Posts by Genevieve Shaw Brown
In a trend that seems to be going nowhere good for air travelers, a third airline has decided to charge for carry on bags.
The airline, Wizz, is a low-cost carrier based at London's Luton Airport. As of Oct. 24, the only free carry-on is a bag that can fit under the seat in front of you. Anything larger will cost 10 euros, or about $13.
The airline's website said the reason for the change was to "encourage passengers to bring smaller baggage on board and make the boarding process smoother and faster."
The carrier flies from London to Central and Eastern Europe.
Wizz's policy is similar to that of U.S.-carrier Spirit Airlines. The carrier also charges for carry-on luggage. The cost as of Nov. 6 is as much as $100 each way, depending how far in advance the passenger pays. (Passengers who do not pay prior to boarding the flight will be subject to the $100 charge).
The 22-second video has 45,000 views as of Monday morning. It is posted under the name AirportVideoofTSA. The person who uploaded the video writes, "I was not allowed to board a plane (even though I had already been through airport security) because I drank my water instead of letting the TSA "test" it. The TSA agent finally admitted that it wasn't because they thought I was a security risk-it was because the TSA agent, Louis Godeaux, was mad at me!"
Though the audio is garbled, the exchange goes like this:
Woman: Do you think I'm honestly a threat? Do you think that?
TSA agent: No, no, no but with your attitude . . .
Woman: Wait, let me get this straight, this is retaliatory for my attitude? This is not making the airways safer, this is retaliatory.
TSA agent: Pretty much, yes. [Inaudible]
Woman: Is that legal?
TSA agent: Yes it is.
ABC News contacted the TSA which said, "In our initial review, we concluded that this individual was screened in accordance with standard procedures."
Celebrities are famous for their extremely specific requests when they're on the road. Mariah Carey, for example, requests a $200 bottle of cabernet sauvignon, two dozen white roses and vanilla aromatherapy candles in her dressing room. But one celebrity guest of a Toronto hotel, in town for the Toronto International Film Festival, seems less concerned with aromatherapy and more with getting a good night's sleep. A very good night's sleep.
The Hazelton Hotel said it received a request for an ultra luxurious, expensive bed. How expensive? $99,000. The hotel was happy to make it happen for their V.I.P.
The $99,000 gem is a Hastens Vividus bed. According to the company web site, each Vividus bed takes 140 to 160 hours to build and is made entirely by hand. It's made of " . . . different combinations of horsehair, cotton, flax and wool to find the perfect balance. "
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that 30 percent of adultsin the United States are considered obese. Given that statistic, it may come as no surprise that there's a market for selling seatbelt extenders for in-flight use.
But the Federal Aviation Administration has cracked down on those personal extenders, saying last month in a memo to airlines that they should not be used.
A seat belt is required for every passenger on board a flight. Airlines provide extenders, which, along with seat belts, are inspected and maintained under each airline's Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program, according to the FAA.
While some seat belt extenders may be labeled FAA-approved, the agency warns they are not inspected and maintained and should not be used.
A Norwegian tourist fell asleep on a baggage belt at Rome's Fiumicino airport and traveled 160 feet before being identified by an X-ray scanner, The Telegraph reported.
The 36-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was due to check in for a flight to Oslo, but found no one on duty at the airline desk. He leapt across the counter and fell asleep on the baggage belt with his bag beside him, the paper reported. The man then traveled for 15 minutes through the secure baggage area before being spotted on an X-ray scanner by airport officials.
An airport police officer denied the incident showed cracks in security. And, it seems this kind of incident is not terribly unusual among "drunks or people with psychological problems." In fact, the paper reports the official as saying this kind of thing happens about once a year.
The "50 Shade of Grey" phenom novel, which ABC News reports earns its author nearly $200,000 per day, has spawned a trio of hotel packages ready for your inner Anastasia Steele to book.
(I did not read this book. I had to ask someone who did to tell me about the hotels' various roles, or lack thereof.)
At Portland's Heathman Hotel, where Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele have a few steamy moments, there are two add-on packages available. The "Inner Goddess Addition" costs just $40, but only includes a bottle of Pinot Gris.
However, the $2,750 "Charlie Tango No Limits" package includes far more: Appetizers and white wine (this must be a theme in the book) at the hotel restaurant for six people, a helicopter tour of the city, roses for the ladies in the party, dinner at the hotel and limo transfers.
Hints for non-fans: Steele is constantly talking with her inner goddess, Grey has a helicopter named "Charlie Tango," and the couple drinks Pinot Gris.
But if you've ever been on the road, far from home and lonely, there's a good chance you've come across a chain and breathed a sigh of relief. Then you parked your car in the vast lot and waited for your table while sipping a frozen daiquiri and admiring the bartender's flare.
You're not alone. Hey, there's a reason there's a Red Lobster (and a Bubba Gump Shrimp and an Applebee's) in Times Square. And who could forget the Olive Garden review that went viral?
Gas prices are going down, down, down. ABC News reported gas prices in 16 states have dropped to under $3 per gallon and that more are expected to drop under that price point in the coming days.
And with the Fourth of July holiday just one week away, families that previously decided to stay home may be reconsidering.
"Low gas prices light a fire under Americans. They really like low prices. This is sure to entice more people to go on vacation and spend more of their hard-earned money," Patrick Dehann of GasBuddy.com told World News.
A road trip is surely the way to go at this late date. As ABCNews.com reported, the weekends sandwiching the Fourth of July - a Wednesday this year - are some of the most expensive of the summer to fly.
JetBlue cited a "computer glitch" on Thursday as the reason it removed an 18-month old girl from a plane bound for New Jersey earlier this week.
The toddler and her parents were flying from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Newark, N.J. on Tuesday when they were asked to get off the plane they had just boarded, ABC affiliate WPBF reported.
The girl's parents called the experience "humiliating," and her father told WPBF, "We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab." He added that he thought his family was being profiled because they're of Middle Eastern descent.
JetBlue's statement notes: "Upon boarding Flight 510 at Fort Lauderdale International Airport last evening, a customer's boarding pass was flagged in our system as being on the TSA's No Fly list. We notified and collaborated with TSA. TSA cleared the customers to travel on JetBlue.
An advertisement for travel deals in Portugal featured a photo of the missing little girl Madeleine McCann. The website, VoucherDigg.co.uk, used a photograph of Madeleine taken before she disappeared five years ago, when she was 4 years old, a family spokesman told Sky News.
The ad read, "£20 off: Great discount on holiday bookings." Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family's spokesman, told Sky News, "The misuse of Madeleine's picture in this way is utterly appalling and frankly unforgivable. Kate and Gerry [Madeleine's parents] were horrified when they found out about it. It is offensive in the extreme. Whether it's a mistake or hacking it's an utter disgrace."
VoucherDigg was promoting travel deals for another website, lowcostholidays.com. Lawrence Hunt, chief operating officer of lowcostholidays.com, called the ad "vile" and said his site had broken all links to VoucherDigg. He also said his company had contacted its lawyers.