New York City Airports Are the Best at Being the Worst

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Cohitre.com
We win! Once again, you guys! New York City airports are liked by few but used by many, which makes them generally problematic to all. According to Frommer's, and they know from travel, JFK is the worst of the worst, with La Guardia and Newark (which is, apparently, "dull" -- isn't that actually sort of good in an airport?) not doing too much better. Why so much airport haterade? Well...

All three major New York City airports are on this list, in large part because they're run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a hideously mismanaged money sink that does a poor job of responding to air travelers' needs.
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TSA Meanies Will Unwrap Your Presents, Take Your Snowglobes, Ruin Everything

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Even though it's the most wonderful time of the year does not mean that any of us should lose even an iota of vigilance and dedication to the cause at hand which is, of course, our safety, and any inconvenience dedicated to such. Thus, while you might be getting ahead of things and purchasing all your gifts and even wrapping them, obsessive-compulsively and perfectly, as you do, the TSA is under no obligation to just leave the presents be, and might actually have to unwrap them if they seem slightly or majorly sketchy. However...you knew this already, right? This is the year 2011?

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Satellite Has Fallen, Location Unknown; 43% Think Obama Is Better Than Bush; Putin To Run For Prez Of Russia Again

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UARS -- the 6-ton satellite that just maybe was going to hit you -- fell back to earth sometime between 11:23 p.m. Friday and 1:09 a.m. Saturday EDT, NASA has said. But even though it "penetrated the atmosphere" over the Pacific Ocean, when and where it exactly fell is still unknown, so let the conspiracy theories begin. If you do happen find one of the 26 pieces of UARS that were expected to have reached Earth, NASA says don't touch and call law enforcement. (Read: no souvenirs.) People in San Antonio, Texas and Hawaii have already reported seeing flying objects that could have been the satellite. [NASA, CNN]

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JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Airports All Having Issues These Days

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At Newark airport, your  flight will rarely be on time. At JFK, your stuff might get stolen: according to the Post, larcenies at Kennedy Airport are up 30 percent from the first half of 2010 (the most commonly stolen items are laptops and iPads). Looks like we're all booking out of LaGuardia! But LaGuardia is where seven percent of the luggage scales are faulty, potentially increasing baggage costs, and also where you might undergo an invasive three-minute frisking by the TSA. Greyhound bus, anyone? More »

JFK Terminal Evacuated Due to 'Suspicious Package'; Donald Trump Ordered to Repay Golfer He Kicked Out of Club

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• We're hearing that JFK's American Airlines terminal has been evacuated as officials investigate a suspicious package apparently left in a business class lounge by a man who boarded a flight to San Francisco. A bomb squad has been called after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted authorities to the bag. Update: An all-clear has been given. [NBC NY]

Donald Trump has been ordered by a Florida judge to return a $200,000 membership fee to Harry Theodoracopulos, 77, a man he kicked out of the club for being "verbally abusive" to caddies and talking too loudly on the course. Trump will appeal. [NYDN]

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Stun Guns, the Latest in Travel Chic: Two Found in Man's Luggage at JFK

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Hours of airport fun!
In a bizarre coincidence (some might even call it a "trend"), the New York Post notes that a mere two days after a stun gun was discovered in the back pocket of seat 9B of a JetBlue flight that had landed at Newark, two stun guns were found at JFK, this time in the luggage of a New Jersey restaurateur. Othon Mourkakos, who is 53, was headed to Frankfurt via a Lufthansa flight when a sharp-eyed Terminal One TSA screener noticed the guns in his bag. Mourkakos said the guns were for relatives in Greece and that he "didn't know it was illegal in New York." Seriously, though. How many times have you seen that damn sign saying snow globes are illegal -- and not a one about stun guns! Come on, TSA. Help us help you. [NYP]

Someone Left Four Pairs of Sneakers, Five Pounds of Cocaine at JFK Airport

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Fresh
Nearly five pounds of cocaine were found hidden in the soles of sneakers in a suitcase at John F. Kennedy Airport last week, Customs and Border Protection Officers announced on Monday. No one ever picked up the luggage, which came from the Dominican Republic, perhaps because they thought airport agents were on to them, and on Thursday officials noticed the kicks were a little heavier than usual. A search revealed them to be filled with white powder -- the kind worth about $107,000 on the street. Meanwhile, the two white pairs in the middle say "Hang Ten" on the back and could probably fetch a pretty penny at a vintage store, especially with this backstory. Just sayin'. [NBC NY]

Delta Airlines Charges U.S. Soldiers $2,800 for Excess Baggage

In a move sure to capture the ire of Americans across the country, Delta Airlines has charged American troops returning from Afghanistan via Baltimore Washington International Airport $2,800 ($200 each) in extra baggage fees. Here's video from soldier Robert O'Hair, explaining the situation, with which he is clearly not happy.


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Andre Reid, Aimless Man, Ends Up on LaGuardia Runway

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"Life is waiting"
A Mount Vernon man named Andre Reid gets the distinction of being called "deranged" by the New York Post for the stunt he pulled yesterday: The 21-year-old ended up down on the tarmac by a US Airways jet just before it took off from LaGuardia Airport. Reid was spotted by the plane's pilot, just cruising "like he was taking a stroll in his backyard," according to police. "That in itself is very scary -- that he was able to get within feet of an airplane that was due to take off." Reid couldn't get his story straight and was charged with trespassing. The pilot got "spooked" and unloaded the whole plane, including luggage, resulting in a bunch of pissed-off passengers and an idea for a Tom Hanks sequel: The Tarmac. [NYP]

9/11 Flight Numbers Will Be Retired Forever

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United Continental will "permanently retire" flight numbers 93 and 175, Bloomberg reports, in honor of the flights hijacked on September 11, 2011. Over the past decade, the numbers have not been in use, but an error earlier this week caused them to pop up again, much to the chagrin of pilots' and flight attendants' unions. "The thought of anyone among management at United Airlines to even consider reinstating these two sacred flight numbers -- on the heels of Osama Bin Laden's death -- demonstrates a severe disconnect from right and wrong," said a chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association.

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