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Travel Alerts / Morocco Travel / Marrakech Travel / Casablanca Travel / Gay Travel / Crimes / Travel News / Tourism Boards / → All Tags
We skimmed the headline at first. "British tourist jailed for 'homosexual acts,'" it read. Our natural assumption was to think the person in question had been caught in public, in flagrante delicto, somewhere in the deep Middle East where any open expression of love is frowned upon, if not outright prohibited.
Alas, we did read the news, only to be shocked to discover that the destination imprisoning a 69-year-old retired Briton, who was arrested while waiting for a bus, is Morocco. The arrest happened in Marrakech, the most popular city with foreign tourists for its major transportation connections, excellent shopping, and historical sites.
Now that the man, Ray Cole, has been sentenced to four months in prison, cries for a boycott of tourism to Morocco are in full swing.
Travel Movie Tuesday / Movies / Travel Movies / Brokedown Palace / Movie Travel / Thailand Travel / Drug Travel / Crimes / → All Tags
From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.
Jetting off to exotic foreign lands after high school graduation is common practice and, unfortunately using that time to experiment is just as normal. Using this as inspiration, the 1999 movie Brokedown Palace explores the dark side of tourism as two innocent girls head over to Thailand and end up biting off more than they chew.
Travel Safety / Thailand Travel / Phuket Travel / Passports / MH370 / Crimes / → All Tags
An entire weekend has passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and, in that time, the only news of any consequence has been that at least two passengers onboard were traveling under false identities, using stolen passports.
No aircraft, wreckage, emergency calls, or anything to decipher the mystery has been found.
What we have now is a world distressed by the use of these stolen passports, both swiped in the last two years while the original owners (who are alive still) were visiting the popular vacation destination of Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is an island towards the south of Thailand, much nearer to the border with Malaysia than the Thai capital of Bangkok.
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.