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Archive: In the News

Bird Strikes, Cell Phones on Planes, Refunds and More

Here are some of the latest flying-related stories, big and small: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Avian Radar! The Seattle-Tacoma Airport is the first airport in the world to install avian radar. The goal is to detect bird movements to avoid avian collisions like the kind that caused...

By Christina Talcott | February 19, 2009; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Too Bad Waterford Didn't Make Crystal Balls

For years, visitors to Dublin have been taking side trips (and getting lost on the way, it must be admitted) to the town of Waterford, 100 miles south. Its presence on the Irish dance card was attributable in large part to the world-famous crystal company located there and especially the...

By Christina Talcott | February 18, 2009; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (3)

Forbes Magazine Names America's Most Miserable Cities

Every year, Forbes Magazine crunches numbers and comes up with what it deems the "most miserable" cities in the U.S. This year's list holds a few surprises. But first, here's an explanation of the method: We compiled our rankings by looking at the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the...

By Christina Talcott | February 12, 2009; 03:46 PM ET | Comments (1)

Severe Weather Shuts Down British Airports

While President Obama scoffed at Washington area schools closing because of snow last week, nearly all of Great Britain took a snow day on Monday after the biggest snowstorm in decades. Men create a giant snowball in Kensington Gardens in London. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) Even London's famed Underground had problems...

By Christina Talcott | February 2, 2009; 04:38 PM ET | Comments (1)

Obama's Welcome Party, Travelers' Nightmares

Well, we just barely made it through the inauguration, with the biggest crowds the city may have ever seen, especially on the Mall. The Post has been aggressively pursuing the story of the thousands of ticketholders who were denied access to the Mall, as well as what went wrong at...

By Christina Talcott | January 22, 2009; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

Inaugural Exodus

The following is a special message for all you clever types who, for whatever reason, are getting out of Dodge and planning to enjoy the inaugural festivities in some exotic, stress-free locale, fruity drink in hand: Don't come back. Not yet, that is. Not for at least a few days....

By Christina Talcott | January 16, 2009; 04:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Inaugural Prep, Again

Allow me to indulge in just alittle more Inauguration talk. With houseguests coming, I've got groceries to buy, floors to mop and sofabeds to make, not to mention coordinating plans for Tuesday morning. Braving the cold and crowds to be on the Mall for the swearing-in may seem like lunacy,...

By Christina Talcott | January 15, 2009; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

Where to Find Answers to Your Inauguration-Day Questions

With Washington, D.C., bracing for record crowds and chilly temperatures next Tuesday, some people might still be hammering out their Inauguration Day plans: Where to witness the swearing-in on the Mall, get a spot along the parade route or get to one of the numerous balls or other celebrations around...

By Christina Talcott | January 12, 2009; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (2)

Thursday News Round-Up

Two major stories about discrimination on airlines: You probably heard about the nine Muslim passengers who were pulled off their AirTran flight from DCA to Orlando, subsequently denied re-boarding, then offered an apology by AirTran on New Year's Day. And how about the $240,000 T-shirt? Jet Blue settled with Iraqi-born...

By Christina Talcott | January 8, 2009; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (6)

What's in a Name?

Welcome back! I hope you had a nice Christmas, Hanukkah and/or start to Kwanzaa last week, and all your holiday travels went smoothly. Yesterday I read with great interest this story in the Outlook section by Juan Fernando Gómez. Gomez is a Colombian-born international development consultant who keeps getting stopped...

By Christina Talcott | December 29, 2008; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (3)

Mapping New Ground

Now that portable GPS systems and Google Earth have ramped up the average citizen's interaction with maps, we've now got new and different kinds of maps popping up all over. Before you ponder a new route to Grandma's this holiday season, take a gander at these newcomers: * Panamaps are...

By Christina Talcott | December 18, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)

Monday News Roundup

In the news this afternoon: New WiFi service on planes: USA Today reported this morning that Delta is rolling out its new on-board Internet service on Washington-New York and New York-Boston flights. For the next two weeks, the service (called GoGo) will be free. Eventually, the airline plans to offer...

By Christina Talcott | December 15, 2008; 01:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eco-Friendly Travel Options

"One Vacation Can Be Worse Than Commuting for a Year." So reads a troubling headline of a study released last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit organization that's been doing research into which modes of vacation transport are the most environmentally-friendly. The full report, "Getting There Greener:...

By Christina Talcott | December 11, 2008; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (4)

Women, Men and Study Abroad

There's an online battle being waged these days, thanks to a study by the Institute of International Education showing that almost twice as many female college students study abroad than their male counterparts. As with any gender-based debate, the "why" is provoking some strong opinions. Last week, Aaron Hotfelder at...

By Christina Talcott | December 9, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (5)

Red Lights Go Out in Amsterdam

I just read a story on Tripso about the mayor of Amsterdam cracking down on sex shops, brothels and pot-peddling coffee shops. (Newsweek reported on it back in February, and the BBC published an update on Saturday.) Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen and Deputy Mayor Lodewijk Asscherr are leading the charge,...

By Christina Talcott | December 8, 2008; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (2)

Foiling Fees

Did you see the Onion's story about the American Airline's newest fees? Does it make you feel better about getting charged for phone reservations? Also in the news, last Sunday's The Ethicist column had a question about avoiding an unbelievably high name-change fee. It made me wonder: Has anyone out...

By Christina Talcott | December 4, 2008; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (3)

AirTran Joins the Bag Fee Movement

Say it ain't so! Low-cost airline AirTran has joined the legacy carriers in charging for the first checked bag. Starting Dec. 5, the first checked bag will cost $15 to check; the second one will remain $25. I'm saddened by the news, because I really like no-frills AirTran. It's partly...

By Christina Talcott | November 13, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (4)

USA: A Brand You Can Trust?

If we were talking about beer or beat 'em-up sports, I would understand why Australia and Canada topped the United States in a recent study. But, alas, the report was on country brand reputations, and it seems our red, white and blue doesn't have the shiniest rep. According to the...

By Andrea Sachs | November 10, 2008; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration 2009 Planning

If you live in the DC area, you may already be planning to host friends and family who're planning to come to town for Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20. While we can't help you tell your brother that your apartment's too small to accommodate him and his wife, kids...

By Christina Talcott | November 6, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (7)

What's on Travel Bloggers' Minds?

Here's what travelers have been blogging about this week... when they weren't blogging about the election: Virgin Atlantic fired flight attendants who'd posted not-so-genteel opinions about passengers on their Facebook pages. World explorer Steve Fossett's bones are positively identified at a crash site in the California Sierra Nevada mountains, where...

By Christina Talcott | November 4, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (3)

United's New Door-to-Door Baggage Program

Yesterday, United announced that it's starting a new door-to-door bag delivery service for flights within the continental U.S. Here's how it'll work: You can either drop your bags at the nearest FedEx, or the Door-to-Door Baggage service will pick them up at your home and office. They'll get shipped overnight...

By Christina Talcott | October 30, 2008; 07:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Great Places in America: 2008

Earlier this month, the American Planning Association named its picks for Great American Places. There are three categories, Neighborhoods, Streets and Public Places, and while some of them are obvious (New York's Central Park as a great public place), some are intriguing and can serve as a guide to travelers...

By Christina Talcott | October 29, 2008; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (6)

News Round-Up: Baggage Restrictions, Air Travel With Kids and More

What's going on in travel news this week? Here's an abbreviated list of some hot (and/or funny, helpful, etc.) stories: * Starting Nov. 1, Continental's making it harder to over-pack your carry-on with new size restrictions. Like most airlines these days, Continental's mandating that carry-on bags' dimensions measure no more...

By Christina Talcott | October 21, 2008; 01:50 PM ET | Comments (2)

What Not to Pack

If you think you've heard it all, wait till you hear what someone packed while traveling through a New York airport: Yesterday morning, JetBlue had to evacuate a terminal at JFK because officials found suspicious items in someone's checked luggage. What were they? According to Reuters, they were "a couple...

By Christina Talcott | September 23, 2008; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (2)

Travel Insurance, Wall Street and You

Are you wondering if that travel insurance you bought from Travel Guard is still good now that its parent company, American International Group (A.I.G.), needed to be rescued from bankruptcy by the government this week? Fear not. You're still covered, according to the company. When asked about the recent turn...

By Christina Talcott | September 19, 2008; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

Snakes in a Hotel Room

Carol's recent blog about the low numbers of visitors to the United States suggested some reasons why foreigners are staying away, but she neglected to mention one possibility: deadly snakes in our hotels. As an animal lover, I'm saddened by the wanton disregard for these creatures, but I also cringe...

By Christina Talcott | July 16, 2008; 07:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Let's Talk Turkey: Is It Safe?

Yesterday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was tragic and scary, and immediately people started wondering: Is Turkey safe for travelers? The State Department posted a response on its Web site's page about visiting Turkey, and the advice offered is inconclusive at best: Essentially, travelers are warned to maintain...

By Christina Talcott | July 10, 2008; 03:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

Net Gains? American Adding Internet, for a Price

Starting today, some American Airlines passengers can test out the airline's new internet service on flights from New York to L.A. The broadband service, provided by Aircell, will offer free access to AA.com and a few other sites. American says it plans to install Aircell in 15 of its Boeing...

By Christina Talcott | June 25, 2008; 06:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Monday Rant: Detaining Foreign Visitors

So now America is trying to keep European tourists out. In a shocking story, the New York Times revealed on Wednesday that an Italian man who frequently came to the States to visit his Alexandria girlfriend was denied entry to the U.S. by a customs official at Dulles airport. Customs...

By Christina Talcott | May 19, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

World Heritage Sites: Tasty?

When the World Heritage committee designates a man-made structure like the Taj Mahal or a natural creation like the Grand Canyon as a World Heritage site, the place draws tourists and creates national pride, among other things. Currently, the list has 851 sites natural and cultural worldwide that have "universal...

By Cindy Loose | May 15, 2008; 06:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Nature Calls: Beetle Mania Hits Western Parks

The beetles have arrived, but it's nothing to yeah-yeah-yeah about. An invasion of the destructive bark beetle has caused a number of parks and forests in Colorado and Wyoming to close or delay openings of several camp and picnic sites. It's hard to imagine that a bug the size of...

By Andrea Sachs | May 8, 2008; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

When in Venice: Feed the Birds, Tuppence (and 1,000 Bucks) a Bag

In pigeon advocacy circles, these are perilous times indeed. For one thing, the birds have been targeted by local governments around the world, many of them tourist hot spots like New York, London, Los Angeles and now ... Venice. Buying a bag of bread crumbs and feeding the winged residents...

By Scott Vogel | May 7, 2008; 09:28 AM ET | Comments (5)

Insta-CoGo: What's in the Cards for Tropicana?

I recently wrote about the state of Atlantic City in this space (it ain't pretty), but now comes word that an entire chain of casinos is in trouble: Tropicana Entertainment LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company says it will keep its properties open and staffing will...

By John Deiner | May 6, 2008; 01:49 PM ET | Comments (2)

Travel Alert: Heading to Reagan National?

Garage construction at Reagan National will likely cause traffic backups, especially during peak times, as of Monday. The left lane of the airport entrance road will be closed for the duration of the two-year, $54 million project. Motorists coming from Washington on the southbound George Washington Parkway are advised to...

By Cindy Loose | May 2, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: Funding the FAA

America's air traffic control system might finally get a much-needed update. A bill expected to pass the Senate as early as tonight would -- in its current incarnation -- devote $400 million to modernizing the air traffic control system. The bill in question reauthorizes spending for the FAA and has...

By Cindy Loose | May 1, 2008; 06:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-CoGo: The Dulles Rail Extension and You

In an unexpected reverse move, the Feds announced today that they're funding the Dulles rail extension, which we all but left for dead a few months back. Now that things are back on track (so to speak), it's looking up for Dulles, which is considered Washington's international hub (never mind...

By Christina Talcott | April 30, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

San Diego Shark Attack: Is It Safe to Go Back in the Water?

Last Friday, the Pacific waters off San Diego County were roiled after a shark attacked and killed a retired veterinarian and triathlete. An online report from the San Diego Union-Tribune says experts have confirmed that the predator was a great white shark. (During an autopsy, great white teeth were recovered...

By Andrea Sachs | April 30, 2008; 06:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

In the News: Checking In on the Mayflower

So you've probably read about Eliot Spitzer and the prostitution ring by now -- and the Mayflower Hotel, where the dalliance allegedly took place. The Post's Dana Milbank gives an intriguing overview of the case this morning in his Washington Sketch, including some historical info on the place (JFK apparently...

By John Deiner | March 11, 2008; 03:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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