When pigs fly: traveling with pets
This week, a 49-pound miniature potbellied pig named Bosley flew from Florida to New York on Pet Airways. (I’ll wait while you giggle and get those “when pigs fly” jokes out.) The two-year-old company currently serves nine locations across the country and prides itself on being the only airline that always flies pets in the main cabin and not in cargo. Cats, dogs, rats, birds, and even a hermit crab have counted among their so-called Pawsengers, but this is the airline’s first pig.Weird, sure. But pet travel isn’t just a novelty. According to a study by Hipmunk.com, 14-18% of American adults have traveled with a pet in the past three years. And the Department of Transportation reports that over 500,000 pets fly in the U.S. annually.
Earlier this year, our blogger Brad Tuttle spoke with Maggie Espinosa, author of The Privileged Pooch: Luxury Travel With Your Pet in Southern California, about traveling with a pet. She gave us some great things to do to prepare for a trip with a pet:
Have you ever flown with a pet? Sound off below with your best pet travel tips!
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Green Day incident spurs question: Should airlines enforce dress codes?
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland last week because he was wearing saggy pants. A flight attendant reportedly asked the alt rock singer, 39, to pull up his trousers. He refused. Armstrong tweeted "Just got kicked off a Southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the f---? No joke!" He was allowed to board the next flight to Burbank, and Southwest has since apologized. if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('4579cee7-95d3-4a4e-94a4-397ca7a31d39');Get the Poll Creator Pro widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info) But why would the Southwest flight attendant think it was her right to comment on a rock star's dress? Because Southwest's Contract of Carriage, listed on the carrier's website, includes a dress code. In its passenger rules, the carrier states it can refuse to transport "Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive." Armstrong is not the first to be kicked off a Southwest flight based on dress. Southwest also famously booted a college student who worked as a Hooters waitress in 2007, reportedly because her skirt was too short and tank top too revealing. She was allowed to stay on the flight when she readjusted her clothing. While there was a time when carriers required those in First Class to dress up, most airlines have relaxed those standards. Except, two years ago a top executive of Best Buy was denied a First Class seat on a United Airlines flight, reportedly because his Puma tracksuit was deemed too casual for the front of the plane. Like Green Day's Armstrong, a University of New Mexico football player was kicked off a US Airways flight in June for wearing low-riding pants. In the case of Deshon Marman, he was arrested when he allegedly resisted. The charges didn't stick. US Airways' passenger contract, like that of Southwest, makes for an interesting read, stating that those who are "barefoot, or otherwise inappropriately clothed, unless required for medical reasons" can be denied boarding. But the whole concept of proper clothing is subjective. US Airways had no problem with allowing an older man dressed in skimpy women's lingerie to fly last June. A surprised fellow passenger on the Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix flight snapped a photo. American Airlines is among other carriers clearly stating in its rules it can refuse transport to a passenger "clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offence to other passengers." We welcome your comments on airline dress codes. More from Budget Travel: The Ultimate Packing Guide Airline Dress: A Flight Attendant's Perspective A Flight Attendant Sounds Off
Commonly mispronounced places around the world
I have a distinct memory of the moment when, after moving from the West Coast to the East Coast for college, I heard someone say something about “Or-e-gone"—and then continue on with their story as if they hadn't just invented a 51st state. Never in my life had I heard the place pronounced in any way except "Or-ih-gun" (rhyming with Morgan). I'd soon discover that this was a matter of debate on this side of the country. Maybe I shouldn't have rushed to judgment—it didn't take long before I was schooled on the correct way to say "Worcester," (woos-ter, for the uninitiated). We all know that picking up a foreign language can be tough, but sometimes, even mastering the name of a place you're visiting can be a challenge. From countries (the Maldives, Qatar, Papua New Guinea) to cities and towns (Beijing, Gloucester, Cairns), and even streets (New Yorkers will scoff at tourists looking for Hue-ston Street rather than How-ston Street, for example), it seems that for every place there is to visit, there are two or three ways to butcher its name. We've started a list of places with hotly debated or commonly botched pronunciations below—do us Budget Travelers a favor and chime in: is there a country, city, or town with a name you hear mispronounced more often than not? How about a place whose name you’re stumped on? Beijing, China – Americans usually pronounce the name of the Chinese capital city something like beige·ing, but the correct pronunciation is in fact bay·jing. Cairns, Australia – this one is hotly debated, but a representative from Australia's Local Tourism Network, which represents the city, assures us that the correct pronunciation is can. (same goes for Cannes, France). Edinburgh, Scotland – ed·in·burr·ah, or ed·in·bra, in the local style. Gloucester, England – glos·ter. Also goes for the city of the same name in Mass. Iraq – let's clear this one up once and for all. ir·ock (not eye·rack). The Maldives – mall·deeves Papua New Guinea – pa·pew·a noo gi·nee, with emphasis on the first syllable in Papua. Qatar – kah·tar, with emphasis on the second syllable. ">This report from NPR breaks down the controversy over the pronunciation. For the record, the U.S. Embassy of Qatar is still using this pronunciation. São Paulo, Brazil – sa·ow pow·low Spokane, Wash. – spo·can (not spo·cane) Versailles, KY – ver·sails (on the other hand, Versailles, France is pronounced ver·sigh; best not to confuse the two). Wilkes-Barre, Penn. – wilkes ber·ry or wilkes bear (not wilkes bar). The city even has a ">web page dedicated to the pronunciation and history of the name. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: What’s your biggest language gaffe? The tackiest tourist photos on the web 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2011
Video: the best way to board airplanes
Between over-friendly TSA pat-downs, "junk"-scanners, and endless lines, we can all agree that airport security is a nightmare. For my money, though, boarding a plane is even worse. There's the dreaded "sorry, your overhead bag won't fit, so we're checking it." There's squeezing past your seatmates to plop into your spot... on top of your seatbelt. Most disconcerting of all is that panicky, hurry-up-and-wait feeling. Ever wondered why? Why must boarding a plane always play out like a slo-mo trainwreck? Turns out there's a simple reason: the airlines use the single least efficient boarding procedure possible. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out a better way, you say? Actually, it did—astrophysicist Jason H. Steffen, Ph.D., of the Fermi National Laboratory in Illinois. Burned by one too many awful boardings, Dr. Steffen used computer modeling to concoct a more efficient scheme, all based on the common sense observation that competition for aisle space is the main cause of gridlock. Under his plan, passengers begin by filling up every other row, starting at the back of the aircraft, with window seat passengers entering first, then middle-seaters, then finally aisle seat-holders. The new TV show This vs. That tested the "Steffen Method" to see if his computer model held up. Take a look at the video below to see how well it works. In the end, Steffen's scheme blew the competition away, taking just half the time the airlines' plan takes. Their method—boarding by blocks of seats, starting in the back—came in dead last. Random boarding, which we covered a month ago, placed in the middle of the pack. If you're in the mood for an academic read, here's Steffen's paper, which covers all the results in detail, using charts and fancy graphics. So... how 'bout it, airlines? Are ya ready to adopt the Steffen Method? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: —William Bailey MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: Ads on Boarding Passes: Are Airlines Sharing Your Info? How Do You Use a Cell Phone Boarding Pass at the Metal Detector? We Want to Know Your Airport Secrets!