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Emergency Landings / Ethiopian Airlines / 767 / GVA / Hijackings / Crimes / Politics Travel / Ethiopian Flight 702 / → All Tags
BREAKING NEWS. Scroll to bottom for latest updates.
Prior to midnight EST, an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound from Ethiopia to Italy declared an emergencya hijackingand flew instead to Geneva, Switzerland.
The aircraft landed safely in Geneva and there are no injuries or fatalities.
Here is what we know, owing to direct sources (live ATC conversations, live flight tracking, on-the-ground contacts at Geneva Airport):
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.
Celeb Travel / Crimes / Private Jets / Justin Bieber / Super Bowl Travel / TEB / Drug Travel / Marijuana Tourism / → All Tags
Inside a charter Hawker 800
In news that surprises no one, Justin Bieber has been detained at an airport for potentially flying in his private jet while smoking weed, news broken by Page Six. The actual interesting part of this recent headline is that the offense took place today at Teterboro Airport, as Bieber flew in on a chartered Raytheon Hawker 800 with his dad and a posse of ten to head to this weekend's Super Bowl.
Nothing was found after a search of the aircraft, and this is actually the smallest issue in Bieber's month; he flew in from Toronto after being charged with assault there, and he's looking at a DUI for pot in Miami and vandalism in California.
It's no secret that Justin loves the leafy greens, but he should know better than to try to fly into a NYC-area airport with illegal substances during a time of heightened security. Save those antics for Colorado Springs Airport!
Bad Ideas / American Airlines / JFK / SFO / Crimes / Travel News / → All Tags
Quick. What's worse than a creep who tapes a tiny camera in a bathroom and spies on people while they're doing their business? Think about it for a second, because that's not a rhetorical question. It turns out there's a very precise answer.
Give up? It's a creep who tapes a tiny camera in a bathroom and spies on people while they're doing their business, and - because of said creep's mind-blowing creepiness - forces a transcontinental flight to make an emergency landing, thereby stranding over 200 people in of all places Kansas City. It boggles the imagination, doesn't it, how much you would have hated that person if you were on the flight.
Checked Baggage / Delta / Airlines / Airline News / Airports / LAS / Airport News / Crimes / → All Tags
Delta is doing something new when it comes to how they handle the whole baggage carrousel thing, as they want to ensure that you go home with the same bag that you brought to the airport.
We guess there must be a baggage theft problem—or other issue—over in Las Vegas, as that’s where Delta is in the middle of a two-month pilot program aimed at cracking down on stolen baggage.
The tale of Bonnie & Clyde was resurrected last night in Part 1 of a new TV miniseries about the real-life couple and the infamous crime spree that cost them their lives nearly 80 years ago.
The continued fascination with history's most wanted couple keeps Bonnie & Clyde tourism going strong in Texas and Louisiana.
In Dallas, TX, local Freda Dillard gives a four-hour Bonnie & Clyde Tour that includes the location where they first met, Bonnie's former workplace Hargraves Cafe, and the Grapevine location where they murdered two highway patrolmen. The group tour, which can accommodate up to 57 people, costs $240.
Celeb Travel / Justin Bieber / Marijuana / Drug Travel / Australia Travel / BNE / Crimes / → All Tags
If it seems like trouble follows Justin Bieber around wherever he goes, you're right. The pretty-boy singer's 2013 Aussie tour ugly antics are no different from those in Germany, Brazil, and even his 2011 tour down under.
This time, Justin and his entourage found themselves in some hot water when arriving at Brisbane International Airport when one of Bieber's gang was found with some marijuana and smoking paraphernalia. The 23 year-old in question was ticketed and ordered to appear in court to pay a fine, before he was let go on his way working as Justin's shadow.
Airline Security / Airport Security / BWI / ALB / DCA / TSA / Tourists / Crimes / → All Tags
Just for the record: yes, we know that quirky airport security stories about weapons confiscations are often a result of TSA's press outreach strategy. We've actually written about how it works. TSA officials want Americans to think that people are trying to bring weapons on board airplanes - because how else are they going to justify their existence - and it's hard to get national reporters interested in one-off stories. So you end up with a bunch of articles in city and state-based outlets that describe city and state-based incidents.
But that doesn't mean that some of the stories aren't genuinely fun. Take this local Baltimore story about BWI workers discovering that a woman was trying to smuggle a pink stun gun on an airplane. Just the visual is kind of giggle-worthy, which is probably how it ended up jumping into national blogs. Well done, TSA PR.
Thailand Travel / Travel Safety / Tourist Court / Crimes / Travel News / Pattaya Travel / → All Tags
Regardless of how this all plays out and whether or not you believe it's the best way to go about it, you’ve got to hand it to them: Despite the fact that most tourists have no problems in Thailand, that certainly isn’t stopping the country from taking complaints seriously.
Last week, in what could be a benchmark move for the travel industry, a pilot “tourist court” was launched in Pattaya to help mediate “small claims” from tourists. While there have been a few mainstream cases to come out of Thailand over the past few years, this court will be responsible for handling more mundane disputes, including rip-offs and robberies. “Serious” offenses, like getting your tail whipped by a gang or something, will still be handled by the regular judicial system.
This move comes in response to the ever-growing amount of problems with tourists being scammed by tourism operators, including jet ski and car rental companies, taxi drivers and tuk-tuks.
George Clooney got himself into some hot water this week in Venice. The debonaire actor was in town to promote his upcoming movie Gravity with co-star Sandra Bullock at the Venice Film Festival when he nonchalantly took the wheel of a water taxi.
As is the case everywhere he goes, the locals were so blinded by Clooney's charm offensive they didn't even realize he was breaking the law in the process well, all except one. After seeing George steering the boat, lawyer Mario D'Elia asked authorities to find out if he had the appropriate nautical license and a permit to pilot a water taxi. “I asked the authorities to go to the Hotel Cipriani to see if Clooney has a nautical license,” D’Elia told the local paper.
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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:
Travel Safety / Crimes / Peru Travel / Cusco Travel / Lima Travel / Machu Picchu Travel / → All Tags
Airfares from the US to Lima, Peru have been shockingly low latelywe're talking $500 roundtrip on a route that's typically at least $800and some of the reason is likely due to a (now lifted) travel warning from the US Embassy in Peru to Americans traveling in the Machu Picchu/Cusco area.
This week that warning ended, after a couple feared to have been kidnapped was actually found, happily traveling still, just through areas with no internet access. There is a rebel group (named Shining Path) still threatening the area in general, but the situation is once again safe for tourism.