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UAL: Get your little butt back in line, kid! PDF Print E-mail

Just when you thought airlines couldn’t come up with another scheme to make flying more miserable, United Airlines has done it.

UAL officials recently took a few moments away from drowning kittens and pulling puppy tails. Pleased with themselves, they announced that the privilege of early boarding for families with small children is over. They’ll now have to wait in line with the rest of coach passengers.

With airlines always finding reasons to earn extra bucks, some also charge for families who want to sit together in the cheap seats.

Of course, the new rules don’t apply if the family is willing to pay 4 or 5 times the coach price to sit in first class with the two-percenters. Then, as they board, they can also sneer at the peasants and mingle with the other rich people and government officials flying to Vegas conventions.

National Parks free to active military and families PDF Print E-mail

The usual entry fees of up to $80 for all U.S. National Parks are now waived for active military and their families.

To get in free, it’s required to show Defense Department identification at any of the 2,000 National Park locations. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/index.htm

Who are the most obnoxious tourists? PDF Print E-mail

According to a recent survey by the Living Social and Mandala Research organization, Americans are the planet's worst tourists. More than 5,000 people were asked, most of them Americans pointing accusing fingers at themselves.

Other voters: Irish people said British were the worst. The British, in turn, named the Germans. Everyone agreed that Chinese tourists are the most polite, except when they gather in casinos, where their gambling fascination makes them behave like Americans.

Future Travel: Robot bellhops and flight attendants? PDF Print E-mail

How much do you tip a robot hotel bellhop? Is a squirt from an oil can enough? In the air, will a robot soon be offering you tea or coffee? Will a robot bartender listen to your sad story of a lost love affair?

A tech firm is developing Ava the iRobot. When fully geared up, the pre-programmed humanoid may be able to escort guests to hotel rooms, serve meals and check-out clerks at retail shops. The non-humans could tend bar, do hospital chores, maintain building security and perform many other similar tasks.

There’s no promise yet that Ava will replace TSA agents in frisking and fondling passengers in airport security areas.

Dubai: Underwater Luxury Hotel Planned PDF Print E-mail

The Middle Eastern United Arab Emirate city of Dubai, awash in oil riches, is becoming what may eventually be a combination of Las Vegas and a Disney theme park. It’s already full of luxury casino hotels and can boast of the skyscraper Bruj Khalifa, the planet’s tallest building.

Dubai also features “The World”, an island chain of beach resorts that resembles a map of the earth as seen from space. Now in the plans is an extensive hotel that will be partially 30 feet under the ocean water. Because of its proposed flying saucer spaceship shape, it’s will be known as Water Discus Hotel. 

With personal video cameras and the hotel’s advanced graphic technologies, hotel guests will be surrounded by both real and virtual sea creatures of the Persian Gulf. For more information about plans and progress of the hotel project, go to dubai.com.


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