Chai Digest September 15-28: Tibet is shuttered and the UK welcomes the rich with slightly less crappy airport experience

Last week I had my fill of fighting overpriced, slow connections in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and was unplugged for nearly a week. I’ve been thumbing through the news backlog and planning to get back to weekly Chai Digest columns. Some of these are a bit old, turned out my xmarks bookmark synchronization has been broken for a bit and I missed them across computers.

The Guardian reports that ‘high-value’ passengers at British airports may soon have a fast track at immigration.

Tibet is again closed to foreign tourists, serving as a reminder that it is a dicey proposition to plan a trip about a Tibet visit with no backup plan. Consider Bhutan.

If in Beijing and Tibet trip scrapped, stay a day to scuba dive the Great Wall.

In the state where everything is giant, there is now a 67,000 square foot Buc-ee’s pit stop on I-35, boasting 60 gasoline pumps at 84 toilets. And 18-wheelers are barred.

China Knowledge@Wharton interviews the CEO of China Southern. China Southern is a solid airline, little known outside China because the Chinese airlines are inept at international marketing.

Marriott and other global hotel brands are making a push into Africa.

Celebrity Cruises has a new cantilevered shower for cash-laden exhibitionists.

It has been two months and I have not heard any news from hotels on the massive key card security flaw exposed in July. Perhaps the best defense is sticking gum in the DC port?

I flew Korean Air for my Australia trip, service is good but cold and stiff, though they are now using cakes to celebrate passenger milestones.

I was on a Qantas flight from Ayers Rock-Sydney last week and a birthday was recognized with champagne and chocolates for a women and her friends, in economy. They were in an exit row so perhaps had elite status.

Ending a 14-year dispute, a U.S. tourist agreed to pay a $6,500 fine for a trip to Cuba. Way to focus on the important stuff, U.S. Treasury Department.

Another plane crash in Nepal. I don’t know the statistics, but these seem quite frequent. I should not have been so cavalier when I visited.

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