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General Travel News

Fights over reclining seats in a plane

When you sit in economy class on a plane your leg space is limited. However, your seat has a button on the arm rest which allows it to tilt backwards giving you a few extra inches. But did you ever consider that when you recline your seat the person behind you feels contricted. Sometimes this can result in fist fights - as it happened recently in a United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver.

 

A United Airlines passenger used a Knee Defender device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. The woman in the seat in front of him threw a cup of water at the man resulting in a fight. The flight was diverted to Chicago and both passengers were made to leave the plane.

 

When people suddenly recline their seats they can hit the knees of the person sitting behind. If the person has an open laptop on his meal table there is a risk of jamming the laptop into him. If there is a can of soda on the meal table, the sudden reclining of the seat in front can cause the can to spill over the passenger.

If you are economically challenged and travel Economy, be considerate and make sure the person behind you is not using the meal table before you press the recline button. You may even be surprised to find that your seat does not recline because the person behind you is using a Knee Defender - a plastic device which slides down the arms of a tray table and blocks the seat from reclining.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 September 2014 01:09

Hits: 10

US Customs and Border Control at Abu Dhabi Airport

One of the nightmares of traveling to the United States is the dreaded immigration and border control checks at the John F Kennedy Airport in New York and other points of entry to the United States. Etihad Airways has just taken that worry off.

 

US Customs and Border Protection have set up a facility at Abu Dhabi Airport which makes you go through all formalities in Abu Dhabi. You go through the requisite security checks, interviews and immigration controls all at Abu Dhabi airport. Once you clear this, your passport is stamped and your baggage is checked thru to your final destination in the United States.

 

If your Etihad flight takes you to New York, Chicago or Washington DC, you land, collect your luggage and you can go out the door as if you were on a local flight. No need for customs. No need for going through passport control. If you have a connecting flight you just need to proceed to the gate from which your next flight leaves. There is no need to collect luggage, it will be sent directly to your final destination.

 

What is the catch? You need to arrive early - ideally three hours before your flight's departure time. Traveling to the US just became easier thanks to Etihad. From October, Emirates is also planning a similar facility at Dubai Airport.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 August 2014 00:45

Hits: 20

World's tallest rollercoaster planned in Orlando

Orlando is set to become home to the tallest roller coaster in the world, with plans to build a thrill ride equal to a 27-storey drop.

 

Riders of The Skyscraper, set to be built at a sprawling retail and entertainment complex in Orlando called Skyplex, will experience a heart-pumping drop from 570 feet (174 meters) in the air on a vertical roller coaster that will also feature loops, dives, spirals and inversions.

 

Instead of covering a lot of ground, artist renderings reveal a ride that scales around and down the length of a monolithic tower in a vertical drop, a novel concept that takes up a small footprint.

 

When it’s completed, The Skyscraper will beat the existing record for the tallest roller coaster by 193 feet (59 meters).

 

The current record-holder is the Tower of Terror at the Dreamworld amusement park in Queensland, Australia.

 

The Orlando roller coaster will be part of a $200 million indoor entertainment complex dubbed Skyplex that will span 12 acres.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 14:39

Hits: 65

New 'Lord of the Rings' Tour in New Zealand

Hardcore fans of “The Lord of the Rings” are being courted in a new luxury travel package developed to mark the trilogy’s 60th anniversary and the upcoming release of the final cinematic installment of “The Hobbit.”

 

The 11-day trip starts in Rotorua, where visitors will be taken on a guided tour of Hobbiton, or The Shire, the bucolic village characterized by Hobbit homes carved into the green hillside, and their round, inviting doors.

 

Other trip highlights include helicopter tours of some of the most remote filming areas across New Zealand; an after-hours visit to Weta Workshop where the film’s ethereal settings and scariest characters were birthed; a stay at an LOTR-themed hotel room; and a winery lunch.

Visitors will also be able to revisit key filming locations like the Elven outpost of Rivendell and the Anduin River, where Aragorn was washed ashore after the attack of the Wargs.

 

And to top it off, fans of Peter Jackson, who brought the fantasy world to life, will be able to pay a visit to his movie studios in Miramar.

 

The tour is organized by luxury travel outfit Zicasso. Prices start at $7,000 per person. Flights are not included.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 14:31

Hits: 49

Budapest tour on a Segway

Segway is a motorized personal transport device which may appear to be difficult to balance but with a few minutes' training it makes for an excellent means of transportation for a busy tourist wanting to do all the sights to see in a city without exhausting himself.

 

For Euro 30 you can take an hour long Segway guided tour of Budapest and cover sights like the St Stephen Basilica (pictured above) and the Budapest Parliament as well as the Danube riverside. For Euro 55 you can do a two hour tour and cover many more tourist attractions.

 

When you plan a trip to Budapest make sure you include a Segway tour - just the thrill of gliding your way around town will be a memorable experience.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 August 2014 18:11

Hits: 61

Beware of "Service Charges" in Venice

Restaurants and cafes in Venice are famous for their outrageous service charges. Cafe Lavena in St Mark's Square has an infamous policy of charging Euro 6 for "music" when you sit and sip on their Euro 6 coffee. So six cups of coffee can end up costing Euro72.

 

Ristorante da Raffaele is no different. Located between the Grand Canal and San Marco, this typical Italian restaurant with plenty of seafood and pasta also has a Euro 5 service charge for those who sit outside by the canal and are serenaded by the cries of the gondoliers cruising by.

 

The Italians have a way of making you open your wallets wide. If it is not the designer handbags and shoes that gets you to shell out top dollar for cow hides, they even make you pay for sitting by and inhaling the odiferous waft coming from their open sewers that are romantically called canals.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 August 2014 15:23

Hits: 53

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