Video: Russian Bungee Jumper’s Eyes (Nearly) Pop Out Of Head

If you’ve never bungee jumped, I think a Reddit commenter’s description of the activity as a “pants-shitting good time” is dead-on. Said commenter was referring to the experience of a young, newbie Russian bungee jumper in the LiveLeak video below.

This kid’s facial expressions are humorous pre-leap (a combination of the camera angle and his huge, puppy-dog-meets-Kermit-the-Frog eyes), but it’s at minute 1:45 that things become priceless. Hope he’s wearing adult diapers.

[Via Reddit]


Hotel Employees Dish Industry Dirt In Reddit Discussion

maidReddit, the popular social news website, has been hosting a lively discussion amongst (alleged) current and former hotel employees across the globe, in which they serve up tantalizing tales of misdeeds, mishaps, scams and shocking industry policies.

Note that there is no verification if any of these anecdotes are real, but they still make for some mighty entertaining reading. If there’s any truth to even half of these stories, just bear them in mind next time you’re tempted to treat a hotel employee like crap. And remember, never sit on the bedspreads.

Some of our picks are below. And yes, they most definitely have the potential to be offensive to some readers. You’ve been warned.

“Check the seals on the things in the minibar. I once had a guest who had drunk the whiskey and then peed in the bottle, closed it, and put it back.”

“Use a towel or sheet on the chairs or sofa, a LOT of people sit on them naked. It’s nasty but there is often a brown streak on the desk chair that no one think about.”

“Your breakfast food is likely always been handled in an unsanitary manner during set up. (typically desk clerk in lower end hotels).”

“During my training, I once found an obvious [semen] crust on the coverlet. I told the woman I was working with that it needed to be cleaned and she responded ‘Just wipe it with a damp cloth until you can’t see it any more,’ like it was no big deal.

“Bedbugs often travel around on luggage. Most guests don’t seem to notice that. Guests who stay at higher-end hotels often spend more time traveling, and thus have a higher chance of taking bedbugs from hotel to hotel.”

toilet“I’ve worked as a chambermaid and the job itself I don’t mind (although I’ve seen some disgusting things) but you have a time limit for each room. I hated leaving a room not fully cleaned but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I tried explaining this to the manager there and he basically said if I needed X amount of time on a room I had two options: work through my break to spend longer on each room, or be replaced by someone else. So I stopped bothering to check under the beds or mattresses and only cleaned what you could see. I didn’t stay there very long…”


“As an ex-housekeeper we used to wash the glasses in the bathroom sink and dry them with a clean pillow case. If they looked unused they wouldn’t get washed.”

“Currently a night auditor for a large hotel chain. Recently a lady had a miscarriage in one of our bath tubs. She didn’t say anything and left us to find it on our own.”

“The front desk will NOT call you at an ungodly late hour, if our “computer crashes” and ask for your credit card information. We will not give you a 50% discount for your cooperation, and no, I would not be calling you if “there is a line at the front desk, so giving me the information over the phone will be quicker.”

“I’ve seen a couple deaths, an alcoholic coma, attempted suicide and a dead maintenance man.”

“The guests shouldn’t be the ones scared in a hotel room (at least not in the hotel where I work). We have to hold our breath every time we enter a room that needs thorough cleaning. You can’t believe the shit we have to deal with sometimes. Most guests are friendly and thankful, but some people truly are animals.”
cowboy
“There’s a pet fee at our hotel. There’s also a ‘dogs and cats only’ policy. During rodeo season a man actually tried to smuggle his horse into his room because he thought it would get lonely outside. The horse clearly did not want to come inside, given the amount of noise it was making. We also do not charge by the hour. We do not set the prices, some suit on the East Coast does. If you need help, please ask as the staff actually might know something. Do not hit on the staff, we will not sleep with you. Do not try to convince the staff to marry your grandson, even if he is a doctor, we will not. We cannot control the weather/road conditions, so don’t bitch at us like we can do anything about a blizzard.

“There is a fine line between haggling and being an asshole. Pro tip for hagglers, do not try to haggle a lower rate in front of other guests. If I agree to give you a lower rate in front of 10 other people, I’m going to have to give 10 more discounts. Pick your moment and negotiate when nobody else is around.”

“Don’t book your hotel room online! The reservations are a pain in the ass to deal with. They were almost always impossible to cancel/refund. They also charge MORE than the actual rate and pay us LESS. (You pay $80 online, we charge $70, we get $50.) I always found it really frustrating that we could be booking the rooms ourselves and making an extra $20 while saving you $10-plus.”

“Just one more piece of advice…be nice to people. If you have a valid complaint bring it to our attention and give us the opportunity to recover. Don’t keep it inside and then blast us on the surveys for something we could’ve fixed. In that same regard don’t come down to the front desk screaming and demanding free nights. The is a compensation matrix that 99% of hotels use, so just because you found one stray hair on your carpet does not mean you will get a free night. However we are more inclined to give a shit if you aren’t a complete asshat.”

[Photo credits: maid, Flickr user Saptarshi Biswas; toilet, Flickr user Ugg Boy; cowboy, Flickr user chefranden]

Your New Map Made Of World Currency


currencies of the world map


Let’s face it, standard maps are pretty boring, and can be purchased for just a few dollars at your local gas station – that is, if you’re not already using a Garmin or your smartphone to navigate the way. But we’re suckers for interesting maps, particularly those highlighting unusual areas or using unique art details. That’s why this map over at Zazzle has really caught our eye. This high-quality poster is a steal at $23.09 and showcases the world made up of different currencies. The countries are even captured in their own native monies.

There’s a good discussion going on over on Reddit about the legalities of copying currency for art or any other purpose, as well as links to a few other fun currency artists.

Zach Anner And Reddit Launch New Online Travel Show: ‘Riding Shotgun’

Remember Zach Anner, the funny guy with cerebral palsy that launched a travel show on Oprah’s Network last year? Our friend and Internet metagod Alexis Ohanian reached out yesterday to let us know that they’re moving the show to the Internet in a new series called “Riding Shotgun.”

Funded by Mr. Ohanian’s uncorporation Breadpig (they’re also behind the xkcd book and sell awsomesauce), Riding Shotgun will cull all of its ideas from reddit, where users will be able to vote on destinations as well as activities in each spot. The show will visit eight of the top voted destinations, and right now Montreal, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco are all in a heated battle for the top spot.

The result will be a multimedia mixture of user-submitted videos, maps and a full YouTube series. In their words:

Think Anthony Bourdain, but instead of a crotchety indifference to everything, we’ll have a crotchety exuberance for everything with more fun, more wigs and more wheelchairs.

We can’t wait for the result. Check out the show’s details over on Mr. Anner’s site or vote on destinations over on reddit.

Airline Booking Agent Tells All In Online Q&A

delta planeThere are entire websites and forums dedicated to maximizing your travel miles and getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to purchasing airline tickets. But rarely do we hear from those behind the reservations desk … until now.

Over on Reddit there’s an ongoing Q & A with “TravelAuthority,” a reservations agent for airlines like Delta, Air France and KLM. We’re sharing some of our favorite questions and answers from the thread. He shares that his Twitter handle is @Jackson_Dai and identifies himself there as the “world’s best Delta Skymiles booking agent.” He says he flies 200,000+ miles per year.

“Ask me anything about working for an airline, the flight benefits, using miles, earning miles, avoiding stupid airline fees, low fares, partner airlines, Skyteam vs Oneworld vs Star Alliance or anything really,” he challenged readers. So far, the thread has more than 1,300 comments.

Note, quotes are taken verbatim.

Q. Any general advice? Like the best time to shop for a fare, the best agency or website, how far in advance to book…
A. Best website: Bing.com/travel - the fare predictor is pure genius. Not even Delta agents have access to that information. A close second would be Skyscanner. In general you want to book 6 weeks to 12 weeks in advance. Any earlier and the flights won’t be on sale, any later and the others will have already snapped up all the low fares. Award tickets are another animal though.

Q. What is the fastest way to rack up miles? Credit Cards? Special promos or secret deals?
A. Credit Cards are the best. Some people run their businesses off their credit cards and rack up millions of miles pretty easily. Suntrust Bank also has a checking account with a Skymiles debit card. That account is nice because the electronic bill pay also earns miles. So you can pay your rent/mortgage via bill pay and get miles for it. And if the person or org you’re paying doesn’t accept electronic payments it mails them a check.

Q. I’m 6’6″. I’m flying back from Shanghai to DTW in a few weeks. Can you help me figure out the best way to get a seat with legroom? In general I arrive at the gate early to see if I can find my way into a better seat. Is there anything else I could do?
A. Go with Economy Comfort or Exit Row. That may cost you a bit though. Also take a look on Seatguru.com to determine witch seats have the most legroom. Unethically, you could call the reservations agents and say you have a medical disability that requires a bulkhead seat (you don’t have to state exactly what it is and Delta agents are forbidden to ask).

Q. … any tips on how to get any freebies/upgrades/benefits?
A. Yes, after your flight you should call or email (preferably the later) and let them know about every single thing you didn’t enjoy about your flight (food, movie selection, rude flight attendant, tray table didn’t work, Wi-Fi didn’t work etc.). The airlines have a specific department to deal with complaints and they’ll give you tens of thousands of miles, free business lounge passes, travel vouchers, drink tickets, etc.Q. … any special “tips” for international flights and getting the lowest fare? Does it even help if you book super far in advance? (+6 months)
A. Unless you’re booking business/first class, booking super far in advance is always a bad move. Airlines charge higher fares for those reservations. It’s just like in the tech world where the early adopters pay more. What kind of “tips”? Ethical or Unethical? I have lots of both. There are lots of unethical ones like booking child fares for adults to get 10-20% off or using bereavement/medical exemptions to get cheaper last minute fares or to get agents to waive change fees. Delta/AirFrance/KLM require a bit of info such as a hospital name, address, and phone number for a medical fare but they NEVER call to check up on it so I’m surprised more people don’t just lie about it.

Q. What qualifications do you need to be a reservation agent?
A. They prefer 2 years of sales or call center experience. Nothing other than that. Well, you do have to pass an incredibly thorough FBI background check but that’s all.

Q. Would this be a viable career for someone with a family?
A. Yes, definitely. The average age of the reservations agents and flight attendants in pre-merger Northwest cities (Minneapolis, Detroit, Seattle etc.) is probably 45 or higher so most of them have families. The hours are super flexible, the health benefits are decent, the pay is solid, and your spouse, parents, and kids fly free.

Q. Wow, everyone flies free? That is such a great deal. I need to look in to this. What airline is the best employer?
A. If you’re in the US it’s Southwest Airlines. No Question. Highest pay, best benefits, best management. Delta or United/Continental will offer better flight benefits because of their larger network but that’s about it.

Q. Is it possible to work for Star Alliance in general and then get flights all over their network? Is that what happens when you work with United or continental?
A. Flights on other airlines are heavily discounted (75-90%+) but not free. Actually, most airlines extend those heavily discounted travel tickets to employees of competing airlines too. For instance, Delta employees get 90% off tickets on United, British Airlines, Finnair, JetBlue, US Air, Alaska, Hawaiian, Japan Airlines, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines etc.

Q. I have a United Mileage plus rewards program. How would you rate it?
A. United’s program is really good for award redemption, much better than Delta actually. Delta’s program is better for complimentary upgrades and accruing miles.
Q. Another question, about how to send in complaints.

A. Did you use the comment/complaint form on Delta.com? Or did you mail in a letter? If you send in an email it should have the words “Platinum” or “Diamond” in the text somewhere (e.g. “I’m not yet a Diamond Medallion but…”). The system will flag your email and give it higher priority because it tries to pick out the complaints from “high value” customers and move them to the front of the queue. It’s unethical but it helps. If you call again make sure you talk to a supervisor. Updated: Better yet. Call the customer care dept. 404-773-0305 At the first prompt use option 1 if you have a Skymiles account and option 2 if you don’t. At the second prompt use option #7 to get to an agent.

[Flickr via simon_sees]