Celebrate St. Andrews Day in Scotland

St. Andrews Day is on November 30, and the festivities surrounding Scotland’s national holiday are due to start on November 26. For travelers with Scottish ancestry – or those looking to hide from relatives over the Thanksgiving holiday – it might not be a bad idea to head out to Scotland for a few days. Even though there isn’t much time left to book, give yourself the thrill of picking up and dashing off on short notice.

This year, the St. Andrews Day celebrations are the grand finale of Scotland’s Homecoming year, so expect plenty to be happening. There will be a music extravaganza, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Illuminated Art Car Parade (the official opening) and free previews of Burns Cottage.

If you travel to Scotland through December 12, you can take advantage of an amazing deal. For only $1,136, you can pick up airfare from Newark to Glasgow on Continental Airlines, six nights at one of 320 Scottish bed and breakfast properties, a full breakfast every day and six days of rental car use with unlimited mileage. All Value-Added Tax and service charges are included!

There’s an added perk for anyone named Andrew or Andrea. You’ll have a chance to win a five-night trip to Scotland (including stays in Edinburgh). Answer one question correctly, and you’ll have a shot at a trip to the land of Andrew.

Delay grounds entire airline for a month

Delays in Newark are keeping an entire airline on the ground. We’ve seen how a single flight’s delay can have impacts at airlines across the country, but preventing an entire airline from going wheels up … that’s huge.

JetAmerica has had to defer its launch for a month, citing problems getting takeoff slots at Newark Liberty International Airport. This isn’t the first time an airline’s blamed an airport, but it must resonate with the many passengers who have spent too much time at Liberty gates thanks to delays.

Of course, this holdup is costing JetAmerica, the wannabe low-cost carrier, an absolute fortune. So far, it’s had to refund half a million dollars to more than 6,400 passengers, ostensibly because the folks in Newark temporarily clipped its wings.

If JetAmerica ever does really get off the ground, it will offer 34 flights a day, servicing such desirable destinations as Toledo, Lansing and South Bend.

Buffalo crash pilot lied on job application

Remember that plane crash in February, in Buffalo? There were 50 fatalities. Well, it turns out the pilot would have lost his job if he hadn’t lost his life. Marvin Renlsow, who was a pilot for Colgan, reportedly falsified his job application by not disclosing two failures on flight tests in small planes. Had his supervisors known, he “would have been immediately dismissed.”

Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether the crew responded inappropriately to a stall warning … as well as Colgan’s hiring and training practices. Among the issues is whether unauthorized chatter among pilots and fatigue played roles in the crash. Renslow’s copilot, Rebecca Shaw, flew from Seattle to Newark overnight, arriving the day of the accident and evidence suggests she wasn’t able to get much sleep that day.

The plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 crashed in Clarence Center, New York en route from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo. All 49 people on the plane died, along with on person on the ground.

March “lion” slams east coast

From New Hampshire to the Carolinas, March came in, as the saying goes, like a lion. Snow, sleet and wind gusts reaching 30 mph have lead to for motor vehicle deaths, school closings and chaos at airports.

More than 900 flights have been canceled at New York area airports (JFK, Newark and LaGuardia). Hundreds more at Logan International Airport in Boston never left the ground, where the airport closed for more than half an hour to clear a runway. In Philadelphia, more than 40 people were stranded overnight.

Even the bus operators got into the delay and cancellation game. Greyhound and Peter Pan scrapped trips into and out of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

So, get comfortable. It’s going to take a while to sort this mess out.