Travel News

United Airlines crackdown on oversize carry-ons

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Here’s something that I heartily endorse. United Airlines is cracking down on carry-on size. There’s no change in the policy, just stricter enforcement of the old one which is that you can have one bag 22″ by 14″ by 9″ that goes in the overhead bin and one bag 10″ by 9″ by 17″ that…

Snowpocalypse, Southern Style

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Sometimes travel doesn’t work out just the way you’d like, which is why I found myself stranded in Raleigh, North Carolina recently. An unusually fierce winter storm hit, dumping a few inches of snow followed by sleet and ice that brought the area to its knees. In just a few hours, the freeways turned into…

Ho, Ho, Whoa! Westjet grants passengers Christmas wishes

canada-west-jet-christmas-surpriseI’ve had some very nice flights this year, thank you Delta and Air New Zealand, but never have I had a flight like the recent Westjet trip in which the Canadian airline surprised passengers by asking them what they wanted for Christmas and then gave it to them at journey’s end.

Air New Zealand unveils Smaug plane inspired by The Hobbit

Air New Zealand's new Smaug plane /Photo Air NZ

Air New Zealand is the coolest airline. And I’m not just saying that because I recently was upgraded to business for the Auckland-San Francisco flight. Although that was awesome. I’m saying it because the airline has just unveiled a Boeing 777-300 aircraft with a 177-foot long Dragon Smaug emblazoned on both sides. The character, of…

Gadget Green Light

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My fellow gadgeteers, rejoice. The FAA has announced it’s OK to use your cell phones during all phases of flights. This means you, too, Alec Baldwin. We have all known for a while that the “turn off your cellphones and other electronic devices” routine is a bit weird. I mean, really? You have a multimillion-dollar…

Travel Tips: Phone Phobia

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David Pogue of The New York Times has an interesting column about T-Mobile that is a must-read for anyone who wants to use a cellphone abroad. The company is announcing that not only will it not be charging the usual arm+leg for using your phone overseas, they’re not going to charge anything at all unless…

Flights of Fancy

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If you fly, you should be following @untitledairlane on Twitter. This was formerly the @unitedairlanes parody account, which turned into a phenomenon when the guy who started it as a lark realized angry passengers were mistakenly using it to tweet their non-parodic fury over United’s alleged flaws and foibles. Or as the account founder put…

Flying with Class

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Friends, I have crossed into another dimension. I have flown first class. It happened on recent flight back to the United States and was due to an upgrade, oh blessed, blessed upgrade. The flight was from Heathrow to San Francisco with a connection in Minneapolis and for the important leg of the trip, the crossing…

Turn of the (cork) Screw

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Not so fast on slipping your handy corkscrew-with-foil-cutter into your carry-on. The TSA had planned on relaxing some of its rules, including the ban on non-locking blades that are less than 2.36 inches long and no more than 1/2 inch wide. They also were allowing toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks…

Scam alert: The case of the traumatized traveler

This week we got a rather urgent email from our neighbor, Chuck. It turned out the poor fellow had been on a tour of the Philippines, had lost his wallet and was having problems getting the hotel owner to hand back his passport unless he paid the bill. “I am sorry if i am inconveniencing…