Spaten beer at the Oktoberfest in Munich.
by Christian Stampfer

Five hundred years ago, what is believed to be the first consumer protection law, the Reinheitsgebot – Germany’s Beer Purity Law – was enacted.
The Bavarian law, which went into effect on April 23, 1516, limited the ingredients that could be used to produce beer to water, barley, and hops. It also set the price of beer and threatened confiscation for any brewer violating the Reinheitsgebot. Wheat, which was later allowed, …

TSA Lines Mostly Faster over Memorial Day Weekend, But 0 Wait Time for PreCheck Trumps Other Options

by Paul Riegler

If you found yourself waiting on line at an airport security checkpoint over Memorial Day weekend, you probably don’t have PreCheck, the Transportation Security Administration’s trusted traveler program.
While the TSA and U.S. airports were bracing for long lines, those enrolled in PreCheck and the Department of Homeland Security’s Global Entry program, which includes access to PreCheck lanes, found little if any wait time.
FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira reported that thought …

Lobby Bar – May 27: The Day the Planes Stood Still, Human-Powered Cars, and a Decline in the Wizard Population

by Jeremy Del Nero

Lobby Bar – A Blatantly Blasphemous Interpretation of FBT News and Views
Biggest in-flight danger. Paul Riegler wants to reassure you that, even after recent terror attacks, you are still quite safe in the sky. Except from that smelly dude in 7A. You’ll never be safe from him, so be prepared to breathe through your mouth for six to eight hours.
The plot thickens. Broadway shows are once again setting records for …

2016 BMW 750i xDrive Sedan – Review and Test Drive

by Jonathan Spira
DSC_0701 (1)

In the battle for the best luxury sedan or coupe, king of the hill if you would, it used to be cut and dried: one of the leading car magazines of the period would pit a Cadillac against a Lincoln and select the winner.
More recently, the contenders have been BMW and Mercedes, with the BMW 7er the clear driving enthusiast’s choice and the Mercedes S-Class the choice of those seeking …

Broadway Theaters Set Yet Another Record for Ticket Sales and Attendance

by Jesse Sokolow
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth with her prime ministers

The 2015-2016 Broadway season, which ended Sunday, was the highest grossing in history and broke a record for attendance.
“Lion King,” now in its 18th year, outdistanced every other show including the runaway hit “Hamilton,” having grossed $102.7 million last season. Meanwhile, “Hamilton” itself was the only new musical consistently among the five top-grossing shows.
The Broadway League, the trade association that represents Broadway theater owners and operators as well as show …

4 Frequently Asked Questions About Travel After EgyptAir, Brussels, and Paris Terror Attacks

by Paul Riegler
The temporary entrance to departures at Brussels Airport

Recent world events, most recently the possibility of terrorism having caused the crash of the EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo last week barely eight weeks after deadly terror attacks at Brussels Airport and a metro station that killed 35 people and injured hundreds, as well as the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, have had an impact on travel across the globe.
Travelers are clearly concerned …

Brussels Airlines Business Class New York-Brussels – Flight Review

by Jonathan Spira
DSC_0342 (2)

Brussels Airlines is the Belgian flag carrier and successor to what was one of the world’s oldest airlines, Sabena, which operated from 1923 through 2001. The company’s IATA code, SN, was inherited from Sabena as well.
The city of Brussels has, of course, been in the news after the deadly March 2016 terrorist attacks both at Brussels Airport and the Maalbeek metro station in the city, in which 32 persons were …

Lobby Bar – May 20: Naughty Hotels, Illegal Brewing Practices, and the Secret to Immortality

by Jeremy Del Nero

Lobby Bar – An Excellent Excerpt of FBT News and Views
Short and sweet. Jonathan Spira goes to see “Do I Hear a Waltz?” as part of the Encores Great American Musicals series at City Center. While the performance usually lasts a couple of hours, this one was roughly eight seconds long, with a lone thespian taking the stage and reciting one brief phrase, “no, you hear a Tango,” to much …