The Sisyphean Task of Designing a Faster and Better Boarding Process

by Paul Riegler

The holy grail for airlines is to speed up boarding. Unlike deplaning, which tends to be fairly orderly albeit slow, boarding is an intrinsically slow process, somewhat akin to herding cats. With people traveling together who cannot be separated for even several moments, language barriers, people running late, people focusing on their mobile devices instead of getting seated, much about the boarding process will never change. In addition, for some …

Theater Review: “Annie” at Paper Mill Playhouse

by Jonathan Spira

Everyone’s favorite orphan is back. It’s almost as hard to resist staging it as it is to resist seeing it, and the 1977 Tony-award winning megahit is once again at the Paper Mill Playhouse.
Led by Tony winner Beth Leavel as a disheveled and inebriated Miss Hannigan and a sonorous Christopher Sieber as Daddy Warbucks, “Annie” opened Sunday night with the talented young Cassidy Pry (alternating with Peyton Ella) as the redheaded …

A Conversation with Max Vernon, Playwright and Performer, Creator of ‘The View UpStairs’

by Jonathan Spira

One of the most moving and powerful musicals of the past season was “The View Upstairs,” which ran for 105 performances Off-Broadway at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. Written by Max Vernon, it tells the story of a contemporary man who finds himself back in 1973 immediately before the anti-gay carnage that was the fire bombing of UpStairs, a bar in New Orleans, and received a surfeit of awards and nominations. …

Lobby Bar – November 24: Bring Your Own Gas, Cigarettes for Kids, and Don’t Steal From Delta

by Jeremy Del Nero

Lobby Bar – A Portal to Another News Dimension
Hard to say goodbye. If it seems like we keep covering United’s final flight with the 747 Friend Ship, well, it’s because we are. One of our editors, thinking it’s Groundhog Day, keeps waking up on the day of the final flight and insists on writing a review each time.
Grinch. ’Tis the season and Christian Stampfer highlights the best Christmas markets in …

CDC: Fewer Than Half of World’s Busiest Airports Are Smoke-Free

by Anna Breuer

An overwhelming majority of the world’s busiest airports continue to offer smoking areas to travelers and employees, putting millions of other travelers as well as airport workers at risk for second-hand smoke exposure.
The findings were published in a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoke-Free Policies in the World’s 50 Busiest Airports,” published on Wednesday.
The report found that, as of August 2017, more than half of the …

Fall Travel Quiz Results Reveal Our Readers Are Smarter than a 5th Grader

by Anna Breuer

Good news, class. The 2017 Fall Quiz turned out to be easier than we had anticipated and the class average rose as a result. Over 2,150 respondents took part and two lucky students won a pack of 15 United Airlines Boeing 747 trading cards.
Here are the numbers:
A record 12% of you earned an A, having answered every question correctly. This was a six-fold increase over the previous quiz.
Approximately 9% of …

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day: Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

by Paul Riegler

Tomorrow, Thursday, is Thanksgiving in the United States, a national day of giving thanks for the harvest and the preceding year.
George Washington, at the urging of Congress, issued a proclamation on October 3, 1789 that designated Thursday, November 26 as a national day of thanks, noting that “both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the People of the United States, a Day of …