Recently in Travellin' Man Category

To capture the attention of anyone Thai, start telling your best ghost story.

Pitchaya Sudbanthad on the city of Bangkok. it’s a great, sprawling piece about the soul of a city.

Great article in The Atlantic about the pathetic state of airport security and why security theater is worse than no security at all:

On another occasion, at LaGuardia, in New York, the transportation-security officer in charge of my secondary screening emptied my carry-on bag of nearly everything it contained, including a yellow, three-foot-by-four-foot Hezbollah flag, purchased at a Hezbollah gift shop in south Lebanon. The flag features, as its charming main image, an upraised fist clutching an AK-47 automatic rifle. Atop the rifle is a line of Arabic writing that reads THEN SURELY THE PARTY OF GOD ARE THEY WHO WILL BE TRIUMPHANT. The officer took the flag and spread it out on the inspection table. She finished her inspection, gave me back my flag, and told me I could go. I said, “That’s a Hezbollah flag.” She said, “Uh-huh.” Not “Uh-huh, I’ve been trained to recognize the symbols of anti-American terror groups, but after careful inspection of your physical person, your behavior, and your last name, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are not a Bekaa Valley-trained threat to the United States commercial aviation system,” but “Uh-huh, I’m going on break, why are you talking to me?”

You've been pronouncing "Beijing" wrong

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Brought to you by “Two Chinese Characters”.

Now this is a blast from the past

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Pan Am playing cards throughout the years.

We were talking about it at dinner today—it would seem that the first airplane I ever flew on was probably a Pan Am 747.

Of course, that was back in the day when the airlines still did things like hand out playing cards….

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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And in other news, perhaps a road trip to Montreal is in order.

The meltdown at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 continues. The BBC is reporting that British Airways is admitting that they have fifteen thousand stranded bags at Heathrow and that a internal source admits that the number could go as high as twenty thousand.

How badly bungled has this opening been? Well, it turns out that BA’s own employees couldn’t even find the right parking garage when they reported to work on day one.

Amusingly, BA’s own website claims that “It shouldn’t take long to get from Check-in to Departures.” They apparently left out the bit where passengers sit for hours and hours in Departures waiting for flights that never take off….

You might want to hold off on those cheap flights to Europe if you were planning on being routed through Heathrow.

Admittedly, going through Heathrow has never been a walk in the park, at least based on my experience of last year, but this sounds like it's going to a whole different level....

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Cheap Flights To Europe!


Coming soon, at least according to this Times article about the ‘open skies’ agreement with the EU that comes into effect at the end of the month. Apparently RyanAir is proposing base prices as low as 10 euros, but only from secondary airports to secondary airports. Hmm… I wonder if New Haven is in their plans.

I think that in practice, there will be an immediate and sudden drop in prices as airlines scramble to establish mindshare, but that prices will subsequently start to creep back up as things shake out.

Now, if there were only open skies agreements with Asia….

Related: Time on the homeless problem at Heathrow. As far as I can tell, this isn’t as big a problem at the airports that I tend to frequent, though having said that, it’s quite possible that the homless people at JFK do a pretty good job of disguising themselves (or they hang out at different terminals).

On a meta note, it should be interesting to see what this post does to the Google ads I get….

Snail Mail

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As some of you know, I'm going to be on the road again next week. And, as has become traditional, when I'm on the road, I send you, gentle reader, a post card.

And what, I hear you ask, must I do to receive such a thing? Well, all you have to do is tell me where you want me to send it (also known as your address).