The Alec Baldwin phone fiasco: Whether you knew it is ‘Baldwingate’, or simply ‘that story with the guy from 30 Rock on the plane’, word spread far and wide when the US star declined to put away his phone for takeoff on an American Airlines flight at LAX. Apparently so absorbed by the game ‘Words with Friends’ on the device, he refused to turn it off so persistently that airline staff were forced to remove him from the flight. He later publicly apologised, though only to the passengers so delayed, not the airline or Federal regulators.
Rabbi fights it out with Delta Airlines: In September, a rabbi from the US who flew so often that he had earned platinum frequent flyer status with Delta Airlines sued them after having his status and his air miles revoked. He believed that the cause of Delta’s actions was that he complained too much; he had reportedly contacted to airline 24 times in seven months to make complaints and demand compensation. The case has been sent to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and is set to influence the rights of all airline passengers in the future.
Underwater hotel on the cards for Dubai: No stranger to splashing out, Dubai is set to push its holiday destination status one step further than the rest of the world with plans to build a submerged hotel. The Water Discus Hotel has been conceived as a building which combines luxury and deep sea exploration. There will be one ‘disk’ of rooms below the surface, and another connected by tunnels in the open air to enjoy the sunshine. The Maldives is also developing aquatic luxury, in the form of a floating golf course on man-made islands.
Nausea for US airlines: Back in October, the Air Transport Association came up with an innovative marketing campaign to indicate its displeasure at a tax increase for the industry. Air-illness bags were distributed with the slogan ‘Sick of taxes?’ after being debuted by the president of the Association, Nick Calio. He held the bag aloft, announcing, ‘it’s enough to make you sick’.
Hello to Kitty-themed planes: A little-known Taiwanese airline, Eva Air, has launched three aircraft decorated with the hugely popular Asian character Hello Kitty. As if this weren’t tribute enough, the cat will appear on soap dispensers, as ice cream and on tissues, paper cups and utensils. Airline staff will also wear Hello Kitty uniforms and distribute duty free products such as Kitty-shaped pasta.
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