Not Your Average Travel Stories: Week of Oct. 14

This week: Turkeys and taxes and bears, oh my! And truly wondrous video below.

Great customer service: FareCompare was at LAX Thurs. night watching nice-guy Delta employee Damian Garcia patiently welcome passengers one-by-one to the chaotic surroundings (lots of renovations underway at Terminal 5). Each weary traveler received careful directions to the correct baggage carousel and was sent on their way with a smile. They actually smiled back! Excellent job, Mr. Garcia.

Monster unmasked? Travel expert Rick Seaney often mentions the Abominable Snowman in his annual SkyMall round-up since they sell a seriously fine “Garden Yeti” statue (and the life-size version of Mr. Bigfoot can be yours for just $2,250), so we felt it worth reporting that scientists now say the elusive creature may be a combination of polar bear and brown bear. But can he play tetherball?!

Bear plays tetherball: Excellent videoof a bear playing tetherball. What’s this got to do with travel? Not much, but maybe you could fly to Reno to visit the bear. Must-see video below.

Turkey video: Actually, we had trouble finding a live turkey willing to perform in our Thanksgiving video so we just loaded it up with tips on finding cheap flights instead.

Your tax dollars at work: The good news is, the Statue of Liberty has reopened to visitors! The bad news is, the government is still shut down. UPDATE: Shutdown is over, back to work.

Ice man: A man has been arrested in those odd and unsettling dry ice ‘bombs’ (see two items down); per the LA Times, the suspect used to work for an airport ground services contractor. Motive still a mystery.

Give me money: That appears to be what a new site is saying and here’s the come-on: “Plan an extraordinary trip and get it funded by inspired people, amazed friends and generous sponsors.” My friends would be amazed if I hit them up for donations – amazed and hysterical with laughter. But perhaps you have better friends.

Dry ice bombs: Some doofus (or doofi?) placed dry ice in plastic bottles in restricted areas around Los Angeles International and a couple exploded though no one was injured. Cops can’t figure out why someone would do this but the good news is, “Apparently there is no nexus to terrorism right now.”

Alcohol headline of the day: “Cheers! Airlines strive to select perfect wines.” Good to know. Now let’s work on perfect ticket prices.

VIDEO: Bear plays tetherball. And he’s good, too.

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Published: October 15, 2013