In brief: Nasa's final launch could be delayed by storms
Thunderstorms could delay Nasa's final launch, Trip Advisor adds train-search option, a TSA employee shoves an iPad down his pants, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
TSA employee arrested for grand theft
Passengers who weren't troubled enough with the shoe removal, body scanning and groping that occurs while going through airport security can add one more worry to the list: theft. After stealing a reported $50,000 worth of computers, cameras and other electronics from luggage he was screening in the last six months, a Transportation Security Administration employee was arrested Monday. While Nelson Santiago may have been the first to get busted while stuffing an iPad down his pants, he's just the latest example of thieving TSA employees — since 11 September, 2001, about 500 have reportedly been fired for theft. But don't fret too much; the Matador Network has some worthy advice on "How not to lose your s--- with the TSA."
Trip Advisor expands search to include trains
Trip Advisor recently became an even more valuable tool for travellers in Europe by offering a comparison of rail prices alongside airfare search results. The meta-search site claims to be the first to offer a comprehensive search of train itineraries, the Independent reports. A quick search for a trip from Amsterdam to Paris showed the least expensive train at £99 compared to £183 by plane. However, for a trip from Barcelona to Paris it was actually less expensive to fly — the cheapest flight was £43 compared to an £83 train journey — while saving travellers more than 10 hours. Meanwhile, Hipmunk — a site which displays results by cost, departure, date or levels of "agony" — recently added a wi-fi icon to represent flights offering Internet. Seems our predictions for the future of travel search are coming true.
Weather threatens launch of Atlantis
Nasa is prepared for the final flight in the history of the 30-year US space programme, but weather could keep Atlantis from launching on Friday, BBC News reports. If thunderstorms do delay the launch, another attempt likely won't be made until Sunday, much to the chagrin of up to 750,000 people heading to the Space Coast to watch the final blastoff, some of whom camped out to reserve a good viewing spot.
Travel and Leisure readers rank world's 100 best hotels
It may come as a surprise that readers of Travel and Leisure voted Tanzania's Singita Grumeti Reserves at Serengeti National Park as the top hotel in the world. But even more surprising is that it's just one of six of safari lodges in Africa that ranked in the world's top 10 hotels. Others in the top 10 include the Oberoi Udaivilas and Oberoi Rajvilas in Udaipur and Jaipur, India; Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana; and the Dhara Dhevi Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
"The United States drives more than any other society, and the self-driving car provides the glorious possibility of a hands-free cross-country road trip. But how will it harmonize with American drivers' varied preferences for tailgating, conscientious speed-limit-monitoring, passive aggression toward walkway pedestrians, or highway-traversing pursuits of the fastest lane?"
The mega retweet
We scour Twitter and publish a standout travel tweet
"Current record for most FF miles held by an individual is 113 million — 1,400 1st-class RT flts from NY-Australia http://bit.ly/qjWQRB"
-@JohnnyJet. According to an article on Concierge.com, the person with the most frequent flyer miles in the world has a reported 113 million. For you math fans out there, it would take roughly seven years and four months in the air to use if flying between New York and Australia — in first class! Perhaps this master travel hacker will share the wealth.