Petition Asks Airlines to Seat Families Together Without Making Them Pay for the Privilege

Letting parents sit with their children on flights would seem to be common sense and, you know, the right thing to do, but that’s never been a reason for airlines to do anything.

See also: why they seat people in the front and with aisle seats before the rest of us schleps just because of some imagined “status.”

Planes should be boarded back to front, window to aisle, and I will die on this hill.

Anyway. Apparently some people out there agree with me, because there’s an actual petition to ask airlines to let families sit together without paying yet another fee.

The petition, started by Consumer Reports, applies to families traveling with kids under 13 and sent letters to the heads of Delta, United, and American asking them to institute these new policies.

More than 120,000 people have signed the petition, arguing that seating children away from their parents presents security concerns, should there be an emergency, as well as inappropriate burdens on customers who end up sitting next to an unaccompanied child.

In the letters, they also pointed out that sexual assault could also be a concern, but there are also many others.

“The FBI has reported on increases in sexual assaults in commercial travel. Also, emergency procedures and evacuations will certainly be slowed and compromised by anxious parents and children who are far apart from each other on the plane.”

Consumer Reports also shared the letters ahead of Tuesday’s House Aviation Subcommittee hearing, which could decide to seat children younger than 13 with their parent or guardian at no additional cost. This would not mean airlines would have to upgrade anyone’s seating.

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136 consumer complaints were forwarded by the Department of Transportation, which may not be enough to get the attention the organization was hoping for, but American Airlines told the website Romper that they are working on a family seating process.

“For families traveling with a child under the age of 15 who don’t have a seat assignment, our system will work to seat the child with an adult in the reservation starting 48 hours after the reservation is ticketed. This ensures the child will not be assigned a seat alone. In addition, we block seats on flights for airport control. This enables our airport team members to move people around, as needed, at the gate. This is helpful in case families book at the last minute, rebooking due to irregular operations, etc.”

Delta had a more vague reply, stating that they “work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their travel needs are met,” and United declined to reply with a comment.

In the end, the airlines don’t need the government’s approval to do the right thing.

“The airlines can fix this problem without government intervention. Ensuring that children are always seated with their parents regardless of the ticket purchased would improve safety and security for all travelers while easing the minds of families.”

Of course, we all know that sometimes big corporations have trouble doing the right thing until their hands are forced, but however this happens, I hope the changes are made soon.

Have you had a bad experience trying to sit with your children on a flight? We want to hear about it in the comments!

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Check out This Museum in Santa Cruz, California, Dedicated to Surfing

Three Hawaiian princes brought the sport of surfing to the U.S. and a Santa Cruz museum tells that story.

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is inside a lighthouse on Monterrey Peninsula’s northern tip. Although surfing is an old Polynesian sport, Santa Cruz is known as its entry point into the U.S.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

It was in the middle of summer in 1885 when the princes David Kawananakoa, Edward Keliiahonui and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole of Hawaii, who were attending St. Matthew’s military school in San Mateo, California, decided to get some boards made and drop them in the ocean.

Everyone enjoying their day at the beach became mesmerized by the trio riding the waves on their massive redwood surfboards.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Eventually, the boys left Santa Cruz to return to Hawaii and join the fight for independence. But even after they left, local kids would continue to imitate the way the Hawaiians surfed. Since then, Santa Cruz has always been regarded as the place where California surf culture was born.

Today, in the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, visitors can see 130 years of surfing chronicled in photographs, surfboards and other mementos.

Photo Credit: Flickr

The lighthouse was a gift in memory of 18-year-old Mark Abbott who drowned in a body surfing accident in 1965. His parents used his life insurance policy to erect the lighthouse in his honor because he loved the ones that dotted the Oregon coast.

The museum was opened inside the lighthouse in 1986 by the city. Surfing is a beloved pastime for many living there and was one of Mark’s favorite activities. From the lighthouse, which sits directly on the ocean, surfing fans can watch perfect 10s and remember the Hawaiian royalty that brought the sport of surfing to the U.S.

What do you think? Want to visit? Let us know if you have in the comments and what you thought!

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You Can Sleep in a Bubble Surrounded by Rescue Elephants in a Thai Jungle

If you’re looking for a very unique outdoor adventure experience, we think we’ve found something you’ll like. In a jungle in Thailand, you can sleep in a bubble in the midst of freely roaming elephants.

These extraordinary accommodations are called “Jungle Bubbles,” and are only found at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand.

Photo Credit: Anantara

In each 236-square-foot bubble equipped with air-conditioning, you’ll find a king-size bed, a living area and a bathroom. Apart from the bathroom, the rest of the bubble is transparent. Staff drop off your dinner in a basket, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the majesty of 22 elephants.

Rescued from the country’s cities and tourist attractions, the elephants are set to live out the rest of their days roaming freely and peacefully. Visitors can learn more about them by taking a tour led by a veterinarian or a biologist called “Walking with Giants.”

Etienne De Villiers, Anantara’s cluster director of public relations, told Apartment Therapy,

“Guests can observe the elephants’ social interaction in their native habitat.

The fun of either a river bath or mud playtime demonstrates just how cheeky these graceful animals can be.”

Photo Credit: Anantara

The company’s founder saw an elephant begging for food in the streets of Bangkok and decided to start the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

Said De Villiers,

“Since then we have operated a rescue rental system that gives entire traditional mahout families a sustainable income from an elephant that is already living with them — this ensures that they will not source, through breeding or wild capture, another elephant to continue their traditional way of life.”

Journey into the jungle with elephants, and marvel at the bond between yourself and their mighty spirits 🐘. Book your…

Posted by Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas on Monday, September 10, 2018

More than 60 elephants have been rescued. Mahout families also receive English lessons, further education for their children and all proceeds from clothing sales of a traditional silkworm business.

This is the type of responsible and sustainable tourism that benefits people, animals and society.

Let’s expand our horizons and do more of THIS!

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Disney Park Employees Must Follow These 5 Rules

Disney World is a place where dreams are supposed to come true.

And while we all tend to focus on the riveting rides and captivating castles, we tend to forget about the driver behind it all: the employees.

Well, cast members, actually.

Working at Disney can be a fantastic career, but it takes much more than a great smile and love of cartoons to be successful. In fact, the company implements some interesting rules that its employees must live by while working.

Act Right

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Terminology matters big time in the world of Disney. In fact, their employees are technically referred to as “cast members.”

That title extends to everyone who works in the park, including characters, ride operators and gift shop salespeople. The concept of Disney is that the park is actually a stage, and we are all engaged in one fantastical show.

Measure Up

Disney has strict height requirements for both its rides and its characters. Specific character roles require a prospective “cast member” to check the all-important height box.

For example, a Disney princess must measure in between 5’4″ to 5’8″. Of course, if you don’t meet the requirement, you could always play a different character.

Take Care of Your Looks

Photo Credit: Pexels

In order to capture every essence of a character, Disney makes sure its cast members look the part. And I mean down to the whisker.

Women are allowed to have subtle highlights in their hair, but otherwise it must be styled in a classic and natural look. On the other hand, men are forbidden from having long hair and may only have facial hair no longer than a quarter of an inch thick.

Sound Check

Photo Credit: Pexels

While our favorite Disney princesses and heroes have recognizable voices, you won’t hear a peep from some of the other characters in costume. And that’s done purposefully.

Characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the Beast cannot speak while in costume. That can be a challenge for employees, who often are tasked with acting the part for hours without being able to utter a sound.

No Work-Related Social Media

Photo Credit: Pexels

Playing the part also means maintaining anonymity. Disney employees are not allowed to reveal what character(s) they portray on social media.

And as for backstage sneak peaks? Those are also a no-go in Disney.

Disney employees have to hold up to strict standards, but that plays a large role in why the company—especially its magical theme parks—is such an iconic brand.

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Hysterical Memes About Traveling and Spending Time at the Airport

You see every cross-section of society at the airport. Young, old, all nationalities, all genders, all races.

Of course, you take the good with the bad when you travel. Because on top of the excitement of getting to see new places and new faces is the unfortunate reality that people can be annoying and traveling can be a big hassle.

And that’s why these memes make perfect sense!

1. That is very funny.

Photo Credit: deMilked

2. You’re not going anywhere.

Photo Credit: deMilked

3. In good hands.

Photo Credit: deMilked

4. Sweet, sweet relief.

Photo Credit: deMilked

5. That has to be what they’re thinking.

Photo Credit: deMilked

6. Oh, there it is!

Photo Credit: deMilked

7. Are you sure about that?

Photo Credit: deMilked

8. No time for drama.

Photo Credit: deMilked

9. Bring everything you own, just in case.

Photo Credit: deMilked

10. We have to be there 9 hours early.

Photo Credit: deMilked

11. They’re also a genius!

Photo Credit: deMilked

12. All kinds of reactions.

Photo Credit: deMilked

13. What’s taking them so long…?

Photo Credit: deMilked

Those memes are right on the money, don’t you think? Please, be honest. We don’t want our feelings messed with.

Oh, here’s another question! Do you travel a lot for either work or fun? Or maybe both? Share a funny/ridiculous/outrageous travel story in the comments.

Let’s compare notes, fam!

The post Hysterical Memes About Traveling and Spending Time at the Airport appeared first on UberFacts.

In 2010 a man was rescued while attempting…

In 2010 a man was rescued while attempting to sail around the United Kingdom. Using only a road map for navigation the ‘sailor’ had been keeping the coast to his right and in error ended up sailing in circles around the Isle of Sheppey until he ran out fuel.

The National Bonsai Museum in Washington D.C. Looks Pretty Awesome

In Washington D.C., an extraordinary museum has some mighty special trees. These trees aren’t giant oaks or flowered with cherry blossoms, though. The National Bonsai Museum, rather, is home to 150 species of trees pruned and cared for in the manner of bonsai – a traditional Japanese cultivation technique that produces trees in miniature.

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
The museum opened in 1976 to exhibit a gift from Japan of 53 bonsai trees commemorating the U.S. bicentennial and presented to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Their botanical gift joins the 3,000 cherry trees, given by Japan in 1912, that famously still grow today around D.C.’s National Mall.

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
The exceptional display of bonsai trees can be found in the Department of Agriculture’s National Arboretum. Over the years, the collection has grown to include various species, including beeches, maples and pines, among others.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

As the Japanese style of bonsai varies, there are several design types to see at the museum. Look for Chokkan style, characterized by a straight tapered trunk with thick branches coming from the middle of the trunk and finer sproutings at the top for a formal tree shape.

You can also see the dramatic kengai trees, which appear to “cascade” down mountains. Others on display are “root-over-rock,” where the tree’s roots reach around a stone base before disappearing into earth, and “forest” style, that have several trees, usually an odd number, arranged in a single container.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

The absolute can’t-miss specimen of the entire exhibit is a Japanese white pine. The tree was started in 1625 and tended by five generations of the Yamaki family until it was donated to the U.S. It’s also called the Hiroshima Survivor because it emerged unharmed from the atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima in 1945.

Bonsai gives both the viewer and the cultivator the opportunity for quiet contemplation. In a busy city that represents a country as dynamic as the U.S., this museum is an excellent place to root your soul.

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This is What to Do When Your Travel Partner Doesn’t Have TSA Pre Check

If you travel a lot and haven’t applied for TSA Pre Check, you should really get on top of it? The lines are shorter, you don’t have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from your bag – it’s basically a throwback to the blissful old days when no one was actually worried about someone hijacking the plane for their own nefarious purposes.

But what if you have done the smart, expedient thing and taken care of your TSA Pre Check, but the person you’re traveling with hasn’t?

Well, first, reevaluate your friendship (or romance).

If you still want to travel with them now and in the future, here’s some further advice – it’s pretty much against the law to try to use the pre check line if you’re not approved. Just something to consider.

There is an exception for children under the age of 12 who are traveling with an enrolled parent or guardian, and exceptions can also be made for travelers 75 or older, though they aren’t technically granted pre check.

 

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There’s a chance, of course, that the person you’re traveling with could earn the random golden pre check ticket, but that’s kind of a long shot to bank on, don’t you think?

Here’s the bottom line: if you and your companion want to go through security together at the airport, and they don’t have permission to use the pre check line, you’ll have to go back to being one of the regular folks…because they’re not getting into line with you. Even if you ask the desk agent nicely.

Though if you book your tickets together, there is a chance that they will receive pre check just because the two of you are on the same reservation. But you really can’t count on it.

There’s still time to enroll, so check with your travel buds and send them this handy guide to traveling with less fuss and muss – it’s definitely worth it, don’t you think?

The post This is What to Do When Your Travel Partner Doesn’t Have TSA Pre Check appeared first on UberFacts.

This is What to Do When Your Travel Partner Doesn’t Have TSA Pre Check

If you travel a lot and haven’t applied for TSA Pre Check, you should really get on top of it? The lines are shorter, you don’t have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from your bag – it’s basically a throwback to the blissful old days when no one was actually worried about someone hijacking the plane for their own nefarious purposes.

But what if you have done the smart, expedient thing and taken care of your TSA Pre Check, but the person you’re traveling with hasn’t?

Well, first, reevaluate your friendship (or romance).

If you still want to travel with them now and in the future, here’s some further advice – it’s pretty much against the law to try to use the pre check line if you’re not approved. Just something to consider.

There is an exception for children under the age of 12 who are traveling with an enrolled parent or guardian, and exceptions can also be made for travelers 75 or older, though they aren’t technically granted pre check.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Travel with Terry (@travel_in_style_with_terry) on

There’s a chance, of course, that the person you’re traveling with could earn the random golden pre check ticket, but that’s kind of a long shot to bank on, don’t you think?

Here’s the bottom line: if you and your companion want to go through security together at the airport, and they don’t have permission to use the pre check line, you’ll have to go back to being one of the regular folks…because they’re not getting into line with you. Even if you ask the desk agent nicely.

Though if you book your tickets together, there is a chance that they will receive pre check just because the two of you are on the same reservation. But you really can’t count on it.

There’s still time to enroll, so check with your travel buds and send them this handy guide to traveling with less fuss and muss – it’s definitely worth it, don’t you think?

The post This is What to Do When Your Travel Partner Doesn’t Have TSA Pre Check appeared first on UberFacts.

The Coronavirus Can Be Tracked on Johns Hopkins’ Website

The coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, has spread throughout mainland China and beyond. The virus makes daily headlines, though reports about this new respiratory disease are constantly changing, which makes monitoring it a challenge for everyday people.

However, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has provided a way for those outside the medical community to see how widespread coronavirus is with an online dashboard tracking the outbreak as information is confirmed.

Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins University

Users can see hard data regarding numbers of confirmed cases and their locations, as well as recoveries and deaths. Clicking through the various figures and graphs will expand the information further.

For those who like to see the hard facts without the grabbing verbiage of online news outlets, this website will prove to be revealing, if not fascinating. Use it to become informed, but be wary if you live in an area with confirmed cases. You don’t want to scare yourself unnecessarily.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

So far, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the cases found in the U.S. are people who had recent and close contact with travelers from Wuhan – or were travelers themselves. They state the virus is not spreading throughout communities.

While they call the coronavirus a “very serious public health threat,” it’s also unclear how the threat will affect the U.S. at this time. As of right now, the threat-level to citizens in the U.S. who are not actively treating or being exposed to coronavirus patients in a medical setting is low.

Photo Credit: Edwards AFB

In the meantime, wash your hands, keep yourself healthy and check out that factual dashboard if your concerned or even curious about the coronavirus spread stateside.

And maybe buy a few medical masks, just in case.

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