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by Jesse Sokolow

The only thing certain in life, to borrow from Benjamin Franklin, is life, death, and – for travelers – TSA checkpoints.
Over the past couple of years, the TSA has been implementing numerous changes aimed at improving the airport screening process for passengers, such as expanding the PreCheck trusted traveler program to international flights and airlines, as well as to more airports within the United States.  However, even with these changes, …

Lobby Bar – September 4: Taco Cruises, Hotels on Wheels, and the rise of the Aircraft Bank

by Jeremy Del Nero

Lobby Bar – A Thoroughly Washed and Dried Summary of FBT News and Views
Dial-a-TSA. It’s that time of year when we ask you how well the TSA is doing its job. To vote, please text your favorite emoji to either 1-555-TSA-LOVE or 1-555-TSA-HATE, depending on your stance. StandardTextMessagingRatesApplyVoidWhereProhibited.
iEfficient. Jonathan Spira borrows George Jetson’s BMW i3 for a night on the town.  The electric vehicle can be charged via a Level …

2015 BMW i3 – Road Test and Review

by Jonathan Spira
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Although clearly a Bimmer, the BMW i3 isn’t only different from any BMW that’s come before but it’s also different from almost every car currently on the road. Its appearance is polarizing: “stubby,” “futuristic,” and “tall” were the comments we heard frequently while it was in our short-term fleet for close to two weeks.
George Jetson, your car is ready!
The BMW i3 with optional range extender is built on an aluminum …

American Airlines Airbus A321s First Class Seattle-Dallas – Review

by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

It is no secret to frequent fliers that Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines is deep in the process of major fleet renewal. Starting several years ago with the Boeing 777-300, the carrier has added hundreds of new airplanes.
Many have received their share of positive press, but one that has flown under the radar is the Airbus A321s. Overshadowed by its impressively outfitted three-class A321 Transcontinental sibling, the more modest two-class …

Great Moments in Travel History – September 2015

by Jesse Sokolow
The 747 is the world's most recognizable aircraft

Chicago’s Palmer House hotel opened its doors on September 26, 1871, a mere 13 days before the Great Chicago Fire.  The structure did not survive the blaze and had to be rebuilt.  It reopened in 1875.
John Jacob Astor IV’s St. Regis hotel in New York City opened on September 4, 1904. The property is known for its iconic King Cole Bar, the centerpiece of which is Maxfield Parrish’s “Old King …

Four Seasons Hotel Lions Palace Saint Petersburg, Russia – Review

by Jonathan Spira

While I’ve stayed in hotels that were former monasteries, post offices, and cotton processing plants, as well as some former palaces, I’ve never stayed in a palace immortalized by one of the world’s greatest writers and poets, Alexander Pushkin.
The Lions Palace, as it was and is known, served as a palace for a mere seven years before becoming a government office. It later became a hostel, a school, and subsequently …

Lobby Bar – August 28: Sushi Teleportation, Unconventional Driving Methods, Recording your Dreams, and Art Deco Swimming Pools

by Jesse Sokolow

Lobby Bar –A Slightly Burnt Summary of FBT News and Views
Cleansing water. Jesse Sokolow checks into the very Art Deco Wyndham New Yorker in New York City. There is no pool or spa on the property, but the hotel thoughtfully sectioned off part of the Hudson River using lavishly ornamented bold geometric shapes.  Guests may now swim in the historic site of the Miracle on the Hudson and pay respects …

Dream Midtown, New York – Hotel Review

by Jesse Sokolow

Sleep and dreams. The two are inexorably intertwined (just ask Freud). As a result, the idea of staying at a hotel that emphasized “dreams” in its name was very appealing.
Walking into the Dream Hotel NYC at the corner of West 55th Street and Broadway, eager for some rest and a respite from the high energy of Midtown Manhattan, I immediately found that the descriptive “dream” name was well deserved.
The dark …