Tag: Bad IdeasView All Tags
Apparently there's a debate happening on the Internet - so says the LA Times - over whether the 14 year old Dutch girl who tweeted a terrorist threat to American Airlines was "a victim of security excess" or an "idiot." To which we answer, why can't it be both?
You'll recall that Sarah - of the now-deleted @QueenDemetriax_ Twitter account - tweeted to @AmericanAir over the weekend that "hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye." The social media mavens at American responded exactly 6 minutes later (faster than they've ever done when, say, we've had a flight canceled) by publicly informing her that her "IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."
Social Media / Bad Ideas / US Airways / Twitter / NSFW / Sex Travel / Nude Travel / 777 / → All Tags
Which of these words doesn't belong? TWITTER BOEING 777 US AIRWAYS PORN MH370
Actually, if you'd been on Twitter earlier today and spotted a very NSFW mis-tweet reply from US Airways' @usairways account, then you'd know that, unfortunately, all of the above terms are now entwined in one of the most egregious social media slip-ups of all time.
Here's what happened:
Travel Advertising / Singapore Travel / Singapore / Tourism / Tourism Boards / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
This is being described as the "most embarrassing tourism ad ever," and also as "so bad it will go viral," and also as "cringe-worthy," and also as a bunch of other similar things. We've watched it - once, and only once - and those are all fair descriptions. It might literally be the worst bit of travel advertising we've ever seen. It's so bad that it goes around to being good, but then it comes back around to being bad, and then it gets stuck at bad. It's painful to watch.
The source of this travesty is the Singapore tourism board, and the backlash they faced was very immediately and very public. In what might be described as an understated public climb-down, the board admitted that the video "was not resonating well with audiences" and that "some aspects of it could have been done better." So of course they took it down, and of course you can find one of its many online copies embedded below.
This morning, a cryptic tweet by Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games, 30 Rock, Modern Family) highlighted what is definitely a #celebtravelproblem:
Dear fans, I love you. Please don't take pictures of me sleeping on airplanes.— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) April 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, Banks' Modern Family co-star faced a similar situation while napping on set. Sofia Vergara took pains to prevent any sleeping photos of her from leaking, by placing a napkin over her face. The concept only half-worked, as her co-stars turned it into an Instagram opportunity (above) which then ended up as a DailyMail article, but at least her snoozing face literally stayed out of the picture.
April Fools' Day / Bad Ideas / Mile High Club / Titanic II / Cell Phones / Airline Seats / Travel Pillows / → All Tags
It's that time of year when we not only look for spring right around the corner, but also spend one day indulging in little pranks. It's April Fools' Day and this year our focus isn't on airlines' false press releases, but rather actual bad travel ideas we wish were jokes.
Flamingo Air's "Mile High Club" flights
If joining the mile-high club is on your bucket-list, now you can do it safely and securely on an "airline" specifically for those wanting to get nasty on a plane. For $425, a small chartered aircraft will give frisky couples access to a queen bed in the sky for a 60-minute flight. The package includes champagne, chocolates, and one discrete pilot at the controls.
As recently as a week ago, the consensus was that the coverage surrounding MH370 - though by turns saddening, horrifying, and infuriating - wasn't really damaging the reputation of Malaysia Airlines. The Sydney Morning Herald interviewed a bunch of analysts who went even further, saying that not only was there limited erosion right now, but that any negative impact in the future "was likely to be modest and short-lived." Things were obviously not going well, and most people expected the worst, but airline disasters are often treated far more as generic tragedies than airline-specific incompetence. That seemed to be happening here.
If that's how things end up - if MH finally emerges from this crash with its brand more or less intact - it won't be because they didn't make spectacular efforts to fuck it up. Instead, it's like the airline went out of its way to alienate people, from the victims' families to entire countries. This took some effort.
TSA / PHX / Bad Ideas / Airport Security / Airline Security / → All Tags
It's been a week since we've had a post describing some potentially stupid TSA confiscation - the last one involved Lena Dunham and something shaped like a cat - so we're practically overdue. Meet country music promoter, PreCheck member, and perfume wearer Lois Lewis. Two Saturdays ago, she tried to get a 2 ounce bottle of Jimmy Choo perfume through security at PHX. The perfume comes in a case shaped like a grenade.
Cue "womp womp womp" music. The security lane was closed for an hour, bomb experts were called in, and so on. We've embedded a news report at the bottom.
TSA / Bad Ideas / Airport Security / Airline Security / PHX / → All Tags
You guys know our stance on TSA, and our basic frustration with people who knock the airport security agency just for kicks. You know it because we've repeated it endlessly to the point where we asked you to incorporate it into your New Years resolution for 2014.
If you're going to complain about how much TSA employees suck, you need to choose one of two options: either support more funding for agency, so it can hire better people, or elect lawmakers who will dismantle it, which will never happen because no politician wants to get tagged for the next terrorist attack. Anything else is just complaining for the sake of complaining.
Bad Ideas / BWI / Mile High Club / Sex Travel / → All Tags
As we never tire of reminding you, especially as space tourism gets closer and closer to becoming a reality, the upward trajectory of civilian aviation has been nothing short of remarkable. It's only been about a century since human beings figured out how to create fixed wing heavier-than-air flying machines, and we're now on the verge of sending travelers on sub-orbital mini-vacations. As far as history is concerned, that's the blink of an eye.
Of course as soon as people figured out how to get airborne, they almost immediately invented autopilots so they could stay airborne in the laziest possible way. And as soon as they invented autopilots, they tried to use their free time to have sex in the air. Because despite the wide variety and ingenuity of the human race, people are kind of morons when it comes to sex.
Bad Ideas / Airline Safety / Lasers / Crimes / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Airline Industry / → All Tags
We did a full blog post about this issue in 2011, and even back then we felt a little torn about whether it was worth writing. There was a legitimate travel politics story at the time, since the FAA had just announced a dedicated system for reporting people who were aiming lasers at aircraft. But it didn't really seem like there was any there there. How stupid do you have to be to aim a laser at the eyes of a pilot who's trying to land a gigantic commercial jet? How many people could we really be talking about?
It turns out that there were almost 4,000 laser strikes reported in 2013, with the average being 11 reported incidents every day. The actual number is thought to be much higher because of under-reporting. Starting in September 2012 and going forward a year, which is how the relevant Justice Department records are kept, five people were convicted in federal court for aiming lasers at airplanes. Another 15 people have cases pending against them.
The FBI is getting very grumpy.
Rants / Bad Ideas / Los Angeles / Los Angeles Travel / Trains / → All Tags
Brian Sumers - the Los Angeles reporter who covers all things airports - promised us that we would "enjoy" the video below, which he took this week at a ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking of a new light rail line set to go from L.A.'s Mid-City to the general vicinity of LAX. He very specifically wrote "trust me" and then he followed up with "you'll enjoy it."
Brian Sumers fucking lied to us.
Let's discuss, shall we?
TSA / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Congress / Bad Ideas / Airport Security / Airline Security / Rants / → All Tags
The Jaunted policy on travel politics is very straightforward: there is nothing so broken about the experience of getting from one airport to another - whether it be picking a seat or paying for baggage or going through security or even taking off - that Congress can't make it worse.
TSA, for example, is a disaster in hundreds of ways significant and incidental. But give an elected official a chance to address even the smallest of the agency's problems, and they're bound without fail to come up with legislation that falls somewhere in between useless meddling and genuine damage. We actually had to check today's story multiple times before we could convince ourselves it wasn't a parody.