Gerry Wingenbach

Gerry Wingenbach

Contributor for: The Gate The Tarmac

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Gerry Wingenbach is a veteran journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries. The author of three books of non-fiction, he is a dual citizen and longtime resident of Vancouver, Canada, and Washington, D.C. When not traveling, he now winters in Park City, Utah, and spends the summers in Banff, Alberta.
Recent Articles

Gold Smuggling Passengers on the Rise in India

Gold smuggling at airports in India is increasing. In Mumbai, almost 500 cases have been reported within the past four months.

Customs authorities in Mumbai confiscated more than 30 pounds of gold in three separate smuggling attempts on Saturday. Four people were arrested. The offences happened...

Cathay Pacific Aims to Be Carbon Neutral by 2020

Cathay Pacific Airways has made an equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a producer of biofuel in the United States. The airline says it is developing a “biofuel strategy” and aims to be carbon neutral by 2020.

The announcement was made in a press release issued Thursday. Cathay...

Thousands of Russians Stranded as Tour Companies Go Bankrupt

Hordes of vacationing Russian tourists are stranded all along the trodden summer venues of Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Spain and Bulgaria. They are stuck without tickets to return home, sidelined by the thousands, and all victims of bankruptcies forced on Russian travel agencies by the falling ruble...

Pack of Rats Grounds Air India Flight

Air India had to ground an Airbus A-321 on Monday after a pack of rats was seen running around the economy seating in the rear of the cabin. The aircraft had just landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) from Kolkata in West Bengal. As soon as the passengers disembarked,...

Russia Threatens to Close Airspace to European Carriers

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he might ban European airlines from flying over Siberia, the route that most carriers fly to Asia. The action would be in retaliation for last week's European Union sanctions, which included cancelling the leasing agreement on Boeing 737s used by...

Emergency Exit Hijinks Tops Weekend of Airport Mischief

Philippine Airlines Flight 434 from Cebu had just arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) last Saturday afternoon when a 33-year-old man opened an emergency exit and jumped as the plane taxied to the terminal.

He ran but couldn’t hide before airport security caught him. Police...

Airports Safeguarding Against Ebola

Twenty airports across the United States have been outfitted with quarantine stations, and staff members are on the lookout for potential Ebola carriers. Trained health officials are watching passengers, prepared to isolate and monitor anyone with Ebola-like symptoms, which include sudden onset...

Qantas and LAN Expand Codeshare

Beginning August 1, Qantas will be tacking on more South American destinations to its network by expanding an existing codeshare with oneworld partner LAN. The new agreement means Qantas passengers can travel on codeshare services operated by LAN from Santiago, Chile to six destinations across...

SkyTeam Introduces "Mini Round-the-World" Ticket

It sounds like a bar bet: SkyTeam’s new Go Round Asia and South West Pacific Pass fit in your pocket, it’s flexible, it’s got legs, and you can travel to a menagerie of 26 Asian countries.

You’re entitled to as many as 11 stopovers while frequent flyer miles accumulate at redline pace....

Military Exercises Continue to Snarl Flights in China

Nearly all afternoon flights into China’s busiest airports were cancelled today because of “congestion in the airspace,” which is code for military exercises. Frequent flyers in China are made of stronger stuff.

Fighter jets outrank civilian planes so Chinese generals get to curb...

Captain, Turn Off That Device

I’m not saying the pilot of the Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus was texting while parking last night—you know how we amp the iPhone on landing—I’m just saying you've got two pilots with more onboard-computer power than Apollo 11, who wing it from Buenos Aires to Miami and then have a...

Dreaming about the Dreamliner

“There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm dreaming the hardest.” ― Marilyn Monroe

Maybe there are a lot of dreamers out there. And maybe nobody is dreaming harder than amped and jittery Boeing. Maybe dreaming so hard that the 787...

Ranking Airline Safety

The thing is, safety records are so one-dimensional. You go x number of years without a crash and you’re top shelf. But screw up once, your safety record is toast. There’s no unified theory of safety, but a European agency has named Finnair the world’s safest airline.

Europe's Jet Airline...

The Comings and Goings of Air Traffic Control

A USA Today headline asks how many air traffic controllers handle each cross-country flight, say from LAX to JFK. Handoffs happen all over the map. Controllers carve out slices of space and/or time and leave behind jet-fuel smelling backwash. There are plans to improve traffic control with fewer...

TSA Begins Testing Behavior Screening

“Hey, girlie, are you smiling at that full-body scanner or are you just hoping for a pat down? You, big boy, you come here often? All the security lines in all the airports in the world and you walk up to this one.” TSA officers have a new high-tech tool beyond the logic of computers and...

Delayed Opening at new Berlin (BER) Airport

The fire safety system does not meet standards demanded by building permits. So the opening of Berlin’s new $5.7 billion international airport (BER) is delayed. Again. Construction costs have doubled. Officials touting hip Berlin’s “poor but sexy” image are stone-faced and repelled and...

United Airlines Hikes Fares, Others Soon to Follow?

Airline analysts warned us airfares would climb in the new year. And there goes United, lacking a comedian’s sense of timing and sprinting away from the peloton with a $2 to $5 each way, domestic fare increase. With more than a million fares affected, a few bucks are a quick way to rack up red...

Boeing is (Again) World’s #1 Airplane Maker

Boeing is booming. Airbus is second. Last year Boeing penciled in 1,203 commercial airplane orders, the second highest number in their history. They delivered 601 aircraft, the most since 1999. And they’ve got 4,373 airplane orders to fill, the most in their nearly 100 year history, which...

Putting on the Red Shoes at Virgin Atlantic

To celebrate launching UK domestic routes between London Heathrow and Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Virgin Atlantic is running a heart-smacking, fanciful, soulful all-in-one video advertisement labeled ‘Flying in the Face of Ordinary’.

‘They were born different.’ So begins Virgin...

Bag Fees Keeping Airlines Aloft

Well, did you fly enough to get that top-rung status you’ve been chasing? Up there where the air is thin and keen and you’re in your cabana-chair while your checked bag flies free. Third-quarter numbers posted a few weeks ago and the top 10 airlines (ranked by total number of passengers) all...