In brief: Denmark may buy the North Pole
Spirit Airlines goes after the Governator, Denmark seeks new territory, foreign travellers head stateside, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Getting struck by lightning not as rare as you might think
A JetBlue plane landed safely in New York yesterday despite being hit by lightning. The incident, combined with a viral video of lightning striking a London-bound Emirates Airlines plane last month, led the Washington Post to examine the dangers of flying through lightning. According to the Post, lightning strikes each US commercial airliner more than once each year, but the last time it resulted in a fatality was when 81 people died in 1963. Advanced radar systems and improvements to the skin of planes have greatly reduced the risk of lightning causing any serious damage.
Spirit Airlines jabs Scwarzenegger in controversial advert
In recent years Spirit Airlines has used controversial tactics to get fliers' attention, and a new advert appears to make a personal attack on Arnold Schwarzenegger, USA Today reports. The ad seems to poke fun at the former California governor for fathering an illegitimate child with a household staffer. An infrared scanner resembling something out of Schwarzenegger's famous Terminator role focuses on a suggestive maid before reading "sexy maid acquired". It then reads "Fares so low, you can take the whole family! Including that half-brother you just met."
More international travellers heading for American soil
The rising middle class in countries like China, India and Brazil, as well as the plummeting value of the US dollar, has more international travellers heading stateside. Foreign visitors spent $134.4 billion on US travel in 2010, which is about a 12% increase from 2009, the US Department of Commerce said Tuesday. Chinese travellers spent 39% more on US travel according to the report, while visitors from Singapore, South Korea, Brazil and Canada increased spending by 30% or more, the AFP reports. The US could benefit from further increased foreign tourist spending if it goes through with a proposition to reform its stringent visa application process.
Denmark to lay claim to new land
Explorers who make it to the far reaches of the North Pole might soon be able to return home to tell their families "I just got back from Denmark", which doesn't have quite the same exciting ring to it. After a leaked document revealed Denmark's plans to lay claim to the world's northernmost landmass Tuesday, The Danish government is expected to make an official announcement confirming its plans, according to Politiken. Reports vary regarding how much undiscovered oil has to do with Denmark's desire to put its name at the top of the globe.
Flying a plane with an open cockpit
Gawker recently speculated about the reasons people try to open airplane doors during flights. Perhaps some of these ill-advised fliers simply want to feel what it's like to fly soar through the clouds. If that's the case, they should try microlight aviation, which allows adventurous souls the chance to fly a plane with an open cockpit, similar to a hang glider. Gadling featured an amazing video of one such flight yesterday, with bonus views of Australia's Ningaloo Reef.
The mega retweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"Packing for the Greek Islands. What are best gifts for striking transport workers?"
-@BobTravelsWell, Bob Payne, contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveler, will surely have a better trip with the absence of a strike like the one in Athens last week that crippled transportation networks, halted public service and resulted in 17 injuries.