No phones on planes. THANK YOU.
Spirit Airlines is famously terrible — they serve no in-flight snacks or beverages, seats don’t recline, and it costs $50 to CARRY ON a bag — but according to Derek Thompson at the Atlantic, their business is still doing really, really well. Between 2008 and 2012, Spirit Air “saw fuel costs rise by nearly 60 percent, increased salaries by about half, flew more miles at higher costs, and, despite all that, still managed to reduce its average ticket price by 20 percent,” earning 40% more per airplane than their competitors.
Clara Bensen’s romance with Jeff began in the traditional manner: through a dating site on the internet. Where their story strays from the typical “meet for drinks, go home together, never speak again” experience is how they planned their batshit crazy first date.
As Clara recounts in an essay for Salon, the burgeoning couple met at the Houston airport and hopped on a flight to Istanbul together for their first date—with no luggage, no itinerary, and a return flight scheduled 21 days later.
It turns out though, that the woman had charged my fellow “rig pig” less than she charged me, about fifty bucks less. When my husband and I checked out, I mentioned the state of the room, and that my pal had paid less, and the motel lady had said she would refund me the difference. This hasn’t happened yet—should I call and follow up?
There have been lots of articles written about the best way to find the cheapest airplane tickets, and it’s been discussed in a lot of forums like FlyerTalk. I’ve pretty much heard it all: Search on Wednesdays. Search right after midnight. Search using “incognito mode” so that your web browser doesn’t save your search results and show demand for a certain flight.
Most of the email newsletters I’ve signed up for go to spam. The ones that don’t, I wish they did. Exception: The Travelzoo Weekly Top 20, which alerts me to the very best in airfare, hotels, and all-inclusive vacation packages that I have never and will never buy. I devour it each week.
JOMO KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, NAIROBI, KENYA But then: another one of those airports, like Newark, where you can’t let your guard down or trust anything that anyone tells you. A place where you have to snap out of it. Nothing will be easy here. East African Safari? Right over there in the waiting tent, sir; a representative will come and collect you and the other passengers. A representative? No, you have to go through immigration. Transit? Twenty dollars please. East African Safari is in the Cargo Terminal, reachable via shuttle bus—that shuttle bus. No, it’s in the domestic terminal, which is now the international terminal because the airport burned down on Wednesday. Or possibly it’s the cargo terminal that’s now the domestic terminal, which means the international terminal would be—
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that it took several hours to disentangle all of this, although this is to be expected, since the airport—the third busiest in Africa by passenger volume. Like, imagine JFK burning down and you’ll get an idea of how major this is—had in fact been reduced to a charred hunk of ’60s brutalist concrete the previous Wednesday. And what a field day the conspiracy theorists are having! “I DIDN’T BURN AIRPORT, SAYS PARETTI,” trumpeted possibly the greatest newspaper headline I’ve ever seen; “BLAZE CATASTROPHE,” read another, elegantly.
Blogger Armin Rosen has a fascinating post about visiting nine airports in the Middle East and Africa, describing his experiences at each one of them. I mostly fly out of JFK and in my experience, it takes forever to get through JetBlue’s security screening at Terminal 5, and is less of a pain if say, you are flying on Virgin America and going through Terminal 4. I’ve also haven’t had many problems flying out of LAX. Haven’t yet flown out of charred airport yet.
Photo: Shankar S.
William Foster went to Mt Rushmore.