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Why You Should Stay Away from Cleveland and Philly This Month

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:00 PM

Cleveland and Philadelphia are both historic and inviting all-American cities—and you should avoid them like the plague this month. Unless, of course, you plan on attending, reporting on, or protesting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 21, or the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. Both cities are expecting an influx of about 50,000 ...

'70s Teen Heartthrob No Longer a Cruise Director

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 1:15 PM

Back in December, we told you that Eight Is Enough and Charles in Charge star Willie Aames was working as a cruise-ship director on the upscale Viking Star. The 1970s teen heartthrob had been in the cruise-directing line—in charge of a ship's activities, entertainment, that sort of thing—since 2010, having previously worked with Regent Seven Seas.  Well, it turns out Aames is calling it qu...

Short-Term Rentals Banned in Anaheim

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:45 PM

The city council of Anaheim, California—home of Disneyland—has voted to ban the operation of all short-term rentals, which will have to shut down within the next 18 months. Given that the city is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to Orange County theme parks and beaches, Anaheim has a slew of vacation rentals listed at sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, which offer travelers a...

Airplane Makers Squeeze Even More People on Board

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:30 PM

If you've ever sat in coach and thought that another person couldn't possibly be squeezed onto the plane, you've underestimated the ingenuity of the aeronautical industry when it comes to making you uncomfortable. Airbus, makers of the A380—currently the largest passenger plane lumbering through the skies—has revealed a new configuration that can cram 11 people into the same row. In econom...

Coffee Upgrade on United Airlines

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:00 PM

Coffee lovers who fly United Airlines got a reason to perk up on Friday. That's when the carrier began serving the premium Italian coffee Illy on flights worldwide. When United merged with Continental Airlines in 2010, the company switched from Starbucks to whatever rotgut Continental was using—one of many operational missteps, large and small, following the merger. But lately United has been m...

US Airports Tighten Security After Istanbul Attack

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/01/2016, 12:15 PM

If you're passing through an airport this weekend, expect huge crowds and heightened security measures. The crowds are due to the July Fourth holiday, of course. The heightened security comes in response to suicide bombings by suspected Islamic State militants at Istanbul's main airport, where 41 people were killed and 239 injured. Airports have been reluctant to get specific about what th...

Obamas Pick Architects for Presidential Library

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/30/2016, 9:45 PM

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have selected the architects who will design the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Choosing from among 144 architects from across the globe (the list was narrowed to seven last fall), the Obamas picked husband-and-wife team Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, whose past works include the Barnes Foundation art museum in Philadelphia. No pr...

Busiest Airports During July 4th Weekend

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/30/2016, 9:15 PM

It's going to be crowded at the airports during July Fourth weekend. An estimated 11 million air travelers are expected to pass through the nation's various terminals on the way to wherever they're going to celebrate America's independence. The busiest airport will be Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; the terminals in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Dallas should be aw...

Phoenix Considers Hiking Ban During Extreme Heat

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/30/2016, 12:30 PM

The city of Phoenix is considering new rules that would close its vast network of hiking trails during periods of extreme heat. Under the policy being mulled over, the closures would kick in for hikers whenever temperatures reach 110 degrees (dogs would be banned from trails at 100 degrees). The proposal comes amid a wave of life-threatening heat in Arizona that has resulted in dozens of emerg...

Travelers to Dominican Republic Lead Positive Zika Tests in NYC

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/30/2016, 12:15 PM

According to data from New York City's health department, more than half of residents who have tested positive for the Zika virus had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic. Recent visitors to Puerto Rico were a distant second. The mosquito-borne illness results in mild symptoms or none at all for most who contract it, but Zika poses a special risk for pregnant women because it can result...

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