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Airlines understand that once that cabin door closes, the revenue for unsold seats is lost forever. Some carriers even like to oversell the cabin, which is what causes passengers to be bumped. Even the mere thought of getting bumped from a flight enrages us, so that's all we need to mention about the matter. Regardless, airlines sometimes get creative with promotions to fill those seats.
Enter Virgin Australia, who've introduced Mystery Breaks. Basically, passengers purchase a seat on a plane without knowing the arrival airport. For the spontaneous traveler, it's a godsend. If you are more of a pedantic traveler, your palms may already be sweaty.
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Happy New Year! Also, happy year that more same-sex couples will achieve equal (or at least equal-er) rights. Just yesterday, January 1, two more US states switched to legally recognizing and performing civil unions. These are Delaware and Hawaii. For the moment, let's focus on the latter.
Hawaii is the only US state west of the Mississippi River to allow same-sex civil unions. None have gone so far as marriage (the California Prop 8 debacle came closest) and what this means for gay couples is that their unionnot just the honeymooncan also happen in the Aloha State.
According to The Baltimore Sun/KTLA, the turning of the calendar immediately coincided with the law going in effect:
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We admit there have been times that we may have put noise cancelling headphones just to give the illusion of listening to music, warding off fellow passengers' incessant blabbing. There also have been times we've noticed someone that looks interestingahem attractive ahemand wished we could swap seats to get a little closer.
The latter is how KLM prefers to fly, and they'll soon offer passengers the ability to pick their seatmate based on Facebook or Linkedin profiles. By next year, the airline will not only offer a window or aisle preference, but allow customers to view the profile of other passengers, then choose whether or not to sit next to them.
The first red flag we see is the obvious privacy of personal details. Passengers must opt-in to have their social media profile available for other travelers to see. Which means, not everyone will be taking part in this singles bar in the sky. Sigh of relief! It also begs the question; will the aircraft have a cabin area set aside for these passengers who are single and ready to mingle?
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We don't have to tell you that a big deal went down this morning (or afternoon, UK time): the The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Now that the dress designer has been unveiled (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen) and the ring shown (a simple gold band), the next big question is where the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will head for the Royal Honeymoon.
Currently the frontrunner for the destination is Australia, although Kenya, Corfu, The Seychelles or The Isles of Scilly have also been mentioned. Wherever they go, it won't be their first stop; the couple is due to spend their first nights in the Scottish Highlands at Balmoral Estate.
Let's see where other royal couples of the past have chosen to spend their Royal Honeymoons:
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Chicago from the air
"Hey. Umm, this is a little awkward but...would you like to come meet me at the Marriott O'Hare Airport during my layover to umm...'hang out?'" Yea. Those are the words you could be hearing pretty soon as Valentine's Day fever gets into full swing and the hotel starts offering what we're fondly calling the Get Laid Layover Package.
Of course they aren't calling it that, but it's a booty call fo' sho'. Rates start at only $99 dollars for the "Escape Romance Package," which also includes lovely extras like champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, breakfast for two and late check-out at 3pm. She or he or both she and he will think you spent your whole trip planning all this, when really all you did was enter promo code ROM when booking on Marriott's website.
Oh, and it's not just for V-Day either; the rate is available through the end of the year. Just so you can keep coming back...
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Flight Attendants. There's just something about them, male or female, that makes them super attractive, even if they aren't all that attractive. Maybe it's the salacious gossip from the stewardess days or the fact that they travel way more than you do and that jealousy makes you hot. Whatever it is, marrying one kinda sounds like a fun idea, right? Well, if you're game to get it on, you better start booking some flights because one man who's proven it can be donemarrying a flight attendant you met on a flight, that ishas flown 7 million miles on Delta.
That's a very interesting little story we noted got lost in Delta's big 70th Anniversary in Atlanta celebration at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Friday. The frequent flyer, Ed Robinette, is Delta's most frequent passenger. According to GlobalAtlanta.com, he began his jet-setting ways before the airline launched their SkyMiles program in 1981. Robinette was an executive for Panasonic, but though he doesn't have that title anymore, he still managed to fly to Tokyo 9 times last year (plus other routes).
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Instead of boarding your flight wondering what kind of annoyance your anonymous seatmate will be, you can actually attempt to the take the matter into your own hands by pairing up with likeminded travelers on your plane. How? Well, you could always creepily nudge the pretty girl in the waiting area and ask her what her seat number is, or you could trust the internet through the new social networking site Planely.
"Social flying revolution" is what they're calling it, and while it hasn't exactly reached the critical mass needed to earn the "revolution" part, Planely is gaining in active users. Here's what happens: you go on Planely.com, register some basic info about yourself, then add your upcoming fights. Planely will then let you know if another other Planely users will be on your flight or at your start and end airports, in case you're up for some flirting, general conversation, convention gossip or just trading stock tips at 35,000 feet. You can even specify what you'd want to do, which for us is typically "sleep, work ahead on our laptop and read," so maybe we wouldn't be your ideal seatmate if you're feeling chatty.
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Last season's Bachelorette Ali and her dudes
If you'll forgive us for talking about The Bachelorette at all, then we just want to say that not only is Australia getting the TV love next year with The Oprah Show, but it looks like Fiji will have its turn in the reality tv limelight as The Bachelorette is in talks to film part of the next season there.
The Fiji Times reports that last season's little excursion to Tahiti did for the exotic destination something like what The Love Boat did for cruising: "Tahiti hosted the last season of the show and reportedly gained about US$150million (FJ$277m) from the exposure." Who are all these people who see a show and immediately book pricey packages to give that lift? We need more convincing than watching two hours of people alternately fighting then making out in hottubs to get us to go somewhere, but evidently the exposure works.
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Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson didn't let a little thing like a hostage situation keep them from filming in Brazil. After hostages were taken at the Intercontinental Rio de Janeiro back in August, there was some speculation that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn's pivotal honeymoon scenes would be shot somewhere else.
Despite the controversy, the producers of Breaking Dawn decided to shoot in Brazil anyway and filming is officially underway this week.
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It's a world's first! Just wait to hear what exactly "it" is...
(Same-sex) Love is in the air this winter aboard SAS. The Scandinavian airline is hoping to host the world’s first same-sex wedding in the air aboard one of their A340s between Stockholm and New York on December 6. To find the lucky couple for the mid-air nuptials, the longtime gay-friendly airline is launching a major social media contest campaign titled “Love is in the air.” Cute. Not fierce. But cute.
The airline has partnered with VisitSweden and Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network to offer one European couple and one American couple the chance to get married aboard SAS flights and honeymoon packages—the European couple be married aboard the outbound flight to the U.S. and will get to vacation there, and the American couple will be feted on the way back to Sweden.
That Air New Zealand Matchmaking flight we've been telling you about is finally taking off tomorrow. The LAX to Auckland event aims to bring together singles for a raucous itinerary of love connecting (or, failing that, sex). There will be a shindig at the gate in Los Angeles, with party packs and an open bar, followed by some in-flight activities. There are more parties after the flight lands, with the whole thing emceed by Jason Mesnick and girlfriend Molly Malaney of The Bachelor fame.
Yeah, listen. The flight from Los Angeles to Auckland is over 6,500 miles long and takes about 13 hours once you factor in takeoff and landing. Romeo and Juliet would get sick of each other about 8 hours into the trip. Romeo, Juliet, and all their best friends would all get grumpy after about 10 hours. That's just too much time in an airplane to feel good about your life, let alone the existence of another human being.
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We were going to use a photo of people kissing cheeks, but come on; kitties!
Just when we were coming around to the idea of being rude by not returning handshakes and thereby steering clear of Swine Flu, the French had to go and ruin all our fun. You see, they've reminded us that the traditional double-cheek-kisscalled la biseis also pretty unsanitary if you don't want to catch the H1N1 virus, especially if you're greeting someone who has just traveled and may be exposed.
We can't shake hands and we can't cheek-kiss; what will we will do? Thank heavens there's still the good old rump-pat, and the "hey-yo" wave. We do feel badly for the Frenchies though:
In schools, teachers are telling their young charges to forgo the bise, and instead capture their displays of affection in heart-shaped greetings to slip into 'bise boxes.' It is restraint that is easier to sell to young students than their older brothers and sisters. Some things, however, are finding an accepting audience: maskswhich do a pretty good job of discouraging just about any sort of kissing.