Not Your Average Travel Stories (And Video): Week of Feb. 3

This week: The subject is liquids – especially alcohol. Or just feel intoxicated by watching the 80s video below.

Fat tire: No we’re not talking about your middle (or mine!), we’re talking about Southwest’s new partnership with a craft beer company that makes a brew called Fat Tire, now available on all flights. Interesting, especially considering Southwest’s history with so-called too-fat-to-fly passengers.

New TSA liquid ban: If you’re going to be traveling between the U.S. and Russia anytime soon, new regulations are in effect: No liquids, no gels, no aerosols in carry-on bags, and you can learn more here.

Jamzilla: If you’ll be heading to Los Angeles International Airport over Presidents’ Day Weekend and you’re one of the 1.8 million who live in the San Fernando Valley, listen up: A big chunk of the 405 freeway – the Sepulveda Pass – will be closed for 80 hours. Authorities have dubbed it Jamzilla.

Relaxed rules on alcohol: No, you still can’t get drunk on a plane and cause a disturbance, but the TSA says you can now buy your favorite intoxicating beverage abroad and put it in your carry-on and keep it there once you get to the U.S. and take a connecting flight – yes, even though it’s more than the 3.4 ounce liquid allotment – as long as you bought it in a duty free shop and it’s in a secure, tamper-evident bags.

Strangest travelers of the week: We are talking about passengers who say they’d be willing to pay a fee that doesn’t even exist yet. Guess what it is. [Hint: It has to do with baggage placement]

The future is – Cleveland: Time magazine says that’s the future for many air travelers as United slashes its once-thriving Ohio hub. But that’s what happens with airline mergers – just ask St. Louis, Memphis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

More weather chaos: What a week it’s been with thousands more flights canceled. And thanks to that darn groundhog, there’s lots more winter ahead. Be sure you’re prepared if your flight is canceled or delayed.

Think Spring: All this awful weather news has a longing to get away – and here are some good ideas for Spring Break jaunts – places that are fun and cheap.

Seahawks diverted: You can win a Super Bowl, but still have your flight diverted like any coach-flying schmo. After delays on the ground at Newark due to a snowstorm, the pilots were about to time-out so they stopped off in Minneapolis for a crew change. The team finally arrived in Seattle where the celebration was well underway.

Snow costs travelers billions: Analysts say delayed and canceled flights during January cost passengers $2.5 billion in lost productivity, hotels and meals. Here’s how to be better prepared for the next snow storm.

Super horse: The Broncos mascot, a handsome horse called Thunder, flew to the Super Bowl on a FedEx plane for a reported $20,000. He didn’t do Denver much good, alas; guess you could say the Seahawks stole their thunder.

Winners, losers: No, this isn’t another Super Bowl item, it’s about passengers who are losing (and in a few cases, gaining) service. Biggest losers: Cleveland travelers, as United slashes service at its Ohio hub.

Back to the 80s: Delta’s new safety video features the best and worst of the 1980s including Alf, leg warmers and lots of big hair. Don’t miss the cameo by Kareem in the cockpit (below).

VIDEO: Delta takes you back to the 1980s (lots of detail, too – watch for the guy with a can of Tab).


Published: February 3, 2014