Travel briefs

 

MASSACHUSETTS

JFK PORTRAIT

TO GO ON TOUR

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston says it has acquired a posthumous portrait of John F. Kennedy by American artist Jamie Wyeth. The Kennedy family requested the portrait following the president’s 1963 assassination. The painting is part of an exhibit on Jamie Wyeth and will be on display opening Wednesday. It will be on display through Dec. 28 before going on a nationwide tour.

AIRLINES

STANDING ROOM

ONLY FLIGHTS?

Would you buy a bargain-priced airline ticket, but the catch was you had to stand for the entire flight? A new university study says the idea of standing-only sections on planes is no joke.

An airline that removes seats can accommodate about 20 percent more passengers and, as a result, offer discounts of as much as 44 percent compared with airlines that offer big comfy seats, according to the study published in the International Journal of Engineering and Technology.

Airlines in Ireland and China have looked into the concept, but none has yet put the idea into practice.

Major carriers in the U.S. and the Federal Aviation Administration say the idea has to overcome some serious hurdles before it can take off. FAA officials say they haven’t seen the study but note that under current standards, passengers are required to fasten seat belts during takeoffs, landings and when instructed by the pilot. “You can’t have a seat belt without a seat,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

To meet the seat belt requirement, the study suggests passengers lean against a padded backboard, with straps that stretch over their shoulders.

The study’s author, Fairuz I. Romli, an aerospace engineering professor and lecturer at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, said passengers would probably be comfortable standing only on flights shorter than three hours.

The idea won’t fly because air travelers won’t agree to it, said Jean Medina, spokeswoman for Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation’s airlines.

“Airline customers ultimately determine what works in the market, voting with their wallet every day,” she said, “and comfort is high among drivers of their choice.”

RESEARCH

WE’RE NO. 1 — IN LEAVING GRATUITIES

The U.S. may have been eliminated from the World Cup, but Americans can brag about being No. 1 when it comes to tipping service workers. A survey of more than 25,000 people from around the world named Americans as the most likely to tip, with 60 percent of U.S. travelers saying they always tip for service while on vacation. In contrast, only 49 percent of Germans said they always tip, followed by 33 percent for Brazilians, 30 percent of Spaniards, 28 percent for Russians, 26 percent for British and 15 percent for the French.

According to the survey by TripAdvisor.com, 23 percent of Americans feel guilty if they don’t tip and 34 percent leave a tip even when they get poor service.

Americans tip restaurant staff 97 percent of the time, while pool staff get tipped the least, 2 percent of the time.

Miami Herald

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