In brief: United helps out a traveller in need
Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride
On 25 April, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will lift a ban on a handful of items previously considered hazardous, including lacrosse sticks, baseball bats and certain knives. This week, it published a list of what will be allowed. Readers had a variety of reactions, including one comment: “A knife is allowed but water is still banned?!” To which the TSA tweeted back, “Allowing 2.36" blades = good risk-based security. Can't be compared to liquids. #UKLiquidExplosivePlot”. (For more information, see BBC Travel’s slide show showing what’s permissible.) [TSA]
Don’t get hacked! Learn some tips for safely using wi-fi hotspots with your smartphone while travelling abroad. One tactic: only surf on encrypted channels, which you can recognise because they use the website prefix https, rather than http. [Travel + Leisure]
London’s hottest new attraction is the newly opened observation deck from the 67th floor of The Shard. But weather in the British capital is notoriously fickle; so one resident has created a site called WhatCanISeeFromTheShard.com, which combines visibility data and a live picture to let visitors know if it’s worth paying the online advance admission fee of £25. [What Can I See From The Shard?]
Amazing things that should happen more often
Kerry Drake’s mother had only hours to live. He needed to make a tight, 40-minute connection via Houston on a flight to Lubbock, Texas, because it was the last flight out of San Francisco for the night. When the plane for the first leg of his journey was delayed, he became inconsolable. In a rare move, United held his connecting flight, so that Drake would be able to reach his mother in time to say farewell. Nice work, United! [HuffingtonPost Travel]
Imagine if one suitcase could contain forty outfits for a female traveller. It’s do-able, as demonstrated by a photo gallery of carefully selected apparel and all of the various potential ways to wear the items. Impressive! [OutfitPosts]
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week
Check out the Tacography of Mexico, a stylised map of Mexico showing the various types of tacos served across the country, such as the fish tacos served in Riviera Nayarit. Juan Carlos Mena, a chef who has published a book called La Tacopedia, created the map. [LA Taco]
Our most re-tweeted item of the week was of a map of a different kind, namely, a map of vaguely rude destination names, including Dildo, Newfoundland; Wanks River, Nicaragua; and some other place names not suitable for republication in a family blog such as this.
Also popular was a gallery of 16 stunning night shots, from Sydney’s Opera House to a Maine lighthouse. We’re especially fond of the nocturnal lighting that creates a theatrical effect at the Royal Border Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. [Flickr]