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No Snowden. No Turbulence. No Booze on Aeroflot Flight To Havana. Whah?!

Aeroflot has a drinking problem.

When reporters were duped on Monday into flying from Moscow to Havana on the Russian airline in hopes of interviewing National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker was nowhere to be found. One passenger reported that the flight not only had no Snowden, it had "no turbulence and no booze." Seriously? No vodka?! On an Aeroflot flight?! It's true. The Moscow-Havana route is one of seven long-distance itineraries on which Aeroflot has banned alcohol in economy class. Why? Just watch the video above to get a sampling of the verbal assaults, fisticuffs, and other liquor-induced ill behavior seen on hundreds of Aeroflot flights every year. And now some legislators are considering even more stringent measures to stop the moonshine madness.

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Trip Doctor: Webflakes.com Translates Foreign Blogs for You

A new website is making it easier for Americans to get the local scoop on international destinations. Webflakes, launched in May, uses its growing team of volunteers (currently at around 200) to translate foreign blogs into English, a major boon to anyone who’s ever been frustrated at the lack of English-language, international posts in the blogosphere.

The site compiles posts from over 60 hand-selected bloggers who hail from France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Argentina, Peru, and Switzerland. That list of bloggers and home-countries is set to grow, with German and Chinese blogs predicted for the near future. The posts cover traditional lifestyle topics including travel, design, architecture, relationships, fashion, wine, and food & dining.

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How to Guarantee You'll Get In-Flight WiFi

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Despite travelers’ obsessions with being plugged in on the road, only 38% of domestic flights—and less than 1% of international flights—offer WiFi on board. Change is coming, with over 2,400 domestic and international flights rolling out Wi-Fi in the near future, but even then, in-flight web surfing will be far from ubiquitous, says data by flight engine RouteHappy. So here’s what the study suggests you do to make sure you stay connected in the skies:

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Trip Doctor: Paris's New Riverwalk

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T+L has got you covered when it comes to hiking guides in rugged locales like the Dolomites, the Andes, and Zambia, but we love to trek around urban areas too. That’s why we’re thrilled at the completion of a project transforming 1.4-miles of roadway into a pedestrian riverwalk along the Seine's Left Bank in Paris's 7th arrondissemont.

As various news sources reported, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe recently inaugurated the new walkway, three years and nearly $50 million in the making.

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Tom Colicchio’s New Job: Innkeeper

Tom Colicchio's Topping Rose House

Between his Craft restaurants and his role as head judge on Top Chef, Tom Colicchio is one of the food world’s biggest stars. Now he has a new title: innkeeper. At Topping Rose House, an 1842 Greek Revival mansion in Bridgehampton, New York, he oversees 22 rooms and cottages with interiors by Alexandra Champalimaud. The food, of course, takes center stage, and the locavore menu reinforces Colicchio’s passion for fresh and sustainable ingredients. His inspiration? European country inns with restaurants: “It’s all an extension of hospitality. We want this to be the place where once you’re here, it’s a warm embrace.” $$$$

Photo by Melanie Dunea/CPI Syndication

OpenAirplane Service Lets You Play Pilot By Renting Airplanes

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While flying cars are still a figment of our travel dreams, renting airplanes is now a reality. OpenAirplane, a Zipcar-style rental service for small airplanes, launched last Monday at airports in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Jose, Kissimmee and Detroit. To reserve a plane, all you need is an internet browser or their mobile app…oh, and your pilot license.

While just the service’s name can give you vertigo (I prefer my airplanes closed), members are required to take a standardized flight exam once a year before taking off, twice as often as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Pilots are also required to return the airplane to its home base.

With six aircraft rental companies and flight schools on board (and more in the works), it might just be time to swap your wheels for some wings.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Tradewind Aviation

The Doctor Recommends: Must-Reads for the Week Ending June 21, 2013

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A new survey on what men worry about while on vacation reveals that, when it comes to traveling, we all (surprise!) just want to look good on the beach. Genevieve Shaw Brown from ABC reports. (Peter Schlesinger)

The ever-helpful website Nerd Wallet shows which banks are the best and worst when it comes to travel fees. (P.S.)

New York's JFK terminal has been deemed 'endangered' and in need of restoration by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, via Circa. (Adrien Glover)

This short and sweet blog post highlights a neighborhood in Mendoza, Argentina with streets named entirely after wines—who wouldn't want to live at 54 Malbec Lane? (P.S.)

Three cheers for the Clinton Foundation, which is pledging to boost tourism in Northern Haiti by raising awareness for the country's turn-of-the-century monuments, historic sites, and culture. Travel Weekly reports. (Nikki Ekstein)

More evidence is fueling the theory that Amelia Earhart's missing plane has been found in the South Pacific, as we first noted a few weeks ago. Gadling reports. (N.E.)

Learn how to survive this summer's music festivals (i.e. this weekend's Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas) with travel blogger Kristin Luna's post about Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee. (Maria Pedone)

Beach reads are essential on summer vacation—grab a book from this list by the Philly Post. (M.P.)

Photo credit: iStockphoto

 

Norwegian Cruise Line's New York-Inspired Ship

Norwegian Cruise Lin

Comparing Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest ship, the New York–inspired Breakaway, with its muse.

Norwegian Breakaway

Population: 4,000 passengers.
Lady Liberty:
A three-foot frozen version in the Ice Bar.
Cost of a Bagel and Cream Cheese:
Free.
A Yellow Cab Is...
a cocktail! With vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice.
Nationalities:
Sixty-eight, and that’s just the crew.
Cost of a Studio:
From $214 a day for a 100-square-foot solo cabin, with meals, activities, and lounge access thrown in.
Dish by Geoffrey Zakarian:
Roasted scallops with guanciale and grapefruit, at Ocean Blue.
Kicks:
Courtesy of you, at Rockette-led fitness classes.
Hottest Theater Ticket:
Broadway’s Rock of Ages, free, with six shows a week.
Last Call:
Never.

New York City

Population: 8.2 million residents.
Lady Liberty:
151-foot original in New York harbor.
Cost of a Bagel and Cream Cheese:
$2.72 at Murray’s Bagels.
A Yellow Cab Is...
an impossible dream, come rush hour.
Nationalities:
An estimated 161.
Cost of a Studio:
About $85 a day for 550 square feet, in Manhattan, not including utilities.
Dish by Geoffrey Zakarian:
Braised lamb shank with pickled-turnip tzatziki, at the National.
Kicks:
Courtesy of the Rockettes, at Radio City Music Hall.
Hottest Theater Ticket:
Kinky Boots, $77 to $142 a seat, if you can snag tickets.
Last Call:
4 a.m.

Jane Woolridge

Jane Wooldridge is the cruise editor at
Travel + Leisure.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Trip Doctor on Pride 2013: Spotlight Twin Cities

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Did you miss the Pride events this month in Boston, Providence, and D.C.? Those cities already had their big celebrations, but there’s still time to attend the festivals in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and elsewhere.

One Pride event you may not have considered is Minnesota’s Twin Cities Pride. This under-the-gaydar destination has a lot to celebrate since last year’s paradegoers marched down Hennepin Avenue. In November, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and the state legislature legalized equal marriage in May, with the law going into effect August 1. No wonder T+L readers voted the Twin Cities one of America’s top cities for Gay Travel.

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Tech Thursday: Instagram Launches Video

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The rumors turned out to be true: today, Facebook announced that Instagram would gain video sharing capabilities after two years devoted strictly to photos, meaning your travel videos can now be broadcast at the push of a button. We can’t say we’re surprised: Vine and Cinemagr.am, the leading apps for short, looping videos, have been the talk of the town—and Facebook’s not one to fall behind on social sharing trends. The new app is now available on Android and iOS, with 13 cool filters that borrow from the app’s photo-driven aesthetic. Record right in the app, and take up to 15 seconds of video at a time—more than double the average clip on rival services, while maintaining low upload times. Then, choose a cover frame to set the tone for your super-short-film, use the same hashtags you would for normal pics, and you’re all set. The key distinguishing points? Videos won’t loop—and with a little bit more time to share, they’ll have a different look and feel from other services (which we’ll continue to use enthusiastically). And thanks to a nifty feature called Cinema, videos will be automatically stabilized. Says CEO Kevin Systrom, “It’s the Instagram you know and love—but it moves.”

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Zolman

 

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