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Chicken or Fish? And Pie for Your Just Desserts?
May 11, 2017 -- It's okay to admit it: You have frequently wanted to slam a pie in the face of an airline boss. Well, someone did. Just as he was about to give a speech this week in Perth, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce got whacked by someone--an unhappy business traveler, perhaps?--who casually walked on stage, pied him and kept on walking. The Australian 7 News network has the video. But what riveted me is that the news presenter and the reporter speculate on what flavor pie was used to beclown Joyce. One suggests a cream pie. Another says it is a lemon meringue. Joyce himself says he didn't
taste the pie that caught him square in his piehole. I guess we'll never know. Meanwhile, in other video news, a United Airlines agent is captured threatening to cancel a flyer's reservations for daring to record the confrontation. A near-riot occurred at Fort Lauderdale Airport when Spirit Airlines canceled a slew of flights and stranded passengers. Spirit, of course, shifted blame to employees, claiming their pilots were evil. And a fight among passengers broke out after a Southwest Airlines flight landed in Burbank.
It Happens Every Spring: Tales of Baseball
Some of you may know the name Roy Berger because he is president and chief executive of MedJetAssist, the terrific emergency-evacuation service. But Berger is also a heavy traveler--and a huge baseball fan and wanted-to-be pro. The result? Participation in 11 major-league fantasy camps to play the game with a lot of guys who played the game. The result of that? A new book called Big League Dream, stuffed with tales about baseball greats (and near-greats) that Berger has met over the years. "I have gotten to know ballplayers that we watched wide-eyed, with extreme envy growing up," the 65-year-old Berger explains. "We wanted to be them and 40, even 50 years later, each was so giving of their time and energy." Berger was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium in the New York borough of the Bronx, but grew up a Pirates fan. "I never gave a damn about math in school," Berger writes in his introduction. "But I knew how to compute an earned-run average. As a kid, that made life worth living." Big League Dream is available at Amazon.com in Kindle, hardcover and paperback editions. Other editions, including Apple E-book, are available here.
Candidate Trump Versus President Trump on Travel Ban 2.0
A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, convened a rare en banc hearing this week on the government's attempt to overturn the Fourth Circuit's stay on Trump Travel Ban 2.0. And the case seemed to come down to Candidate Trump versus President Trump. The Justice Department insisted that President Trump's executive order, which covered six Middle East countries, was not discriminatory and not aimed at Muslims. But the plaintiffs and some of the justices said that the Trump executive order must be viewed in the context of Candidate Trump's call for a "complete and total shutdown" of Muslim immigration. Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall argued that "too much emphasis is being placed on rhetoric from a divisive campaign that ended months ago." Of course, Wall ignored the fact that President Trump endlessly tweets and talks about his election victory as if it were yesterday. Nor has he disavowed the December, 2015, campaign pledge. (The statement did disappear this week from the Trump campaign site, however. Yet the URL that now points to a "404-page not found" error is literally "trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration.") Conversely, there was a stark admission by the attorney of the ACLU during the hearing. Omar Jadwat told the court that the executive order might be legal had it been promulgated by any other president. His point: Candidate Trump's comments were impossible to ignore. For more coverage, check the stories that appeared in Politico.com and The New York Times. Ironically, the Fourth Circuit's stay is not the one that halted the March order, Trump's second attempt to impose a travel ban. The Ninth Circuit Court's restraining order is what stopped Travel Ban 2.0 and the hearing on that stay won't be argued until next week.
Tight Connections ...
Chip Conley, the former boutique hotelier who turned Airbnb into an international lodging powerhouse in a few short years, is back in the hotel business, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He talks about the lessons of Airbnb that he hopes to bring to the traditional Bay Area property he oversees. ... Anthony Bourdain, the chef turned television travel celebrity, is on record as hating airline food. But he has much kinder things to say about airport dining. "Changi Airport in Singapore has the best food," he tells The New York Times. "It has a hawker center for the employees that's open to the public. Tokyo [Narita] has a sushi bar right near the gates serving flights to the [United] States that's extraordinarily good for an airport sushi place." ... Air India is planning a major expansion in U.S. markets, according to Airways magazine. It doesn't say what traveler in their right mind would fly Air India if there is another alternative. -- Joe Brancatelli
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