Not Your Average Travel Stories (and Video): Week of Oct. 28

This week: Wizzing along with tasty brownies. Well, kind of. Video, too.

Don’t be late on Alaska: The airline has tightened up its check-in window. If you’re flying Alaska Airlines, you must check in with them 40 minutes before departure (online or in person). Note: You must be in the gate area 30 minutes before take-off.

New Dubai airport: Though still a work in progress, the $32 billion airport ultimately hopes to be “the world’s largest airport and the world’s largest hub”. It just welcomed its first flight from the fleet of the gloriously named Wizz Air.

Kitty litter: Tulsa’s humane society is waiving feline adoption fees if you show up with “a bag of cat litter”. Are you listening airlines? How about I bring a pan of home-made brownies for snack distribution if you drop the change fee?

This is why grandpa gets a pat-down: A 71 year old man was stopped in Montreal before boarding his flight to Los Angeles because of what was reported to be hidden in his carry-on – just about everything needed to make a bomb.

Headline of the day: “Will airlines use customization for good or evil?” Not going to touch that one.

Gold bars in bathroom: Cleaners found 280 gold bars in the lavatory of Middle East discount airline FlyDubai (no, they did not fill their pockets, they called the cops). The passenger believed to be the owner fled leaving many unanswered questions behind, like – why was he flying a discount airline?

The goose is getting fat: Yes, Christmas is coming so it’s time to buy your airline tickets. What do you mean, you haven’t found your Thanksgiving deals yet?

If you love to read fascinating stuff: Check out One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. Lots of surprises about the early days of aviation (including Lindbergh’s flight) plus racy murder trials and more. You’ll bore the pants off everyone by constantly exclaiming, “Hey, did you know this?!”

You arrogant airline, you: An Indian agency has ordered Jet Airways to pay compensation (about $335) to a couple of passengers because of the allegedly “arrogant behavior” of its staff. Don’t get your hopes up; we’re pretty sure ‘arrogance’ is not a fine-able offense in the U.S. It should be noted the incident in question occurred in 2005 so it only took 8 years to get action.

Europe storm delays: Terrible weekend weather, particularly in Britain, meant lots of delayed and canceled flights (see stormy video below). Check with your airline (or FlightStats) before heading out to the airport today to pick up your returning Euro-traveler. And here’s what to do if it happens to you.

VIDEO: Stormy weather in Europe. Note the kids and dogs frolicking in the waves toward the end; do not do this.

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Published: October 28, 2013