TSA Agent Searching Bag (Photo: Carolina K. Smith, M.D. /Shutterstock.com)

Elderly Air Force veteran reportedly undergoes multiple patdowns and emerges $300 lighter....read more»

New York: Randall's Island (Photo: Shutterstock/Norbert Rehm)

Randall's Island is many a New Yorker's favorite summer day-trip retreat. The recently cleaned up and restored island now offers more than 60 sports fields (including baseball, soccer, and football), a golf center, and tennis courts.

The island offers amazing views of New York City. Take them in as you bike or walk down the many car-free pathways. There's also lots of greenery to satisfy city-dwellers, including well-kept gardens, wild wetlands, and other natural areas.

In the summer, Randall's Island hosts tons of events, including music festivals, art fairs, and sports competitions. ...read more»

Security: Man Tying Shoelaces (Photo: Thinkstock/Creatas)

This week we had deja vu with a story about another naked passenger in the airport, plus mishaps with pilots and the TSA.

John Brennan was apparently feeling harassed by airport security at Portland International, reports CNN. So he decided to strip naked, saying, "I just took off my clothes and said 'See, I don't have any explosives.'" Brennan was arrested for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct, and if you're curious to see what the free show looked like, CNN has pictures of the incident.

We all know about the dangers of texting and driving, so it would follow that texting while flying is probably not a great idea. However, the Herald Sun reports that a Jetstar flight from Darwin to Singapore had to abort a landing back in 2010. Now, a report's been released saying that the crew was distracted by text message alert sounds coming from the captain's cell phone. When the first officer decided to abort the landing, he tried to tell the captain what he was doing, and upon receiving no response, looked over and saw the captain on his cell phone. Apparently, the first officer had to stop the first touchdown attempt because the landing gear was not properly deployed. ...read more»

JAL aircraft close up (Photo: JAL)

At 11:20 AM on April 22, Japan Airlines flight 008, flying nonstop from Tokyo, will land at Boston Logan Airport. That's big news because it's the first North American landing of a scheduled flight in a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Granted, this specific schedule won't affect many of you: After all, Tokyo isn't exactly the top destination for folks in the Boston area, nor is Boston anywhere near the top of the list of big destinations from Japan. But that's the whole idea of the 787: It has the ability to serve long, thin routes—long-range routes with insufficient traffic to fill today's front-line 777s, 747s, and A380s.

The 787 is of special interest because it's the first of the newest generation jets. Latest technology engines promise better fuel efficiency, and aerodynamic tweaks reduce drag. Compared with the planes it's replacing—767s, 757s, and older A330s—it offers a double-digit reduction in operating costs, improved range, lower noise, and fewer emissions.

What's not to like? Despite agonizing delivery delays, airlines should see the 787 as worth the wait. And Boeing already has more than 800 orders on its books, with more coming now that the 787 is actually flying....read more»

Man: Aghast and at Computer (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

An old joke goes like this: On his return from a trip, a traveling salesman told his manager that he had lost his raincoat and wanted to put a new one on his expense account. "No," said the manager. "You can't put a coat on your expense account." So the salesman completed his paperwork and handed it to the manager. "Ah," said the manager. "I see you left out the coat."

"No," replied the salesman. "It's in there—but just try to find it."

That old chestnut came to mind when a reader asked what was up with a promotion posted on Half Off Depot for two round-trip airline tickets from various originating cities to "50 different destinations including Orlando, Mexico, Hawaii, San Francisco, and New York" for just $88. As far as I can tell, Half Off Depot, a flash-sale site based in Atlanta, is listing a deal offered by One Stop Travel, a Florida agency, and that agency is selling a deal put together by My Holiday Break....read more»

Switzerland: Chillon Castle (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, in an area nicknamed the "Swiss Riviera," the Chateau de Chillon is a historic must-see. The castle was built sometime during the Bronze Age, and was intended to defend the passage between northern and southern Europe. There's plenty to explore inside the castle—from underground former prisons to stunning chapels.

Now that it's no longer needed as a military defense spot, the Chateau de Chillon earns its keep as a wine-making operation. Grapes are grown in a vineyard next to the castle, and the wine is produced by Badoux Winery.

For a very special occasion, you can rent the Chateau de Chillon's private beach....read more»

Venus (Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision)

In January 2011, an Air Canada pilot took emergency measures when he thought a mid-air collision was imminent, rapidly descending his plane and injuring 16 passengers and crew (who were not wearing their seatbelts). Was he a hero? Not so much, reports the Huffington Post.

A new report found that what the pilot thought was another plane on a collision course with his aircraft was actually ... the planet Venus. Yes, despite the captain telling the first officer that the nearest plane was 1,000 feet below them, the pilot mistook the bright light of the planet Venus for a threat. ...read more»

Massachusetts: Manchester, Singing Beach (Photo: Shutterstock/Chee-Onn Leong)

Singing Beach is appropriately named—and not just because if you put a seashell up to your ear you can "hear" the ocean. The beach's sand "sings" (more like squeaks) when you step on it, earning it the name. Located just a 45-minute train ride from bustling Boston, the beach is a popular retreat for harried city-slickers and North Shore locals alike.

Manchester-by-the-Sea is a quintessential New England town, so when you're tired of the sand you can dine on local seafood and handmade ice cream. There's also lots of little local shops to browse as you stroll down the quiet streets. ...read more»

Woman: On Bed with Laptop (Photo: Thinkstock/Wavebreak Media)

As more and more of us travel with an armload of high-tech gadgetry, we need to make sure we can use it effectively. Some new, new-to-me, and been-around-awhile online resources can help. And you may need some help, if you have a timeshare you no longer want to use.

Locating Airborne Wi-Fi

Many big U.S. and international airlines now provide for in-flight Wi-Fi access on some planes. Most U.S. lines have adopted GoGo's land-based system, which involves a large number of ground stations that, in aggregate, cover most of the United States and border areas of Canada. A few, however, have opted for satellite-based systems, which provide connections across the Atlantic and Pacific. Along with the usual fare and schedule information, the online travel agency CheapAir notes which flights offer onboard Wi-Fi, as well as personal video monitors, live TV, and movies. Whether or not you book through CheapAir, the information will help you select flights that provide the particular flavor of online connectivity you're searching.

Keeping Track of Your Stuff

You aren't unusual if your "don't-leave-home-without-it" list includes a laptop/notebook and a smartphone. Both items are useful—and easy and desirable targets for thieves. Several outfits provide systems to help you keep track of those items and, if you're lucky, help you recover one you've lost:...read more»

India: Darjeeling, Tea Plantation (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

The name may sound familiar thanks to the tea and the movie, but Darjeeling is fairly off the tourist trail. Located in the Himalayan foothills under the shadow of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Darjeeling's vistas are unparalleled. Climb to the top of Observatory Hill or Tiger Hill for the best views.

Many trekkers stop in Darjeeling for a few days to acclimatize before tackling nearby Sikkim, and there are lots of preparation hikes you can do here.

Of course, you'll have to sample some of the namesake tea while you're here! There are more than 50 tea plantations in Darjeeling, and you can tour and sample at many of them. If you're still in a touring mood after all that tea, swing by one of the area's Buddhist monasteries or the Darjeeling Zoo. ...read more»

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