Travel Newsstand for Nov. 15-30, 2018
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Read all about it! What's cool in America around Thanksgiving, the most American of holidays. In Seoul, some bars where animals and customers mingle. Three multi-day flights from hell around the world. Crime-ridden rail stations in London. Better airport hotels. Flight attendant sues flight attendant. Thailand's "Death Island" and Geneva's VIP guest. And more.
What's Cool in America This Thanksgiving Season
There is no more all-American holiday than Thanksgiving even if our friends up in Canada celebrate theirs a month before us. And there's probably nothing more American than bopping around the nation and seeing what's cool. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune picks eight great fall spots around the country. Among the choices: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; and Madison, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, about a million of us live in recreational vehicles as we wander from place to place as the spirit moves us. Written by The Washington Post, the story profiles some RVers and the vehicles they call home--and transportation. Other places of note this Thanksgiving season? Big Sky, Montana. After a brutal slump a decade ago, Big Sky is once again a trendy ski resort. The Wall Street Journal explains small vacant lots are selling for $3 million. Two-bedroom condos start at $4 million. On the other side of the country, in New York's Hudson Valley, the topic is farming. Like other farm communities around the country, the population is aging and "90 percent of [the farmers] have no successor," according to The Highlands Current. The lack of farmers means "two million acres of farmland could be taken out of production" in the years ahead.
The Flight's Been Cancelled--Again and Again and Again
Remember last week's Travel Newsstand item about the three-day British Airways nightmare itinerary between Orlando and London/Gatwick? Child's play. Steve Trimble at Aviation Week details how he endured three consecutive 777-300ERs with an aircraft-on-ground (AOG) event while trying to fly the American Airlines nonstop between its Dallas/Fort Worth hub and Hong Kong. The odds of three successive flights getting hit with mechanicals on the same run? Exactly "2.61 such strokes of bad luck in 10 million flights." Meanwhile, the Belgian site Aviation24 relates the unhappy tale of Air France Flight 116, scheduled to operate nonstop between Paris/CDG and Shanghai/Pudong. The first attempt diverted to Irkutsk, Siberia, after a strange odor "and a light fume" aborted the Boeing 777 flight. After a night in Irkutsk, a replacement Boeing 777 arrived--and was promptly grounded by a hydraulic leak. As far as we know, after a second night enjoying the attractions of Irkutsk, a third Air France Boeing 777 reached Siberia and got the passengers to China.
The Worldwatch Never Stops: Death Island and Raccoon Bars
+ BEIJING: City officials have embarked on a massive "historic preservation" drive. The preservation effort is mostly fake, however, with phony materials substituting for genuine historic building methods.
+ GENEVA: Where does the president of the impoverished West Africa nation of Cameroon live? The InterContinental Hotel in Geneva, of course. He has been coming for decades--and staying for extended periods of time. He and his wife pay the hotel bill in cash taken from big white sacks.
+ KOH TAO, THAILAND: "Tourists flock to its lively beach bars," but the British tabloids have taken to calling the place "Death Island." That's because at least nine European visitors have died or disappeared since 2014.
+ LONDON: Americans marvel at how Britain is knitted together by railroads. Still, you'd be surprised that high-profile stations such as Victoria in Central London are high crime areas. There were more than 20,000 offenses recorded at 22 Central London stations during the last five years.
+ NAPLES: It may be best known for pastry, mozzarella, the mafia and (lately) high fashion, but Naples is trying to remake itself as a high-tech center. "Tech giants Apple and Cisco set up academies in Naples" and boosters hope the new investment will revitalize southern Italy's failing economy.
+ NEW DEHLI: One of Air India's most senior pilots, Captain Arvind Kathpalia, has been removed as the carrier's director of operations. Even by Air India standards, he hasn't been a model of upstanding behavior. He failed two breathalyzer tests earlier this week before a New Delhi-London flight. Last year, he was suspended for three months for refusing to take the test before another New Delhi flight.
+ SEOUL: Some people call them vermin, but Koreans like hanging in raccoon saloons that give guests and animals equal access. "Once wild animals have been domesticated, they're no different from cats and dogs," one animal cafe owner says.
Tight Connections ...
Better Airport Hotels Sara Clemence, who had the misfortune of editing my Seat 2B column back in the Portfolio magazine days, writes at Bloomberg about six airport hotels that will make you happy to be at an airport hotel.
Beer Here, There & Everywhere How much does a pint of beer cost around the world? Deutsche Bank analyzed 50 cities and Dubai topped the chart, closely followed by New York and San Francisco. Cheapest suds? Manila, where a pint costs just $1.50.
Friendly Fire We're used to stories about altercations between flight attendants and passengers. But what happens if one flight attendant attacks another member of the crew? It ends up in federal court.
Airline-on-Airline Corruption In a move you surely didn't know about, basket-case South African Airways dropped one of its few profitable routes, Johannesburg-Mumbai, shortly after India's Jet Airways launched service. How SAA bailed on the route--and who profited--explains why the carrier is on the verge of collapse. -- Joe Brancatelli
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