Monthly Archives: August 2009

Cool Happenings in London Now

In my bottomless inbox of travel news, I’ve come across a few articles about London and why you might be interested in taking a trip there before the end of summer.

Putpockets We’ve all heard of pickpockets and how we should be wary of them at home and while we’re abroad. However, 20 former pickpockets who have changed from their former wicked ways have been hired by a broadband company, TalkTalk, to discreetly drop anything from 5 to 20 pound notes in the unguarded pockets, purses, and bags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens, and other busy spots. This initiative to brighten the lives of people in unusual ways runs until the end of August which will see at least 100,000 pounds given away.

Free Bottled Water To provide abit of relief during the summer heat, Soak Media, is providing free bottled water to London commuters. The UK media company sells on-bottle advertising. Their staff distribute the 330ml bottles from ice-filled carts. Their research show that the bottles are held in the hands of the recipients for an average of 50 minutes. What makes Soak Media unique is that they distribute all their profits to charitable causes.

Writer in Residence It’s not unusual unless you consider where it will be. Heathrow Airport has appointed Alain de Botton as the writer-in-residence for 1 week starting August 19, 2009. His desk is located in the new Terminal 5 where his writings appear on a screen behind him for all to read. During the week he will interview passengers and airport staff before returning home to write a short book titled, A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary. The book will include photographs by Richard Baker. On September 21, 2009, ten thousand copies will be distributed for free to Heathrow travellers and then be available for sale through Amazon’s British website and traditional brick and mortar stores.

If you have time for a trip to London in the next few months, you may get a chance to experience the new personal rapid transit (PRT) system that will be launching in Q4 at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The PRT vehicles will transport 4 passengers at a time from Terminal 5 to various parking lots. It cost the British Airport Authority (BAA) $41 million for these 18 battery powered pods which travel at a maximum of 25 mph.

I’ve received a few e-mails about cruises from my previous blog posts.  To respond to these, my next couple of posts will hopefully answer them, firstly beginning with the types of cruises available.

Travel News Allsorts

In the past month, I’ve come across a few interesting travel related articles that might be of interest to you all:

Aon France is offering sunshine insurance through french travel agencies, Pierre et Vacances and FranceLoc. If vacationers encounter at least 4 days of rain in a week, they can submit a claim for part of their holiday cost. Here’s the link to the press release by Aon France.

Air France has implemented a new luggage policy that allows sports equipment to be included in the free luggage allowance.  For example, bicycles, golf bags, diving equipment,  and skis. Visit their website for further details.

Pet Airways has launched. Dog and cat owners can now rejoice that weekly routes are now available between Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, and New York City with one fares starting at $149. What makes Pet Airways unique is that your loved flies in the safety and comfort of the main cabin, not in cargo, where they are monitored regularly throughout the flight.

Air New Zealand continues to make waves with their latest marketing campaign, The Matchmaking Flight. They hope that passengers will find that special person through this special experience. Canadian singles will depart Vancouver for Los Angeles on October 13th and then transfer on to the matchmaking flight to Auckland.  The matchmaking flight will include free party snacks, open bar, speed dating and other games.

A few  months ago, Air New Zealand came out with a really cheeky commercial to show that their staff have nothing to hide.  This was followed up by another video about onboard safety. Most people ignore the safety video and demo on air planes, this hopefully will encourage people to watch theirs.