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Travel Tech / Windowless Planes / Technology / Airplanes / Travel News / Bad Ideas / Virtual Balcony / → All Tags
"It's too bright! Close the window, please." - your annoying seatmate
Despite recent reports that "windowless planes" are the wave of the future, air travelers have a love-hate relationship with airplane windows and turning the whole fuselage into a portal to view the sky around you just will not fly (pardon the pun).
You can thank British firm CPI (Centre for Progress Innovation) for the concept and, while it's a fun daydream, there is no way a plane with screens in place of windows will be happening in our lifetime. Here's why:
Airline News / PEOPLExpress / Airlines / LCCs / PHF / Virginia Travel / Facebook / Bad Ideas / Social Media / → All Tags
It's been nearly three weeks since fledgling airline PEOPLExpress announced they'd be putting a temporary stop to both flights and new bookings, and there's still no solid news on when the budget carrier will again take to the skies. There is, however, some odd activity on Facebook.
A notice on the flypex.com website appeared on September 26, explaining the shutdown as a result of "recent aircraft and crew availability and maintenance issues." The initial promise was to resume flights "on or about Oct. 16" and celebrate inaugural service from their base at Newport News/Williamsburg, VA to Orlando and Charleston, WV on the same day. Of course, as the calendar today flips to October 20 and PEOPLExpress remains grounded, that goal won't be met.
Bad Ideas / US Airways / Ebola / Travel Health / Health Travel / Videos / → All Tags
By now you've likely already heard about the idiot who, while onboard a US Airways flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, sneezed and claimed that he possibly had Ebola since he'd recently been in Africa. Of course his remark was a joke, but it was treated quite seriously by other passengers and the flight crew, and medical officers in containment suits removed him from the plane after arrival for evaluation.
Of course his flippant attitude about the very serious issue of Ebola crossing borders via air travel is wrong, and of course his actions were beyond foolish, but the incident has some positive aspects as well.
TSA / Celebrities / Celebrity Travel / Crime / Bad Ideas / Airport Security / Airline Security / → All Tags
Last Wednesday TSA agents at Burbank detected a loaded gun in the carry-on of rapper Todd Anthony Shaw, known as Too Short or Too $hort depending on how stuffy you are. This kind of thing happens quite a lot. Almost always, the travelers are immediately cited, and often they're even allowed to proceed to the plane.
In this case Mr. Short walked slowly out of the airport in his socks, recovered his valet-parked car, and returned two days later with his lawyer. At that point he received a misdemeanor citation for possession of a loaded handgun in a public place. This entire incident, with all due respect, is batshit crazy.
Lists / Basic Bitches / Tourists / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
The worst thing to be, at least according to the Internet, is a "Basic Bitch."
Know Your Meme explains the term as used to describe an "individual who displays cliche, conformist or otherwise predictable character traits," and the hustle of the airport and tight confines of airplanes are the perfect breeding grounds for such behavior.
So, how Basic are you when it comes to travel? Find out with our very scientific list:
EW GROSS / Bad Ideas / That is Nasty / Passenger Shaming / Health Travel / Flight Attendants / Tourists / Facebook / → All Tags
The struggle is real.
Flying in Economy Class isn't the steak dinner and ample legroom experience it once was, and travelers have adapted to the lessening space and tightened liberties remarkably well; that is, until you view the Passenger Shaming Facebook page (and it's not just limited to Economy).
Started by a flight attendant in early 2013, the page has amassed over 200,000 "likes" of the submitted photos of passengers behaving badly. It's spread to Instagram and Twitter, not to mention spawned a small line of T-shirts.
Although it began with the aim of allowing cabin crew to vent frustration with ill-mannered and unhygienic flyers, it now welcomes image submissions from anyone and anywhere. Some have even spotted themselves among the shamed; as you can imagine, they're not flattered by the attention.
In order to stay out of the Hall of Passenger Shame, follow these few simple rules of in-flight etiquette:
Bad Ideas / SYD / Qantas / iPads / Apple / Travel Tech / Stupid Passengers / → All Tags
iPads, in general, are a good thing for travel. Airline are utilizing them both in the cockpit and cabin to lighten the crew's work load both literally and figuratively, and private pilots can navigate and aviate with greater confidence thanks to some iPad apps. Even sticking an iPad in front of a child may ensure a quieter flight, but there are some instances in which iPads just aren't welcome.
Take, for instance, this weekend's case of the idiot who caused a security scare at Sydney International Airport. The entirety of Terminal 3 had to be evacuated owing to the stupidity of this one person, simply because he couldn't be bothered to look up from his iPad screen to notice he was walking the wrong way into a secure area after getting off his flight.
This terminal, home to much Qantas' domestic service, then had to re-screen all the evacuated passengers, causing a travel delay of approximately one hour.
TSA / Drugs / Drug Travel / Bad Ideas / Stupid Passengers / Crime / → All Tags
We had a buddy in college who was the epitome of the super-smart stoner. He would study the chemical composition of THC to invent new ways of baking pot, he would construct complex gravity bongs out of random household items, and his entire year revolved around Shark Week. Do you have an image in your mind of the Hollywood movie stoner who comes up with the insight that moves the plot along? That's who this guy was.
One of our buddy's routine tricks when traveling was to use sheets of fabric softener to mask the smell of the copious amounts of weed that he smoked. There are several versions of this trick, but they all involve the same basic move of getting the smoke to go through the sheets (some of the more elaborate mechanisms would require diagrams to explain). After 9/11 he started running into problems because security officers would rightly ask why he was carrying fabric softener sheets in his luggage. That's not a product that people usually take with them on weekend trips to the Midwest.
Standard economy seats on United
Three times this week have flights been disturbed by passenger fights over the right to recline, and three times this week have the situations proved petty. Alas, it's a hot topic and the details of that initial confrontation (which was so bad as to divert the plane) continue to leak.
Our friend Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press spoke with Mr. James Beach, better know to the internet as "Knee Defender Man," who, though repentant for some of his actions once the issue escalated, states that he still plans to use the Knee Defenders on future flights.
The article manages to tell a clearer story of what exactly happened in that United flight from Newark to Denver, which diverted to Chicago because of the argument. It's well worth a read, especially as Mr. Beach's explanations only serve to dig his hole deeper. Take, for example, this:
People are crazy. That is the one thing to keep in mind as we start in on this week's tale of ridiculous behavior on an airplane.
Sunday's United flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago-O'Hare after a mid-air argument erupted over legroom. The two partiesa man and woman, both coincidentally aged 48 came to harsh words over the man's use of "Knee Defenders" to prevent the woman seated in front of him from reclining.
Knee Defenders (pictured in use, above), are a $21.95 pair of doohickies designed to fit between a meal try and the seat it's attached to, which inhibits the recline of said seat. They are unofficially prohibited by airlines, and Knee Defender itself recommends doing the decent thing of providing a "courtesy card" to explain the use of the devices to the effected parties. Alas, it is apparent that such common decency was absent on this United flight.
Travel Politics / Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 / Department of Transportation / Politics Travel / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
We've been keeping you up to date on the Department of Transportation's battle with the airline industry over the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, most recently explaining why we are backing the DOT and calling for the rejection of the Act.
On Monday, Congress voted to pass the Act, which would allow airlines to advertise rates online and in print with asterisks that do not include taxes and extra fees.
Last March we posted a very neat little video tracing the paths of the roughly 30,000 flights that enter, leave, and just generally hang around European airspace on a summer day. It began in the early morning with the planes coming across the Atlantic, and then as the day wore on it developed into well-managed chaos. The emphasis here is on "well-managed": the visualization was produced by Britain's NATS, the country's biggest provider of air traffic control, and the organization responsible for keeping all those planes from colliding. They weren't exactly bragging, but they weren't exactly not bragging.
Then about three months ago NATS posted a new video. This one is all about the future and it is - bluntly - creepy as all hell. It's supposed to be a futuristic look at how commercial "air traffic control" is inevitably going to be subsumed by commercial "air traffic management," which is both a real airline industry thing and something that is actually kind of interesting for travel geeks.