Airport lounges will let anyone in, provided you can fake a QR code


When computer security expert and hardcore traveller Przemek Jaroszewski found that he couldn't enter an airline lounge in Warsaw because the automated reader mistakenly rejected his boarding card, he wrote a 600-line Javascript program that generated a QR code for "Batholemew Simpson," a business-class traveller on a flight departing that day. Read the rest

Man flew to China to meet online girlfriend, but didn't


A Dutch man who flew to China to meet his mysterious online girlfriend ended up stuck in the airport for 10 days, eventually being taken to hospital for exhaustion. He'd surprised his companion of two months with plane tickets, reports the BBC, but she never showed up.

On Chinese social media, the majority of users were keen to point out the apparent absurdity of the man's actions.

The hashtag "Foreign man went to Changsha to meet his online girlfriend" has been trending on micro-blogging site Weibo.

"He must be stupid, why would anyone do this?" asked one user.

"Doesn't he know that everything in China is fake?" said another.

Look at the man's photo and tell me that Steve Buscemi shouldn't play him in the movie. Read the rest

TSA approves having a mummified head as your carry-on luggage, with reservations


As long as it is "properly packaged, labeled and declared," one may take Victorian philosopher Jeremy Bentham's mummified head onto your flight. The TSA added that travelers may simply snap a picture and tweet it to @AskTSA if they are in any doubt about the flight-legality of any desiccated human remains with which they wish to fly. Read the rest

How to Pack for Any Trip is like a Marie Kondo book for travelers


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

How to Pack for Any Trip Lonely Planet 2016, 160 pages, 7 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches (softcover) $12 Buy a copy on Amazon

I’ve bought many a travel guidebooks from Lonely Planet before jumping on a plane, but this is the first I’ve seen from the adventure publisher that guides you before you leave the house. Reminding me of Marie Kondo and her magical ways of tidying up, How to Pack for Any Trip helps the traveler learn to pack efficiently and clutter-free. (The packing section even says, Kondo-style, that “the liberation of decluttering is magical.”)

With modern clean graphics, this pocket-size book (about the size of my wallet) teaches us how to choose our luggage, decide what to bring, pack lightly, fold – or roll up – our clothes, organize a backpack, and how to pack with kids. It also has a section on how to pack for different landscapes, such as large cities, the snow, campsites, beaches, the mountains, jungles, and deserts. Fun, useful, and just released last week, this book is a no-brainer for anyone planning to pack for a weekend trip or a month-long adventure.

Read the rest

SURVEY: Your views on US Customs' plan to search your social media at the border


Deji from Access Now writes, "You remember that spooky story about the U.S. screening everyone’s social media 'presence' at the border? Well, now there’s a way to tell the government exactly what you think about it." Read the rest

American Airlines backs stewardess who announced she was "watching" Muslim passenger in Seat 25-A, then kicked him off flight


A Muslim man was booted from a flight after an attendant publicly announced his name and seat number and warned him she was “watching” him. Welcome to American (real ones) Airlines.

Mohamed Ahmed Radwan had boarded a plane in Charlotte, North Carolina and the flight attendant went to the tannoy and said: “Mohamed Ahmed, Seat 25-A: I will be watching you.” The employee made no other announcements about any other passenger. Mr Radwan asked the employee why she had made the announcements. She reportedly responded that he was being “too sensitive” [and] was told he must leave the plane as he had made the first air stewardess “uncomfortable”.

The company's response: "We thoroughly reviewed these allegations and concluded that no discrimination occurred."

The same way bad police use "felt threatened" as an excuse for beatings and killings, bad airlines have settled on "felt uncomfortable" as their lawyer-approved all-bases-covered method of booting Muslims from flights. Read the rest

Rollaboard luggage trailer-hitch for your butt


A pilot invented this $18 plastic hook for your belt/waistband that can tow a 25lb rollaboard around the airport behind you, leaving you hands-free as you maneuver the concourse. Read the rest

To see the future, visit the most remote areas of the GBAO


Jan Chipchase travelled 7,100km through the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) ("a remote, sparsely populated, mostly Pamiri, Kyrgyz-speaking region of Tajikistan") with only a small piece of hand luggage, and in those rugged, beautiful mountains, discovered 61 glimpses of the future. Read the rest

Traveler sues TSA for missed flight


Although Minneapolis man Hooman Nikizad arrived at the airport two hours early, as recommended, his hour-and-a-half wait in the security line made him miss his flight. He then had to buy a second ticket on another airline in order to get to his destination on time. Now he's suing the TSA for $506.85 to cover the cost.

"I had to buy a ticket with another airline to be able to make my destination and meet my obligations," Nikizad said in his claim, which noted the TSA had limited staff on duty at the time and "only one body scanner for the regular security line [in operation]"...The money being sought, he said, is to reimburse him for a replacement ticket, additional ground transportation expenses and the $75 court fee to file his claim.

No comment from the TSA. For more, read the full story at the Star Tribune. Read the rest

A couple's 6-month trip around the world, 1 second per day

1 sec

Here is one couple's trip around the world, one second per day. What took them six months to experience takes us armchair travelers only three minutes! Read the rest

ChicoBags - reusable cloth bag packs into tiny bundle

I've been keeping a ChicoBag in my travel kit for about ten years. It's small enough that I could almost hide it in my fist. But when opened, it's large enough to carry a laptop and charger, or a beach towel and sunscreen, or a fair amount of groceries. It's made of polyester and can carry a lot of weight without bursting at the seams. It has handles. I've used it countless times. The bag has a sewn on pouch, so you can stuff the bag into the pouch, ouroboros-style. A four-pack costs $20 on Amazon. Read the rest

TSA head of security 'removed from his position'

Kelly Hoggan, former head of security for TSA.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration asked its head of security to turn in his badge and bright blue gloves. Kelly Hoggan has been 'removed from his post.'

Read the rest

Airbnb stealth-updates terms of service, says it's not an insurer and requires binding arbitration


The March 29 edition of Airbnb's terms of service requires that people who rent out their homes acknowledge that despite the company's widely advertised Host Protection Insurance program, "you understand and agree that Airbnb does not act as an insurer." Read the rest

Haptic sneakers give you turn-by-turn directions through vibrations in your feet


Low-cost carrier Easyjet has prototyped "Sneakairs," a pair of shoes that have small vibrating motors and Bluetooth links; they work in concert with your mobile phone's mapping app, buzzing left or right when it's time to turn, and twice if you've gone the wrong way. Read the rest

Infested: an itchy, fascinating natural history of the bed bug

The resurgence of the bed bug caught modern civilization flatfooted: an ancient pestilence dating back to the Pharoahs, gone for two generations, has returned with a vengeance, infesting fancy hotels and slums alike, lining our streets with mattresses spraypainted with the warning BEDBUGS. Infested, science writer Brooke Borel's natural history of the bed bug, looks at the bug's insurgency as a scientific, cultural, and economic phenomenon, and will leave you itching with delight.

Footage of security lines snaking out the airport

tsa line

Incredible footage of the TSA line at Chicago Midway airport yesterday, which snakes out the airport atrium and into the surrounding transit hallways -- it's hundreds of yards long.

It follows news of massive layoffs at the TSA, though apparently most of the planned firings haven't happened yet, so it's only going to get worse.

The only bright spot is that the airlines themselves appear to be at the end of their tether: the lines are depriving them of passengers who must be rebooked. And, thanks to the Brussels attacks, everyone knows that the compressed packs of humans created by airport security theater are a prime target in their own right.

Good to know no dangerous breast milk got on those half-empty flights, though. Read the rest

Chicago’s hottest tourist ticket: a corruption walking-tour


Journalist Paul Dailing, creator of the 1001 Chicago Afternoons blog, has created a walking tour of the most corrupt sites in Chicago's fantastically corrupt history, and it's selling out. Read the rest

More posts