New Airport Rules

A pile of luggage

WOEFULTOURIST does not take change well.

He prefers the tried and true to anything new.

Still, change happens and like everyone else, WOEFULTOURIST finds himself with the dreadful prospect of dealing with the new rules when they do arrive.

So to help you avoid his pain, WOEFULTOURIST is providing this post as a public service to his loyal reader so she can avoid some of the errors of his weighs.

When you are bringing a carry-on piece of luggage onto the plane, size does not seem to matter.  WOEFULTOURIST has yet to see any airline official enforce size limits for carry-ons.  So feel free to bring in anything on wheels and try to board with it.  Most likely no one will say anything and the worst thing you’ll have to worry about is how to lift the darned thing into the overhead compartment without getting a hernia.

On the off chance that some uppity steward/ess actually decides to enforce regulations, then no worries.  All that will happen is you will have to check the bag at the plane, which means it will be one of the last pieces to be packed, resulting in it being one of the first to be unloaded.  Plus, no checked baggage fee will be assessed.

Speaking of carry-ons, apparently the “only one roll on bag and one purse/knapsack that has to fit under the seat in front of you” rule is strictly a recommendation and rarely enforced.  So feel free to bring on bags of recent purchases, wrapped gifts, computer cases, coats, strollers and any other packages you can think of, onto the plane with you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Planes are almost exclusively still being boarded starting with first class travelers  What has changed is that once first class boarding has been announced, all passengers are expected to form a large group in front of the boarding area in order to make it as difficult as possible for people who are supposed to be boarding from actually doing so.

Additionally, trying to board during the “first class only” boarding time when you do not have an actual first class ticket is also encouraged.

Once on the plane, passengers are supposed to use the overhead bins above their seats, and if that one is full, then they are to go to any adjacent overhead bin, push, shove, crush or otherwise move someone else’s belongings out of the way in order to get their stuff up there.  So being late to board is not the disadvantage it used to be.

Upon takeoff, all passengers are expected to abruptly put their seats in full recline so as to inflict as much pain as possible on the people sitting directly behind them.

While cell phones, which get their signals from satellites but which the airlines cannot yet charge you a fee to use, are prohibited from use once the plane is moving and the doors are closed, you can get DirecTv on many flights, which also gets its signal from satellites, but which the airlines can and do charge you a fee to use.

After the plane has landed and made it to the gate, EVERYONE MUST STAND UP IMMEDIATELY AND CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY GET OFF THE PLANE.  The fact that the airplane door may not yet be open is irrelevant.  You must rise immediately, completely fill the aisles so no one can get by, then wait for the ten to fifteen minutes it takes for you to actually make your way to the exit.

Only passengers needing wheelchairs are excused from this rule.  A doctor’s excuse may be required by the pilot, or other crew member.

WOEFULTOURIST hopes you find these new rules of behavior to be a valuable resource to help you successfully maneuver thru the various armpits, excuse him, airports of the world.

Bon voyage!

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Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

August 22, 2017 Edition

French oysters go on sale in vending machines French oysters go on sale in vending machines                                                                                                                                By Miranda Alexander-Webber,Reuters•August 3, 2017
ILE DE RE, France (Reuters) – In a change from chocolates and fizzy drinks, the French are starting to offer fresh oysters from vending machines in the hope of selling more of the delicacy outside business hours.
One pioneer is Tony Berthelot, an oyster farmer whose automatic dispenser of live oysters on the Ile de Re island off France’s western coast offers a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
French oyster farmers are following in the footsteps of other producers of fresh food who once manned stalls along roadsides for long hours but now uses machines.
“We can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It’s excellent; they’re really fresh,” Christel Petinon, a 45-year-old client holidaying on the island, told Reuters.
The Ile de Re’s refrigerated dispenser, one of the first and with glass panels so customers can see what they are buying, is broadly similar to those that offer snacks and drinks at railway stations and office buildings worldwide.
Customers use their bank card for access, opening the door of their choice from a range of carton sizes and oyster types.
Berthelot, thirty years an oyster breeder, sees it as an extra source of revenue rather than an alternative to normal points of sale like food markets, fishmongers and supermarkets.
“We felt as though we were losing lots of sales when we are closed,” he said.
“There was a cost involved when buying this machine, of course, but we’re paying it back in installments … And today, in theory, we can say that the calculations are correct and it’s working.”
Selling oysters from a machine bets on more than just open-mindedness among consumers. Live molluscs not kept cool enough or stored too long out of seawater can cause food poisoning when opened.
The Berthelots say the machine has an appeal to a younger generation accustomed to buying on the internet and unperturbed by the absence of a shopkeeper.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Because nothing satisfies a drunk at midnight like a dozen oysters.”

 

Mexico City’s new double-decker buses don’t fit everywhere                                      Associated Press•August 3, 2017
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City bus drivers have discovered the hard way that their new double-decker buses don’t fit everywhere in the city.
A driver damaged the top of his bus by driving it into a station whose roof was too low to clear the vehicle.
The city received the new, British-built, London-style red buses just last week, and they are still conducting test runs.
But the buses are only able to run on a few lines of Mexico City’s confined-lane Metrobus routes. The director of the Metrobus system says the driver involved in Wednesday’s accident took an unauthorized shortcut on another route.
Director Guillermo Calderon said the driver would be punished.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Another reason to measure twice, cut once.”

 

Priests mistaken for bachelor party turned away by UK pub                                         Associated Press•August 1, 2017
LONDON (AP) — A British pub has apologized for turning away a group of trainee priests after mistaking them for rowdy bachelor-party revelers in costume.
The Archdiocese of Cardiff said Tuesday that seven Roman Catholic seminarians went to the City Arms in Cardiff, Wales, last week to celebrate the ordination of one of the group.
Father Michael Doyle said the clerics were turned away by a doorman, who told them “sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos.”
Doyle said the group was reprieved when a bar manager realized the clergyman were real. They were allowed in and given a round of beer on the house.
Assistant manager Matt Morgan said “thankfully they were all great sports and saw the funny side of the situation.”

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Who knew that a cassock was fancy dress.”

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General European Travel Tips

Front window of a Munich butcher shop.

 

No, WOEFULTOURIST is not a general.

Neither a seargeant, nor a private bee.

He did not serve, because he did not have to.

Had he (have to) his service would have been something they wrote manuals about.

Mainly about what not to do.

Unfortunately, having not served his country to the best of his physical abilities, WOEFULTOURIST does not have the pleasure of leafing through the manuals (paper growing on trees, after all) that would have been written about him and pointing out with pride the screw ups being ascribed to him on said page, and proudly announcing, “Yep, I remember it well.”

Ah, the perils of fame.

Something WOEFULTOURIST never has to worry about achieving.

Also, WOEFULTOURIST will not be giving hints to those highly decorated soldiers who feel like going out on the town in Europe (even though there are plenty of nice towns in the good old U S of A  they could be going out to).

Rather, he is referring to basic (plain, like his yogurt), round-about (like a traffic circle) , generic (not name brand) , broad (in a non-sexist way), situations one might encounter in one’s travels to Europe, that one would probably not encounter in one’s travels in America.

And while nothing is certain except death and taxes, WOEFULTOURIST will nevertheless continue, unfazed by the hand that fate has dealt him (eight high, no straight).

So here goes something.

When in Amsterdam, is you see a food establishment advertising that it serves “real New York Pizza”, it doesn’t.

Sorry, geography-phobes, but Amsterdam is like miles away from the big Apple.

And sure, Harlem, New York City is named after Haarlem, the Netherlands (no one is quite sure what happened to the other “A”) but that doesn’t mean that New York pizza took a reverse course back to the original motherland (not pizza motherland, for those keeping score).

New York pizza is very good, but only when purchased in the New York metropolitan area, which for geography-phobes, does not include areas across the Atlantic.

When in Germany, they like their swine.

To qualify, they like to eat their swine.

To further qualify, they like to eat all parts of their swine.

So when walking past a German butcher shop in Germany, one should not be surprised to see neatly stacked pig heads in the window staring wide eyed (bushy tales having been removed, but definitely for sale inside) at people walking past.

If this offends you, then leave.

Or keep your eyes closed and keep walking.

Or whistle “Dixie” or some other catchy tune so as not to have to think about what you just saw.

WOEFULTOURIST does not judge (on Tuesdays, it’s his day of rest from all such things) he merely reports and lets others deal with the gavel.

Finally, when in Rome, do as the Romans currently do, not as the Romans used to do.

Drinking wine, eating well made fresh food, and otherwise living la dolce vita are to be encouraged.

Whereas, gladiator fights to the death, orgies that last for days and cheering for wild beasts to rip innocent victims to death in the Collosseum are no longer considered acceptable behavior.

But if you want to get your picture taken with a make believe gladiator outside the Collosseum (no lions, tigers, or orgies, sadly) you can do so, for a fee.

That’s it for Europe in general, or whatever you call it in the language you currently are speaking.

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Marijuana Museum – Amsterdam

The Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum – where else – Amsterdam.

 

Most of the time, WOEFULTOURIST recognizes that as far as he is concerned, he can’t help but lose for trying.

Which is why he stopped trying years ago.

What’s the point.

He has simply accepted what Fate has laid in front of his feet, forever tripping him up in the process.

Namely, that in the magnet of life, he is the end that only attracts negative particles.

Is it a gift?

Is it a curse?

Is it a gifted curse?

Is it a cursed gift?

Does it really matter?

Probably not.

So simply accept it as fact and try not to fall flat on your face in the process.

WOEFULTOURIST is also blessed with the prospect that location does not seem to have any impact on him finding negativism (or it finding him).

When his better half suggested that he needed a break from the rat race and should go to the country to relax (and by suggest he means that she made the reservations for him) he of course obeyed.

Which did nothing for his anti-negativism.

Because even in that idyllic setting, he got no peace.

Heck, the frogs were in mating mode and kept him up all night.

And apparently roosters don’t just crow at dawn, they do so every fifteen minutes before the dawn.

Buggers that they are.

Then, again, he shouldn’t have been surprised.

Like the time he was in Amsterdam, home to all things marijuana.

They have shops to smoke it in.

Places to purchase growing kits so you can comfortably grow your own.

Heck, there’s even a museum devoted to it.

But of course, when WOEFULTOURIST went to visit the Marijuana Museum (hoping for free samples) it was closed.

Which meant he was deprived of the opportunity to see the exhibit on rolling papers through the years that seemed so interesting in the brochure.

Didn’t get a chance to see the largest ball of weed on the planet.

Never did find out which world leaders were nothing but glorified stoners at heart.

After all, why do you think Napolean always kept his hand inside his breast pocket?

If you said to protect his stash, you win a prize.

So, while he never got a chance to get in, that  doesn’t mean that you should do the same.

So if you happen to be in Amsterdam and are looking for some intellectual pursuit, you could do worse than visiting the Marijuana Museum.

And trust WOEFULTOURIST when he says, he knows worst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

August 17, 2017 Edition

Passengers Stranded In Vegas, Stay In Vegas                                                                       Dory Jackson,International Business Times Tue, Jul 25 2017
Allegiant Air reportedly left almost 200 passengers stranded in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday following a canceled flight to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, according to FOX 5 Vegas. The airline informed customers that they would not be placed on another flight until Thursday, leaving passengers stranded at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas for four days after their original scheduled flight.
“This is an unusual situation — canceling without a reschedule is rare, and is only invoked when there are truly no other options available for switching aircraft or rescheduling,” Krysta Levy, a spokeswoman for Allegiant Air, told International Business Times. “Unlike many larger carriers, Allegiant does not have daily service to all markets served from Las Vegas. In many instances, these are two-times weekly flights.”
Levy added, “All options were explored to get our passengers to their destination, but unfortunately, there were no practical solutions given the heavy Sunday and Monday schedules in our network.”
Mechanical issues with the air craft disrupted Allegiant Flight 454 from taking off. The 160 passengers were offered a $300 check but were told it wouldn’t arrive in the mail for seven to 10 business days. Passengers could use the check to rebook their flight with Allegiant, or they would receive a refund if they chose not to rebook their flight with the airline.
Jennifer Falsetti, a FOX 25 reporter in Oklahoma City, tweeted pictures of the letters passengers on Flight 454 received from Allegiant upon the carrier’s cancellation. Allegiant sent an email and traditional mail letter to the flight’s passengers.
“We regret to inform you that your upcoming Allegiant flight 454 originally scheduled to to depart McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) on Sunday, July 23 at 04:03 pm has been canceled,” the apology email read. “Visit Allegiant.com and select Manage Travel to view the options available for your itinerary.” 
Airline issues aren’t a new phenomenon, but Twitter users have expressed their disdain towards of the carrier following the company’s latest scandal, with some deeming it the “worst airline on the planet.” 
Some customers tried to make the best of the situation, with one group of friends embarking on a road trip from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City, according to NBC News affiliate KFOR. 
Read: EU Airplane-Style Drone Regulations May Be Issued By 2019
Spokeswoman Levy issued an official apology on behalf of Allegiant for the disruption of customers’ travel plans, saying the airline has issued refunds and additional benefits to all passengers who would have boarded flight 454 to Oklahoma City. 
“We sincerely apologize for the interruption to our passengers’ travel plans. All passengers have been issued refunds for the flight, as well as an additional $300 to help defray costs associated with the disruption to their plans,” she said. “In addition, each passenger has been issued a $150 voucher toward future travel on Allegiant. Passengers were also given the option to be re-accommodated on another Allegiant flight at no charge, for example, some chose to take yesterday’s flight from Las Vegas to nearby Tulsa, OK.”

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Could have been worse, they could have been stranded in Arkansas.”

 

 

A weird Florida mystery: Frozen pork falling from the sky                                             By TERRY SPENCER / Associated Press / Jul 20, 2017 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Meat falling from the sky is weird, even by Florida standards.
But that’s what happened at 4 a.m. Saturday when a 15-pound (6.8-kilogram) bag of frozen pork landed on the Deerfield Beach home of Travis Adair and his family.
Adair said Thursday that the package hit his roof with a “big bang.” He thought it was thunder, but his wife Jennie later went outside and found two bundles next to the house. His son Austin found three on the roof.
“It had to fall from the sky,” Adair said. “It was too heavy to throw on the roof.” The home is near three airports, so Adair thinks it fell from a plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration had no immediate comment Thursday
Labeling on the package shows it originally belonged to Jim Williams, who lives 170 miles (270 kilometers) away in Myakka City, a rural town of 6,300 residents. Williams, who owns a company that prepares fields for planting, said Thursday he bought some pigs from some children at a county fair in January. He kept much of the meat and gave some away but he has no idea how any of it ended up on the Adairs’ roof. He is not a pilot and doesn’t own a plane.
“I would have thought 15 pounds of frozen meat falling from an airplane would have put a hole in the roof,” Williams said.
His friend, Jimmy Fussell, who owns the butcher shop that processed the pigs for Williams, said the mystery, which was featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” certainly “beats hearing about all the politics going on.” And it has given everyone in Myakka City a laugh.
As for the meat, the Adairs threw it away – though Williams has offered to throw the family a barbecue.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “He’s heard of manna from heaven, but never pork sausage.”

 

London Zoo welcomes a new kind of visitor: Robotic dinosaurs                                Associated Press •July 20, 2017
LONDON (AP) — London Zoo is welcoming a new star attraction this summer: robotic dinosaurs.
Visitors will see robotic replicas of Mesozoic-era dinosaurs, including T. Rex and Triceratops, which lived approximately 65 million years ago, at a “time travel safari” exhibit named Zoorassic Park. The robots make sounds and motions that mimic the real-life dinosaurs. Some even drip water out of their mouths or spray it at passers-by.
Information about the dinosaurs’ massive extinction is dispersed throughout the display at the zoo in north London. At the end, visitors are “transported” back to modern times with a video on endangered species, recent extinctions and conservation efforts.
The exhibition opens Saturday and runs until Sept. 3.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Talk about life imitating art.”

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