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Sep 07

Around the weird and wacky world…

I’ll pick back up where I left off (wherever that was) tomorrow, but I’m constantly amazed by some of the travel-related stories that I see. Here’s a few of the goodies:

  • New TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger did a little self-congratulating, praising his agency for taking “swift action” by firing a TSO who was charged with molesting a traveler at La Guardia. In particular, he is alleged to have taken her to a bathroom for “secondary screening” and was charged with, among other things, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment. Firing that guy is praiseworthy? Setting standards a little low, aren’t we? Here’s my question: if they’re praising themselves for doing exactly what they should have done, what should they do for the TSO who confiscated a baby’s milk? Last time they did that, it cost them $75,000 in a lawsuit. While I’m glad that they got one of their own predators, I find it hard to have a “great deal of faith” (his words) in the workforce that recently missed 67 of 70 banned items in an internal test. But they got the milk. And this is the least crazy of my three stories today.
  • I’ll give Neffenger credit, though, at least he didn’t threaten to shoot down a plane. Now, granted, not everyone likes cats and some people think that that an airplane lav (or the wing) is a more appropriate place for the friendly felines (My wife and my cat never exactly hit it off, although she never did move the cat to the garage, despite her threats.), but is there anyone else out there who’s a little weirded out by the fact that fighter jets were sent to “accompany” a plane with a crazy cat lady passenger. And she was crazy: she told the crew that she was part of the mafia and would take down the plane, but those jets weren’t out there to keep the plane company. And one more question: if the cat was in the lav, didn’t that mean there was only one for the entire planeload of people?

  Even evil cats deserve the benefit of the doubt.


  • “Creativity” in travel is clearly not only for Americans. Now, I know we’re having trouble getting people to ride public transportation in Boston, but I’m not sure we’ll ever do what the Taiwanese did, which was to team up with a local porn star to put her picture on their transportation swipe cards. Despite general public outrage, the cards sold out in under four hours. And in a completely unrelated story, ridership of Taiwanese buses by 15-year old boys was up a staggering 17,000% last month. Officials are looking for a cause.
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