Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.

Amazing things that should happen more often 

  • While those dreaded fees and excess charges won't be going anywhere in 2012, one welcome change to air travel this coming year is that airlines will be required to list mandatory charges in their advertised prices as of 24 January. This should make comparing the cost of flights easier, but airlines won't be forced to list hidden charges like baggage fees. [New York Times]
  • After finding $10,000 cash in two envelopes at the Las Vegas airport, an air passenger restored faith in humanity. He turned what could have been a dream-come-true for himself (or nightmare, a la No Country for Old Men) into a gesture of extreme kindness when he tracked down the man who lost the money and returned it. [Daily Mail]
  • Jordan Romero, 15, officially put the rest of us to shame when he reached the top of Antarctica's Mt Vinson to become the youngest person ever to reach the summit of the highest peak in each of the seven continents. [Gadling]
  • What's the best car GPS? The Garmin Nuvi 2455 LMT, picked out of 75 models by Brian Lam, a famous US tech writer for blogs like Gizmodo. [The Wirecutter] 

Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead

  • CNN looked ahead to find the top 10 travel products for 2012. While items like the clear UV water purifier and "bedphones" seem innovative and useful, the verdict is still out on GPS ski goggles and the laser keyboard cube. [CNN International]
  • After a two-year hiatus, Wendy's is returning to Japan. While leaving items like the Baconator Double off the menu, the fast-food giant is trying to make a splash by adding upscale items like an Avocado Wasabi Burger and a Foie Gras Rossini Burger, which, at 1280 yen, isn't exactly a candidate for the 99-cent value menu. [Budget Travel]

Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

  • A top critic of the US Transportation Safety Administration, Bruce Schneier, is the focus of a magazine profile this month. He claims that "the great bulk" of the post-9/11 airport security measures are little more than “security theater: actions that accomplish nothing but are designed to make the government look like it is on the job”. [Vanity Fair]
  • Islamist politicians likely will hold a majority of seats in Egypt's new parliament when it convenes next month, causing tourism experts and officials to worry that rules to ban alcohol and segregate beaches by gender could be detrimental to an already crippled tourism industry.  [NPR]

It’s a no-go

  • An Occupy London protester says he was just trying to get home for Christmas when the captain banned him from flying back home on a Ryanair flight to Malaga, Spain because of the "remote possibility (he) could distribute leaflets on the plane and upset people". Ryanair called the allegations "complete and utter rubbish". [The Independent]
  • A Czech man, believed to be a courier for a criminal organization that smuggles exotic species, was caught trying to take 247 snakes and reptiles (including poisonous vipers) to Madrid in a bulging suitcase. Had the snakes made it onto a plane, it could have been a good subject for a Hollywood B-movie. Oh, wait... [USA Today]


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