Category Archives for "In the news"

Captain’s Log : Passengers literally cause stink on a Delta flight

Mr Hanky from Southpark

Mr Hanky rumored to have been spotted on an International flight

Dahlings, a Big Ewwwwwwwwww. Why did I read this before going to bed?

I refer to a story from our favorite love to hate rag, the Daily Mail.

Airline passengers kick up a stink on Delta flight from Beijing to Detroit after Chinese family let toddler poop on his seat

  • Incident occurred on Delta Airlines flight when family laid newspaper on seat
  • Passengers watched in horror as he crouched down and passed motion
  • Parents refused to take him to toilet despite pleas from passengers and crew
  • Incident sparked complaints from travelers after smell wafted through plane
  • Social media users in China slam family for ’embarrassing’ their homeland

Do a cursory search on Interweb and you see this as a common complaint about China: Parents allowing kids to deficate in public. This one from 2013, is from South China Morning Post observed in Taiwan airport where the picture shows a tot doing his business on newspaper. At least this article attempted to explain it due to a shortage of public toilets in china and where the do exist, they are usually Gross. Just like airplane restrooms mid-way into a busy flight.

Of course there could be another more subtler explanation here: newspapers. Maybe the papers being crapped on are simply local versions of the Daily Mail?

Ciao for now, Cleo

Justice is not served : State Farms’s tortuous logic to deny paying out stinks

justice stinksJust when we thought we couldn’t be shocked any more by the shenanigans of big corporations, we read about State Farm Insurance denying a claim to a disabled man in a Motorized wheelchair who was hit by an SUV while crossing the road. The tortured argument that State Farm is using is that the wheelchair is a vehicle and as such needed, auto insurance. Because he had no auto insurance, he was illegally on the road and therefore, cannot make a claim.

From Bloomberg:

Two insurance companies have made an unusual argument in a Michigan case: They’re insisting that the drivers of motorized mobility scooters should be required to get the same insurance as car and truck owners.

The case involves the claims of a paralyzed man who was hit by an SUV while crossing the street on his way to a doughnut shop. The insurance companies’ position? Because the man didn’t have auto insurance on his scooter, they shouldn’t have to pay for any damage caused to him by the SUV.

The arguments by lawyers for State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance and Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan have produced a mix of outrage and snide commentary in Michigan legal circles. Some lawyers warn the case could impact many of the estimated 300,000 elderly and disabled people nationally who depend on motorized scooters and powered wheelchairs to get around.

Nevermind the fact that he was crossing the road and not driving on it.

Nevermind the fact under Michigan law 257.33 “Motor Vehicle” Defined, “Motor vehicle does not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.”)

Nevermind the fact that the police officer found the Jeep’s driver at fault and that the victim, Mr. Veness was listed as a pedestrian in the officers report.

This is a new low to the 3D approach of “Deny, Delay, Defend” as a way of not paying out. You Scumbags.


Bag of Blues : JetBlue to charge for check in baggage

Bloomberg Businessweek reports about JetBlue looking at charging for first check in bag. Today they charge for the second bag.

Turns out that while they hold a price premium on many routes, in others they are not. Thus, they are looking at finding a way of to hide the charge in a confusing new ticket naming tactic.

The talk is that it will introduced it in 2015 so that the only US airline with free checking bags will be Southwest. However, we’ve noticed Southwest fares have slowly increased over the years so we think Southwest silently absorbed this. They are certainly no longer the cheap airline.

Our prognosis:  This will have little impact to JetBlue itself. It will get accepted since their competitors have set precedence where this is accepted practice.

Licensed to Kill : NY Taxi and Limousine commission with a concession from Lyft.

From Bloomberg Businessweek

After a few weeks of setbacks and standoffs, Lyft has found a way to bring its car service to New York City: just abandon the core of its business model. The ride-sharing startup, which lets ordinary people with privately-owned cars  use its service to sell rides to one another, will launch Friday as more of a conventional, Uber-like service that deploys only licensed livery drivers.

Lyft has wanted to come to New York for quite some time, and over the last two weeks Lyft’s dispute with state and city officials has become the conflict du jour between a sharing economy startup and local government. The fate of similar startups in the big city has set an ominous backdrop to Lyft’s ordeal. After Sidecar, another ride-sharing company, staged a local launch last year, it only stuck around for a few weeks.

And so it goes. This round goes to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the NY’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. 


Not feeling the Luv : Southwest kicks off a tweeter

Your OFF !

You’re OFF !

We were a bit surprised to hear about a passenger getting kicked off a Southwest flight for Tweeting about an altercation he had with a Flight Attendant over boarding groups. The FA was apparently frightened for her safety.

Not what we’d expect from Southwest. We’ve never had a problem with them.

How come she even knew about the tweet? There must be more to this story.




Your Judge keeps Lyfting me higher : Ruling goes against the Uber and Lyft operating in NYC

Lyft me up, Lyft me down.

Lyft me up, Lyft me down.

So the legal situation of Lyft, Uber et al, evolves.  The New York Post reports that Lyft has agreed to submit to TLC regulations.

The ride-sharing app Lyft caved to demands by the city to submit to TLC regulations after a Manhattan judge threatened to bar the company from launching in the outer boroughs.

“Lyft agreed they would not launch until they have come into compliance with the law, the TLC requirements,” said Justice Kathryn Freed Friday.

Specifically the start-up, which already operates in 65 other cities including San Francisco and Chicago, has to register with base stations and submit its mobile phone app technology to the TLC for approval.

“If these things aren’t done I’m prepared to issue a temporary restraining order” preventing Lyft vehicles from driving in the city until the conclusion of a lawsuit brought by the attorney general challenging the business model, Freed said.

This is pretty big news in that these start up companies have claimed such regulation don’t apply so this could be setting legal precedence. If they do have to comply with such Taxi regulations as laid down by local authorities, their new internet business model gets broken pretty quick.  Just look at Aereo to see what happens when it goes in front of a judge:Virtual reality meets real reality. Continue reading..

Bits in Pieces : AirBnB’s logo causes sniggers

Airbnb-logoDahlings, the characters in Roam’s Palatine hill laughed heartily when we heard the story of airbnb’s re-designed logo(For those who do not know, Airbnb is a website where you can book individual rooms in someones house or even on a couch.)

So why did we titter so ?  If you read some of the original internet guff, then you would think it was a brilliant design.

The company embarked on a year-long brand study, during which it hired an outside agency, London-based DesignStudio, for assistance. The teams collected mounds of user research, traveling to more than a dozen countries to interview hosts and guests on what they loved most about Airbnb, then setting up camp at a back office in Airbnb’s headquarters to work in private. The team also performed detailed surveys of competing brands, concluding that too many technology companies, from Facebook to IBM, play it safe with a “cold, corporate blue color,” according to DesignStudio cofounder Paul Stafford.

Eventually, Chesky says, Airbnb’s design studio started to look like Russell Crowe’s workshop in A Beautiful Mind. They were overwhelmed with an absurd number of mood boards and brand identity studies, which included “the Red Cross, the Olympic rings, and probably the most important symbol of all, Batman’s,” Chesky says, only half-joking. But eventually, in what he calls a “drop the mic” moment, Chesky says he was able to distill everything the team had learned down to one core principle: “Airbnb is about belonging anywhere. The brand shouldn’t say we’re about community, or our international [reach], or renting homes–it’s about belonging.”

No so.

It turns out the new logo looks has a different visual meaning to many people. In particular a resemblance to lower abdominal regions of the different sexes.  We laughed harder when we found a tumblr site dedicated to alternative interpretations of the said logo. Continue reading..

A name in a crowd. Faces in the tragedy.

Cor pan's post to facebook about Malaysian airline.

Cor pan’s post to facebook about Malaysian airline.

17th July 2014: By now you all should know about the awful story of Malaysian Airline MH17 being shot down over the Ukraine. It is day=0 and there is much speculative information about the events.

We are sure more details will emerge in the next few days. We worry about the repercussions.

The people impacted appear to come from many nationalities and if count stands true, 80 of the fatalities will be children.

However, there is one person on MH17 we warmed to when we read the various articles. We refer to Cor Pan from Netherlands, who posted on Facebook a picture of the Malaysian Airline plane before he boarded with a translated comment of “Should it disappear, this is what it looks like.”

After we read this, we at Roads-2-Roam had a wry smile: This is a person with a dry sense of humor similar to ours.

The second picture we include shows Cor Pan with his girlfriend, Neeltje who were flying to their holiday.

Requiescat in pace.

People of MH17: Cor Pan and Neeltje Tol.

Two of the real people of MH17: Cor Pan and Neeltje Tol.

Thunderbolt and Lightning, Very Very frightening me : Lightening strikes and outdoor travel

1975 picture of Michael McQuilken (right) and his little brother Sean moments before lightening struck them

1975 picture of Michael McQuilken (right) and his little brother Sean moments before lightening struck them

Sunday 13th July:  Roads-2-Roam read about a second death in only 2 days from lightning strike in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Both had occurred on Trail Ridge road near or at Ute Crossing Trail. The one on Saturday impacted 13 people whereas 7 people were injured on Friday.

Per the usatoday article:

Park officials are reminding visitors of the dangers associated with being above tree line — or more than 10,000 feet. That area is very exposed and there are few places to take cover.

Park rangers say visitors should head to lower ground by 12 p.m. to avoid being caught in a dangerous storm.

Prior to this, the last fatality due to lightening in Rocky Mountain National Park happened in 2000 so this seems like a statistical anomaly.

Reading around for information on this we found a stupid CBS article claiming this happened during “heavy monsoon rains”. Oh for crying out loud: The US does not have monsoons. What the US does have is instead is morons,usually lazy reporters.

Now back to the topic of lightning. Years ago, Augustus remembers one of an Irish friend tell us about a time hiking in the Rockies when a storm hit. He said “It started as fun but the scary thing was there was nowhere to shelter. There was blinding white flashes and I ducked as low as possible and was glad to make it out alive”. Continue reading..

A Cheesy story : After flight is delayed, Frontier pilot orders pizzas for all passengers

Every now and then, we get to hear about a good news story related to travel. This one on kdvr, tells one such story about a Frontier pilot “Berhard Brandner” ordering 50 Pizza’s on his own buck for the passengers on his plane. The plane was stuck at Cheyenne airport due to bad weather where it had to land to refuel after it’s intended destination of Denver had storms.  The 3 hour flight had already taken 7 hours.

From the words of a passenger Logan Marie Torres

“The captain took his own initiative,” Torres said.   He said “Ladies and gentleman, Frontier Airlines is known for being one of the cheapest airlines in the U.S., but your captain is not cheap,” Torres recounted. “I just ordered pizza for the entire plane.” 

We heard him being interviewed on the radio and he didn’t end up with slice,

If Captain Brander ever comes our way, we’d like to arrange from him an Ovation which in old Roman times was a form of Triumph granted when war had not been declared. He can wear a wreath of myrtle.

Alternatively, if he’s not into that sort of thing, we are Roads-2-Roam would just like to buy him a beer.