United Pilot Has Meltdown Over Intercom; Might Not Have Happy Valentine’s Day

There seems to be a story everyday about a passenger doing something crazy. The “Cash Me Outside” chick used 5 of her 15 minutes for an in-flight rant. For this story, it’s the pilot going off the rails.

Many outlets are reporting about a United Airlines pilot showed up late for a Austin-San Francisco run late and in street clothes. The unnamed captain grabbed the intercom to rant about her divorce, the past election and her “cute little uniform.” Many passengers chronicled it on social media. After watching the video, it’s more disturbing than ha ha funny.

My reaction would be to find a flight attendant and ask, “Pardon me. I’m going to open the emergency doors and deploy the slide.”

About a dozen did get off, but the police arrived and escorted the pilot off the plane. She’s been suspended pending investigation.

While there are plenty of jokes to be made, this incident is not good for anyone. A Germanwings pilot had undisclosed mental problems and downed an entire plane in 2015. In 2012, a JetBlue pilot freaked out mid-flight yelling about a bomb on the plane, had to be locked out of the cockpit and restrained.

Pilots have one of the most stressful jobs out there with the pressure to be on-time, the hours of being away from home and the burden of having 180 souls trusting your skills. I hope this is a rare incident because they are the lifeblood of a whole industry.


The Cats of Istanbul Have Their Own Documentary, Kedi

There are a lot of cats wondering Istanbul. Not just a few randomly, I’m talking everywhere (in the hundreds of thousands). These aren’t the singing, dancing or talking cats you see in musicals or the movies. They are feral — sometimes cute, sometimes dangerous, but they give an added layer of character to the city.

They will also scare the crap out of you. I was having a rest outside of the Grand Bazaar to look at my guidebook and one brushed up against my leg and I friggin flipped out.

Now they have their own documentary, Kedi (Nine Lives: The Cats of Istanbul), in selected theaters and soon available for download. Film-maker Ceyda Torun follows seven cats through the city and chronicles their daily lives. The cats are adopted by local neighborhoods as a communal cat to make sure their are taken care of and fed.

As you’ll see in the trailer, it’s much more than slow motion footage of cute cats doing cat things. It delves into the symbiotic connection between the animals and the ancient city. It looks like the perfect film to introduce young kids to documentaries and Istanbul.


Buffalo’s Public Espresso + Coffee in The Hotel Lafayette Is a Trip Back in Time

Beyond the chicken wings, Frank Lloyd Wright house and the tailgating scene at a Bills home game (look it up … at home, not work), there’s a nothing much that’s a “must-see”. Once you get through the big draws, you can check out some early 20th century interiors while sipping a fine cup of coffee.

Buffalo was once a major industrial hub in the early 1900s. If you saw Crimson Peak, you learned this. A quick drive around the nice neighborhoods and you’ll see some perfectly preserved houses from that era.

The Hotel Lafayette was built for the Pan-American Exposition, where President McKinnley was assassinated. It went through a major facelift in 2012 to make the building a hotel, office, spa, brew pub and  Public Espresso + Coffee. Getting a cappuccino gives you an excuse to wonder around and look at the retro interiors.

Behind the coffee counter, you can see the old mail room. Above the main desk is a painting of vintage air travel. Around the corner is the elevator hallway where you can picture what the joint was like back in the day. I poked my head into the Pan-American Grill & Brewery and saw all the wood fixtures and old timey hunting memorabilia.




Notice A Theme With Travel-Related Super Bowl Ads?

While the immigrant story of Adolphus Busch is grabbing headlines at juuuuuuust the right time during the Super Bowl,  there was  a theme to several travel-related Super Bowl ads.

There’s the AirBnb ad featuring people of many nationalities using the popular LL Brown/Circular font the company uses to showcase their desire for inclusion. Not included is when you find out your AirBnb host is creepy.

I enjoyed the Expedia advert of the red head traveling at every stage of her life — hitchhiking, making out with a guy in Japan, saving refugees, being a humanitarian and getting stopped by a soldier at a checkpoint. It’s pretty bold.

Last year, Turkish Airlines had Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg from Batman v. Super: Dawn of Boredom. This year, they had the voice of God Morgan Freeman taking his first class seat to an open field.

The theme — travel is awesome because it gets you out of your bubble … and a little trolling of the new U.S. President doesn’t hurt.


There’s a Crisps Only Cafe in London Because We’ve Given Up On Life

The world likes potatoes. We like them fried, baked, mashed, sauted and boiled. In it’s most convenient form — the fried, salted, artificially flavored — is a wonderful snack or a side dish to a sandwich. Hopefully, we’re all on the same page.

That’s why we don’t consider potato crisps as a main dish. It’s not filling, satisfying and not healthy. Not a part of a nutritious meal by any stretch of the imagination.

That didn’t stop some London entrepreneurs from opening up an all crisps and dips cafe on Old Compton Street in Soho called Hipchips. That’s right, you can spend £12 for a big pile of artisans crisps and some dipping sauces. You’ll have to excuse me while I scream into a pillow.

Now that’s done,  let’s look at the menu. You can pick from seven varieties of potatoes like Shetland Black, Highland Burgundy or Salad Blue. These all seem like colors you’d find in the J.Crew catalog. Then you can either go savory or sweet. The savory are veggie ceviche, cheese fondue or katsu curry. The sweet are chocolate, peanut butter & jelly or caramel. Wash it down with a fizzy soda and you can hate yourself for spending a lot of money on upscale, hipster chips.

Now, I need to open a nachos only cafe.



Guinness Building a Brewery in Maryland; Won’t Actually Brew Guinness

Travelling to Ireland must be such a pain these days. You have to buy tickets, leave your house, pack your crap and get on a plane. Meh.

Luckily, you can get the Guinness experience without leaving the U.S. of A. It turns out that the fine Irish lads of Guinness are building a production facility in Relay, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. The plan is to replicate the experience of visiting St. James Gate in Dublin complete with a tour, museum experience, tap room and epic merch store.

Before you get your pitchforks and torches, the catch is that the famous Guinness stout won’t be made there. It will continue to be produced at the main Dublin factory. The beers in the Maryland facility will be exclusively made for the U.S. market similar to the Guinness Blonde. Taking a page from the craft beer movement, the beers will include experimental test batches.

With all this said, don’t go visiting the new storehouse thinking it will replace going to Ireland. It’s just a way for Guinness introducing new beers by extended the iconic name. It’s all about branding and marketing.

Go to Ireland. The Storehouse is the best beer destination I’ve visited. It’s extensive, educational, modern but honers tradition. Plus, it has the best view of Dublin in the city at the top bar when you finally get to drink.


American Airports Have Become a Meeting Place for Protests, Just Don’t Take An Uber There

By the time I finish typing this post, there will probably be another development in the ongoing saga of Muslims entering the country from banned countries. It’s a complex story that’s playing out in airports across America with protests, court orders, tales of families being separated, turned away and now, people are deleting Uber.

The Guardian does a great job for quick, condensed live update while delving deeper in the who’s and why’s. It’s been a chaotic weekend for airports and airlines sorting out this mess that the new administration put into effect without much research and little regard for the consequences.

Locally near the Why Am I No There? HQ, hundreds of protesters voiced their outrage at Newark Airport for a second day while a few thousands headed over to JFK.


I’ve been a little out of it with a busy weekend, but just tonight I’m reading up on the Uber controversy. Long story short: they sort of crossed protest lines in picking people up from JFK after NYC taxis cab drivers (who have a large Muslim contingent) staged a protest by not going to JFK. My first thought was, “I guess we’re all Lyft people from now on.” Sure enough, I got an e-mail from Lyft saying that they are pledging $1 million to the ACLU. Suck it, Uber. I didn’t delete it, though. I don’t use in the U.S., so they don’t get my money.

To tie everything together, this was inevitable after the November victory (I refuse to type the man’s name). I pointed out back in June that the tourist industry would loose billions if this ban took place, and now we’re seeing it.