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It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2014 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Now we take a brief look back at the best and worst of 2014 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
“Sexy” Halloween costumes aside (groan), here are some flight attendants who actually made tongues wag in 2014.
Lap dancers, pinup models, drug mules — oh my!
Dani Grant, founder of Hackers NY, published a short, to-the-point Medium post this morning, alerting the public to a serious issue in the security of mobile boarding passes. And you don't need to be a hacker to understand it:
On Delta, you can change the URL of your boarding pass and get someone else’s boarding pass. Even if they’re on a different airline. You can check in as them and change their seat.
It's apparently time for the annual deluge of articles explaining why you should kill yourself instead of traveling through an airport this Thanksgiving. We faithfully catalog these things every year in our Thanksgiving travel category, alongside holiday travel ideas for people who will not be passing through airports (and thus are not better off lighting themselves on fire). Let's get started, shall we?
Published a few hours ago by the Associated Press: "Get Ready for Crowded Airports This Thanksgiving." The article runs down numbers from a just-published study by the trade group Airlines for America.
24.6 million people are going to try to make their way through airports in the week and a half around Thanksgiving. That's one and a half percent more than last year. Analysts predict that 2.6 million of those people will try to board U.S. airlines just on the Sunday immediately after Thanksgiving.
Vienna. Just think of the city for a second and launch into daydreams of sumptuous cakes devoured in plush cafes, and evenings spent at the theater or opera, hobnobbing with the literati.
While Vienna indeed offers all that and more, there's just one big problem: for about two weeks Vienna is kind of a dud.
Learn from our mistakes, and avoid the first two weeks of November, any/every year. Here's why:
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.
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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.
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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.