Travel

Here’s Why United Was (Probably) Right To Deny Boarding To A Girl In Leggings

Twitter

There’s an interesting situation that’s getting a bit of attention on Twitter today about a lady who witnessed a few girls be denied boarding off a United flight because they were wearing leggings.

The Twitter user was flying from Denver to Mexico City, while she witnessed the situation unfold for a flight from Denver to Minneapolis (I’m not sure how exactly that happened, but…). Anyway, here are the Twitter posts about the situation:

Understandably this sounds horrible, given that leggings are a very common article of clothing for women to wear. I see women of all ages wear them all the time. This caused some people to ask about the race of the girls being denied boarding. Was this gate agent being sexist, racist, or something else?

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How Turkish Airlines Is Handling The Electronics Ban

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This week we’ve learned about electronics bans being instituted for flights from select countries to both the US and the UK. Airlines are having to institute these new policies this week, so it’s interesting to see the different approaches airlines take to coping with this situation.

Royal Jordanian has been putting effort into throwing shade at the situation, as they’ve been doing since Trump was elected president.

Meanwhile Emirates yesterday announced a new laptop and tablet handling service. Emirates is introducing a service that enables passengers to use their laptops and tablets until just before they board their US-bound flight. At the gate there will be security staff who will carefully package your electronics in boxes before boarding, and then you can collect them on arrival.

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Egypt Won’t Raise The Cost Of Single-Entry Tourist Visas After All

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As I wrote about late last month, Egypt was planning on raising the cost of tourist visas on arrival from $25 to $60 as of March 1, 2017. That’s a 140% price hike, which is substantial, especially for a country that is trying to rapidly grow their number of visitors after a rough several years.

A couple of days later, Egypt decided to postpone their visa on arrival fee hike until July 1, 2017. This was the second time in a couple of years that Egypt has backtracked on introducing stricter visa policies. In 2015 Egypt planned on discontinuing visas on arrival for tourists, though they quickly postponed that, realizing the impact it would have on tourism.

Well, it looks like Egypt has changed their planned tourist visa fee increase again. After a government meeting:

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What Insurance Covers Checked Electronics?

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Yesterday we learned about a new electronics ban for certain flights to the United States. Later in the day the United Kingdom announced a similar (yet very different) policy for flights to the UK.

While I’m not going to get into all the ramifications here, the gist of it is that travelers are going to have to choose between connecting elsewhere or risking damage and theft of their personal electronics.

Reader Mike summed it up nicely:

“My bet is there will be lots of $2,000 insurance claims for Apple laptops forced to endure the cargo experience. Whoever Chase, et al, use for travel insurance is going to get very busy.”

That’s a great point, but it’s much more complicated than that. Not all policies necessarily cover checked electronics, and many have strict dollar limits. So I figured it would help to go through the various options for insuring your gadgets when traveling.

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Here Are The Airlines Changing Terminals At LAX In May 2017

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As I’ve explained before, Los Angeles International Airport is about to go undergo a huge game of airline “musical chairs.”

This is all being prompted by Delta — they’re vacating Terminals 5 and 6 and moving to Terminals 2 and 3, so that they can be closer to their partner airlines and have more consolidated operations.

Of course in order to facilitate this, a lot of other airlines are having to change terminals as well.

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Canada Is Phasing Out Paper Immigration Forms

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If you travel internationally with any frequency, you’re probably used to filling out immigration cards all the time. They’re typically handed out before landing. Some forms take just a minute to fill out, while others can be quite lengthy.

One of the great things about having Global Entry is that you no longer have to fill out immigration forms when arriving in the U.S. Instead you just scan your passport at a Global Entry kiosk, answer a few questions, and you’re sent on your way.

Well, it looks like Canada is slowly adapting as well. Soon Canada will be eliminating immigration forms for passengers arriving by air. This coincides with Canada rolling out primary inspection kiosks, where you can instead answer basic questions on a kiosk upon arrival. Ottawa Airport is the first airport to get these kiosks as of today, while the kiosks will be rolled out at other airports over the coming months.

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Why More Priority Pass Lounges Are Denying Access To Members

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Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges. Priority Pass members receive access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, so it’s the single most widely useful airline lounge membership you can have.

The good news is that it’s getting easier and easier to get a Priority Pass membership. Several premium credit cards offer Priority Pass memberships, and they mostly now allow you to bring guests in at no additional cost. This includes the following cards with the following guesting privileges:

However, people are increasingly reporting being turned away from Priority Pass lounges due to overcrowding, and several readers have asked me to write a post addressing this.

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2 Great New U.S. Airport Lounge Options For Priority Pass Members

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I’ve written extensively about Priority Pass, which is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,000 participating lounges around the world. Some of these are airline lounges, some are contract lounges, and lately they’re even expanding a bit beyond that.

Many of you reading this should have access to Priority Pass lounges, given the credit cards that offer a Priority Pass membership. These include the following:

Priority Pass is constantly adding more lounges, and in the past couple of weeks they’ve added access to two more lounges in the U.S., which I think some will get quite a bit of value out of:

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Kuwait Airways’ New 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

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As much as we’ve had an amazing journey for the past two weeks, it sure is nice to be back in the U.S.

On Thursday we flew Kuwait Airways A330 business class from Dhaka to Kuwait City, and yesterday we flew Kuwait Airways’ new 777-300ER business class from Kuwait City to New York, via Shannon.

For years Kuwait Airways has offered a horrible onboard product, though they’re finally trying to reinvent themselves, and that starts with their new flagship 777-300ER aircraft. So I was happy to have the opportunity to fly this from Kuwait to New York yesterday (I booked a reasonable business class fare from Dhaka to New York, of ~$1,400 one-way).

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I’m Having A Glass Of Wine On A “Dry” Airline…

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I’m presently flying from Kuwait to New York on Kuwait Airways. The flight has a two hour stop in Shannon, Ireland (starting in a couple of weeks the flight will finally operate nonstop in both directions). I’ll have more thoughts on the flight soon, but for now wanted to share something I found especially interesting.

As many of you probably know, some airlines are “dry,” meaning they don’t serve alcohol. Some of these dry airlines are from countries where alcohol is prohibited across the board (at least on paper), while other dry airlines are from countries where alcohol can only be consumed under certain circumstances.

Earlier in the year I flew EgyptAir, which is a dry airline. A reader mentioned to me that I could bring on my own alcohol and the crew would gladly let me consume it. I didn’t try it at the time, but was intrigued.

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President Trump Wants To Eliminate The Essential Air Service Program

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The New York Times ran a story this week outlining President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. Among those is a proposal to eliminate the Essential Air Service program.

For those of you not familiar, the Essential Air Service program is a federal program that guarantees air service to small communities that are otherwise underserved. This was enacted after deregulation, to ensure that airlines continue to fly to small communities that airlines couldn’t otherwise profitably serve.

Over 150 markets are served thanks to the Essential Air Service program, and according to Wikipedia:

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Kuwait Airways A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

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Hello from Kuwait City! I just flew Kuwait Airways’ A330 business class for the 6hr20min flight from Dhaka to Kuwait City. I’ve been wanting to fly Kuwait Airways for years, and a good opportunity finally presented itself. Kuwait Airways had great business class fares out of Dhaka, and the flight was even operated by one of their new A330s.

I’ll have a full trip report soon, but wanted to share my initial impressions for now.

Well, I should start by saying that I actually flew Kuwait Airways first class… sort of.

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Impressions Of Dhaka, Bangladesh

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We’re slowly headed back to the U.S. from our incredible trip to Bhutan, and on the way back planned a one night stopover in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That was my first time visiting Bangladesh, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

A (non-Bangladeshi) friend recently told me that Bangladesh is his favorite country in the world. Not the city of Dhaka as such, but the countryside.

Meanwhile I’ve had others tell me that Dhaka is a horrible place. So I was curious to find out for myself. We were only there for a day, so we arranged for a five hour city tour. That doesn’t make me an expert on the place, but that won’t stop me from sharing my first impressions.

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Why I Love Flying In The “Developing World”

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Even though I’ve flown over four million miles and have taken thousands of flights, I’m always still in awe by aviation. It’s a miracle to me. I don’t care what time of day it is or how tired I am, my eyes are always glued to the window during takeoff and landing.

Understandably people in the U.S. are largely unfazed by flying, given how commonplace it is. So many people choose to leave their window blinds closed for takeoff, landing, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, which I view as such a lost opportunity.

And that brings me to the past two flights I’ve taken, which remind me of how special aviation still is in other parts of the world — and that’s refreshing.

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