaying the recovery and setting travel back to 20% of 2019 levels.

Through the myriad of challenges facing the airlines of the United States in the middle of the greatest downturn in air travel history comes a new question to be answered: What would mandatory COVID-19 testing for domestic travel do to the fragile U.S. airline industry? The testing for passengers bound for the United States from international departure points foreshadows the cost.

On January 12, 2021, the outgoing Trump Administration announced the new requirement in an effort to increase traveler confidence and later mandated as a means to curb the spread of new variants of the virus. The new testing requirement was followed by an immediate drop in air travel.

Related: The airlines are forked. Business and leisure flying split can heal

The U.S. air travel recovery, as followed daily through the now-familiar TSA daily screenings, abruptly reversed course from its gradual ascent to a weekly average of 47% of 2019 numbers in mid-January, to a new seven-day average of 35% by February 1. This 12 percentage point drop is especially impactful considering how little the total percentage the number of international travel represents.

With only 10% of all U.S. travel in 2021 anticipated to be international, the precipitous drop in demand following the announcement of testing requirements suggests a more damaging trend to the airlines than originally anticipated. The international component affecting overall traffic more than its share is creating a problem for airlines and lawmakers, alike. International travel is far more impacted than originally anticipated by the testing requirements. Additionally, the new order is having a negative effect on the confidence for consumers to book all travel, both international and domestic.

Now, with the amplified discussion of duplicating the international testing requirement to also apply to domestic travel, the incremental impact to an already fragile aviation industry has yet to be examined. Airlines and plane makers have submitted criticisms of the viability of a domestic testing requirement and its effectiveness at reducing viral spread as other methods of transportation continue unrestricted. As the debate continues, TAC Analysis looks deeper into the economic impact this could have on the U.S. airlines.

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Body Discovered Inside Burning Travel Trailer in Manila | Lost Coast Outpost


Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Jan. 8, 2021, at about 7:40 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Carlson Drive in Manila for a death investigation resulting from a structure fire.

Upon arrival, deputies observed firefighters tending to a travel trailer fire on the property. Deputies learned that while fighting the fire, emergency personnel had located a deceased individual inside the burning trailer.

Due to the condition of the remains, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office was not able to immediately confirm identification of the deceased.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.



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Sriwijaya Air flight lost following departure from Indonesia | News


A Boeing 737 operated by Sriwijaya Air has gone missing shortly after take-off from Indonesian capital Jakarta.

More than 50 people are believed to have been on board the passenger plane at the time of the incident.

The aircraft lost contact en route to Pontianak, located in the West Kalimantan province of the country, officials said.

Pictures of what seemed to be aircraft debris appeared on TV and social media, while the transport ministry said search and rescue efforts were under way.

Last contact with the plane, with the call sign SJY182, was made at 14:40 local time (07:40 GMT).

The usual flight time to Pontianak, situated on the west of the island of Borneo, is an hour-and-a-half.

According to registration details, the plane is a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500.

Sriwijaya Air, a local budget airline which flies to Indonesian and other south-east Asian destinations, said it was still gathering information about the flight.

The plane is not, however, a Boeing 737 Max, the model involved in two major crashes in recent years.

The first of those, in 2018, involved an Indonesian Lion Air flight which crashed into the sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta killing 189 people.

Image: Markus Mainka/DPA/PA Images





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COVID-19 Statistics | Jan. 8, 2021 | Lost Coast Outpost


Press release from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center:

Thirty-four new cases of COVID-19 were reported today. A person previously reported to be a positive case and subsequently hospitalized was later determined to be negative and suffering from an illness unrelated to COVID. Both the case and hospitalization have been removed from Humboldt County’s count. One additional hospitalization was reported today, so the cumulative number of hospitalizations stands at 73, and the total number of residents who have tested positive for the virus is now 2,031. 

The California Department of Public Health issued an updated travel advisory this week strongly discouraging all non-essential travel. The advisory states that anyone who chooses to travel from another state for non-essential reasons, such as tourism or recreation, needs to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days upon arrival. The advisory covers all 58 California counties. Additional restrictions are in place for counties that fall under the Regional Stay Home Order, but they do not apply to Humboldt at this time. 

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman said limiting travel is intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to preserve state and local intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. “Our ICU capacity has been relatively stable recently, but as of today, we know of a few local voluntary decisions to delay elective procedures in order to preserve that capacity,” he said. 

Read more about the state order at covid19.ca.gov/travel.  

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting [email protected] or calling 707-441-5000.

Local COVID-19 vaccine information: humboldtgov.org/vaccineinfo
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert 

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= historic data. All data from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center.

Data from CalREDIE. Zip codes not listed have experienced five cases or fewer. Zip code populations from the American Community Survey, 2018.





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