Let's just get a little bit of travel news out the way first this week, and it's actually relatively good...
The 3 main US carriers (under pressure from the DOT) have this week updated their ever changing terms and conditions in various ways. Delta and United have extended elite status for another full year with no requirements. American, where art thou on that one?
Then American have extended their waiver of change fees for all existing bookings now through September 30th. United has made the same change for existing bookings through December 31st. Delta have not moved their date past the end of May yet, but I would expect that to change shortly. Flight credits are now good for up to 2 years from date of issue with Delta and United and up to December 31st 2021 with American.
We are keeping our links to airline policies updated HERE.
Refunds are a different story and flights have to be actually cancelled or have a serious schedule change before a refund claim is warranted. Even then it's a very long process, especially with United who seem to be playing chicken with the DOT's order/request to make refunds compulsory. Yes, I will tell it like it is.
Change the Way You See the World was actually J5Travel's first ever tagline when we launched almost 5 years ago. As most of us now sit at home, the phrase has taken on a whole new meaning, and the best way to see the world right now is on a screen. Here are 5 amazing live webcams which may help to keep the wanderlust alive.
Click on the photos to go the webcams!
Photo credits - Unsplash this week
Top 5 Live Travel Webcams
1. Venice, Italy (above)
One of the first major tourist cities of the world to impose a lockdown, all the way back at the beginning of March (feels longer ago, right?). This rolling webcam highlights the splendor of the city perfectly and as you'll see it is devoid of people.
Top tip: watch between 1 and 2pm Eastern US time to catch sunset hour.
2. Brook Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska (above)
So you'll be watching the highlights cam for now, but come June, it will be sockeye salmon migration season again, and you will be able to enjoy this live. A brown bear skilled in the art, can catch up to 30 salmon a day, but they do have competition from bald eagles, lots of gulls, and maybe even the occasional wolf.
3. Northern Lights, Manitoba, Canada (above)
There should be about 3 weeks left of decent Northern Lights viewing, before the season is over and the nights become too short. This webcam operates from the Churchill Northern Studies Center, a research station in the far north of Manitoba, east of Churchill town, on the coast of Hudson Bay, Canada. The cam is located right under the "aurora oval", which makes it one of the best places on the planet to view the stunning aurora borealis.
4. Yosemite National Park, California (above)
The National Park Service operates 8 different live webcams from inside the Park focused on the highlights including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan and the Merced River. It's many years since we last visited, and of course right now, the Park is closed, but everyone should have Yosemite on their bucket-list as it's home to hundreds of wildlife species, 1,000+ plant species and spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, and sequoias.
5. Tokyo, Japan (above)
The Shibuya crossing in Tokyo is famous for the images of about a million people trying to cross the junction in varying directions at the same time. It's not quite deserted right now, but the Japanese do seem to be practicing safe distancing from each other like experts.
This neighborhood is usually a hot spot for Japan's youth, providing a large fashion district and exciting nightlife. The equivalent of New York City's "Time Square", the area has also been the focus point of many Hollywood movies such as The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.
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