Not Your Average Travel Stories: Week of Oct. 7

This week: Where not to go, how not to fly, what not to smoke plus - nightmares!

Grand Canyon: The shutdown may have closed that vast hole in the ground but tour operators want to remind you, you can still fly over it. Better idea: If your beloved attraction is a no-go, we have some pretty good alternatives.

Rigged miles? United is the target of a lawsuit that claims its miles program is rigged or so suggests the Chicago Trib. United denies it all. The suit is a complex complaint (it includes the word “algorithm” which immediately made my head hurt), but you read it and tell us what you think.

Your worst nightmare come true: Not the one where you show up for work without pants on, the one where you’re a passenger in a small plane and the pilot suddenly collapses. A flight instructor had to talk a chap down near Doncaster, England (after first calming him down) but the frightened fellow’s very first landing came off without a hitch. Sad update: The pilot later died.

Stowaway infamy: It seems the 9 year old who successfully hopped a flight to Vegas without benefit of a ticket has had interactions with the long arm of the law before: he once broke into (gasp) a waterpark!

9-year-old stowaway: That kid that boarded a Delta flight for Vegas without a ticket? His adventure was hardly the most exciting. That award goes to the 9-year-old who also hopped on a flight but first drove himself to the airport.

Another Atlanta airport: Some think Atlanta needs two places for planes. I dunno. Isn’t Hartsfield already the size of South Dakota?

Flying real high: TSA ponders whether to allow passengers to fly with marijuana – no, not bales of it but small amounts for medical or recreational use. Favorite TSA/weed story was when a security officer found some in a rapper’s luggage but didn’t go crazy, just left a note that said, “C’mon, son.”

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Published: October 8, 2013