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Jan 02

Self-Driving Cars in Vegas, Other News

Welcome to 2018 and mileage reset day, the day on which all of your year-to-date totals are reset to zero. I’m going to ease back in with a few interesting pieces of travel news.

Self-Driving Cars for CES

Lyft

Pink mustache not guaranteed;                                                 Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Lyft is going to offer self-driving cars for attendees at CES, Las Vegas’s annual consumer electronics show. Attendees will be able to choose any of 20 destinations throughout the city for their ride, complete with a “safety driver” and “in-car host” to show off the vehicle.

The downside is that you have to go to Las Vegas during CES, which brings almost 200,000 people to the city. And since it’s Las Vegas, I guess we have to ask, are you expected to tip your safety driver?

Customs: Lines Even Longer Than Usual after Outage

Traveling on the last day of a holiday week is no fun. Traveling internationally on the last day of a holiday week is even less fun. So you can only imagine how humorous passengers found it when a computer outage shut down customs for a couple of hours last night. A TSA tweet described the delay as “brief,” which was likely of cold comfort to anyone stuck in line with a couple of kids and nothing to do.

Your Southwest Flight Could Be Like Kindergarten

southwest

Everyone needs to learn to play nicely in the sandbox.

I spoke with a friend the other night who told me that she will only fly Southwest from now on. Given the open seating policy, free changes to tickets and free carry-on bags, she is willing to deal with the fact that they only fly non-stop to eleven cities from her home airport in Boston.

The airline’s policies do bring one issue into play, though: saving seats. Since no seats are assigned, the first people in a party may decide to save seats for their friends down the line, which may annoy others who paid for premium seating, only to find that their seat of choice is being saved for someone in the last boarding group.

It doesn’t help that Southwest doesn’t have an official ruling on the books, choosing to try and let passengers work it out. Personally, I’m opposed to seat saving. If you want to sit together, pay the $15 to get into the first group. Then again, I haven’t flown Southwest in over a decade (because of my location, not the airline itself), so others may want to weigh in.

 

 

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