In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Air rage as passengers nearly come to blows when teenager reclines his seat on man about to eat his meal
A furious row broke out between two passengers on a packed jumbo jet after one reclined his seat as the man behind was about to eat. The pair almost came to blows at 40,000ft as shocked travellers looked on. It started when an 18-year-old sitting in economy class moved his seat back to sleep.
Stunned travellers watched as the two men continued to shout abuse at each other while standing in the aisle before they were finally persuaded to calm down.
The drama happened on board a 517-seat Airbus A380 – the world’s biggest commercial airliner – operated by Emirates from Dubai into Manchester Airport. The pilot of flight EK17 was so concerned he radioed ahead and police were informed. Officers went to the gate at Terminal 1 after the flight landed to meet the two passengers at around noon on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed officers ‘spoke to’ two men, aged 38 and 18. No further action was taken as neither man wanted to make a formal complaint, and both also admitted they had been ‘in the wrong’, say police.
Visitors pitch in to keep Amsterdam clean
As local governments tighten their budgetary belts, a project in Amsterdam shows visitors parts of the city that seldom make it into guidebooks and organizes volunteers looking to do their good deed for the day.
Tjerk Feitsma and Jenna Fish take a walk around one of Amsterdam’s most multicultural neighborhoods: the Indischebuurt. They’re scouting out the neighborhood’s squares and looking for ways visitors can help.
The shops and bikes might look like a regular streetscape to anyone else, but they are also opportunities to do good that Feitsma, the managing director of Tourist Save the World project, and Fish, who volunteers with the group, quickly recognize.
“We could ask the local shops to close their doors to keep the warmth in and save energy and put an ‘open’ sign on the door so people know there’s still business available, but they’re saving energy by closing their door,” Fish said.
Tourist Save the World offers 36 daily good deeds across the city for tourists to choose from. Cleaning up the streets is the most popular of the chores, which also include helping the elderly and handing out flowers to people walking past.
Feitsma said the project aims to attract some 2,400 of the 12 million people who come to Amsterdam every year. Participants are given a map and whatever gear they might need in order to carry out their tasks. A tour lasts three to four hours to complete and there’s a 15 euro ($19) fee. Starting in February, visitors will also have the option to make use of a tour guide.
Musical luggage path the Me-lo-di – pleasure or pain?
Waiting at an airport could become even more of a painful experience if new “suitcase symphony” invention is rolled out.
Designer Jeriel Bobbe hopes to bring soothing melodies to weary traveller with his “Me-lo-di” luggage path, which was showcased at Dutch design week 2012.
However the invention appears to need more than a bit of tweaking, if the video below showing it in action is any indication.
The luggage path uses ribbed wooden tiles that can be arranged to create different pieces of music when a traveller pulls their wheels suitcase along them. The wheels pass on vibrations to the suitcases, which act as a sounding board.
The ribbed panels, constructed by Netherlands-based company Bruns, produce the musical notes at a normal walking speed.
The pitch of the sound is determined by the distance between the ribs, while the volume is determined by their depth.
Mr Bobbe, who was inspired by his walks to the train station where he used his trolley suitcase as a musical instrument, said there is music everywhere and that this project will “sound like music to your ears”.
“These tiles add some life to the cold, sterile spaces at airports,” Mr Bobbe said.
Bakery’s TSA Compliant Cupcake is latest volley in Cupcakegate
If you aren’t up to speed on what the Transportation Security Administration has labeled Cupcakegate, here’s a quick synopsis. Traveler Rebecca Hains of Peabody, Mass., last month had a cupcake confiscated as she passed through airport security at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The TSA maintains the cupcake raised suspicions because it came in a jar and contained “gel-like” frosting that was deemed to have exceeded the 3-ounce limit.
Enter the TSA Compliant Cupcake, a new product from Silver Spoon Bakery in Providence, R.I. “We wanted to take a tongue-in-cheek look at what the ideal cupcake would be to be TSA compliant,” Silver Spoon owner Kelly Colgan says Thursday. “Cupcakes are a fun product.”
Colgan redesigned the cupcake with security in mind. It’s made of basic vanilla bean cake topped with exactly 3 ounces of frosting and packaged in a standard 3-1-1 one-quart see-thru bag. It costs $4 and even comes with its own boarding pass — and, if you like, comes decorated (see photo) with a Richard Nixon photo and the words “I am not a gel” or other security-related message.
Colgan bristles at the thought of the sweet stuff having terrorist overtones. “I am not a gel, I am frosting, I am icing, I am harmless, I am confectioners sugar and butter!” she says.