Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 23.12.2011

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

Southern Hemisphere’s steepest roller-coaster opens at Movie World

With the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere and speeds of up to 66km per hour, the Green Lantern roller-coaster is not for the faint-hearted.

The ride launched at Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast today.

Based on the DC comic Green Lantern, about an intergalactic police force charged with the protection of the universe, it has a 120 degree, face forward inverted drop.

The 488m long roller coaster pulls 3.5Gs on hairpin bends and has two crazy inverted spins and has an Australian-first on-board audio system.

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Air fares set to rise as European court backs carbon trading scheme

The Daily Telegraph

Airline passengers face fare rises of up to £10 on a flight after the European Court of Justice ruled an aviation carbon trading scheme was legal.

The emissions trading scheme would see airlines having to buy permits if they exceed their carbon allowance.

According to the EU’s calculations the scheme would add around 12 euros (£10) to the cost of a transatlantic flight, when it comes into force.

This will be in addition to Air Passenger Duty which is already paid by passengers leaving UK airports.

As a result of the judgment by the Luxembourg-based court, the scheme will begin next year, even though airlines will not receive their first “carbon bills” until April 2013.

The ETS scheme was challenged by a coalition of United States airlines, who argued that Brussels was exceeding its powers by trying to impose the all airlines operating from EU airports.

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Brussels Hotel Offers Tintin Tie-In

NY Times

A high-end hotel in Brussels, Tintin’s stomping ground, is offering two new packages and four themed rooms to celebrate the popular comic book hero. The promotion — from the Hotel Amigo  —  is timed to correspond with the release of the film “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn,” which opened on Wednesday in the United States.

Both packages include a Tintin-themed gift, tickets to the Hergé Museum, which highlights the work and life of Tintin’s creator,  Georges Remi (whose pen name was Hergé), and a detailed map for a self-guided walking-tour to follow the escapades of Tintin, and his trusty dog companion Snowy, through the city. Stops include the daily flea market on the Place du Jeu de Balle, the setting of the film’s opening scene.

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BA owner IAG beats Virgin to buy bmi

The Guardian

Sir Richard Branson says £172.5m deal ‘screws the travelling public’ by giving British Airways an even stronger grip on Heathrow

British Airways owner International Airlines Group has beaten arch-rivalVirgin Atlantic to the acquisition of bmi, prompting Sir Richard Branson to slam a deal that “screws the travelling public”.

IAG announced on Thursday morning that it had reached a binding agreement with Germany’s Lufthansa to buy Heathrow airport’s second-largest carrier in a £172.5m deal. Virgin Atlantic was also in talks to buy bmi, but confirmed that it had been beaten to second place.

Once the deal is completed, IAG’s share of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow will rise from 45% to 53%, consolidating its position as the airport’s most powerful carrier. Branson, Virgin Atlantic’s co-owner and founder, urged competition authorities to block the deal.

He dismissed IAG’s recent claim that it would use the bmi slots to target new markets in Asia: “Claiming that this deal is about new markets from Heathrow is a smoke screen. This deal simply cuts consumer choice and screws the travelling public. BA is already dominant at Heathrow and their removal of bmi just tightens their stranglehold at the world’s busiest international airport. We will fight this monopoly every step of the way as we think it is bad for the consumer, bad for the industry and bad for Britain.”

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