Purim is a holiday celebration like no other
Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.
Stories we're watching closely
A British tourist that was kidnapped and taken to Somalia six months ago has been freed. The woman -- who was kidnapped during a raid on a Kenyan resort that took her husband's life -- returned to Kenya after family members raised the demanded ransom. She will be under the care of British Embassy officials until returning home to the UK. [GlobalPost]
Hollywood director James Cameron is attempting to take a one-man submarine to the bottom of the deepest place in the ocean, the Mariana Trench — a feat accomplished only once before. Of course, the submarine is equipped with 3D cameras for your future viewing pleasure. [BBC News]
Less than a week after Air Canada had to cancel about 100 flights due to a surge in pilots calling out sick, the carrier's ground crew went on strike Friday, resulting in more than two dozen cancellations already. [USA Today/Associated Press]
Amazing things that should happen more often
More airlines are exploring options to bring inexpensive in-flight wi-fi to passengers. Most low-cost options utilise satellites, while the majority of current technology for aeroplane wi-fi uses ground-based technology. [USA Today]
Somebody call Alec Baldwin. The FAA is reconsidering its use of electronics on planes. [Gadling]
US space tourism could launch as early as 2014, and is expected to be a $1 billion industry within decade, according to the FAA. With tickets already selling for up to $200,000 each, it might not even take that long. [Huffington Post Travel]
A Legoland Hotel opened in Windsor, UK, this week. Unfortunately, it is not 100% built from Legos, but the themed rooms are still plenty exciting for the kid in all of us. [Telegraph]
The most retweeted item of the week was this list of 15 food etiquette tips from around the world, including rules like not drinking cappuccinos in Italy before noon, avoiding eating anything with your hands in Chile and not mixing — or turning down — vodka in Russia. [MSNBC]
Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead
Popular home rentals site Airbnb has purchased its UK competitor Crashpadder, which has about 7,000 hosts in 100 countries. [Fast Company]
Singapore Airlines' new no-frills carrier “Scoot” (which, believe it or not, is its real name) is set for June take-off, starting with daily service between Singapore and Sydney. [CNN International]
Holiday Inn-parent IHG launched a new brand for China to be named Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts. The new brand will include a tea house instead of a traditional bar, restaurants that offer local food vs fine dining, and foot massage instead of a spa. [USA Today]
On Thursday, Google launched the new edition of its Street View application and updated the service with imagery and data from the Amazon River, making it possible to explore the area from the computer. [Gadling]
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride
A video of an O'Hare International Airport TSA agent patting down a young boy in a wheelchair with a broken leg went viral this past week. The incident actually occurred in 2010, but the boy's father only recently uploaded the video online. [CBS Chicago]
After spending decades as an isolated military dictatorship, Myanmar has started to reform and the tourists have been flooding in. The downside is that the country is struggling to handle the new surge in guests.
The trouble for India's Kingfisher Airlines seems to be getting worse, as the state warned the carrier that its license could soon be cancelled if it doesn't get its act together.