Travel news: Aviation meltdowns, China reopening and Mussolini’s ghost

(CNN) — In travel news this week, China reopened its borders, US aviation had another

(CNN) — In travel news this week, China reopened its borders, US aviation had another meltdown, and we take a look at Italy as a destination for history buffs.

Arrrrgh-viation news

The Federal Aviation Administration lifted their pause on all domestic flight departures across the US that they issued after the system that provides pilots with pre-flight safety notices went offline. CNN’s aviation correspondent Pete Muntean reports on the impacts.

Another week, another aviation meltdown. Domestic flight departures were halted all across the United States on Wednesday after the system providing pilots with safety notices suffered an outage, causing major disruption. Meanwhile, US federal officials are still acting on “thousands” of complaints related to Southwest Airlines’ holiday meltdown.
A group of passengers in Bangaluru, India, were stuck on a shuttle bus to their plane as they watched it take off without them, and earlier this month, a teen pilot flying a single-engine plane with family members on board was forced to make an emergency landing near a California highway.

Italy’s historical tourism

An ancient Pompeii home most likely owned by two freed slaves before being buried in the eruption of 79 CE has reopened to the public after a 20-year-long restoration project. The house is filled with a rich array of extraordinary art. Watch here.
Some of Italy’s 20th-century historical legacy is more controversial. A map of the country’s fascist monuments went online last year, documenting more than 1,400 landmarks associated with Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship.
One of the places cataloged is Villa Carpena, a mansion in the northeastern Emilia Romagna region that its owners say is haunted by the ghost of Mussolini and several of his family members: “This place is alive with their presence, they are all still here and we can feel them, they are constantly watching us.”

China opens up

As China’s borders reopened without quarantine requirements following three years of strict restrictions, CNN’s Selina Wang spoke with Jane Sun, CEO of the Chinese travel platform about what the travel industry can expect with open Chinese borders.
After three years of Covid isolation, China reopened its borders on January 8 and joyful reunions took place at airports all over the country. “I’ve waited for this so long,” said one newlywed separated from her husband, “Now … everything starts to become better.”
As well as restored flight connections, Chinese airlines are launching new routes that will make it easier for travelers in Budapest, Athens, Johannesburg and other major cities to visit China and vice versa.
Unsurprisingly, demand for outbound travel among Chinese consumers is now at a record high. CNN spoke to travelers to find out which destinations are top of their list.

Missssbehaving traveler of the week

It was a bit of a squeeze for the boa constrictor inside the bag.

It was a bit of a squeeze for the boa constrictor inside the bag.


Unlike snakes that move in an S shape, boa constrictors travel in a straight line. And if one woman in Florida had her way, a boa constrictor would have flown straight up in the air, too. Luckily, TSA agents found the four-foot chunky reptile in her hand luggage before any travelers got in a twist.

Love on a sleeper train

“He looks very clean and American,” thought British drama student Katy Vernon when she saw US airman Randy Vanderwood on an Amsterdam train platform in 1991. Randy thought Katy and her friends were “obnoxious and loud.”

In case you missed it

A Californian used DNA analysis to find his family and it sent him across three continents.

“After a lifetime believing I was a basic White American, I learned that was only half true.”

A New Yorker set a world record for eating at the most Michelin-starred restaurants in a single day.

20 carry-on essentials

Given the frequency with which travelers’ checked bags have been going on their own independent adventures of late — one woman’s suitcase even went to McDonald’s — going hand-luggage-only is looking more attractive than ever.
Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together this roundup of 20 items to help you pack lighter and smarter, without losing any of your travel essentials.