Crammed Airplane Seating Just Got Worse

If you didn’t think flying could get any more uncomfortable than it already is, brace yourself, because a Russian airline is set to take the title for cramming the most seats on any commercial jet in the world.

Transaero Airlines is preparing to outfit its fleet of A380s and says it will furnish the planes with 652 seats across three different service classes — although naturally the vast majority of the seats (616 to be precise) will be dedicated to the economy class section of the plane. To give you a comparison, most other A380s are outfitted with 470-520 seats, so the Russian carrier’s plans represent a pretty significant step up in capacity.And while a body-constricting, knee-knocking, claustrophobia-inducing experience might be tolerable on a short domestic flight, the bad news is that these sardine-can-in-the-sky planes will be flying long haul. Some of the routes being proposed by Transaero include Moscow-Thailand and Moscow-Dominican Republic. But even domestic flights can be long haul when you’re talking about a country as large as Russia. One of the routes on the table includes Vladivostok to Moscow which clocks in at 4,000 miles. That’s a heck of a long distance to be squished up between 651 other weary fliers.

What do you think? Is airplane seating getting out of control?

Russia Is Afraid Its Citizens Will Never Be Allowed To Come Home, Issues Travel Warning

Travel warnings are issued for a variety of reasons, be it social and political unrest, the threat of terrorism or even health. But Russia has now found a new reason to warn people against travel: the fear of their citizens not being allowed to return home.

As reported by the New York Times, the Russian Foreign Ministry bulletin state: “Warning for Russian citizens traveling internationally … Recently, detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent — with the goal of extradition and legal prosecution in the United States.”There’s no denying that extradition issues between Russia and the United States have heightened with the Edward Snowden case, but is the threat of detention and inability to return home really a fear for all Russian citizens? Probably not, but the Russian government does feel that its citizens get treated unfairly. From the Foreign Ministry: “Experience shows that the judicial proceedings against those who were in fact kidnapped and taken to the U.S. are of a biased character, based on shaky evidence, and clearly tilted toward conviction.”

The number of Russian tourists traveling around the world is increasing, up almost 25 percent from numbers in 2012. Only time will tell whether such government warnings will have an affect.

Stolen: A One-Mile Road In Russia

The unorthodox crime was allegedly committed by a 40-year-old Russian resident of Syktyvkar. The road had linked Parcheg with the Vychegda River before the mastermind carried in off in 82 reinforced concrete slabs.

How does one steal a road? NBC News reports:

Police uncovered the highway robbery when they pulled over a convoy of three heavy trucks carrying the slabs, which they said had been removed with a manipulator, an industrial machine that combines a bulldozer and a forklift.

The Interior Ministry valued the slabs at 200,000 rubles, or about $6,095.

The penalty for stealing a road in Russia? Up to two years in the pokey.

[via msnNOW]

Would You Get A ‘Wanderlust’ Tattoo?

“Sometimes the best souvenirs are the ones you keep with you always,” writes BuzzFeed on a recent roundup of travel tattoos. Some of the tattoos pictured are simplistic, like a tiny outline of a paper airplane, while others are more elaborate, like a colorful, traditional-style compass.

While some of the tattoos seem to have a lot of thought behind them (as tattoos should), others are downright generic: someone with the word “traveler” on the back of their neck and lots of map outlines. There’s even one person with a world map who is filling in colors for countries they’ve visited. It’s kind of like having something to brag about permanently etched into your back (actually, he or she better get to Russia soon, cause the tattoo is looking a little sparse!).

Does anyone out there have a travel tattoo with a story behind it, or are you considering getting one? Maybe you and your friends got matching tattoos after a cross-country road trip, or you got permanently inked after a life-changing experience in India? Let’s hear about it in the comments below.

Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws Could Impact Tourists

Tourists heading to Russia are being warned that they could be fined, jailed or even deported under tough new anti-gay laws in the country. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed the new legislation into effect earlier this month with the aim of punishing “homosexual propaganda” but critics say the bill is so vague it could stir up trouble for many gay locals and travelers.

The law makes it illegal for anyone in Russia to publicly admit that they are gay or make any gestures that might hint at their sexuality, such as wearing rainbow clothing, holding hands or kissing someone of the same sex.Visitors to the country aren’t excluded from the tough anti-gay measures either. The law gives Russian authorities the right to arrest gay or pro-gay tourists and hold them in jail for up to two weeks. Gay travelers can also be deported from the country for expressing their homosexuality.

The new legislation comes just seven months out from the Winter Olympics, which the country is set to host in early 2014. The event is expected to attract an influx of international visitors, including many gay athletes and spectators.

However, an LGBT organization based in New York has warned gay travelers to be cautious about venturing into the country, saying, “We really want the LGBT community to know it’s unsafe to travel there.”