Posts with the tag ‘Travel’


In Praise of Serendipitous Travel or Seth Kugel Has It Right

November 17, 2018

It was hot as blazes, about 95 degrees, the October day I set aside to explore Muscat, Oman’s capital city.  Wiping sweat and chugging water, I ticked off just two of the city’s must-do activities before finding a shady spot to sit and consult Google Maps for my new must-do: find a beach. My 2017 trip to Oman to came to mind while reading Seth Kugel’s excellent New York Times Travel story How to Up the Spontaneity Quotient on Your Next Trip.  Like him, I firmly believe it is not the sites we see but the people we get to know on their turf that… Read More…


Times Have Changed: Breitling Stops Ads That Objectify Women

February 13, 2018

Breitling, the Swiss watch company that has taken heat for using scantily-clad women in advertisements and store displays, announced over the weekend that the practice will end. The company’s new chief executive, Georges Kern, told the German newspaper SonntagsZeitung that those themes are “no longer suitable and do not reflect values of today’s society.” Kern, whose college degree was in political science, knows the direction the wind is blowing. It was just one year ago at a Breitling store party in Manhattan that the company arranged for models to be in attendance, posing as pilots in caps, epaulets and stiletto heels but notably missing their pants. The year before, astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly and… Read More…


Holiday Gifts For Travelers and Those Who Love Them

November 29, 2017

Let’s face it, travel is disruptive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it’s an interruption in sleep schedule, exercise program or family time, there’s a gadget, app or destination that tackles the issue head on. That’s something to keep in mind if a frequent traveler is on your holiday shopping list. Sound Oasis sleep mask Forget the raccoon-disguise that mashes your eyelashes against your lids and slides sideways in any position other than lying flat. Sound Oasis, makes a variety of sleep masks that do more than help you sleep in uncomfortable settings like planes and buses. Their products are billed as sleep… Read More…


Big News of Air Traveler in Tiny Shorts As Industry Meeting Begins

June 1, 2016

Kudos to jetBlue for asking that a passenger ticketed on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles, put on some proper pants before being allowed to board her airplane earlier this month.  The story is getting international attention, with sympathies seemingly equally divided between the rights of a young woman to wear whatever she wants where ever she wants, and fellow travelers who might prefer to see less flesh in public places. As the annual meeting of world’s airlines prepares to begin in Dublin this week, its good to see an airline exercising its rights to maintain decorum. Few industries are as widely disliked by… Read More…


Nagasaki Survivor and US President On Same Page for Peace

May 30, 2016

Nagasaki survivor Takeo Aizawa, a retired school teacher now living in Tokyo, did not watch President Obama’s speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial live, as many other Japanese did. At 77, Aizawa keeps the schedule of a much younger man. He was handling other events in his life, his new grandbaby for one, and planned reunion of old classmates. But he remembers better than most, the events that brought Obama to Japan a few days ago, because Takeo Aizawa lived through them. Aizawa was a six-year-old student attending class when the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 30 kilometers from where he sat.  “I was not affected… Read More…


United Makes Peace by Reinstating Fired Crew, Qatar Not So Much

March 11, 2016

Two stories with big consequences for the participants and lessons for the rest of us were in the news this week. After years of fighting their firing for expressing concern about the security of their aircraft, 13 United flight attendants have been reinstated. You may recall from a previous post on my blog, that in the summer of 2014, the cabin crew on a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, grew concerned about disturbing graffiti on the tail of their Boeing 747. Drawn in the grease were two faces and the words “bye bye”. The airlines operations staff dismissed the drawing as a benign prank… Read More…


Quest For More From CNN From MH-370

March 6, 2016

Full disclosure: The Crash Detectives, my own book on the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, will be published by Penguin in September. This may have colored my perception of Richard Quest’s new book, The Vanishing of Flight 370. Then again, maybe it really is a rehash of CNN’s original undisciplined coverage. Quest, CNN’s business correspondent, is well known for his out-sized personality and his “say anything” interview style. But in the book he has produced for Penguin Berkley and timed to the second anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia 370, all his insouciant charm is gone. Without that, Quest’s demonstrated ego wears thin long… Read More…


Note to Allegiant: Emergency Landings Are Not the Problem

January 28, 2016

Recently a friend asked me what airlines were the safest to fly. I get asked that question all the time. I find the question challenging in part because of the chasm between risk and perceived risk. For example, most air travelers will admit to some anxiety about the safety of their flight, but few worry much about the taxi in which they are speeding to the airport. Travelers are also treated to end-of-the-year news reports about the world’s most dangerous airlines based on fatalities. That’s a false relationship as I’ve reported before. Sometimes, however, it is obvious what airlines to avoid. I was reminded of that today when I read… Read More…


Third World Bathrooms in OneWorld Terminal

January 18, 2016

Warning to readers:  Photos of toilets appear in this post. Travelers at the airport hail from many countries and speak many languages but women arriving on oneworld flights into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport have one word for the condition of the bathrooms in Terminal 8, “Ewwww.” Kisha Burgos stopped at the bathroom in the baggage claim area and was shocked to see paper-strewn floors, filthy toilets and empty and broken paper dispensers in the stalls. “It’s bad,” she told me comparing it to the airports she visited in Bangkok, Vietnam and Laos on her recent five-week trip. “Everything was really clean,” she said of the bathrooms in… Read More…


Aviation Year in Review Has a Star Wars Sci-Fi Feel

December 29, 2015

Star Wars dominated the end-of-the-year entertainment news. Harrison Ford, the ageless superstar most associated with the ageless film franchise also arrives on my list of top aviation news stories as I wrap up the year with a look back at 2015. It was March (and the movie was already in the can) when Ford, a pilot for nearly a quarter century, lost the engine on his Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. He crash landed on a golf course about 800 feet from the airfield. The NTSB determined a carburetor malfunction allowed too much fuel to flow into the engine causing… Read More…


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