Find out where consumer advocate Chris Elliott draws the line when going through airport security—and feast your eyes on other interesting stories—in this week's round-up of juicy travel scoops.
Message In Bottle Found 98 Years Later
While we're certainly not advocates of dumping junk into the ocean, we have to admit this is pretty fascinating. The Huffington Post reports that the oldest message in a bottle yet has appeared off the coast of Scotland. Reportedly, a Scottish sailor picked up the 97-year-old treasure (a world record!) in his fishing net. The bottle, which was cast into the water in 1914, carried a post card from Captain CH Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation. Read more here. ...read more»
Following is our regular summary of the best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.
If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.
Through November 30, travelers can earn a $50 resort credit after two nights at Holiday Inn Resorts in the Americas. But you'll likely pay more than the credit is worth....read more»
Gogo, the outfit that provides the bulk of in-flight Wi-Fi service for North American airlines, has cut a deal to expand into Canada. The Gogo technology relies on ground-based transceivers, similar to cell phone towers, and the new deal, which will go live sometime in 2013, allows Gogo to start building Canadian towers....read more»
United announced the initial routes for its much-delayed and long-awaited 787 Dreamliners.
United announced it will fly the new 787 Dreamliner on a few domestic routes starting November 4, but only temporarily. The routes will be out-and-back links from Houston to Chicago/O'Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington/Dulles. Apparently, United has decided to fly these planes around to generate some experience while it gets set up for long-term international routes. ...read more»
Air passengers are required to turn off all electronic devices during takeoff and landing. This exasperating rule, however, could soon be a thing of the past. The FAA has formed a government-industry group to study whether its long-time ban on use of consumer electronics during some or all phases of a flight makes sense—or is necessary. In apparent response to the almost-universal use of smartphones, PDAs, and computers, the group will take a hard look at the use of electronics in flight....read more»
We (don't) want to believe! The Huffington Post reports that the British Civil Aviation Authority has taken an interest in reports of UFOs from pilots, air traffic controllers, and flight crew. Apparently, there have been enough incidents reported that it warrants an investigation. Check out the picture posted by a pilot on the Huffington Post, and decide if yourself if we're alone in the skies....read more»
Guest blogger James Pham has spent the last 20 years being a citizen of the world. Work and travel has taken him from his hometown in Fairfax, Virginia to Canada, Cambodia, Thailand, and now Vietnam, with stops in about 60 countries along the way. He has a background in publishing and educational management, but his guilty pleasure is obsessive travel planning. He spends way more of his savings on travel than is reasonable. After a 10 week overland photographic safari in Africa in 2010 and a 12 week trip around the world in 2011, James is currently taking time off to write and explore his native Vietnam. You can find more of his musings at flyicarusfly.com or follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/FlyIcarusFly.
With nearly 3,500km of coastline, Vietnam is blessed with a plethora of scenic beaches—everything from the more than 2,000 islands of Ha Long Bay in the north (nominated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World), to Vung Tau, the French colonial playground just an hour outside of bustling Ho Chi Minh City to laid back Phu Quoc island, barely a dozen kilometers from the Cambodian mainland.
But in a kingdom of beaches, Nha Trang is still Queen. Located about 320 km north of Ho Chi Minh City and 1,035km south of Hanoi in Khanh Hoa Province, Nha Trang is often a welcome stopover for tourists traveling the length of this beautiful country of contrasts. Whether you're splurging or on a budget, Nha Trang has a little bit of something for everyone....read more»
Do airlines have the right to ban passengers from planes because of what they're wearing? That's the debate raging right now, after the Associated Press published this story about draconian airline dress codes.
According to the report, a number of passengers have been removed from flights due to questionable wardrobe choices in the past few months, including an American Airlines passenger wearing a shirt with a pro-choice slogan and a Delta flyer with a T-shirt that read, "Terrists [sic] gonna kill us all." (The guy wearing the terrorist shirt claims the misspelling was meant to be satirical.)...read more»
No, I don't mean the University of Miami's football team—although they're coming, too.
I mean real hurricanes. Tropical storm Isaac, with its potential escalation into a hurricane, ushers in the 2012 hurricane season. And if you're planning travel during the fall—especially anywhere near the southeastern United States or the Caribbean—you need to add the possibility of hurricanes to your travel-planning mix. Part of the problem is money: Any time you prepay for any travel service, you have money at risk, and you want to make sure that if a hurricane threatens your travel plans, you make the best decisions for yourself. But the other part of the problem is your travel experience: Even if your travel plans aren't interrupted, bad weather may be enough to make you reconsider your trip. And different suppliers treat hurricane problems differently. ...read more»