Category Archives: travel news

Airline stocks plunge as Greyhound hints at flying buses


Airline stocks plunged today following word that Greyhound Bus Lines may be expanding its operations to include an airline that would allow people to fly for considerably less than even the lowest current fares, while still expecting about the same level of cleanliness in the lavatories.

The 104-year-old inter-city transportation company, whose sleek canine logo was once so synonymous with long-distance travel that a Greyhound journey is still often known as Riding the Dog, is, according to rumor, basing its strategy on a new level of service known as Kennel Class.

“Apparently, the idea is to throw passengers a bone by offering them 10 % off everybody else’s lowest fare, then packing them in so tight that about the only thing they can do for entertainment is lick their private parts,” said airline industry analyst Bob Payne.

Of course cramming more passengers aboard is not exactly a new airline revenue model. It’s no doubt the reason many critics didn’t pay much attention to the Wright Brothers until they had a two-seater. But according to Payne some of Greyhound’s other, more creative, cost-saving measures are what have the airline industry so worried.

“Requiring flight crews to work for tips. Offering onboard meals only by takeout from Carl’s Jr. restaurants. Buying aviation fuel from Sam’s Club. These are the kinds of innovations the airlines may be kicking themselves about for not thinking of first,” Payne said.

Despite the stock dip, everything to this point is speculative, with no word at all coming from Greyhound, except to say that bus travel remains the greenest way to get around. However, Payne considers it significant that aircraft manufacturer Airbus seems to be busy at the drawing board with a new version of its A380, which is alleged to be identical to the current model, except that the tail wags.

When not serving as an airline industry analyst for some of America’s major bus companies, Bob Payne is the editor in chief, the travel humor website that has been sharing accurate travel news and advice since before Columbus landed at Plymouth Rock. Photo


All-inclusive destination wedding resort provides spouse

The all-inclusive destination wedding resort Shackles has begun offering a spouse to would-be brides or grooms who wish for their nuptials to be absolutely stress free.

“As guests have often told us, the most time-consuming chore of any destination wedding is finding a spouse in the first place,” said Shackles Chief Commitment Officer, Bob Payne.

So the popular Caribbean resort, which already prided itself on choosing menus, flowers, music, and which supposedly secret former flames to sit most humiliatingly distant from the newlywed’s table, added the ultimate destination-wedding inclusion.

“You would not believe how much the tension level drops at one of these events, “ Payne said, “Sometimes to the point that we make it through an entire reception without a mother in law saying something she will later regret.”

Payne said the spouses are selected from among previous guests who have recently attended other destination weddings at Shackles, as they are often still suitably dressed for the ceremony and are fuzzy on matrimonial, or any other, laws that might apply.

“We’ve had excellent success with the program so far,” Payne said, “just once accidentally marrying off one of our assistant managers, who only occasionally still sends us beseeching e-mails.”

Study suggests why pigs don’t fly more often

Researchers in the Department of Porcine Studies at Indiana’s Muncie State University have found strong evidence to suggest that the reason pigs don’t fly more often is their intelligence. In fact, the research seems to indicate that pigs are far smarter than humans, who if offered sufficiently low fares will allow themselves to be sent aloft in conditions virtually all members of the animal world would find unacceptable.

“The evidence is striking, especially when it comes to what humans and the few pigs who do fly will eat when in the air,” said study leader Bob Payne, who has been observing both species since childhood, when growing up over one of Muncie’s most popular barbecue restaurants. Although generally perceived to have undiscriminating tastes, pigs will routinely refuse any airline offering of beef, chicken or pasta, while humans, as long as they are assured that it is “free” will down anything, Payne said.

The study leader added that even if they are crossing time zones pigs are smart enough to keep to a fairly regular dining schedule, while humans will eat breakfast lunch, or dinner at any hour it is served up.

“The contrast is even more stark with alcohol,” Payne said. “Recall when you’ve seen human passengers start in on the booze, especially on flights to the Caribbean. Then ask yourself if you’ve ever seen a pig with a margarita before noon.”

Another clear indication of a pig’s intellectual superiority compared to humans has to do with seating. “You seldom see a pig in an airline seat, even in first class,” Payne said. “But humans will willingly occupy seats that even spiders, scorpions, and snakes have found it nearly impossible to wedge themselves into.”

Ironically, while the relatively few pigs who have consented to fly are usually more than happy to make some seating accommodation if asked to, often even eager to take a later flight, human passengers have sometimes had to be pried out of their seats with the kind of force usually reserved for removing aging members from congress.

Asked if there might come a time when pigs do routinely fly, Payne was less than optimistic. “Not as long as all passengers continue to be treated like sheep,” he said.

When not exercising a leadership position in porcine studies, travel humor writer Bob Payne is the editor in chief of

Noah’s Ark discriminated against single passengers?


Ancient scrolls recently discovered near the base of Mount Ararat reveal that many Noah’s Ark passengers traveled as couples to avoid a discriminatory singles-supplement policy.

The supplement — reported to be 100% — was established by the travel industry as a direct response to the limited accommodations available on the Ark and the high demand for them.

“You have to understand, as God apparently didn’t, that we have to set our pricing based on double occupancy,” one member of the Ararat Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is recorded as saying.

According to the member, neither God nor Noah were details-guys and didn’t really understand that it’s not so much a room that makes the lodging and cruise ship industries viable but the extra per-person charges for necessities such as drinks, meals, and having your photo taken on every imaginable occasion.

“It’s not a flood, even one of Biblical proportions, that keeps a ship afloat; it’s the markup on pina coladas,” the member said.

Many of the singles who expressed interest in the 40-days and 40-nights Noah’s Ark cruise felt, however, that the single-supplement was discriminatory.

“We are less work for the cabin stewards and spend more time at the bar than anyone except the couples who are discovering a cruise isn’t a solution to their marital woes after all, so why should we have to pay extra?” complained a giraffe who said he had specifically looked into the Ark cruise because he’d heard that its limbo competition was more challenging than on Carnival.

In the end, in large part at the urging of the rabbits, the singles finally agreed to double up in order to avoid the supplement. And that seemed to work fine – except for the black widow spiders.

Humor travel writer Bob Payne is the editor in chief of, and a Biblical scholar specializing in ancient cruise ship rituals and practices.


Afghanistan again leads list of world’s top 193 countries, based on alphabetical order

                                              Afghan boy delighted to learn his country again ranks at top. has released its annual report of the world’s top 193 countries, based on alphabetical order. Afghanistan remains No. 1, a position it has held since 1967, when the state of Aden, on the Arabian Peninsula, became part of Yemen.

Afghanistan’s fifty consecutive years at the top of the list is impressive. Its longevity has been surpassed only by Abyssinia, which was No. 1, alphabetically, from 1137 to 1889, when it became part of modern Ethiopia.

The No. 1 standing has benefitted Afghanistan in many ways. It has helped bolster the country’s stature, for example, among Westerners who are interested in poppy growing,  goat grabbing (which is a national sport), and war-zone safety practices. It has also helped offset other rankings, such as: The Legatum Prosperity Index, 148th; World Happiness Report, 154th; Life Expectancy at birth 162nd; GDP Per Capita 175th; and Ease of doing business 181st.

Among other countries, the United States was unable, once again, to rank higher than 185th. It finished ahead of only Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. And in continental standings, the U.S. fared even worse, finishing 23rd out of the top 23 North American countries.

Looking ahead to next year, Afghanistan could find its top spot in jeopardy. Abkhazia, a tiny slice of the former Soviet Union, has been successful at getting only a handful of nations to recognize its independence from the country of Georgia. However, one of those nations is Russia. So,  Abkhazia could soon find that its breakaway aspirations — and hopes of becoming No. 1 — have the full support of the U.S. State Department.

Top finishers by continent, based on alphabetic order (world standings in parentheses)


Afghanistan (1); Armenia (8); Azerbaijan (11).

Azerbaijan has more mud volcanoes than any other country, and also the largest mud volcano. There is little evidence, however, that either fact has influenced the Azerbaijanis’ attitude toward mud wrestling, either as a sport or a political tactic.


Albania (2); Andorra (4); Austria (10).

Andorra has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and, perhaps not coincidentally, has not been to war in more than a thousand years.


Algeria (3); Angola (5); Benin (19).

Benin is home to the largest remaining population of lions in West Africa. It also ranks 162nd in life expectancy. The two seem to be unrelated.

North America

Antigua and Barbuda (6); Bahamas (12); Barbados (15).

The world’s first recorded sale of rum took place on Barbados, which is still a major producer. Despite that, Barbados has a literacy rate of 99%.

South America

Argentina (7); Bolivia (21); Brazil (24)

The Yungas Road, leading from Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, has been called the world’s most dangerous. It has been suggested that one solution to the vehicular carnage — for people dressed as zebras to help children cross the streets — does not go far enough.


Australia (9).

The once proud, boastful Australians now rank only 19th worldwide for beer consumption per capita.


Not rated. Editor in Chief Bob Payne in on the board of the Know YourABC’s Foundation.