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Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.

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During an emergency stop in Damascus, the crew of an Air France flight asked its passengers how much cash they could come up with. The flight had been re-routed to Syria, and local authorities wouldn’t let them purchase fuel with a credit card because of the political crisis. Luckily, it proved unnecessary to pass the hat and the plane made its onward connection. [Reuters]

A stranded jet skier jumped the fence at JFK airport in New York and walked across the runway undetected, raising concerns about the quality of a $100 million security system from Raytheon. [CNN]

Ikea announced plans to build and develop more than 100 budget hotels across Europe. The nine billion euro retailer will not require guests to build their own furniture. Disappointingly, the hotels won’t even have the company’s famous flat-pack furniture. [Financial Times]

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Amazing things that should happen more often

The media is prone to dwelling on the negatives of air travel. But look on the bright side: airlines' lost bag and punctuality rates are the best they've been in 20 years, at least in the US. [USA Today]

Even when paying top dollar for a hotel room, internet fees can be extortionate. Here are four ways to avoid paying for hotel wi-fi. [Mashable]

In-flight entertainment
Photos, videos and wacky news stories that went viral on the Web this week

A geographer at Sheffield University in England designed a world map based on Olympic medal totals. The ranking greatly increased the size of the UK, but forced Greenland completely off the map. An alternate map based on medals per capita puts Grenada in the lead. [Guardian; Medals Per Capita]

It’s the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, can you believe it? Here’s a slide show of Elvis-themed attractions worth visiting, like the Heartbreak Hotel and, of course, Graceland. [HuffPostTravel]

Turbulence
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

A pair of Swedish roommates using Airbnb returned from vacation to find their home had been raided by police after the renters reportedly used it as a brothel. [Gadling]

It’s been seven months since the Costa Concordia crashed, yet tourists are already queueing to buy tickets for a ferry ride to get photos with the half-submerged wreck. Some critics question whether it's too soon for disaster tourism. [Daily Mail]

A flight attendant forced a nonverbal, autistic teen to turn off her iPad, the girl's sole form of communication. Following the incident the internet was in an uproar, begging the question whether an exception should have been made or if whether it’s just time to change the policy on pre-flight electronic use. [Jezebel]

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