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Plane passenger HOG-TIED for four hours mid-flight after ‘violent’ rampage – PICTURES | Travel News | Travel

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A plane passenger who began “attacking” people around him after reportedly drinking from a bottle of whisky was tied up by his fellow passengers to prevent from causing harm mid-flight. Shocking images from the flight to Russia shows the man, believed to be 26 years old, lying on his front on the aircraft galley floor with his hands behind his back. His hands are hog-tied to his ankles with tape and belts. According to reports, the passenger had recently been released from prison in Thailand. 

After taking off, the cabin crew had struggled to control the man in question and the pilot said he was prepared to make an emergency landing as a result of the violent flyer.

Passengers hogtied him and he remained on the floor for around four hours until the A320 flight reached Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city.

A spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry told The Mirror a male passenger “hit the hooligan several times and with the help of other tourists tied him up.

“Witnesses confirmed that the captain had warned passengers that they might need to land in China or Mongolia because of this hooligan.”

The man had brought the bottle of whisky on board with him from Bangkok despite the packed flight being alcohol-free.

His “offensive and threatening behaviour” had started just three hours into the seven-hour 45 minutes flight, according to witnesses. 

The flight was operated by S7, part of the same One World alliance as British Airways and American Airlines.

The Russian airlines confirmed the incident had taken place. “On 15 January a deported passenger looking completely sober was put on 582 flight from Bangkok to Novosibirsk,” an S7 spokeswoman told Express.co.uk.

“Later a cabin crew member noticed him drinking alcohol and asked him to stop. Later on, passengers sitting next to him called for a cabin crew member.

“The man went on drinking, spoke loudly and disturbed his neighbours. He ignored cabin crew members as well as the captain’s order to stop breaking the rules.

“In order to guarantee flight safety cabin crew members asked the man to the rear kitchen area and tried to calm him down, when he started to offend and threaten other passengers and the crew.

“With the help of other passengers the man was restrained, however, went on to behave inadequately, trying to hit his head against the floor. During the flight, he was watched by a cabin crew member and a doctor. Right after landing he was handed over to police officers and fined for disorderly conduct.”

Last month a Ryanair flight was forced to turn back to Stansted after a fight broke out between two passengers.

A video captured the moment two men began to fight with witnesses saying it started after one of the passengers stood on the other. The two men were caught shouting at each other on the plane as they were surrounded by other passengers.

It also captured one of the men being taken off the plane by armed police who were forced to swarm the cabin after landing.

The flight was forced to turn back to Stansted Airport just 15 minutes into the journey due to the disruption.

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Travel & Escape

Opinion: Are we ready for the tourism rebound?

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Canadians are ready for the borders to be re-opened and will be flocking to sun destinations this winter like never before. The number of people who have said that they are ready to “get out of Dodge” and “fly the coop” is an indication that there is a pent-up demand for travel and excursions that has been bolstered by a two-year sabbatical from vacations of any semblance. 

While Canadians are going to be heading south, we can expect some of our citizens as well as those from other nations to be looking to Canada for their adventure holidays. When the requirements for the two-week quarantines are lifted, we will be seeing a quick rebound of tourism as other countries who have already lifted their restrictions have seen. 

But are we ready?

In 2019, tourism contributed $105 billion to the Canadian economy. Tourists from outside of Canada spent over $16 billion dollars.  Those numbers were down considerably in 2020 and it is only natural that many people in the industry suffered as a result of the effects of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

While some folks, fearful of the spread of variants, believe that the borders should never be re-opened, the reality is that to save our tourism industry and the economy, we need tourist traffic from outside of Canada as well as interprovincial travel. As Canadian and foreign tourists start their migration towards our tourist and nature attractions, there is some hesitancy about the readiness of the industry to manage the coming tsunami of people.

Hit harder than many sectors, the tourism industry has been affected by the pandemic in ways that other industries haven’t. The closure of attractions, fairs, tour bus companies, sporting events, concerts and community events with any semblance of a large group has forced workers in this industry to look for jobs elsewhere to survive. As a result of this migration of talent there will be many tourism related businesses that will have difficulty scaling up to meet demand.  According to Statistics Canada, 32 per cent of accommodation and food service companies expect that attracting workers is going to be an obstacle for them this year.

Even if you have some warm bodies to fill your positions, having well-trained staff will remain a problem for many tourism and food service companies. Most business leaders in the industry understand the result of having improperly trained staff working in positions serving the public. The consequences of poor customer service can be long lasting and devastating. Unfortunately, as a result of the constant opening up and shutting down scenarios that have been seen in the economy over the past 18 months, most operators have been reluctant to increase the staffing levels that will be necessary to meet demand. The consequences will be that there will be no other option but to have staff that are not fully trained or optimally equipped to take care of the flood of vacationers.

In order to adjust to the coming demand, tourism-related businesses will need to be prepared to hire and train new employees to promote and deliver their services. This should include systematization of training, hiring and onboarding processes to enable companies to get up to speed quickly when the demand starts.  

While tourism deserves to have their days in the sun and profit from increased business, we need to recognize as Canadians that it takes a country to host visitors and we need to encourage and support those people in the industry who have been hit so hard.

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Travel & Escape

COVID-19: Tourism bookings start increasing as B.C. opens up

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Tourism in B.C. is restarting but don’t expect it to be the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While B.C. Ferries is welcoming recreational travellers and relaxing its mask requirement at terminals, face coverings will still be mandatory on board whenever you’re not in your vehicle.

Several Indigenous tourism businesses and locations that were closed to visitors are planning to reopen July 1.

Other tourism businesses are welcoming back visitors but won’t be in a position to handle big volumes because of a lack of staff, said Anthony Everett, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island.

“Everyone needs to travel with a great deal of patience,” Everett said from Nanaimo. “Most businesses are running at a fraction of capacity of what they did prior to COVID.”

Many tourism sector workers have left the industry and found work elsewhere, Everett said. Particularly hard hit are restaurants that can’t find kitchen workers and companies doing tourism-related activities such as kayaking.

He said the benefits of tourism won’t be evenly distributed.

Last year, Victoria struggled all summer long and while bookings for accommodation have increased, some of the city’s restaurants are only open for lunch, others only for dinner.

“This is all going to take time to build up,” Everett said.

“Frankly, I think it will take years. This summer, bookings are going up, that’s what we’re been waiting for. It’s not going to be the exact same experience you were used to prior to the pandemic. I hope people remember and recognize that.”

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Travel & Escape

Mountain biking the Sea to Sky Trail

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With the 700-metre granite dome of the Stawamus Chief as a backdrop, my friend, Ken, and I climbed on our bikes in Squamish and began pedalling north. Our destination was Whistler, an uphill trek of some 80km that we hoped to cover in two days.

It would be easier to ride the opposite way—from Whistler to Squamish—because it’s downhill. But it wouldn’t be the Sea to Sky Trail if we rode that way. Besides, how hard could an elevation gain of more than 600 meters be?

I have driven the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler many times. It’s arguably one of the best drives in Canada, but when I learned about the Sea to Sky Trail, I knew I needed to experience it on a bike. It’s a slower pace, and largely away from the highway, so it would allow us to appreciate the journey—the valleys, river gorges, lakes, and forests—in a way you can’t in a car.

While the Indigenous peoples of the Coast Salish and Interior Salish have used this corridor as a historic travel and trade route, the idea of a multi-purpose Sea to Sky Trail was first imagined in the early 1990s. But given the geographical and funding challenges, it’s only been in the last decade or so that the vision of the 180km trail from Squamish to D’Arcy, north of Pemberton, has been realized.

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