Conde Nast Traveler

Naked Flight Attendants Grab Attention As Aliens Invade

by Sara Tucker

Sometimes the week is so jam-packed with news one hardly knows where to begin. There's the latest YouTube sensation, for example, an in-flight safety video featuring airline personnel wearing not a single stitch of clothing, which racked up views this week faster than the footage of Michael Jackson's final rehearsal. "We have been absolutely stunned by the massive international interest in our in-flight safety briefing," said an Air New Zealand exec. (More at

Or how about the heart-warming story behind "United Breaks Guitars"--a "catchy song," says the Consumerist, "about how much United sucks." The country-music video made its debut on YouTube on Monday, and by Tuesday the airline had offered to square things with the composer, who had been seeking compensation for his broken guitar for over a year.

Equally juicy is's blasting of U2 and Bono for generating enough gassy emissions with their current world tour to fly the band to Mars and back." (The Belfast Telegraph has the shameful details.)

It gets better.

Continue reading "Naked Flight Attendants Grab Attention As Aliens Invade" »


Bin Hog Backlash

Warning. Heavy luggage

by Barbara S. Peterson

Pay for your carry-on baggage? Yikes!

Lately a wave of stories is stoking the notion that there's a 'carry on crisis' in air travel: Too many oversize duffels and golf bags chasing too little on board space.  Seems more like an old problem in search of a solution. But the latest panaceas are setting a new standard in loopiness. 

Let's take them one by one:

Make TSA's airport screener workforce police bag size 
The idea to make airport screeners the enforcers has a superficial logic.  They are, after all, already there, manning the checkpoints through which we all must pass.  But this seems like a classic case of mission creep run amok and several emails from former colleagues of mine at the TSA checkpoint point out they are already taking on new tasks from the airlines  (such as checking boarding passes against IDs). This would only make lines far worse--plus give screeners less time for what they really should be doing, like looking for suspicious people or items. 

Charge for carry-on bags and let people check bags for free   
This strikes me as back-asswards.  While charging for checked luggage at least has a certain logic to it--the airline must employ a staff to handle the bag and get it to and from the plane--your allotted quota of carry-on gear shouldn't really cost the airline anything.  Besides we've been trained by the airlines for years to bring valuables with us; otherwise  insurance claims would inevitably spike.    

Of course those arguing in favor of this notion say that carry-ons do extract a cost--when bins get too full, flight attendants have to intervene--most often by gate checking the overflow.  But that's been the case for years. 

Remove all the charges on luggage and raise fares instead to cover handling costs
In a perfect world, airlines would be able to raise prices to cover a rise in costs, just like they do in other industries.  Do you want to know how many times the airlines have attempted and failed to do just that?  Besides, the airlines are moving more to an a la carte model, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for those low-maintenance fliers who already travel light. 

As Delta's CEO Richard Anderson explained not long ago, the fee is partly meant to discourage fliers from thinking of airlines as a free shipping service. "We are not an overnight express company.  We have had had people show up with 30 or 40 bags...and when you get to bicycles and the myriad of other stuff they try to check, then we are turning into a cargo carrier."

Still, why can't airlines do a better job of managing this? 

Next time you go to the airport take a look around. There are noticeably fewer airline employees at airports as money-losing carriers slash staff.

Finally a lot of the angst over carry-ons seems to be sparked by bad behavior on the part of a few insensitive travelers.

Bin hogs, it seems, fall into two species: The Clampetts, those clueless but probably harmless goofballs who seem to view the airplane as a flying moving van, and the Bag Bullies, who consider it a blood sport to indulge in such selfish strategies as stowing their bag in a bin nowhere near their seat--but conveniently near the exit.

The first gang can probably be tamed with some extra education.  As for the second group ---you know those announcements they make while we're boarding?--perhaps a gentle reminder on bag etiquette could be added.  And for those who persist, some more direct intervention from the flight attendants might be in order. 

I know that will get a lot of protests from the crews, who are understandably overwhelmed.. but that is unfortunately part of their job.

Further reading:
* Fees on top of fees for your checked bags courtesy of USAirways and United Airlines
* Jet America, covered early in the Daily Traveler, delays launch (The Cranky Flier)
* On the Fly: Barbara Peterson on the airline industry

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Tahiti Palm Tree


Our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is reaching the homestretch, with just three more weeks to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. In some two-and-a-half months, we've had more than 13,000 entries. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Ready for a quick mental vacation? Get an eyeful of Dream Trip entrant FosiBear drool-inspiring, desktop-worthy shot taken on a visit to Cook's Bay on the French Polynesian island of Moorea.

"With the sun slowly setting I set down my mai tai and with camera in hand, I waded out beneath the palm to get this perspective," writes FosiBear in the Dream Trip entry "Floating Palm Tree". "The stunning surroundings made this trip remarkable. Nothing could beat virtually rolling out of bed in a overwater bungalow and waking up with a splash in warm Polynesian waters."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

In This Issue

Barbados Bound

Gibbes Beach on Barbados from Conde Nast Traveler
Gibbes Beach, in St. Peter
Photo: Julien Capmeil / Condé Nast Traveler

Credit Rihanna, the pop phenom, for summing up all that's great about Barbados, her home island: "I feel the most beautiful when I am in Barbados and I am well fed, well rested and well tanned."

That's a statement worth investigating, and so, in Condé Nast Traveler's July issue, Isabel Fonseca and Alison Humes hop the parishes on the historic Caribbean country and detail their favorite locales.

Below, some highlights:

* In Christ Church, one of the most fun dining experiences is not a restaurant but the Oistins Fish Fry, a weekend street party at Oistins Harbor, where you'll find a strip of inexpensive outdoor eateries. Order fresh fish or fried chicken and breadfruit, and enjoy the relaxed paper-cup atmosphere. In the same area, the Surfer's Café Obskewer serves great coffee and an unbeatable rum punch (420-9283).

* The Crane is perched all alone above a gorgeous beach in St. Philip. Since the resort opened in 1887, it has been expanded and modernized, with more residential villas as well as retail and restaurant complexes under construction (423-6220; doubles, $340-$520).

Breezing Too Water Sport, in Holetown, at the back of the police station, organizes excursions to meet (and feed) the island's endangered greenback (and one hawksbill) turtles. It pays to get into the water early, before the large catamaran groups arrive (234-6391; two-hour excursion, $45, including mask, snorkel, boat, and punch).

For more on Barbados, pick up a copy of the July issue or read "This Earth, This Realm, This Little England" at

Further reading:
* Rihanna and Katy Perry Chill Out in Barbados

Cape Verde: The Virtuoso Islands

by John Oseid

Cape Verde's musical innovators just keep on coming. Last year, I introduced you to Mayra Andrade and Tcheka. Now, another young Cape Verdean has a brilliant new album out.

Lisbon-born Lura sings in a variety of the islands' many styles on her new album, Eclipse. The jazzy, R&B-inflected "Quebród nem Djosa" (Poor as a Church Mouse), in the video above, differs greatly from up-tempo funaná songs like "Nha Nha Rubera" (In My Valley). The latter features the renowned Malagasy accordionist Régis Gizavo, as does the ballad "Marinhęro" (Sailor). Here's a nice clip of Lura performing it in the studio.

"Tabanka" has a sprightly spoken word rhythm to it. The nostalgic title track was written by top Cape Verdean lyricist B. Leza while "Cantá um Tango" is a gorgeous piece co-written by the guitarist Teofilo Chantre.

"A caramel-skinned beauty with a blond Afro the radius of a mushroom cloud, writes George Rush in his July Condé Nast Traveler article "Verde Vibes." The beauty he describes is the singer Fantcha.

Protégée of the great Cesária Évora, the NYC-based Fantcha is--full disclosure here--a dear friend of mine. The other day I had the pleasure of a sneak preview of her lovely new album Amor, Mar e Musica, in which she's joined by other Cape Verdean musical heavyweights in Rush's story, like Paulino Vieira and Rufino Almeida (a.k.a. Bau). I'll bring you more when the album is available here; in the meantime, get familiar with Fantcha.

More music:
* Lura's tour of the States starts tonight in Chicago's Millennium Park at the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion. I'll be seeing her at the finale on July 21 at NYC's new downtown City Winery.
* This summer New York's Museum of Modern Art stays open late with the music series called MoMA Thursday Nights. Concerts will be held in the Sculpture Garden, with two sets a night of Brazilian music in July and Chinese in August. Look out too for the museum's Premiere Brazil 2009 film series.
* Wikipedia's entry on the music of Cape Verde
* Boom Box: An unabashed gusto for music of the world

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Indian Flags

India-Independence-Day-Kerala Our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is reaching the homestretch, with just three more weeks to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. In some two-and-a-half months, we've had nearly 13,000 entries. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Hot on the heels of the Fourth of July comes this visual reminder from Dream Trip entrant marinacgbd that the United States isn't the only country filled with patriotic fervor.

"I love this photo," writes marinacgbd, about Independence Day in India, of the shot taken last August 15 in Periyar, Kerala, India. "The boy in the photo was obviously such a character, but he also shared the immense national pride that I saw everywhere that day."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.


Is the Dreamliner in Real Trouble?

No Highway in the Sky starring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich

by Clive Irving

Here's a riddle: What connects Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? 

It's a 1951 movie called No Highway in The Sky. Stewart plays Theodore Honey, an aeronautical engineer, who is investigating the crash of a new plane. (Dietrich's role is ornamental). Honey suspects that metal fatigue, a barely known problem at the time, caused the crash. Authorities ignore his warnings but when the tail falls off an airplane just before takeoff Honey is vindicated. 

A pretty clunky drama it was--until, three years after it appeared, the world's first jetliner, the de Havilland Comet, suffered a series of mysterious crashes. Eventually, structural failure was proved to be the cause and metal fatigue was a factor.

That lesson was learned. More than fifty years of experience has ensured against structural failure in modern jets. But Boeing decided to build the 787 in an entirely new way, virtually eliminating metal and using, instead composites--where layers of fibers are bonded and molded into shape.

This technology was pioneered in military airplanes. Composites are of great appeal because they are both stronger and lighter than metal. An airliner, however, is very different. It is not subject to the stresses of combat, but it flies far more frequently and for far longer. For the first time, the 787 uses composites in parts that carry the greatest strains, critically where the wings meet the fuselage.

When Boeing suddenly announced, toward the end of June, that the 787's first flight was being called off, it cited problems at that very point. Thirty six ruptures had occurred at the core of the wings, 18 on each side of the fuselage. This structural failure showed up late in what are called static tests, where a complete airplane is stressed to breaking point--well beyond what the 787 would be expected to encounter in service. But there are some failures, like this one, which reveal themselves only in real time--the process cannot be sped up--and are not to be ignored because they expose unsuspected physical characteristics. This brings us back to Theodore Honey. He realized that metal could fail simply by aging. He predicted how long it would be before the airliner in the movie would be stricken by such a failure.

When composites fail, they do so in ways that cannot be detected by the maintenance checks used to detect metal fatigue. The FAA recommends inspecting composites with the use of X-rays and ultrasound scans, rather than the visual checks used for metal, where hairline cracks are often harbingers.

The test failure of the 787 indicates that Boeing has yet to fully understand the behavior of the materials it is using.

The company confessed that the weakness in the wing had not shown up on its computer models. This may well mean that aging remains an unpredictable element in the strength of composites and that only time exposes danger areas.  Two Japanese subcontractors, Fuji and Mitsubishi, are responsible for the critical wing components. Neither they, nor Boeing, have accumulated any experience of how composites of this size and carrying the greatest stresses of flight will stand up to prolonged use in airline service. No passengers would ever be put at risk--Boeing's own engineers and the FAA's certification system would ensure that. But until these new concerns are answered, the 787 program, already two years behind schedule, is likely suffer more delays.

Further reading:

* Ultrasound Camera Makes Internal Composite Damage Easy to Find (
* What is Wrong with the Dreamliner? (Daily Traveler on CNT)
* Boeing's Dreamliner Debacle (Daily Traveler on CNT)
* On the Fly: The Daily Traveler on the airline industry


Volunteer with Roadmonkey in Vietnam

The Roadmonkey expedition atop Kilimanjaro
last month.

by Brook Wilkinson

I've been following the blog over on Roadmonkey's site for the last few weeks, rooting for their expedition to make it to the top of Kilimanjaro (and vicariously reliving my own climb up Africa's highest peak back in 2003). They all made it to the summit in late June, and are now building a clean-water system and painting classrooms at a school in Tanzania.

"Adventure philanthropy": That's the idea behind Roadmonkey, a new tour operator that combines physical feats with volunteer work. The company was launched last year by New York Times correspondent Paul von Zielbauer, who leads all the trips himself. Perhaps in 10 years he'll be taking tourists back to his favorite spots in Baghdad--where he traveled on assignment for the paper in 2007--but for now he's sticking to less war-torn destinations: Tanzania and Vietnam. The next expedition is a two-week bike trip in Vietnam, set to begin on October 31.

Roadmonkey claims that what sets them apart from other voluntourism operations is that they directly involve local community members. That's an important factor (though not a unique one--Journeys Within, for instance, with whom I volunteered in Cambodia, has locals running their charity programs). If you'd like to get something more out of your next vacation by giving voluntourism a shot, check out Roadmonkey's upcoming Vietnam bike trip. Just make sure your butt is ready for 9 days in the saddle.

Further reading:
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference
* Connecting for Good: Join Condé Nast Traveler and Ashoka in this international competition for the best ideas on how to encourage citizens everywhere to travel more

In This Issue

Competition: Win a Mention in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine

Cntchallenge_dt Have an idea on how to get citizens from all corners of the earth to travel more and connect with the rest of the world?  We want to know. 

Enter the second installment of the Condé Nast Traveler Challenge and your idea could make it into the pages of our November 2009 "Readers' Choice Awards" issue.

This competition comes courtesy of Ashoka Changemakers, an online open collaboration environment built to find solutions for some of the world's most pressing challenges.

You have until August 5, 2009 to enter. Stay tuned to the Daily Traveler for a sampling of entries posted by readers.

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Buenos Aires Tango


Our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is reaching the homestretch, with just three more weeks to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. In some two and a half months, we've had nearly 13,000 entries. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

It takes two to tango, so the expression goes, and Dream Trip entrant agirlintheworld found just the pair to encapsulate a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a couple whose pas de deux was seductive enough to inspire thoughts of permanent relocation.

"Just outside Recoleta Cemetery, the tango music played," writes agirlintheworld in the Dream Trip entry "Let's Dance." "I watched in guilty rapture as the couple swayed around the square. Tango, when done correctly, is so intimate. It makes the audience feel like a voyeur, a witness to something that they shouldn't be seeing, drawn in by the beauty of it all. This is what made me decide to move to Buenos Aires someday. Sometimes, life just needs to be danced away."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

In This Issue

Park Gems: The National Landscape Conservation System

California's King Range
Click to view slideshow
Photo: Bureau of Land Management

Congress just passed the largest piece of environmental legislation in decades, voting to protect forever 26 million acres of some of the country's most scenic sites. In our July issue, Jim Robbins reports our last and least-known wild places--and the rewards of seeing them now.

Plus, we offer a quick roundup of the National Landscape Conservation System gems and the best ways to see them.

Here's a sneak peak:

King Range National Conservation Area (California)
One of the country's few remaining coastal wildernesses, northern California's King Range rises 4,000 feet above the Pacific and stretches for 35 miles. Until recently, it was accessible only by foot, via the 26-mile Lost Coast Trail, which traverses deep-green gorges, redwood forests, and black sand beaches. For those who want to visit without backpacking, two shuttle services access remote trailheads: Lost Coast Shuttle (707-986-7437) and Lost Coast Trail Transport Service (707-986-9909). Stay: Shelter Cove, on the southern end, is your best bet for lodgings near the trail; Shelter Cove Bed & Breakfast overlooks the surf (707-986-7161;; doubles, $195). When: Year-round, though it's driest from May through October. Where: Shelter Cove is a four-hour drive north of San Francisco.

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Paris Park


Our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is reaching the homestretch, with just three more weeks to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. In some two-and-a-half months, we've had nearly 13,000 entries. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Dream Trip entrant funksoulbrotha captured this image, an almost prototypical shot of a leisurely stroll in the City of Light.

"I remember being enchanted with the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris," funksoulbrotha writes in a Dream Trip entry. "The Paris of my imagination lived there, where children ran around, an old musician played an accordion, and oversize hedgerows made me feel like Alice in Wonderland."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

In This Issue

Hawaii: Home at the End of the World

Hawaii_makenabeach_dt Over the past year Hawaii has faced its share of challenges: Recession; swine flu and its effects on tourism, the ravings of a certain rogue state, etc. Not the best way for our fiftieth state to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.

In our current issue, Condé Nast Traveler's Hanya Yanagihara sends out some well-deserved love to the islands of her youth, finding them (largely) unchanged by time or the spotlight. We guarantee that after reading "Home at the End of the World" and viewing our slideshow homage to iconic Hawaii, you will be thinking about that return trip.

Further reading:
* Our Hawaii: Famous Locals on What They Love Most
* 14 Perfect Days in Hawaii
* Virtual Hawaii:  CNT's Coverage of the 50th State


Oprah + Norwegian Gem = Employee Loyalty

Photo: Mars Hill Church Seattle on Flickr using Creative Commons

by Beata Loyfman-Santora

In these times of economic woe, it's heartening to know that there's one employer still taking care of her minions. Not surprisingly, this generous soul is none other than Oprah Winfrey, the world's second most powerful celebrity (according to Forbes). Last week, all of Oprah's 1,700 employees and their families were treated to a free 10-day Mediterranean cruise aboard the Norwegian Gem. Yes, seriously.

The ship's itinerary includes Malta, Barcelona, and other fabulous ports of call. Supposedly, O has dropped more than $9 million on this mass gift--and earned countless karmic points (thanks for the drool-worthy details, Jaunted). What a clever way to ensure staffer loyalty! That Oprah--she's gossip-proof, weight-proof, recession-proof, and even disgruntle-proof. Take note, airlines.

Yours truly was lucky enough to sail on the very same ship just last year (though no Oprah freebies for me; I paid full price). One of NCL's newest, the Gem is exactly that: a huge, well-oiled machine whose sole purpose is guest amusement and feeding. Thanks to its 12 restaurants, from a casual pizza buffet to a swank French bistro where you dine off Versace china, you can literally have your cake at any time of day or night. You can also golf, spa, gamble, jog, shop, wed, night-bowl, dance, drink, and deposit your kids in the jungle gym. 

All of which begs the question: Oprah, what will it take for me to go on the next cruise?


Raving for the Congo and the Kids

Djembe master Vado Diamande
drums for a good cause at Citrine.

Photo: Cochrane Williams

by John Oseid

These days in Manhattan's Flatiron District, you can't stroll past two buildings in a row without stumbling upon a lounge party. But few events have the verve--or purpose--as the one I attended last weekend at Citrine. Djembe drum master Vado Diomande kicked off the party by playing rhythms used in sacred Ivorian traditions. Then DJ mOma took over and spun hours of African pop, reggae, and hip-hop to raise funds for underprivileged Congolese girls' educations.

Two years ago Cypriot/Congolese fashion model Noëlla Coursaris started the Georges Malaika Foundation (it's named for her father). The GMF began sponsoring its first group of sixteen girls last year, covering their tuition, supplies, uniforms, and meals. At the event, I learned that $10 covers a student's breakfast and lunch for a week, $50 gets someone a week of education, and $500 can pay for a whole year of hitting the books. The foundation's ultimate goal is to build a school big enough to serve 300 girls by 2010.

Continue reading "Raving for the Congo and the Kids" »

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Fourth of July Fireworks

Santa-Barbara-Fireworks After two months and almost 12,000 entries, our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is just hitting its stride. For inspiration for your own entry, and a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Photo of the Day will be taking a break over the Independence Day weekend. But before we head out the virtual office door, here's a suitable pyrotechnic image from Dream Trip entrant judyeberhart, shot one July Fourth in Santa Barbara, California.

"Fireworks is traditional for celebration of the Fourth of July," judyeberhart explains to the uninitiated in her Dream Trip entry. "But made it so stunning here was the reflection off the ocean. The fireworks was held off the pier so the rest of the town could watch from almost any location. It was an uplifting demonstration of support for the U.S.A."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

In This Issue

Our Hawaii: Local Celebrities Share Their Love

Calling all fans of the 50th State.  In the special Hawaii coverage in the July issue of Condé Nast Traveler, we asked some of our favorite tastemakers and personalities associated with Hawaii to tell us what they love most about the islands.  Read on, than use the comments link to share some of your favorite memories of Hawaii.

Josh_Holloway of Lost

Josh Holloway, the much-loved Sawyer on Lost, shares his Hawaiian secret: "One of the best things you can experience on Oahu is to swim with dolphins in the wild. Dolphin Excursions will take you out into the calm waters of the island's west side, where you'll be able to swim with pods as they play in shallow bays."

Emilie_De Ravin of Lost
Emilie De Ravin
, Josh's co-star on Lost, says she considers "the Kahala Hotel on Oahu paradise in paradise, an elegant sanctuary that combines the best of nature with the joys of modern life." [808-739-8888; doubles, $475-$716].

Continue reading "Our Hawaii: Local Celebrities Share Their Love " »


Wildlife Tales from Kiawah Island

This bobcat is regularly spotted by Kiawah Island residents and guests. The GPS collar helps biologists track his movements.
Photo: Photo: Kiawah Island Golf Resort

by Brook Wilkinson

Turns out you don't need to book a flight to Africa to partake in a wildlife safari. Heck, you don't even need to get up from the computer. Just click over to nature blog, run by the resident biologists at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina (a state that could use a little good news these days). It's a surprisingly fascinating, and regularly updated, chronicle of the varying wildlife found on and around the island, from butterflies to egrets, and sea turtles to sharks. I've always thought of Kiawah as a leisure-sports destination--it's famous for its golf and tennis facilities--but this blog has opened my eyes to the island's natural splendors. After catching up with the posts, I'm rooting for Mingo, the green sea turtle who was rescued near the resort and is now being cared for at the South Carolina Turtle Hospital, as well as the one-hour-old fawn who was photographed on the island back in May. If you're lucky enough to make it to Kiawah this summer, you can see these and many more species in action on the resort's nature walks, photography tours, and dolphin encounters. Or just log on for the daily update.

Further reading:
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference
* Connecting for Good: Join Condé Nast Traveler and Ashoka in this international competition for the best ideas on how to encourage citizens everywhere to travel more

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: New Delhi Temple

New-Delhi-Temple After two months and almost 12,000 entries, our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is just hitting its stride. For inspiration for your own entry, and a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Dream Trip entrant zibbirlo submitted today's image, which contrasts ornate pink-stone arches with a pair of women draped in blue.

"While visiting a temple in New Delhi, I saw these two women sitting on the floor comfortably chatting away," writes zibbirlo in the Dream Trip entry "Two Sisters." "I liked the setting and their blue dress. It gave me the feeling of a very peaceful, almost holy, place to be resting."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.


The Two Faces of Yemenia

by Clive Irving

Residents of the Comoros Islands are accusing Yemenia Airways of double standards.

They say that for months they have been protesting the poor condition of the Airbus A310 used as a link between the islands and the Yemeni capital of Sana'a, the principal route from their remote Indian Ocean home to France, where many Comorans live.

Flights from Paris to Sana'a are flown by much more modern A330s and, apparently, are well enough maintained to pass French inspections. French authorities say that the A310 involved in Monday's crash, which killed 152 people, was banned from French air space several years ago because of its poor condition.

Today a large number of Comorans refused to board a Yemenia airplane in Paris, protesting the risks involved in changing planes in Sana'a.

The French also reported today finding at least one of the flight data recorders from the A310. This should, at least, show whether there was a technical failure in the plane or whether it was a case of pilot error.

There are precursors to this accident from the 1990s. The Yemenia A310 was making its second attempt to land in bad weather when it went down. Three crashes, all in Asia, from the 1990s involving two A300s and one A310 (essentially the same planes with different sized cabins), killed a total of 462 people.

Continue reading "The Two Faces of Yemenia" »


Air New Zealand Exposes Itself

by Beata Loyfman-Santora

Those of you who follow our coverage of celebrity travel on Boldface know that the DT is fond of nudity. Very fond. So much so that we've brought you the best of nudity-friendly destinations time and time again.

Therefore, you can imagine our joy when we stumbled upon Air New Zealand's new in-flight safety video. In case you haven't seen it, here's a brief (ha!) description: It features a perennially happy flight crew wearing nothing but body paint and strategically positioned safety devices.

That's one safety video we can really get behind! Top that Virgin America.


About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
Email: Daily updates



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