This week’s travel failures either come with a pint or a primate. From a cat stowing away to airport employees stashing mini-bottles, read about all the animal and human mayhem in Lily J. Kosner’s Icarus Award.
Cats can go to great lengths when chasing a mouse and Bob-bob Maze is no exception. The 14-month-old cat traveled more than 1,000 miles, evading both the TSA and his owner, to get to the world most famous mouse. The cat snuck in his owner Ethel Maze’s suitcase and went undetected through airport security until he was discovered 10 hours later in a Disney hotel. Despite being a little shaken, Bob-bob remains in good health.
The Gin Cure
Afraid of flying? Bring your own bottle. Too bad the gin cure seems to have gotten Bela Chopra in a bit of trouble. On a recent Emirates flight from Dubai to London, Chopra came on board already under the influence and then proceeded to drink glass after glass of her own gin. Once she was more relaxed, she tried to light a few cigarettes, ate food off the neighboring family’s trays, and shouted for the crew to turn “the f**cking music on.” She was arrested in London’s Heathrow airport. Chopra has apologized for her actions in a pretrial hearing blaming her behavior on lack of sleep and a fear of flying. She will be sentenced in Isleworth Crown Court at a later date.
You might not be able to recognize a slender lorise or think the animal sounds just like an elusive Dr. Seuss character, but these tiny, carnivorous primates are now a popular exotic pet. So popular, in fact, that three United Arab Emirates nationals risked smuggling the creatures–which have a venomous bite– in pouches tucked in their underwear. The smugglers were spotted by customs officials at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and were arrested. The endangered species are safe with a wildlife rescue.
Operation Last Call
This week, the Port Authority Inspector General concluded a 9-month sting operation that saw 18 employees of JFK International Airport arrested for grand larceny and possession of $750,000 worth of stolen property, including $100,000 in mini-bottles of alcohol taken from LSG Sky Chefs. Their haul also included duty-free cigarettes and perfume. The goods were resold with a mini-bottle going for just $1.25, compared to the typical $7 airline charge. Those accused in Operation Last Call face up to 15 years in prison.
For the past 41 years, Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom has been notoriously dry and those looking to score an adult beverage would have to take the monorail over to Epcot. On Thursday, Disney announced a small change. At dinner time hours in the expanded Fantasyland, the Be Our Guest restaurant will serve beer and alcohol. We say cheers to many magical Icarus moments in the making!
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com