Tuesday Travel Tidbits: Bathroom Beauty, Boutique Airlines, DC Shutdown

Another week, another Tuesday. Or something like that. Here are a few tidbits that struck my fancy this week.

La Guardia’s Fancy Bathrooms

la guardia

Not La Guardia

Every week, Wall Street Journal author Scott McCartney writes a column called “The Middle Seat.” It tends to take a look at some of the more neglected areas of travel. And traditionally, there’s nothing more neglected than airport bathrooms. So last week, we got a lookie-loo at the loo.

There may be no airport in America more hated than La Guardia, with the possible exception of Newark. It’s crowded, dingy and the traffic is second to none (in a bad way). But they’re looking to change that image, so they’ve dug in and designed a restroom that is “flush” with opulence.* Mr. McCartney’s column quotes passengers who are praising the bathroom on social media, because if you can’t share it on Instagram, it doesn’t exist.

But is the article missing the big picture? Absolutely. The real story: How bad are our airports that people get excited about a clean bathroom? I’ll get around to answering that once I finish this three-week old hot dog that I bought at Hudson News.

Boutique Airlines

CNN Travel had a nice article about Cape Air today. It almost sounds like flying could be, you know, “fun.” I’ve probably walked by the Cape Air counters at Logan a million times (more or less) and have noticed that A) people there seem to be happy, and B) there are never any lines. Honestly, before reading this article, I couldn’t have named any airport that they flew to which wasn’t on the Cape.

After having read it, though, I may have to try them out, just for the experience. It’s employee-owned, which means that people care. No flight is more than 90 minutes. And they’re not a fly-by-night carrier; they actually fly 550 flights per day. And they fly during the day.*

But the most attractive thing about the airline is the size of its planes. Nine passengers. Nine. As in, the number between eight and ten. Every seat is an aisle and a window. There’s no pre-boarding because everyone is pre-boarding.

Of course, does any of this matter without a frequent flyer program? Of course, since not only do they code share with other airlines but the also offer a travel pass, which allows you to pre-buy flights at a bulk discount.

Now, if they could only hand out coupon books, like in the good ol’ days. Oh, wait…

What to Do in DC during The Shutdown

I have a bad habit of scheduling trips to Washington DC during shutdowns. Sadly, with another coming up, it’s time to check in on exactly what I’ll be able to do while I’m there. Or, as the case may be, what I won’t be able to do, as the Smithsonian Museums and National Zoo will be closed. And, as you probably know by now, National Parks are open, but unstaffed.

Don’t worry, though: The TSA will still be at the airport, unless they’ve called in sick.


*Pun totally intended. I’ve never understood the phrase “no pun intended.” If you’re going to pun, you need to go all out.


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