Layover: Boston

Beantown! As one of the most historic cities in the U.S., there’s plenty to look forward to should you have some time during a layover at the Boston Logan International airport or close by. Boston’s public transportation system, the “T” for short, reaches Logan on the Blue (Wonderland) line, and is also just 20 minutes from downtown (via the Sumner Tunnel) by car.

Try some of these layover activities on for size…

Short Layovers (3 hours or less):

  • The Logan Airport is one of the few that hosts a selection of salons and spas on the premises. Check out the Classique Hair and Nail Salon in Terminal C. While you’re there, you can get a jet setter’s pampering at the Jet Setter Mini Spa, also in Terminal C. There’s also the XpresSpa in Terminal B.
  • If you really want to get pampered (or need some exercise) and don’t mind shelling out a little extra dough, head to the Hilton Health Club & Spa at Logan International Airport, a sun-flooded facility that has a gym, sauna, and express massages. Take one of the free buses that run every 10 to 15 minutes between the airport and hotel.
  • If you need to fill that belly, there are a few decent locally established restaurants. Both Boston Beer Works and the Legal Seafoods Restaurant are located in Terminal C.
  • Revere Beach near the quaint enough town of Winthrop is worth a quick look if you’re really itching to dart out of the airport.

Longer Layovers (4 hours or more):

  • America’s oldest park, the Boston Common, also functions as the heart of Boston. Part of the Freedom Trail runs through the common, and a wintertime favorite is the Frog Pond, which doubles as an ice skating rink. Check out the spooky old graveyard near the Boylston “T” stop. The famous Cheers bar is also close by at 84 Beacon Street.
  • Faneuil Hall or Haymarket Square is a great place to grab some grub, people watch, and shop.
  • Boston’s very own little Italy called the North End is within walking distance from Faneuil Hall, and there’s a beautiful new green that is worthy of a stroll.
  • The Aquarium is also close by and has a spacious IMAX theater there.

Other tips:
Got kids? Head to Terminal A and let your kids play at the “Kidport,” a comfortable place for kids to let out some energy, complete with an airplane climbing sculpture, baggage claim slide, wall mural, window display, and magnetic poetry wall.

Angry rush to cockpit forces Delta flight to land in Boston, not Tel Aviv

When a Delta Airlines flight left New York for Tel Aviv, the passengers didn’t think they’d be stopping in Boston. After all, though it’s on the way, it’s a bit close to warrant needing to stretch your legs. An angry passenger rushing the cockpit, though, tends to make an emergency landing prudent.

Late last night, Delta Flight 86 boasted 206 passengers – 205 of which were perfectly reasonable. A 22-year-old Israeli man ran to the front of the plane and started to pound on the cockpit door. Passengers and crew put the smack down and subdued the nut-job until landing.

Now, the other passengers are stuck in Boston while an investigation is being conducted and luggage is checked.

As if flying weren’t irritating enough these days …

TSA workers at Logan Airport treated for scabies

I feel for those three TSA workers who were found to have scabies. I just read about them in this article at WBZ. Each of them worked during the same shift at the same check point at Logan Airport in Boston.

It is not clear how they got scabies. TSA officials have said that because the TSA workers wear gloves, the public has nothing to worry about. The workers are on medical leave until they have been told by a doctor that it’s okay for them to return to work.

To prevent the spread of scabies to the rest of the TSA workers at Logan, all of them were told to take all their clothes and uniforms home to wash them. The areas at the airport that could have been infected were also thoroughly cleaned.

Here’s a health refresher course. Scabies is caused by a microscopic scabies parasite that burrows under the skin, creating a blister that gets patchy, red and itches something fierce. It’s kind of gross really. I’ve had it. Like the TSA folks, I have no idea how I got it, but one day, there was a small patch of it above my upper lip when I was living in The Gambia. A friend of mine who was ONLY A FRIEND had a case much worse than I did under his beard. It must have been going around. In The Gambia, I seem to remember it being much more common during the dry season.

Scabies can be caught by: scratching, picking up mites under fingernails, touching another person’s skin, and touching anything that might be infected with mites because someone with scabies touched them. Think keyboards, toilets, clothes, towels, workout equipment etc. Luckily mites don’t live off of a body for longer than 72 hours. [Wikipedia]

Scabies is curable through the use of a prescription topical cream. It didn’t take me long to be as right as rain again.

March “lion” slams east coast

From New Hampshire to the Carolinas, March came in, as the saying goes, like a lion. Snow, sleet and wind gusts reaching 30 mph have lead to for motor vehicle deaths, school closings and chaos at airports.

More than 900 flights have been canceled at New York area airports (JFK, Newark and LaGuardia). Hundreds more at Logan International Airport in Boston never left the ground, where the airport closed for more than half an hour to clear a runway. In Philadelphia, more than 40 people were stranded overnight.

Even the bus operators got into the delay and cancellation game. Greyhound and Peter Pan scrapped trips into and out of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

So, get comfortable. It’s going to take a while to sort this mess out.

Runaway dog runs away on airport runway

I’ve had flights delayed by weather. I’ve had flights delayed by mechanical issues. I’ve had flights delayed because the hitch connecting the tow vehicle to my plane snapped! But I’ve never had a flight delayed because a runaway dog was loose on the tarmac. Well, that’s exactly what happened at Boston’s Logan Airport this past weekend.

It seems that Choochy the poodle (like Joe the Plumber but less political and more interested in smelling other dogs’ behinds) escaped from her kennel and remained rogue on the runways, taxiways and other nooks and crannies of Logan for 17 hours. Various flights were delayed while police, firefighters and airport personnel tried to corral Choochy.

Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. Choochy was lured to safety with food, treated for only minor injuries and returned to her family. And for the passengers on those delayed flights? Well, a half-hour delay is practically on-time these days. And for me? Well, I got to use that crazy photo of a poodle that I found. So, thanks, Choochy. Feel free to escape again soon.