Oddities, weirdness and snooping lead the charge in the world of travel this week.
ALMOST A VERY BAD DAY: A suicidal passenger on an Air France flight tried to pop a door open at 32 000 feet – the result would have been an explosive decompression which can be catastrophic for an airliner and its frail cargo, and would be nothing like the tranquil scene depicted on the safety card above. The passenger, who is currently on trial, said she didn’t care about her fellow passengers. Nice.
HOW TO GET RIPPED ON FOREX: UK consumer watchdog Which? says travellers should avoid buying forex at airports if they don’t want to get ripped-off.
The Which? team bought foreign currency at 21 different providers and discovered big differences between the cheapest and the most expensive – up to 50 pounds – when buying $500 and €500 of cash.
Forex bureaux at airports were, of course, the worst culprits. But we knew that. Still, the warning is sound: buy before you go.
THIS IS THE THIRD BEST BEACH I’VE BEEN TO: Travel wankers. You know the type. These are the people you meet on the road who cannot start a conversation without the phrases “When we were in Mongolia…” or “This hotel isn’t as nice as the one we stayed in in ….”
Blogger Ben Groundwater, writing for The Age in Australia, has this fine take on travel wankers. Naturally, all bloggers fall neatly into this category (ha!); Groundwater notes: And as for writing a blog about it all and hoping people post comments … Geez, how much of more a wanker could you be?”
BATTLE OF THE SUN LOUNGERS: The 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings is just days away, day that is likely to be marked by yet another invasion as the conquering hordes make their way across the Channel and into Europe, crunch or no crunch as hotels and tour operators slash summer prices. Hotels are doubtless gearing-up for more fights over sun loungers, a sport that has occupied British and German travellers ever since, well, D-Day, June 6, 1944. Anyway, this is The Sun’s take on it. Crunch or no crunch, the invaders are coming. Again.
BIG BROTHER WELCOMES YOU: Face recognition trials, in which passengers’ faces are scanned and checked against passport photographs are to be extended to 10 airports in Britain. and the advent of face recognition trials at British airports. The plan is to cut down on long queues at arrivals – and improve security. Any EU citizen with an e-passport that has an electronic chip can sign up for the test.
OCCUPIED FRANCE: Finally, where’s the best place to see the ruins of Ancient Rome? Why, France of course, as this fine slideshow attests.