Neil Armstrong customs documents swiped, put up for sale by checkpoint worker

Neil Armstrong took one very famous “small step”, but two Boston area men took a small step of their own, one that may see them serve up to ten years in jail.

When Armstrong passed through the arrivals checkpoint at Boston Logan, 50-year-old Thomas Chapman, of Malden was in charge of verifying his customs declaration form. Instead of placing the form in the correct file, Chapman kept it, and with the aid of his friend, 50-year-old Paul Brickman, of Chelsea, the document was put up for sale.

When one of the potential bidders notified authorities, the men were arrested and charged with stealing an official government record. At that point, bids were already over $1000.

According to the brother of one of the men, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. He said his brother simply got starstruck and got an autograph on the wrong piece of paper.

[Image: Win McNamee/Getty Images]

JetBlue pilot removed from Boston plane after gun threat incident

A JetBlue co-pilot has been removed from his Boston crew lounge when he sent an email to his ex-girlfriend mentioning his plans to harm himself.

The pilot is a member of the TSA Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which allows pilots to carry guns on their plane – the program was developed after the attacks on 9/11. Upon being confronted by authorities, the pilot handed over the gun and was taken to a local hospital for mental evaluation.

Local authorities were quick to point out that the man never threatened passengers and was only considered a threat to himself.

Logan airport to continue offering free Wi-Fi

Boston’s Logan airport has voted to continue to offer free Wi-Fi. The service had been free since Google sponsored it during the Holiday season.

Now, the addition of free Wi-Fi is certainly nice, but not really newsworthy. What makes this piece of news more interesting is that it puts an end to a long battle the airport operator had with others that offered Wi-Fi at “their” airport.

Back in 2005, Massport got rather upset when they realized that Continental Airlines was offering complimentary Wi-Fi in their club lounge. Of course, the airport claimed that the Continental system could interfere with the airport wide system.

What they really meant, was that they were annoyed that Continental offered free Wi-Fi, taking away revenue from the overpriced Airport system (at $7.95 per day).

In the end, Continental told the airport operator to take a hike, and got the FCC involved. Since Wi-Fi is in open unlicensed spectrum, the FCC agreed that Massport could not demand anything from Continental.

We are now five years past that incident, and the airport has probably made its multi-million Dollar investment back, which means anyone at Logan can finally enjoy free Wi-Fi without having to pay a penny. Fingers crossed other airports in the country pay attention.

Hotel Review: Copley Square Hotel Boston

The Copley Square Hotel opened in 1891 in Boston’s famous Back Bay neighborhood. Near trendy Newbury Street and tucked behind the Boston Public Library, the seven-story boutique hotel seems overshadowed by its Westin and Marriott neighbors, but what it lacks in stature it makes up in grandeur.

The hotel closed in January 2008 for a $18-million renovation and reopened later that year as a luxury contemporary boutique with old-school elegance and modern amenities.


I heard about the modern-meets-sexy designs and decor that graced the rooms at the Copley Square Hotel post-renovation, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the seductive atmosphere I walked into. Simply put: these hotel rooms set the mood.

I was expecting a few silk throw pillows and a curvy bedside lamp, but was greeted with a leopard-print sofa, champagne-colored drapes and a king-size bed perfectly positioned to view the entire city (or be viewed from the city). Yes, there were decorative silk pillows and curvy lamps, and also a 32-inch flat-screen TV, WiFi in the room, and an iPod docking station. There’s also plenty of strategically-placed mirrors, which is a good thing if you’re intent on looking your best before you make your way down the grand staircase that leads into the hotel lobby.

The hotel claims it’s catering to business professionals and it is – I had no problem plugging in, getting on, and communicating from the comforts of my king-sized bed. But, in my opinion, it’s also a the perfect little hideaway for some rekindling of the romantic kind. Just remember to put the sign on your door (the hotel’s risqué-read-between-the-lines way of saying ‘do not disturb’.)


A decent size for a hotel bathroom, it was complete with a tub/shower combo and basic amenities (shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotions). The standout part of this area, however, is the hotel’s “green” commitment. Placed in every bathroom is a plastic chip – flip to green and you don’t need any restocking; flip to red and your cleaning crew will supply fresh towels and amenities. It’s a nicer way to signal a change is needed if you’re not into throwing your dirty towels on the floor.


Room service comes directly from Xhale or minibar, the Copley Square Hotel’s restaurant and martini bar. I opted for a mid-evening snack from the room-service menu and was pleasantly surprised with my options. While there’s a full menu complete with salads, burgers and pasta entrees, the in-room dining menu also includes a snacks page, which offers everything from caramel corn to ice cream sandwiches. I opted for a bowl of “fresh popped corn” but I hear the marshmallows with chocolate dipping sauce is worthy of a try.

Admittedly, the 18 percent gratuity on a bowl of popcorn seemed a bit much, but I chalked this one up to the experience.


My first impression of the hotel staff came when I was greeted at the check-in counter by a lovely woman who wanted to know if I preferred a glass of white or red while I wait. Score 10 for knowing I needed a cocktail. Apparently, the hotel hosts a wine hour every evening and all guests – whether you’ve checked in or not – are welcome to wind down. The check-in process took only a few minutes (disclaimer: I was the only person in line), and I was asked if I required a wake-up call or wanted to join the company staff on a run the following morning. No to both, but it was a lovely touch.

The hotel was debuting a new restaurant concept – Sushi and Sake Nights – the evening I checked in. The food was good, but the waitstaff was unclear as to what sushi and sake really is. Once the kinks were figured out, there was plenty of spicy tuna rolls to go around.


On the outside, the Copley Square Hotel looks like a simple, commuter-friendly, business-oriented hotel perfect for the overnighter needing a place to stay before the big board meeting. One step inside and you’ll forget you have a big presentation due the next day. The renovation put this hotel back on the map, but it came with a price: rooms start at $170 in the off-season and spike to a starting price of $500 for stays during the summer months.

Bottom line:
Business travelers might choose a less-expensive hotel, but for those looking for a hidden hotel perfect for a quick escape from the chaos of everyday life, complete with amenities that ooze “the mood”, this is undoubtedly the place to stay.

Continental Airlines flies ten year old girl to the wrong airport

About a month ago, we wrote about an airline serving an unaccompanied minor a large cup of coffee. If you thought that was reckless behavior, you are going to be outraged by what Continental Airlines did to a minor traveling under their supervision.

The airline had been paid to accompany a ten year old on a flight from Boston to Cleveland, a pretty simple task, especially since this is just a 45 minute flight.

Sadly, the airline staff are apparently not capable of reading signs, because they put this poor girl on the wrong flight.

Instead of flying to Cleveland, Continental Airlines flew her to Newark. To add insult to injury, they then called her grandparents asking them to come pick her up, even though their paperwork showed an Ohio address and they were calling an Ohio phone number.

It took Continental Airlines 45 minutes to discover their terrible mistake, helped by the fact that 2 grandparents were at an airport to pick up a child who was actually 450 miles away.

Continental refunded the unaccompanied minor fee, and put the kid on a plane to Cleveland within an hour. The whole story boggles the mind – they put a kid on the wrong plane, nobody noticed an extra passenger on the wrong plane, nobody noticed a missing minor on the correct flight, and nobody noticed they had received a ten year old girl at an airport where she was not supposed to be.

As always, this is just one side of the story, hopefully we’ll get a response from Continental Airlines telling their side of the story.


**Update!!** According to the Boston Globe, it now appears that two unaccompanied minors were lost by Continental Airlines! One young woman was accidentally sent to Fayetteville, Arkansas instead of Charlotte, NC while the other was sent to Cleveland instead of Newark. Whether these happened on the same day at the same gate is unclear right now — the Globe seems to have conflicting statements — but to have lost two minors over any period is surely a disaster!