Travel Newsstand for Nov. 8-22, 2018
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Read all about it! The world's longest hauls and weird and wacky flights around the globe. Dozens of striking Marriott hotels tell guests they are on their own. Miami voters finally approve a convention-center hotel. Making your space safe for Airbnb rentals. How and why airlines stock beverage carts. The battle over new routes to China. And much more.
Striking Marriott Hotels Tell Guests: You're on Your Own
Nearly two dozen Marriott hotels and resorts around the country continue to be hit by strikes of housekeeping staff, bellmen, bartenders and other service personnel. Although strikes continue to get sporadic publicity and some video coverage, they continue to fly mostly under the travel radar. While the work stoppages aren't making much media noise as they've entered the third month, unsuspecting Marriott hotel guests get an earful. "Rooms facing the front of the hotel were able to hear strikes at 7 a.m.," said a JoeSentMe guest who ran into one at the Westin Copley Plaza in Boston (left). She explained that strikers bang pots, chant and otherwise engage in loud activity that makes sleeping a chore. Staying at a Marriott weathering a strike isn't fun, either. The JoeSentMe member says the Copley Plaza property had no parking valets and was woefully short-staffed at the front desk. The bar was closed. So was the restaurant. Obviously, room service was off. And forget about Marriott Rewards bonus points for the inconvenience or a rebate on room rates. Marriott has made it clear that you're out of luck if you show up at a hotel on strike. You're on your own and you have to pay up--something employees getting dinged by exorbitant fees by the Marriott credit union know all too well. (Photo: Nina LoSchiavo)
The World's Longest Hauls and Wildest, Weirdest Flights
Weird and wacky flights seem to be the blogging coin of the realm of these days. Any incident, no matter how isolated or irrelevant, is deemed "newsworthy." The anomalies don't say much about our lives on the road, of course, but, you know, all the better to fill space between the credit card pitches. If flights goofy or tragically silly appeal to you, however, allow me to supply them, free from suggestions that you click links to take more credit cards.
+ THE LONGEST HAUL Singapore Airlines has resumed Newark-Singapore nonstops so the route is back atop the list of long hauls. At 16,700 kilometers, the route is nearly 2,200 kilometers longer than Qatar Airways' Auckland-Doha nonstop. Close behind is Perth-London/Heathrow operated by Qantas and Auckland-Dubai, an Emirates run.
+ THE LONGEST DELAY You can fly the longest flight--or you can fly British Airways. It started the month with a 70-hour flight between Orlando and London/Gatwick. Because nothing says "premium airline" more than an endless series of mechanicals, weather delays and other BA silliness.
+ THE WHITEST PRIVILEGE A doctor responded to a medical emergency on a Delta Air Lines flight from Indianapolis to Boston. Flight attendants questioned her credentials because she was black. It's not even the first time this particular type of outrageous racial animus has happened on Delta.
+ THE SMELLIEST CARGO Durian isn't everyone's favorite treat, but it's quite popular around Asia. Even fans admit the fruit's odiferous nature is troublesome, however. So you can imagine what happens when an Indonesian airline loaded 4,500 pounds of durian in the cargo hold.
+ THE DRUNKEST PILOT A co-pilot for Japan Airlines was arrested before boarding a London-Tokyo flight. Blood tests revealed he had almost ten times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
+ THE DUMBEST BAGGAGE HANDLER He might not have been as drunk as that Japanese pilot, but a 23-year-old American Airlines baggage handler in Kansas City fell asleep in the cargo hold of a Chicago-bound aircraft. He didn't wake up until the flight landed at O'Hare.
+ THE GROSSEST SEAT Delta Air Lines belatedly apologized to a passenger who was covered in dog feces because no one cleaned up the cabin before a flight. The Washington Post coverage explains the crew wasn't particularly helpful.
+ THE CRAZIEST PASSENGER An "out-of-control passenger" was arrested after his "erratic behavior" on a Southwest Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Newark. Another flyer said the man "tried departing the plane" and attacked a flight attendant.
Tight Connections ...
Dishing on the Beverage Cart Ever wonder how airlines decide what to stock on their in-flight beverage carts? No? Too bad 'cause I thought the details of the Cokes and beers was interesting.
Make Your Space Safe for Airbnb What makes a smart, sharp, rentable Airbnb apartment? Who better than Michelle Higgins, a travel reporter turned real estate writer, to explain how to make your space attractive to vacation renters?
Another Florida Election Day Winner Republicans eked out tight victories in Florida's hotly contested races for U.S. Senate and Governor. Another Sunshine State winner? After two previous election defeats, a plan to build a hotel at Miami's convention center was approved.
The China Syndrome U.S. carriers are battling over the allocation of extra routes and frequencies to fly to China. That includes American Airlines, which recently canceled many of its China runs and apparently doesn't want anyone else to do it, either. -- Joe Brancatelli
This column is Copyright © 2018 by Joe Brancatelli. JoeSentMe.com is Copyright © 2018 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved. All of the opinions and material in this column are the sole property and responsibility of Joe Brancatelli. This material may not be reproduced in any form without his express written permission.