The good, the bad and the bizarre from the best of the world’s travel media
CROCS ON A PLANE…
Next time you think airport security is getting just a little too anal-retentive, remember this story.
Back in August, a small commercial flight crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 20 people. The first thought was that the aircraft had run out of fuel in mid-flight.
Not until investigators could talk to the sole survivor did they find out what really brought down the plane, however.
It was a crocodile.
Don’t wait for the punchline. There isn’t one.
Somebody had smuggled the animal in a sports bag on board the Flair Let 410, apparently intending to sell it somewhere. The creature got loose. The panicked passengers stampeded and threw the airplane, now unbalanced, into a spin that its British pilot could not control.
The plane crashed into a house.
You can read the entire story here.
Airline folks will tell you: Left to their own devices, there is virtually nothing passengers won’t try to bring on a plane with them — and not just in Africa. Never mind fitting under your seat or in the overhead bin. If it fits through the door, they don’t see a problem.
Virtually anyone who’s ever worked a boarding gate longer than six months can tell you stories straight out of the Twilight Zone.
Now, you know why the powers that be at the airport can seem a little unreasonable when it comes to what you can bring aboard an airplane — and why pilots want you stay in your seat until the plane has come to a safe stop back on the ground.
…AND A CROCK AT THE GATE
Bad news if you’re flying out of Los Angeles International Airport these days: They’re cracking down on carry-ons.
Remember those ridiculously small guides that your carry-on is supposed to fit in before they let you on the plane with it? You know, the ones that both you and the airlines themselves routinely ignore? Well, the word from Johnny Jet is that the gate agents are not ignoring them anymore. If it doesn’t fit, you’ll have to check it — and pay for it.
And no, they don’t care if they let you on the plane with it the last 15 times. That was then, this is now.
Consider yourself warned.
And now, here’s this week’s Digest:
from the New York Times
“Traveling While Fat.” It can be a challenge — and not just fitting into these new and painfully narrow airline seats in Coach. The NYT’s Rob Goldstone leads you through the ins and outs.
from Travel+Leisure via Yahoo! Travel
Where in the world are the views to die for? The T+L crew has their list of 10 favorites, including one in Arizona that literally might be impossible to top.
from USA Today
Ethiopia is raising its global profile as a tourist destination, including its own airline with a reputation as one of the best in the developing world. And starting next year, if you’re a frequent flier on one of the 30 Star Alliance airlines, you may be able to use your miles to get there.
from Trondheim Travel Guide
My Norwegian friend gives you her take on good places to stay in Capetown, South Africa.
Welcome to the jungle. Peru’s got fun and games. And monkeys. And two different shades of crocodiles.
from Luxury Travel
Livin’ large in Tuscany, a region that seems to have been custom made for livin’ large.
from the New York Times
In London, they’re turning unused space under railway arches into trendy shopping stops.
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