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United / United Express / IAH / Bad Ideas / Travel News / → All Tags
You ever get the feeling that people, across the board, are getting worse at life? This story won't help. It's a near-perfect tale of an airline and a passenger working together to fail. All we hear every time we read or hear about it is a loud "womp womp womp" in our ears.
We're not the only ones. Check out to the news broadcast from ABC News we've embedded below. The anchors can't get over how kind of pathetic and kind of funny and more than a little pathetically funny it is. "Now to the story we can't get enough of this morning." They're not even pretending.
Thanksgiving travel is never a treat. The roads and airports are always extra crowded, and the destinations - family dinner tables surrounded by people who have no place talking to each other, let alone about politics, like you know they're going to do - are even worse. But at least this year there's also going to be a "deadly winter storm system" laying waste to air, rail, and car travel. So everyone has that to look forward to.
There's one storm that's been making across the Midwest for a week, and should slam into the Northeast on Tuesday and Wednesday. There's another storm that's been dropping ice across the South and should push north past the Carolinas overnight Monday. Those two storms will then combine, and that's when things take a turn.
Authorities have added a second arrest in their investigation of those three dry ice bombs planted last week at Los Angeles International airport. We're going to get to the details down below, but first let's dispense with some necessary unpleasantries: when NPR wrote that the "prank bombs... caused paranoia" at LAX, that was staggeringly moronic.
Dry ice bombs of any kind can be filled with shrapnel and metal fragments, and ice bombs made out of glass bottles can - quote unquote - require "major operative intervention," to say nothing of taking lives. These things are bad news and shutting down an airport as they're exploding is not paranoia. The geniuses who set them off - employees of Serviceair, which does baggage handling and cleaning at LAX - are very rightly in a world of legal hurt. Just building dry ice bombs is a felony in Los Angeles, let alone exploding them in an airport.
Before you complain that we're making this up, please see the video embedded at the bottom of this post and this Indigogo campaign page requesting $10,000 for the project. It's not a prank. If it was a prank, it'd be a great prank. But it's not.
Triposo is a travel technology company that makes apps containing maps, recommendations, currency advice, etc. They have iPhone and Android versions of their software. The company touts the ability of their programs to "deliver custom, real-time recommendations of places to go and things to see." So far so good, but things are about to head south.
Social Media / Twitter / Airline Industry / British Airways / Lost Luggage / Bad Ideas / Travel Rants / → All Tags
The growth of Twitter has had an uneven effect on the airline industry and its relationship to travelers.
On one hand, it has enabled the development of a real-time concierge service that really does help customers. We've publicly tweeted about airline-driven mistakes, then gotten transfered to direct messages, and then gotten incoming mobile phone calls...and then gotten our problems resolved. There are articles and even studies about the effectiveness of airlines' Twitter war rooms.
On the other hand, there's something about Twitterand it's the same thing with Yelp and TripAdvisorthat transforms some people into gigantic douchebags. Or at the very least, it allows them to publicly highlight their douchebaggery in breathtaking ways. Let's take this gem of a userthe guy who paid $1,000 to promote a tweet attacking British Airways for temporarily misplacing his father's luggageas a case study.
Bad Ideas / New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Airport Security / Airline Security / Travel News / → All Tags
We thought we had maxed out this week's airport security stupid on Wednesday, when we wrote about the genius who tried to smuggle uranium, through an airport, in his luggage, in the United States. We figured that no one could be any less intelligent in trying to smuggle something through an airport, at least not this week. We were - in a single word - incorrect.
Meet the "fish pants smuggler" who got caught in New Zealand's Auckland Airport this week. Guess what he tried to hide in his pockets.
Travel News / Bad Ideas / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Accidents / Tragedies / 777 / Asiana Airlines / SFO / → All Tags
We've now reached the point in the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 tragedy where coverage shifts from being about the story itself, to coverage being about the coverage of the story. Before we continue we want to emphasize that there are some actual angles being covered, from the substantive updates to the actual investigation to the reported heroics of members of the crew.
We're not sure whether it's OK to file this story under celebrity travel, since the celebrity in question is quite rightly and quite accurately described by local news outlets as a "social media pariah"? We're very sure that it counts as alcohol travel, so it's not as if we're going to pass on the story. But just for accuracy's sake, what do you guys think? Yes or no on the celebrity travel part?
"Tan Mom" Patricia Krentcil - this is the one who took her daughter to a tanning facility and then was evicerated for weeks by the Internet - had a layover at MSP. She decided to leave the airport so she could have a cigarette, because of course she did. For some reason when she came back in she had trouble getting past security. Cue total melt down at TSA agents.
Airline Strikes / Travel News / Bad Ideas / France Travel / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Airport Strikes / Europe Travel / → All Tags
It's the season of airport strikes, during which unions - maybe justifiably, maybe not - burn whatever sympathy the public has for them by grinding airports to a halt. Every single time some group of airport or airline workers tries something like this, travelers followed by huge swaths of the public turn against the strikers. And yet here we are, all together, again.
This time it's a strike by French air traffic controllers. First the walkout resulted in the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights in France60 percent of the country's flightsand then it began cascading across Europe.
Google Maps / Travel Tech / Google / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
Forbes has a nice little post about the new version of Google Maps that's getting rolled out. Apparently it has all kinds of neat features. There is a new interface that pops up information cards whenever you search for an address. On the card are options to save the location, get directions, see the Street View, and so on. There are options for comparing trip versionsshould you hop on a bus or driveand a smoother, more detailed map. Slick.
And then at the very bottom of the post there's a mention about how the new Google Maps version has new algorithms for directing users to restaurants and other facilities. Google will compile everything it knows about youyour clicks and preferences, and you social networks, and what you mention over emailto shape the personalize the information it shows you just like it does with search results.
Theoretically users will get to see more of what they prefer, and less of what they don't. Concludes Forbes: "very cool."
Travel Tips / Crimes / Wine Travel / Argentina Travel / Mendoza Travel / Travel Photography / Tourism / Tourists / Travel Warnings / Travel Alerts / Travel Safety / Bike Travel / Active Travel / Tours / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
We were robbed. It may have happened just over a year ago, but we still live with the effects (like a fear that comes while biking and we hear a moped motor approaching). Read the full story, but also take away whatever knowledge you can from our horrible experience in order to prevent it happening to you while away from home.
Only a few days ago, Lifehacker posted a brilliant list of tips for travelers toting nice cameras, including how to deter would-be thieves. In this vein, we're revisiting our own 8 safety tips to avoid being mugged abroad:
Passengers Behaving Badly / American Airlines / Emergency Landings / Travel Hell / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
There's a distinct difference between "fan" and "stan." A fan has a normal affection for a product, person, or somesuch. A stan? Well, they're different. They fall into the batshit category. They go too far. They can be dangerous.
That's how American Airlines crew could categorize the passenger they had to remove from a recent flight from LA to JFK.
A woman, obviously Whitney Houston's biggest fan, repeatedly sang her "I Will Always Love You" song for hours on end, before passengers had had enough.