U.S. State Department issues warning about travel to Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Mexico is one of my favorite destinations in the world and a country I keep going back to.

I’ve written extensively about my love of Tulum and how it’s an amazing destination for remote workers. Just to the north of Tulum is Playa del Carmen, a popular destination for spring breakers, the LGBT community, and anyone who wants to worship the sun on an idyllic beach. I was there in Playa del Carmen in 2016 and really loved it.

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Sadly, after an explosive device was found on a tourist ferry in the area this week, the State Department has issued a warning to U.S. travelers and is prohibiting U.S. government employees from traveling to the region.

The U.S. government is suggesting the following actions if you are traveling to Playa del Carmen:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution.
  • Purchase travel insurance that specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance.

I’m hoping the unrest in Mexico eases soon and can’t say this would stop me from traveling there, but understand if tourism drops a bit as a result.

Woman alleges Spirit Airlines made her flush emotional support hamster down the toilet

According to a report in the Miami Herald, Belen Aldecosea, a 21-year-old student from Florida, flushed her emotional support hamster, Pebbles, down a toilet after being instructed to do so by a Spirit employee.

Aldecosea claims that she contacted Spirit before her flight and received permission to bring Pebbles on board. However, when she got to the airport, she was denied entry onto the flight with Pebbles, and a Spirit employee told Aldecosea that her two options were to either flush Pebbles or to let the animal free.

Aldecosea chose to flush Pebbles, saying she could not bear thinking of her hamster freezing to death or getting hit.

“She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea said. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”

Norwegian breaks record with 5 hour, 13 minute flight from New York to London

Norwegian – a low-cast carrier which is gaining notoriety with its low pricing, great service, and interesting direct routes – set a record on Monday for the fastest subsonic commercial transatlantic flight ever.

The flight, which departing from New York’s JFK Airport and landed at London Gatwick, clocked in at 5 hours and 13 minutes, beating the previous record of 5 hours and 16 minutes.

This falls shorts of the fastest transatlantic flight ever, which occurred on February 7, 1996 on a Concorde, clocking in at 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Passenger wearing 10 layers of clothing to avoid luggage fee not allowed to board flight

Not all heroes wear capes, but some wear 10 layers of clothing.

Ryan Carney Williams, who goes by the name Ryan Hawaii, was set to fly from Iceland to London on British Airways, but was turned away from his flight after he put on all the clothes that wouldn’t fit in his checked luggage.

Mr. Hawaii took to social media and accused the airline of racial profiling. A spokesperson for British Airways responded, “The decision to deny boarding was absolutely not based on race. We do not tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour from any customer, and will always take the appropriate action.”

Mr. Hawaii’s luck got even worse when, the next day, he arrived at Iceland’s Keflavik airport to find out that he would not be allowed onto his newly booked replacement flight through EasyJet. Apparently, the captain of the EasyJet flight found out about the British Airways incident, and decided allowing Mr. Hawaii on-board would create a risk to other passengers.

Norwegian Air saved the day, allowing Mr. Hawaii to fly home (although he was not refunded for his EasyJet ticket).