For us in the Northeast, the free checked bag era is over as popular low-cost airline JetBlue will start charging for checked bags for those who pay the lowest fare. Be prepared to shed a tear when you see Southwest Airlines boasting in the adverts about their free checked bags. It’s just another thing the western United States can hang over us.
You know what that means? Yup, plenty of dopey tourists dragging their crap on planes like Sherpas up Mt. Everest.
The new fees will go along with their new three tier price scheme. Basically, you can choose the lowest fare then pay the bag fee or pay more and get one or two checked bags free.
The reason why the change is easy — JetBlue is an airline that needs to make money to keep stockholders happy. They’ve failed to make profit projections and are trailing competitors in revenue from each seat flown per mile.
I think in most cases when you fly JetBlue, you’re going for a quick weekend jaunt somewhere within two or three hours and don’t need to bring your whole life with you.
No word on how much the airlines will charge. Competitor Virgin America charges $25 per checked bag so I’m speculating that it will be near to that.
You’ll fully realize the “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality when you visit Tokyo. The business men and women in the beautifully tailored suits can throw down outside the office. You would too if you worked the long hours in regimented offices under stressful conditions.
Not only do they drink, they drink well. No Bud Lights or Lime-a-ritas to be found. The Japanese have a unquenchable taste for international brands, importing the top booze from the around the globe.
This brought me to Popeye Beer Club on the east side of Tokyo. At least, I think it was the east side. Tokyo isn’t great for public wi-fi, so finding my way to 2-18-7 Ryogoku took several maps and help from a public works employee at the nearby bridge. You know you’re lost when somebody brings out a big rolling map and lays it out on a table.
When you do make it to P.B.C. you’ll be frothing at the mouth from 70 taps of obscure international and Japanese craft beers. Lucky enough, you can do a refreshing flight of beers. In America, a flight is usually four or five 4-oz. pours. Here, you get 10 bad boys from breweries like Fujizakura, Shirayuki, Isekadoya, Hidatakayama and Echigo to name a few. Told you the Japanese love to drink.
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Drunk, loud mouth, pukey Londoners rejoice! No more standing around bus stops wondering if the night bus will show up. Transport for London revealed their new weekend tube map. Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines will run 24-hours on Friday and Saturday nights starting September 12. This will be in advance of the England hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup in September and October.
TFL states that new late night lines will add to the city’s nightlife economy. I’m sure all the great bars in town were hurting for business.
No longer will there be a crush for drinks at last call 11:15pm. No longer will there be a sprint for that last tube to Zones 2, 3 and beyond. No longer will punters puke on that last train. They can delay that until the am!
As somebody who’ve sent many a drunken night in London, understanding the night bus when you’ve had one too many is a special skill. You look at Google maps and up at the arrival board at the bus stop. “Gee, I need to take the 257, but the 57 is coming up in two minutes. Is that the same bus but missing a 2?” Yes, this happened to me … at 12am on a Tuesday.
It will be interesting to see how this will affect Friday and Saturday nights in Londontown. Just be on the lookout for Prince Harry. He can knock ‘um back.
Ahhh, Paris. They say Paris is the Paris of France.
Obviously, the greatest art museum in the world should be on your itinerary on your first visit. You need a whole day at the Louvre to soak in all the tens of thousands of art works and artifacts. You have Raphael, Michelangelo and the rest of the Ninja Turtles alongside historical discoveries.
My guess is you want to see the Mona Lisa. You know, it’s what Tom Hanks stole in the Da Vinci Code, or something like that. The smart folks at the Louvre have little icons pointing you to the famed painting.
Before you know it, you’re standing in front of one of society’s greatest achievement … and a hundred tourists and their camera phones. #monalisa #paris #Louvre #blessed. My hashtag, #goeffyourself My bet is most of them are thinking, “It’s so small.”
The first time I went there, I distinctly remember the guards yelling at the visitors not to take photos and placards all over the place explaining that flash photography will damage the artwork. The second visit a few years later, I walked pass the room and it was like the red carpet at the Oscars. I guess they gave up.
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If you can tear yourself away from the aquavit and gravlax in duty-free, you can simulate the weather at your destination at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. I’m still waiting for an airport to simulate a working motion sensor bathroom faucet.
There’s are three doors marked hot, cold and big, which should also be rooms at the VIP rooms at strip clubs. Hey now!
The rooms are connected to the weather forecasts around the world. Inside are heaters, air conditioners, fans, water misters and audio/visual guides to simulate the climate.
This makes perfect sense when you arrive at the airport with your packed bags. You go inside the simulator only to discover that Hong Kong has 100% humidity with temperatures in the mid-90s and you packed your heavy wool coat and chunky sweaters.
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You can cross off one thing from your European shopping trip — visiting Primark. The Dublin-based clothing retailer plans to open several U.S. stores by the end of the year into 2016. They include outposts in Boston, King of Prussia, PA, Freehold, NJ, Willow Grove, PA, Danbury, CT and Staten Island, NY.
Never heard of Primark or seen their plain brown bags being held by Russian or Japanese tourists? Well, if you love cheap, trendy clothes along the lines of H&M, Uniqlo or Zara, than you have another place to satisfy your impulse buying.
When you’re gallivanting though Dublin, London, Edinburgh or the other 250 European locations, you’re bound to pass by their store fronts. When you go through the aisles, you’ll be astonished by the variety of styles and the insanely low prices. £2.50 for a Union Jack t-shirt. £28 for a black blazer. £12 for dress shoes.
As I say when something is this cheap, it’s cheap for a reason. There’s some factory in a remote third world country where the workers are sewing away in deplorable conditions and getting paid very little.
But go ahead and shop. What can you do?
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This is one of those times where I say not to do what the locals do.
The Indian city of Ahmedabad is having a crisis of biblipoop proportions as residents are taking dumps in the street. As a result, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation are rewarding locals with one rupee if they use a public toilet. I can tell you that I could make a fortune if I lived in Ahmedabad.
In response, UNICEF produced a cartoon entitled Take The Poo To The Loo. Watch it below and have the song stuck in your head the rest of the day.
You might be shocked that humans are dropping a deuce in public. While I was in China, I saw it twice in the Forbidden City. I give it a few years before we see a story like this in America.