Lobby Bar – December 26: Waterslides to Nowhere, Close Encounters on the Tarmac, and Don’t Go Against the Family

By Jeremy Del Nero on 26 December 2014
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The Lobby Bar – A Boundary-Pushing Summary of FBT News and Views

Love me do.  Visit the City of Brotherly Love, otherwise known as Philadelphia, and Robert Waldner will give you an American history lesson.  Or, if you’re in a less loving mood, head to Pyongyang, North Korea, where Seth Rogen and James Franco will be your tour guides.

New modes of transportation.  Jesse Sokolow checks into the Ritz-Carlton Westchester in White Plains, New York.  Candied apples and sensational massages aside, the hotel’s best features are without a doubt the fireman’s pole running from the 42nd floor to the lobby, which is much faster than the elevator, and the waterslide from the roof that deposits riders at the local Metro North train station.

Voice of an angel.  It’s time to test your airline and travel news knowledge with our year-end quiz.  If you score a perfect 10/10, Jeremy Del Nero (hi!) will record a message on your home answering machine.

Don’t share.  Find out which news and feature stories topped the list of our most-read articles of 2014.  While Lobby Bar usually gets hundreds of thousands of views, please don’t recommend this article to your friends – we wouldn’t want to have to re-do our most-read list.

Will work for travel.  American Airlines surprised its employees this holiday season by doling out a 4% raise across the board.  In addition, the airline told pilots and flight attendants that they would receive free trips to anywhere in the world, provided they either flew the plane or served nuts (opened and on a plate) and sodas to other passengers.

Don’t ask, don’t tell.  A Southwest aircraft clipped the tail of an American Airlines jet at LaGuardia airport.  As you do when your butt brushes against somebody else’s on the subway, both pilots looked the other way and pretended it didn’t happen.

Strictly business.  The Italians aren’t happy with TripAdvisor, claiming that the site isn’t effective enough at preventing the posting of false reviews.  The Italian government is fining the travel website half a million euros, but should that fine not be paid by TripAdvisor, it will be followed by “an offer it can’t refuse.”

Ulterior motives.  Marriott International thinks that it should be able to block personal Wi-Fi hotspots to force guests to use highly priced hotel Wi-Fi.  Google, however, it sticking to its Don’t Be Evil motto, and wants everybody to have access to their own personal networking solutions.  However, Google likely wants to just continue reaping ad-based revenue from loyal Gmail users.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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