Published: August 20, 2010
American Airlines announced this week that it would begin charging a fee to sit in the first two or three rows of coach seats, adding to the ever-growing list of ways your flight can get more expensive.
This isn't a fee I'd be willing to pay, but I can see how tall people might be happy to pay an extra $39 for bulkhead-row legroom. (That's not a problem for me. Airplanes are about the only place in the world where being five feet tall is an advantage.)
Published: August 16, 2010
Regarding the ever-present privacy concerns about back-scatter scanners, here's what the Chosun Ilbo newspaper has to say:
"But the ministry said there will be no problem since it intends to blur the face and other portions of the body on images captured by the scanners, and image analysis will be done in separate rooms so that staff cannot see the people being scanned, while security officers at the gates will be unable to view scanned images. Regarding concerns that some of the images could be leaked, the ministry said the full-body scanners are incapable of storing, printing or transmitting images. It said the only chance of a leak is if staff take a picture of an image, but added that cameras, cell phones and other devices will not be allowed into the scanning and analysis rooms."
Published: August 12, 2010
1) I've always wanted to ride the emergency exit slide. Not in an emergency, mind you -- safely on the tarmac is fine. It just looks like fun, doesn't it? Who doesn't love slides?
Published: July 30, 2010
I haven't made it to Bangkok yet, so I can't confirm or dispute the results of Travel + Leisure's annual readers poll, which tabbed Bangkok as the best city in the world. (My pick, Sydney, came in at number 6; the only other Pacific-region city to make the top 10 was Chiang Mai, also in Thailand.) Do you agree? Disagree?
Other travel news:
Published: July 23, 2010
As if the week hasn't already brought enough bad news for travelers, today we learn that Northwest violated more than 1,000 FAA safety directives. It's enough to make you want to take a bus. Except that a Greyhound crash in California on Thursday killed six people.
Which brings us to the Friday Forum topic: What's your worst travel experience?
Published: July 22, 2010
It's been a rough week for travel -- literally, for passengers on a Dulles-LAX flight who ran into such severe turbulence they were forced to land in Denver after two dozen people were injured.
Equally dramatic: the arrest on the tarmac of an Air France flight attendant accused of stealing from business class passengers. The passengers didn't notice someone rifling through their credit cards because they were asleep in their comfy recliners, full of filet mignon and complimentary booze. It's the revenge of the hoi polloi: we might be wedged in hard, narrow seats and paying $5 for weak G&Ts, but who still has all their cash?
Published: July 17, 2010
Bad news for fans of nonstop flights (that's everybody, right?): looks like the 787 Dreamliner could be delayed yet again.
I'm eager for Boeing to roll out its new jet for a lot of reasons. One, it promises upgrades -- bigger windows, higher cabin pressure, wider aisles -- that should make flying a little more pleasant. But the main reason is that the fuel-efficient jet, which seats around 200 to 300 people depending on configuration, will allow airlines to offer a lot more nonstop flights and to expand to routes that don't have enough demand to fill a much-larger 777.
Published: July 16, 2010
If you've ever wondered why Stars and Stripes has a Europe Traveler blog but not one for Pacific, well, wonder no more. I'm here to remedy that.
So, who am I, and why am I qualified to write this blog?