Not Your Average Travel Stories (and Video): Week of Nov. 18

This week: Drunk uncles, holy terrors, hairy giants – you know, a typical family gathering at Thanksgiving.

Uh-oh: According to several news reports, the FAA is actually considering allowing passengers to use cell phones on planes. Prediction: More air rage stories.

Tourist alerts: Other countries warn citizens about all kinds of things to be wary of in America from dangerous cities, naughty hurricanes and a legal drinking age which strikes some as too darn high.

Unusual political promise: Minnesota’s Gov. Mark Dayton says, if re-elected, he’ll push for casino gambling at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. “I’m very interested in it,” he adds.

Airport is celebrity: CNN produces long report about 24 hours at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson. Your correspondent once spent an hour there and yeah, it did seem like 24.

Whoops: JetBlue had to make an emergency landing in Orlando when the plane’s emergency slide began to deploy in the cabin. Wait a minute – there wasn’t a flight attendant near the slide with a beer in each hand, was there?

Fight: Not everything about a merger is always smooth sailing as the fight between rival unions representing the flight attendants of American and US Airways proves.

The big squeeze – airport edition: If you think your airport is crowded now, just you wait. By 2016, says a new travel industry study, seven U.S. airports will feature a year-round crush: JFK, Orlando, O’Hare, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Honolulu and San Diego. San Diego, what?

Fees go down: No, you haven’t stepped into the Bizarro World, some airlines are actually raising baggage weight allowances so you can pack more for less. Alas for domestic travelers, these are Asian airlines. U.S. carriers charge the same old fees.

The “drunk uncle” of airlines: And that would be United, according to an LA Times columnist – and this is a guy who’s won a Pulitzer! He slams the airline mainly for its fun boarding procedures.

Holy terrors or little angels? Not that your child would ever act like a devil on a plane – but in case you’re seated next to a misbehaving imp – here’s a great guide to taming unruly kids on planes.

Dry ice bombers: Two men accused of setting off dry ice bombs at LAX last month (no one was injured) have been released pending trial. Good thing, bad thing?

Bigfoot: Fun (and beautiful) video from National Geographic looks at ‘evidence’ of the Yeti on Mt. Everest – see video below. You could fly to the Himalayas and see for yourself or SkyMall can help you get your very own Garden Yeti.

Again, Spirit? This time, the discounter’s ad pokes fun at alleged NFL bullying.

Tornado flight delays: Lots of delays all over due to the weekend tornados in the Midwest. Be sure you know your rights.

Airlines mergers – good or bad: USA Today asks if it’s time to “unmerge” some airlines. Others have expressed similar comments but it’s a little late to be asking this now.

VIDEO: So – is this the footprint of an Abominable Snowman? You decide (and let us know).


Published: November 18, 2013