Tag: Travel RantsView All Tags
Celeb Travel / Plane Travel / Twitter / US Airways / Travel Rants / Pennsylvania Travel / → All Tags
Rainn and his fellow Office cast mates were on their way to Scranton for The Office Wrap Party but their plans were derailed when their flight from Philly to Scranton left 10 minutes early. After missing the flight, Rainn unleashed a Twitter rant on U.S. Airways.
Travel Tech / PHL / US Airways / Social Media / Travel Rants / Technology / Airline Security / Airplane Security / → All Tags
We were going to use this post to turn today's US Airways meltdown at PHLluggage left in the rain, flights boarding at random times, etcinto a Teachable Moment about travel social media. Telling people to work with your on-the-ground reps is pretty much the definition of using Twitter wrong. But we're so blindingly furious at the airline right now that it's probably better for everyone to count to 10.
Maybe next week, after our blood pressure has returned to sub-heart attack levels, we'll have a group discussion about why telling people that they should know better than to wait in your airline's airline lounge isn't a great idea.
Anyway, this storyabout how Android phones might be able to hack airplanesis, first, real news, and second, interesting. So we're going to put aside our theory that US Airways reps are sadistic travel trolls determined to ruin our lives. Instead, how about how an Android app may or may not be able to "modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane"? Added the hacker who wrote the software: "that includes a lot of nasty things."
When future scholars write the definitive catalog of early 21st century First World Problems, the hysteria over the Carnival Cruises Triumph debacle will surely rank near the top. At last count there were well over a thousand different articles on Google News describing the experience as a "nightmare" for the passengers. This one has a picture of a woman kissing the ground once she got off the ship, as if she had just been released from a Soviet gulag or something.
Really? A "nightmare"? Is that what we're calling it when you have to spend a few extra days on a modern ocean liner the likes of which previous generations could barely imagine? There are millions of children in this world laboring under body-killing, brain-numbing, poverty-stricken misery. We understand that the cruise ship got a little bit icky toward the end, but broken toilets or not the passengers were on a fucking cruise ship. We watched news reports of the ship being towed into port. There were people dancing on deck of the fucking cruise ship they were on.
TSA / Airport Security / Airline Security / Politics Travel / Travel Politics / Travel Rants / → All Tags
We've been following TSA unionization for you since it became a thing in the summer of 2010, when we and everyone else expressed trepidation at the possibility that these guys would now be allowed to collectively bargain over pay and performance. To deal with concerns like ours, TSA officials did what they often and aggravatingly do whenever they make a boneheaded mistake or want to implement a moronic policy: they kind of sort of lied.
A few hours ago airport security screeners approved a contract that according to the Washington Post "among other things overhauls their pay for performance system to emphasize actual on the job performance over certification tests." Keep those elements in mind: pay, performance, and testing. We're going to ask you for some patience, because this news is kind of infuriating and we want to make sure that you see just how much.
Baggage Fees / Spirit Airlines / Checked Baggaged Fees / Travel Rants / Airlines / Airline Industry / Airline Fees / Holiday Travel / → All Tags
You know, there's probably a clever way to open this post, like maybe with a reference to Christmas and the Grinch or whatever. But honestly, when it comes to Spirit Airlines, we just can't bring ourselves to give a fuck any more.
The Ryanair of North America wants to raise fees on holiday trips weeks before Thanksgiving because they know they can exploit flustered travelers? Fair enough. The airline's overarching strategy has been so successful that it's managed to recently expand into DEN and MSP? Terrific. These are the same people who make high school playground masturbation jokes about Presidential candidates? We're very happy for them. Go with God.
Travel Hell / Accidents / Cruise Travel / Costa Cruises / Costa Concordia / Travel Rants / → All Tags
Late Friday night, The Costa Cruises ship Costa Concordia sailed from the Italian port of Civitavecchia near Rome, beginning what would be a nice Mediterrnean cruise. Shortly thereafter, it went off course and struck a reef, eventually listing and coming to rest off the island of Giglio.
The weekend brought new stories, new shocks and new questions of what exactly happened that night, and how it could even happen. Even the death tool is fluctuating. So until some concrete facts emerge, we're returning to a story we know to be the firsthand account from a friend who survived a cruise ship accident (though it didn't end up sinking).
Kathy, who was kind enough to share her story with us, was stuck onboard a crippled cruise ship for three days, albeit a couple decades ago.
Here's her story:
Some things, sometimes, we take for granted when we travel longhaul. That we will over-indulge on sub-par food. That we will overimbibe so that we snore a little when we finally drop off. And that we will inevitably be sat next to an armrest grabber with an aversion to showers. But at least we will catch up on all the movies we meant to see over the past couple of months on our on-demand seatback TV.
So far, so predictable. Until we boarded our 10.5-hour flight from London-Gatwick to Las Vegas last week and realized that, yes, there were seatback TVs, but no, they were not on demand. There were 10 channels, with each one continually screening the same film on repeat. There were also about four music channels.
How very 1998! In this day and age, if you’re going to subject yourself to the indignities of patdowns, immigration lines and flatulent neighbors, the very least an airline can do is take your mind off it with your own TV set. But who was the culprit? Useless Continental? Snooty British Airways? Please-don’t-let-my-booking-be-with-them US Airways?
No, it was Virgin Atlantic.
The USA is pretty tech-advanced, right? We've got Apple, Silicon Valley, domestic airlines with fleetwide WiFi; it all sounds like America has it great...until you get to Europe and try to pay for anything with a credit card. Rejected! Why? Because Europe has fancier cards embedded with a computer chip, connected to a pin, which then don't get swiped, but inserted into machines to pay for things. These cardsappropriately named "chip-and-pin"are making things very difficult for US travelers.
While it's true that Europe suffers from more credit card fraud than the US, hence the extra security measures of the chip-and-pin, that doesn't mean that we should be left out of the fun and technology. Actually, we're left out of far more than that.
Paris' Velib bike rental kiosks famously don't accept any of the "old swipey" cards; they're chip-and-pin only. Corner stores have taped over the swipe portion of their card machines. We spent 15 minutes teaching a cash register girl at the Isle of Man airport what a swipey card was and how to properly charge us for our stupid postcards and pop. Then, just this past weekend, while attempting to buy a train ticket from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal, we were alarmed to find that neither the machines nor the human-staffed ticket counters accepted swipey cards. Stuck without Euros, we considered bartering with travelers who did have chip-and-pin cards.
Airplane Hell / Delays / Politics / Airlines / Airline News / Airline Industry / Travel Rants / → All Tags
Tarmac delay laws have been a predictable disaster. As we explained at painful and indignant length in the leadup to the new rules, it makes no sense to incentivize airlines not to have public relations nightmares, since as companies trying to make money they already have that incentive.
Long tarmac delays happen because airplanes have to wait in line to take off, and if you return to the gate you lose your place in line and get stuck on the ground indefinitely. So pilots gamble on staying in line and riding out delays rather than returning to their gates. Creating rules that would bankrupt airlines for making those gambleswhich is what tarmac delay fines dowould only lead to more cancellations and longer delays, we said.
So obvious were these scenarios that bureacrats could only defend the rules by promising airlines that regulators would "rarely impose the maximum penalties." Pause for a second and let that sink in. When pushed on how they were passing a bunch of really counterproductive new rules, bureaucrats resorted to telling airlines to have faith that the rules wouldn't get enforced. Since that's really stupidairlines aren't going to rely on the good will of a person whose job it is to fine themcancellations and longer delays immediately spiked. And now, because the groups who push regulations are apparently filled with shrill, insufferable busy bodies who have nothing better to do than ruin travel for the rest of us, it's happening all over again.
London 2012 Olympics / Olympics Travel / London Travel / How To Get Tickets To / Travel Rants / → All Tags
Ticket reservation results for the London 2012 Olympics came out today and we're pissed. Check your inbox; if you completed your ticket requests before April 22, through the official US ticket distributor CoSport, then you should know by now whether or not you'll be hitting the velodrome, Wembley Stadium, the Aquatics Centre or all three (and more) 427 days from now.
How did you fare? Hopefully better than we did. Going through the approved channels and putting in our request of many different sports at many different ticket pricing levels, only one event was confirmed. And it's (of course) the one we were least excited about! Here's an important question: why was our request for 1 ticket to Canoe Slalom (at a venue outside London, even) denied? It was the most random event we requested and still...no dice.
If you're looking to snag some tickets still, the chances are slimmer than ever, but at least there is a chance. Unsold tickets hit the block on Friday, June 24th, although they are only open to those who attempted to get tickets through CoSport. Maybe we've got a second chance at canoe slalom after all.
Curious to see some stats? We've got 'em:
We spent all last night on a red-eye flight, and instead of sleeping, we strained our eyes to type and rant a bit about one persistent problem in travel: annoying seat mates. This is one personal experience.
It's really a pile of little annoyances in a seat mate that mounts to become a worst nightmare. Not someone who attempts to talk your ear off about their kids or even one who steals your seat and refuses to skooch. No, the people who annoy me, personally, the most are those commit a series of small crimes against airplane etiquette. And a few days ago, on a plane between Boston and Houston, I met my match.
I should have seen it coming, to tell you the truth. While boarding, the gate agents repeatedly made announcements calling for anyone who can, to please check their carry-ons. Looking down the line, you'd have thought this a flight for refugees. Oversized and numerous were the carry-ons and the death grips on them, just as well.
Full-Body Scanning / Airport Security / TSA / Airports / Airport News / Travel Rants / CVG / Cincinnati Travel / → All Tags
Backscatter scanners at Pittsburgh Airport
The issue of whether or not to going along with full-body scanning at airport remains a hot one. Earlier this week, one of Jaunted's special operatives found himself facing a scanner at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport. He chose the pat-down and this is his story:
I made it to the shitty Terminal 2 [at CVG] with plenty of time before my flight. There was no line at security, but I did notice the TSA people were using the type of body scanner that looks like two monoliths on either side [ed. note: this is the Backscatter ray scanner]. It also seemed as if they had standard security open with the metal detector, but when i was about to put my belt and things down for their scan, a TSA lady was like "body scanner!" and i said, "I would like to opt out, please." And she said, "okay, hold on."
Even if I was in hurry, I still wasn't interested in getting drilled with not entirely tested radiation. So I waited there and after two minutes, they said that their only male groping artist was busy just then. Okay, so they didn't use those exact words to describe him, but he was busypatting down an elderly man on a scooter.