In the News


If you’d been panicking about the lack of the beloved Biscoff cookie in United Airline’s comp. food service, panic not for it shall return, according to a spokesperson for the airline.  They said the switch to Oreo Thins was temporary, they will continue to rotate treats and that the Biscoff will be back this May.

If you recall when the Biscoff cookie went away the internet freaked right out that their favorite free treat may never again be available on a UA flight. Is this proof that complaining online will change a company’s mind? We aren’t here to make that claim but many will be happy about the shortbread cookies triumphant return to in-flight food service carts.

For many the free in-flight snack is an essential part of their travel experience. For many a cookie and a soda can have a calming effect on us, as we know that sugar and fat excite the feel good chemicals in our brains. So after planning the trip, packing, getting to the airport, getting through security and finally being seated something as simple as a favorite cookie can have a strong mental effect on a traveler.

 

Read More

A 6 year-old girl suffered only minor injuries from which she is recovering from after what is suspected to be a mountain lion attacked her at a park in California. State wildlife experts are currently searching for the animal in question.

A group of patrons including the victim and her parents along with a few other adults and children were hiking on a Rancho San Antonio County Park trail in Santa Clara County. As the animal attacked one adult punched the animal in the ribs—believed to weigh about 160 lbs. The rest of the group helped scare it away by making loud noises.

A park ranger was able to quickly provide the child with first aid.

The attack happened just two miles from the main parking lot. Park officials stated that this was unusual as these lions are a rare encounter in the area. The lions live throughout the Santa Cruz Mountain region and are generally not a threat to people.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that since 1986 there have only been 17 reported mountain lion attacks against humans in the entire state. The park is currently closed while the Department of Fish and Wildlife look for the animal. Once found, official will determine what to do next.

Not long ago the first mountain lion was killed in California under the state’s new “3 strike law” which states a mountain lion can be killed by a property owner after it has killed or injured livestock or pets.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife reminded hikers that if they see a lion to stay calm. To make themselves large and loud and slow back away. Never turn and run, officials stated.

 

Read More

Recently a Chinese man was fined and arrested when customers officers found 200 live and venomous scorpions in his luggage at Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka.

The man is suspected of smuggling the scorpions into China so the venom could be extracted, however, he was released and allowed to return home after paying the fine of $550.

Officials stated that an investigation is underway. They were not able to value the scorpions, but stated that live-wildlife trafficking is a lucrative new trade and recently has become an issue all over the world.

Sri Lanka is the home of about 18 different species of venomous scorpions but only one Sri Lankan species is known to be fatal to humans. At this time it is unknown whether the 200 live scorpions are of this deadly species.

This weird case comes right on the heals of another strange smuggling  incident in which a plane passenger at the same airport attempted to smuggle $30,000 worth of gold using his rear end.

Read More

According to a blog post made by Airbnb in early 2020 they will ban all unauthorized parties on Airbnb properties; it will also be updating its guest standards—both in an effort to address growing concerns about safety and trust on the platform.

Airbnb is going to specifically disallow open-invite parties that are not preapproved by the host. This would include parties promoted by the guest on social media. Their new policy will also ban any and all parties in large, multifamily residences. However, single-family residences and event venues would be excluded from this new rule and would allow hosts to set their own rules concerning events like parties.

The new guest standards coming early next year will also address situations such as the following: excessive noise, unauthorized guests, smoking, parking and cleanliness concerns. All of these have become concerns of late with Airbnb guests. While guests have always, in theory, been required to follow a host’s rules the new policy creates a framework in which actionable enforcement can take place when host rules are violated.

To further address concerns Airbnb will be launching hotlines for city officials or neighbors to contact the company with concerns over the use of Airbnb properties.

Read More

Recently the unfinished Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter partially collapsed. This event unfortunately took the lives of three people and injured dozens more. The city has now announced the entire structure which is 18 stories tall will be imploded.

The building owners’ engineers pointed out it will take 9 weeks to demolish the complex and another 3 months to remove and clear debris. This process will have the Hard Rock missing many busy tourist times including Mardi Gras, New Years and the Sugar Bowl.

New Orleans’ Fire Chief commented that the planned controlled demolition is the only safe way to handle the damaged building. The building owners will pay all costs for the demolition, but the city will be in control of the process. Additionally, the city will not allow demolition to interrupt any tourist season activity.

The top floors of the hotel are what unexpectedly collapsed. The cause is still under investigation by multiple city departments including the police and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Read More

If you’ve booked a hotel recently you may have noticed the quoted price goes up when it is time to pay the bill. It isn’t just you, many travelers have been having this experience. These are commonly known as resort fees—though hotels call them anything, including: guest service fees; hotel fees; destination fees etc.

The fees often include things customers come to expect for free but these so-called bundles often include “free” WiFi, pool access and sometimes in destination cities things like a free drink or discounted breakfast.

A new bill to address this issue has been proposed in the House of Representatives. It would require by law that hotels and resorts more accurately display the real price of hotel rooms. How, specifically? They would need to include any mandatory fees before taxes in hotel room’s advertised price.

As one can imagine everyone from big name hotel brands to consumer representatives are weight in on the debate.

Read More