A gay couple is accused United Continental of “extreme and outrageous” conduct over an alleged incident involving a sex toy taped to their luggage, which the men say caused them severe emotional trauma. Back in 2011.
Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger of Norfolk, Va., are seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence in a lawsuit filed in 2012.
The incident allegedly happened on May 21, 2011, as Bridgeman and Borger were returning from a vacation in Costa Rica. The men — who have been together for almost nine years — were flying back to Norfolk on Continental with a 90-minute layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. (Continental merged with United in 2010.)
Once they landed in Houston, the men collected their checked bags, went through customs, rechecked their luggage and boarded their flight to Virginia without incident.
But when they arrived in Norfolk and went to the baggage claim area, the couple discovered a sex toy had been taken from one of their bags, covered in a “greasy foul-smelling substance” and “taped prominently” to the top of the bag, according to the lawsuit.
United countered that it has conducted a thorough investigation and determined that there is no support for the allegations, spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement.
A district judge initially dismissed the case, but it was reinstated by an appeals court. Continental’s new parent company — United Continental Holdings — has continued to unsuccessfully attempt to get it thrown out. So now it goes to trial!
Cuban gay rights activists led by the daughter of President Raul Castro planned a mass symbolic wedding TODAY to promote acceptance of gay and transgender Cubans in a country once notoriously hostile toward them.
The ceremony was part of an annual gay pride parade and will be symbolic because same-sex marriage is illegal in Cuba, Mariela Castro told reporters. She had said it would also be low key because Cuban society is still uneasy about full rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“We can’t do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders,” said Castro, head of the National Sex Education Center and a member of Cuba’s National Assembly. “In the future we’ll see what more we can do.”
The ceremony was inspired by the mass wedding of more than 100 couples at the World Pride event in Toronto last June, Castro said.
VIDEO FOOTAGE HERE
Make copies of your passport and leave one with friends and another tucked into your bag. Or, better yet, scan your passport and email a copy to yourself. (I make copies of my credit cards also).
Always put a second luggage label on. A suitcase is easily parted from its luggage label. I always use a second one complete with details of your flight and destination clearly listed.
The second you think of packing something, PACK IT. If you wait, you may forget. Packing for a trip is infinitely easier when you’ve just done laundry.
Try not to pack everything you own, EDIT. Pack for the best-case scenario. Think in terms of what you can do without. When in doubt, leave it out. Minimize by bringing less. Experienced travelers try to bring only things that will be worn repeatedly, complement other items, and have multiple. Pack with color coordination in mind. Neutral colors (black, navy, khaki) dress up easily and can be extremely versatile. The website www.butlerbureau.com has video instructions on how to fold a T-shirt and pack a suitcase. Go to YouTube to see Mr. Bean demonstrating how NOT to do it.
Pack more underwear than you could ever conceivably go through. They don’t take up much room, and after a few days on the road, you will feel super sexy when you put on a fresh pair in the morning and again in the afternoon and another in the evening.
Rolling items before shoving them into your suitcase really does save space. Backpackers swear by this method. Rolling works well with pants and sports shirts. Lay the item face down, fold back the sleeves and then roll from the bottom up.
Ironing. Try not to pack anything that requires ironing. Choose fabrics that resist wrinkling or look good wrinkled.
Shoes. Don’t take 5 pairs of shoes. I always try to wear a pair and take a pair. Think universal.
Never check any of the following: expensive jewelry, your toothbrush, your prescription medications, contact solutions, or your deodorant. Airlines mislaid 42.4 million suitcases last year, reason enough never to put anything you would hate to lose in your checked luggage.
Snacks. Wherever you are, wherever you are going, bring snacks.
You will inevitably forget something, either at home or while on your trip. Accept this reality, and pray it is not your passport. Or your partner!
A woman aboard a Southwest Airlines flight Thursday afternoon couldn’t stand the snoring of a man sitting nearby, so she stabbed him with a pen.
Passengers aboard the already delayed Flight 577 out of Chicago’s Midway Airport were perturbed when the pilot was forced to circle back to the gate where Chicago Police escorted the woman off the plane. Other passengers tweeted their experience, noting the woman was “just smirking” as the flight was stalled.
The snoring passenger who suffered the hard poke, named Lenny, suffered ”deep bruise marks” but no blood, according to a friend via Twitter, who said he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Southwest gave Lenny free gin-and-tonics for his troubles.
Two Transportation Security Administration employees have been fired and two others reassigned after they allegedly set up a system to allow a male screener to pat down attractive men going through security at Denver International Airport, authorities said.
The employees were not identified, and there will be no criminal charges because no victims have come forward, according to a police report.
The male screener would give a signal to a female employee when a male passenger arrived that he thought was attractive, and she would falsely enter the sex of the passenger as female, so the machine would report an anomaly that triggered a pat down of a passenger’s groin, police said in a report.
She told the TSA investigators she did this for the other officer at least 10 times in the past, according to the report.
A TSA investigator observed the scheme in action at 9:25 a.m. on Feb. 9, when he saw a screener give a signal to another and then pat down the passenger’s groin and buttocks using the palms of his hands, which is forbidden by TSA rules, according to the police report.
More @ MSNBC
This black flamingo is one in several million—and perhaps, the only one in the world.
On April 8, it was spotted during a flamingo count along a salt lake at the Akrotiri environmental center on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This same flamingo may have also been seen in Israel in 2014, when a 70-year-old man captured what could be the world’s “the one and only black flamingo” on camera, the photographer told the Monterey Herald. Read more @ Audubon
FOUR Reasons why you should go to Palm Springs Spring/Summer….
April 30 – May 4, 2015
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
May 20 – May 26, 2015
$99 room deals!
When you arrive at PVR airport, you head south through the Marina Vallarta Hotel Zone to get to Puerto Vallarta. If you head north instead, that takes you to Riviera Nayarit which begins at Nuevo Vallarta and continues north with 200 miles of coastal beauty framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains that more and more LGBT travelers are now discovering.
A number of hotels in Riviera Nayarit have recently been accredited as “LGBT friendly,” including the top-end Four Seasons Punta Mita. (above).
From Punta Mita, a secluded beach oasis known for luxury resorts, to peaceful Mexcaltitán Island*, the birthplace of the Aztec civilization, Riviera Nayarit offers traditional and friendly seaside villages, lush jungles, colonial history and quiet beaches. With an array of gay-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants, spas, stores and tourist excursions, LGBT travelers can choose a vacation that best fits their style and mood. (*You’ve never seen anything like it. Mexcaltitán Island, located northwest of Santiago Ixcuintla, is quite literally a magical place.)
Riviera Nayarit is less touristy and more refined than Puerto Vallarta, but is an equally fabulous holiday paradise with a visible, relaxed gay community. There are numerous beachside towns to explore by car, waves to surf, and tantalizing food to eat.
Gay-owned establishments include Billy Bob’s bar in the historic port of San Alas, whose surroundings are the prime bird watching spot of the northern hemisphere, and the Xaltemba restaurant gallery in the town of La Peñita. The “hippy chic” town of Sayulita with its eclectic mix of cultures and surfing attracts the LGBT market year round.
Ultimately it’s the area’s pristine beaches and wide-ranging activities – from whale watching to spa experiences – with its luxury properties and diverse coastal towns, which are the biggest draw. Many of Hollywood’s celebrities have been coming here, because it is less touristy and there many 5 star resorts. Riviera Nayarit’s luxurious accommodations, top restaurants and chefs, matchless nature, and growing number of attractions for cosmopolitan visitors have led Riviera Nayarit to be one of the new top tourist destinations in Mexico for members of the LGBT community.
The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” In 2015, Riviera Nayarit was recognized by Travel Weekly as “Mexico’s new holiday destination on the Pacific coast,” by Yahoo! Travel as “Mexico’s New Playground” and on Conde Nast Traveller UK 2015 Hot Destinations List.
It’s an ideal place for anyone looking to be close enough to the LGBT action without actually being in the thick of it, as Puerto Vallarta’s main LGBT scene is between a 30 to 45 minute drive away.
Contact Dave for all your LGBT travel needs worldwide:
GAY WINE WEEKEND 2015
Come Out In The Vineyard at GAY WINE WEEKEND 2015, a weekend of wine & celebration in California Wine Country – Featuring TWILIGHT T Dance & Gay Wine Auction benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network.
Enjoy 3 Full Days of LGBT events in Northern California’s magnificent Sonoma Valley – home to some of the world’s most prestigious wines and wineries. Celebrate with world class wine and culinary delights, music and dancing in a private estate vineyard, VIP Receptions, wine tasting excursions, passport wine tasting, champagne brunch, wine auction and pool party in one of the most famous luxury wine destinations in the world.
Located only 45 minutes north of San Francisco it is truly an amazingly breathtaking place to gather and show your Pride, Out In The Vineyard.
For US Travelers, Europe is a great DEAL! For the last 10 years, I avoided countries that are on the Euro. Instead, I would go to Prague, Budapest and Croatia – it was always a better deal. But now with the Euro dropping…..
A few years ago 1 Euro = $1.50. This week, 1 Euro = $1.08
Analysts say, The euro is going down because several of the key economies of Europe are heading into deflation, which is always a greater fear than average inflation. European leaders are planning to apply quantitative easing strategies in March that will probably work to reverse the deflation but will likely not strengthen the euro relative to the dollar as QE increases the supply of euros. The fact is that a weak euro will hurt the USA more than it will hurt Europe as it impacts tourism from Europe and lowers the cost of imported products and services from Europe.
It’s a “Catch 22″ I guess; Americans are expected to pour millions of dollars into the Old World as the value of goods and services decreases overseas. But there is only so much money to go around…U.S. could see a shortfall of tourists, which could wreak havoc on cities that depend on income from their vacations. Among those metropolises is New York City, which could experience a drop off of up to $30 billion in tourism dollars in the next year, or 50 percent of the current total, according to the New York Post.
Have you ever seen a GREEN FLASH at Sunset?
I heard about this for the first time last year in a movie that mentioned it.
Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. Green flashes are a group of phenomena which stem from slightly different causes, and therefore some types of green flashes are more common than others.
Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in stable, clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. One might expect to see a blue flash, since blue light is refracted most of all, and the blue component of the sun’s light is therefore the very last to disappear below the horizon, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of the line of sight, and the remaining light ends up appearing green.
• Hotels, condos, tour operators and airlines have joined forces to be part of the largest LGBT event in the region.
• Vallarta Pride is proud to have the unconditional support of local, national and international businesses to carry out a world class event.
The third gay pride festival “Vallarta Pride” will take place from May 17 to 25, 2015. This festival in honor of the LGBT community living and visiting our vibrant tourist destinationis being supported by several local, national and international businesses under the theme of “Unity”.
It is now easier than ever to come enjoy and live the Vallarta Pride experience with the special promotions and travel packages that hotels, condos, tour operators and airlines are offering this year.
The Blue Chairs Hotel, Hotel Emperador, Hotel Catedral, Hotel Mercurio, Puerto de Luna, Rivera del Río and Villa Mercedes are all offering the 4th night free by booking 3. This promotion will run throughout Vallarta Pride. The condos Andales on the Bay, Condo Carmen Alicia and Piñata Gay Guest House will also join this initiative offering the same deal.
Other accommodation deals include Casa Cupula and OlasAltas Suites (book 4 nights and get the 5th night free), Puerto Vallarta Beach Club (4th night free by booking 3 via http://www.equalitydestinations.com/ using the code EQDPV) and Puerto Vallarta Timeshare Rentals (Get 70% off resort prices when you book a week through http://www.sellmytimesharenow.com/).
The Airlines that have joined the Vallarta Pride travel deals and will offer a discount of up to 10% are Aeroméxico (code B542D12A, valid only in national flights and form May 20 to 25, 2015), Alaska Airlines (code EC8368 and valid till May 29, 2015) and Delta Airlines (code NMKSE and valid form May 9to June 2, 2015).
As nightlife entertainment cannot be missed during your Puerto Vallarta visit, Gay Vallarta Bar Hopping is offering 10% discount when booking using the code Vallarta Pride. GayPV is also offering two complete travel packages:
• Exclusive Travel Package for Pride*
Airfares, Hotels, Events and Excursions (Including Andrew Christian Events)
• VIP Travel Package*
Andrew Christian event tickets, “Wet & Wild” Gay Cruise, fashion show and 5-night hotel accommodation.
*Exclusive deals only available on: http://gaypv.mx/deals/pride2015/.
For more information on these deals and promotions, visit here
and the official Facebook Page
LET US HANDLE EVERYTHING!
Contact Dave for all your LGBT travel needs worldwide:
ABC News / AP reports…
Greece’s new left-wing government has promised to grant same-sex couples legal status, in response to a 2013 international court decision condemning the country for discrimination.
Justice Minister Nikolaos Paraskevopoulos told parliament Monday that civil partnerships, first legislated in 2008, would be extended to gay couples but did not say when the changes were planned.
The pledge was made two weeks after the left-wing Syriza party ousted conservatives in a general election and formed a coalition government with a right-wing, anti-bailout party, one which in the past has opposed awarding gay partners legal status.
In other news…ITALY says NO to Gay Marriage!
IT’S ALMOST HERE! Winter Party 2015!
With over 10,000 guests from around the world attending six days of events, the scale of Winter Party Festival is inspiring. But the sense of welcome is warmly personal and sincere. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity or belief, anyone and everyone is made to feel comfortable and at home. Winter Party Festival is that place where for one week, the world is full of acceptance and love. And we can take a deep breath of the ocean air and clear our heads. Fill our hearts. Engage our minds. Kick up our heels. And return to everyday life happier, stronger, wiser, and ready to ignite the world.
I have never been to this airport – yet – a friend of mine just saw this!
World’s largest kinetic art sculpture unveiled at Changi Airport
SINGAPORE, 2012 — Passengers and airport visitors entering the Departure Check-in Hall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) can expect to stop in their tracks and be captivated by a new art installation. Kinetic Rain, as it is titled, takes pride of place at the terminal, enthralling visitors with its fluidity, distinctive shapes, elegant and refined movements and precision-perfect technology.
Kinetic Rain, installed as part of T1’s recent refurbishment, is the icon of the revamped Departure Check-in Hall. This specially commissioned sculpture, a first in an airport globally, comes as a pair, each installed several metres apart from each other and visible from many areas of the Departure Check-in Hall.
Kinetic Rain is made up of 1,216 bronze droplets that transform elegantly into multiple shapes, akin to poetry in motion. Carrying an aviation theme, the key element in every shape shows the movement of flight through slow, fluid movements. Some of the more recognisable shapes include an aeroplane, hot air balloon and a kite. One can also make out a dragon and a flock of birds amongst the 16 different programmed segments.
Each droplet is connected to motors installed in the ceiling of the Departure Check-in Hall. The motors contain a high precision rotary encoder which keeps track of the exact position of each droplet. A computer programme is used to control the movement of the droplets to form Kinetic Rain’s unique shapes and patterns. A video on the making-of Kinetic Rain can be viewed here.
Kinetic Rain was created over a span of 20 months. Artists, programmers and technologists were engaged to analyse the space available at T1 and conceptualise a masterpiece that would be representative of the new terminal. The refurbished T1 is aptly themed ‘Tropical City’ in keeping with Singapore’s garden city status and where rain, is very much a part of the tropical climate.
Mr Yeo Kia Thye, Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, Changi Airport Group, said, “When we decided to upgrade Terminal 1 in 2008, we were mindful that people have fond memories of the terminal including the old Mylar Cords, the circular curtain of water that straddled three stories of the building. We wanted an art sculpture, which we found in Kinetic Rain, that was able to add the signature touch linking back to T1’s illustrious past in a new and exciting way.
“With more than a thousand raindrops working together in harmony, Kinetic Rain also symbolises the thousands in the airport community who work together every day to provide our passengers and visitors with a positively surprising and memorable Changi Experience.”
An audio commentary and official video are also available for visitors who wish to know more about Kinetic Rain. All they have to do is scan the QR code present at the display boards at the T1 Departure Check-in Hall with their smartphones. For more information about the refurbished T1, please visit: www.changiairport.com/terminal1
About Changi Airport Group
Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. Through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, the Group invests in and manages foreign airports to spread the success of Changi Airport internationally.
Changi Airport (www.changiairport.com) is the world’s most awarded airport having garnered more than 400 accolades since it opened in 1981. To serve passengers and visitors from the world over, there are 360 retail stores and 130 F&B outlets across the airport’s four terminals. Changi handled more than 46 million passenger movements in 2011, an annual record. Today, it serves some 100 airlines flying to over 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. A flight takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 100 seconds.
According to my Trip Advisor account, I have been to 51 cities in 9 countries. I was feeling kind of proud – until I read this article on LIFE HACK, 50 Incredible Travel Experiences to Have in Your Lifetime!
Seems I have done NONE OF THEM!
Most are in countries I have not seen yet – and some countries I really don’t care to visit. Just because any of our travel experiences are not on this list – does not lessen their value. So what I have not been to India. or Peru.
I HAVE been to Paris and sat at a sidewalk cafe and people watched;
I HAVE been to Budapest and seen the ornate bath houses;
I HAVE been to Prague and looked over the city of spires from the TV Tower;
I HAVE been to New York City and admired the Twin Towers before they fell;
I HAVE been to Hocking Hills Ohio and walked inside the majestic caves and forest;
I HAVE been to the Grand Canyon….
An incredible travel experience can be anywhere – and different for everyone…
What have been YOUR BEST travel experiences?