Which airports offer Wi-Fi, free or otherwise?
You'll find a fabulous chart listing the various WiFi services at U.S. airports—along with their cost and service provider—at Travelpost.com, which is first and foremost a hotel review site.
The WiFi info was all apparently updated last December, though individual airports have been updated more recently. While not perfect, this list is the best one we've found online.
What is a "bad traveler"?
That's the question posed by Stanley Fish, a law professor, author of 10 books, and blogger for the New York Times. Fish describes himself as a "bad traveler." First, I just don't care about seeing sights. ... Churches, famous squares, wide rivers, forests, cobbled streets, scenic vistas, castles, grand gardens . . . I go Spiro Agnew one better: when I’ve seen one, I’ve seen one too many. Fish continues... But behind the lack of interest in sightseeing is something deeper and more unsettling. When I ask people what they like about traveling, they usually answer, I enjoy encountering different cultures and seeing how other people live. I am perfectly happy with the fact of other cultures, and I certainly hope that those who inhabit them live well; but that’s as far as it goes. By definition, a culture other than yours is one that displays unfamiliar practices, enforces local protocols and insists on its own decorums. Some of them even have different languages and are unhappy if you don’t speak them. To me that all spells discomfort, and I don’t see why I should endure the indignities of airplane travel only to be made uncomfortable once I get where I’m going. What do you think? What makes a good or bad traveler?
Airline news: OpenSkies adds route to Amsterdam
This summer, British Airways launched a baby airline called OpenSkies, flying from Brussels and Paris to New York City without stopping in Britain. Today we learn that daily flights will begin between New York City and Amsterdam on October 15. Tickets will go on sale sometime in August. OpenSkies offers upscale service at higher fares than British Airways. But it does have an economy class section with fares starting at about $1,000 round-trip between New York City and Paris. UPDATE July 30; 3:40 p.m. ET: Please see our update on this post, here. A few weeks ago, it bought rival airline L’Avion, which flew two 757s between New York City and Paris. [OpenSkies.com] EARLIER This year: More non-stops to Europe
Voluntourism: Nearly 4 million Americans a year participate
If you took a trip to lend a helping hand last year, you're not alone. In fact, you're one of millions. About 3.7 million Americans traveled more than 120 miles for service projects between September 2006 and September 2007—according to Volunteering in America, a website launched today with fresh Census data on the topic. The site is run by the government-funded Corporation for National & Community Service, which runs Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and other placement programs for unpaid work. The ten most popular national "voluntourism" spots include the five Gulf Coast states hit hardest by the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma (Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana), plus California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio. The statistic above only focuses on volunteering trends within the U.S., but more and more Americans are also traveling abroad to volunteer. For first-hand tips on finding a volunteer vacay that's right for you, check out BudgetTravel.com's Q&A; with CNN anchor Melissa Long, who recently took such a trip. [Volunteer Vacations: A First-Person Account.]
Video: An emergency landing that will encourage you to listen to the exit instructions
All 346 passengers had quite the scare. Oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling while a Qantas plane was flying at an altitude of 29,000 feet Friday. The reason? An explosion caused a hole the size of a car in the plane's floor, says the AP. The plane had been flying between Hong Kong and Melbourne, but had to make an emergency landing in Manila, the Philippines. All passengers and crew landed safely, partly because passengers followed instructions and partly because of expert piloting, says the New York Times. I'm posting a video of the landing (filmed by a passenger), not to be sensationalistic, but to remind you to listen to those emergency exit instructions before your future flights depart. As this video shows, passengers who listen to the instructions greatly improve their chance of surviving an emergency landing.