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Escape Aunt Annie: Airport Food Takes Off

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As predicted by T+L’s editors this January, things just got a little better for frequent-flying gourmands.

Jamie Oliver recently opened a restaurant area (a bakery, a bar, and an Italian eatery) at London Gatwick, joining the growing ranks of chefs extending their empire into airports (Gordon Ramsay’s 4-year-old Heathrow cafe, Plane Food, offers both sit-down meals—timed menus and leisurely menus—and takeout “picnics” to enjoy on the plane. A host of haute cuisine celebs, including chefs Michael White, Anne Burrell, Andrew Carmellini, have created menus for new cafes in Delta’s Terminals C+ D at New York’s LaGuardia. Terminal 2 at San Francisco International features restaurants from Chefs Cat Coura and Tyler Florence, as well as a room dedicated to yoga for those craving spiritual food.)

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Man Travels to Slumberland on Luggage Conveyor Belt

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We’ve always felt that finding a comfortable place to rest your head at an airport is challenging, but a Norwegian tourist at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome had no problem drifting away to Slumberland. When he found the ticket check-in counter was empty, the unnamed man wandered behind the desk to take a nap on the baggage conveyor belt. He was sound asleep, hugging his suitcase, until the belt started to move. Of course, as any adventurer would do, he stayed on, riding on the baggage belt (and through the x-ray machines) for 15 minutes until airport security took notice and removed him. Shocked? Airport security wasn’t. They see similar incidents twice a year.     

Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of iStock.com.

Confessions of a Flight Attendant

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A 20-year airline-industry veteran—who asked to remain anonymous—gives us the lowdown on working in the sky.

“People treat the plane like a bathroom. I’ve seen passengers changing their babies’ diapers on the tray table, clipping toenails, and picking their noses.”

“Instead of the stereotype that we’ve all slept around, now it’s that we’re all old, fat, and mean. But we’re not.”

“How to get under my skin: push the call button to find out when we’ll land or to ask for beverages before we take off. Basically, you never want to push the call button. Period.”

Photo © Moodboard / Corbis

Alaska Airlines Technician Tapes Handwritten Excuse Note to Damaged Wing

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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.

Photo Courtesy of Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

Raging Bull Shuts Down Vietnam Airport

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"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. 

Photo by iStock

New Perk: Complimentary Airport Transfers for Leading Hotels

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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. 

Photo courtesy of Leading Hotels 

 

Tech Thursday: Three New Technologies to Make Travel Easier

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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.

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8 Gadgets to Keep Kids Busy While Traveling

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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


> Related: America’s Best Family Hotels

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United Airlines Ends Coach Preboarding for Children

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."

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Tech Thursday: Ryanair Considering Introducing X-Rated In-Flight Entertainment...Seriously

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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.

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