Not Your Average Travel Stories + Video: Week of June 9, 2014

This week: Bizarre tourist spots and cinéma vérité video of man alone in airport (OK, Celine Dion is there, too).

LISTEN: FareCompare’s Anne McDermott and Alex Williams, the Experts of Oddity.

Strange, Weird or Just Plain Odd

This week – Friday the 13th: Did you know? Alaska, Continental and AirTran used to have no Row 13 on their planes. Since then, Continental folded into United and Alaska stopped the practice so AirTran alone continues the tradition of 13-less rows. Sadly, it didn’t prove all that lucky for them since AirTran’s makes its final flight in December.

Strange first class clothing: See Virgin emperor Richard Branson model the latest in lounge wear, free to Virgin Atlantic’s ‘upper class’ passengers. Those of you with children will recognize a ‘onesie’ – all-in-one pants and top. Those of you without children will recognize a rather suspicious resemblance to the Snuggie. Photo from

World Cup strike: Workers at Rio’s two airports called a 24 hour strikeWednesday night – just in time for football/soccer tourists! Which was the point, of course. UPDATE: Strike is over and no flights were delayed – possibly because most of the workers reportedly didn’t participate.

Bizarre tourist spots: According to a new book by a Brit named Alastair Bonnett, one of these places is our own Los Angeles International – not the airport but the parking lot. Because of its residents – not homeless folks but pilots and flight attendants. Kind of shameful, really – the situation, not the book (book sounds good).

Man stuck in airport makes spectacular video: Richard Dunn was stuck overnight at McCarran International in Las Vegas all alone but he did not sit around twiddling his thumbs, oh no! He made a glorious video starring himself and the vocals of Celine Dion. Thanks to Gawker for the heads-up and you will thank Mr. Dunn after you watch the video below. UPDATE: Celine has invited Mr. Lonely to hang out with her.

Top 5 overrated summer vacations: The list includes the Jersey Shore and Orlando (oppressive crowds). Rome makes the list too. So does New York City (“Real New Yorkers elaborately plot out of town escapes in July” – well, maybe the rich ones do). We say vacations are what you make of them. What do you say?

Strange passenger requests: An anonymous flight attendant says the oddest passenger requests she’s ever received included a screwdriver, hemorrhoid cream and deodorant. The last two of course are self-explanatory and as for the screwdriver, the guy just wanted to adjust his seat! I hope he sits by me next flight.

Now here’s a puzzler: WalletHub says Los Angeles is not a very good place for a staycation (you know, staying at home for vacation). Why? Too many beaches, too many movie stars? The number one place for staycations: Buffalo, N.Y. Must be the wings.

TSA fun: A security officer named Carl Revis likes to put on a showfor the weary travelers at Los Angeles International by singing the security rules and offering a zinger or two and we say hurray! Our favorite line: “That is a very manly zebra bag you have there, sir.” See the second  video below.

Mouse on board: Anonymous flight attendant “Betty” says she sometimes likes to “lighten the mood” by releasing a wind-up toy mouse in the galley. Here’s a better idea, Betty – free drinks.

VIDEO #1: Man is All By Himself in airport. Scorsese is getting nervous and with good reason.

All by myself from Richard Dunn on Vimeo.

VIDEO #2: Watch TSA agent Carl Revis do his thing. “It’s better than getting yelled at,” he says.


Published: June 9, 2014