When you look out of an airplane window in flight, you expect to see clouds, treetops, vast landscape or ocean—but certainly not notes from the plane technicians. On a recent Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle, a passenger spotted a minor tear in the aircraft's wing that was covered by a handwritten note that read: We know about this. (As if the missive would truly ease any discomfort.)
The incident exploded on Twitter and Facebook, leading to an apology from the major airline carrier. It admitted the note was inappropriate but upheld that the technician who penned the letter had good intentions.
Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
"This delay is bull," flight attendants likely complained at a Vietnam airport today when a wild bull shut down air traffic in Phi Bai. Bulls are not typically seen in the area, and the flight controllers was afraid that it would run onto the runway. Eight flights were affected, until the bull was finally captured, tranquilized, and released back into the wild. Departing passengers were treated to the film "Raging Bull" as their in-flight entertainment.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
How would you like to have a driver waiting for you in baggage claim to whisk you away in style to your luxury hotel? That’s what Leading Hotels is giving its Leaders Club Unlimited Members. Membership is $1,200 annually, but if you're a frequent traveler the cost of this pleasant perk adds up. Membership includes one-way transfers from airports to Leadings Hotels in ten of their most popular global destinations: Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, New York City, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Zurich.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
I love to travel. Obviously. I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t. And I love when I hear about advances in technology that can help make traveling easier. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw our friends over at sister mag Executive Travel reported three new improvements that are underway that’ll help speed things up while you get to your destination, so you have more time to enjoy that beachside mojito.
The first will help you speed through the baggage check a little faster. How? By printing out your baggage tag at home, while you’re checking into your flight online. The technology was created by Unisys Corporation, and is currently being tested at Billund Airport in Denmark. When passengers show up at the airport, they simply drop their bags off at a special counter and head on over to security.
More than 34 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day weekend—and most are be driving. Pack these eight gadgets to keep your kids entertained while you’re on the go.
Travel Kiddy Kids Travel Journal: Ages 5+ Older kids can personally document their journey with this customizable journal. With pages for maps, favorite places, daily activities, and favorite events kids can create their own unique souvenir of their adventure. $10 Travelkiddy.com
CNN | As families prepare for air travel this coming Memorial Day weekend, United Airlines won't be offering early boarding to families in coach with small children.
Joining a handful of other carriers, United made the policy shift in late April with little fanfare.
Previously, families with small children flying coach were allowed on aircraft before general boarding, a convenience for moms and dads trying to herd their kids across the friendly skies.
"We figured it would be better to simplify that process and reduce the number of boarding groups," said United spokesman Charles Hobart. The airline does allow passengers with children traveling in first class or business class to board early. ...
Kate Hanni of flyersrights.org calls the move "very anti-family."
You know how annoying it is when the person sitting next to you on a flight is listening to their music so loud you can hear it? Now imagine that same scenario, but instead of loud music, it’s the sound of two people getting their freak on?
Yes, you read that right. And yes, I’m going somewhere with this.
Ryanair announced that it is planning on developing a custom app, which you could download onto your smartphone or tablet; with this app, you’ll be able to connect to the airline’s selection of in-flight entertainment. It’ll allow you to do lots of fun things, like gamble, play games, or kick back and watch some porn.
Once again, I have to confirm: yes, you read that right.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced this week that digital projections of "virtual customer care representatives" will appear this summer in three New York-area airports, guiding flyers to their gates and providing other logistical info.
The 2-D projections can't respond to travelers who ask them questions, said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the authority. But that kind of technology may be added if the 6-month pilot project goes well, he said in a phone interview. "We’ll see if it works, you know," he said. "If people keep walkin' by it, then we wouldn’t renew (the contract for the avatars)."
Last Saturday, the Olympic Torch relay set off in Great Britain and began a 70-day journey through the United Kingdom that will end on July 27 at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The countdown has begun.
Set on making it across the pond this summer? It’s not too late—but you must act now! To inspire you procrastinators to begin booking, we present our last-minute get-to-London guide.
The good news: flights to the city’s hub airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, London City) are still available. Right now, a search of round-trip fares from major U.S. cities range from $1,100 to $1,500. Departing from Chicago, you’ll fork over about $1,200 for a round-trip economy ticket on Virgin Atlantic Airways (a seat in the carrier’s newly revamped Upper Class cabin will cost you $2,800).
These fares are steep—and getting steeper—but they aren’t higher than this time last year. “I don’t think airlines are price gauging,” says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com, a site that monitors ticket prices. “It’s still the summer season and we’re seeing reasonable fares for this time of year.”