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

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Amazing things that should happen more often

That wild, abandoned island in Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, is real and open to intrepid travellers. Hashima Island (better known by its nickname Gunkanjima), is located off the west coast of Japan. [Gakuranman]

Pooch owners can locate dog-sitters more easily with booking site DogVacay, also referred to as “Dog AirBnB”. The site recently raised six million dollars in investments, so people are expecting big growth from the company. [Slate]

Through 30 April 2013, Virgin America says it will match elite status for qualifying elite level United and American customers in the airline’s equivalent “gold” and “silver” levels. Benefits include priority boarding and a free checked bag. [USA Today]

In-flight entertainment        
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week

Food bloggers have changed the iconic Tube map of London’s subway system, replacing the names of stations with the names of recommended restaurants at each stop in zones 1 and 2. What a delicious idea! [Cheese and Biscuits]

A survey of 700 cabin crewmembers from 85 countries reveals the most annoying air passenger habits. The leading gripe, complained about by one out of four flight attendants, is when travellers snap their fingers to get attention. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead

The Philippines is developing into an international destination for those looking to learn English on a budget. In particular, the islands are drawing students from Iran, Libya, Brazil and Russia who choose to take their courses there for a fraction of the price as similar ones offered in more expensive countries such as the UK, US and Australia. [BBC]

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

The company that produces London’s instantly recognizable black cabs recently declared bankruptcy. Manganese Brown’s cabs have been cruising the streets of London for more than a century, but it is presently unclear what the company’s future will be. Nissan’s modernised version of the black cab arrives in 2014. [Time; The Telegraph]

One of the “worst hotels in the world” — a budget hostel in Amsterdam — has made the most out of its title by joking about it in promotional materials. The approach seems to work too; the property has a number of bookings. [ABC]

Many countries hoping to persuade its citizens to use bicycles look to emulate the Dutch example. Ironically, there could potentially be too many bikes on the road in the Netherlands and a lack of infrastructure to support all the cyclists. [Grist]

Cancelled
It’s a no-go

The European Union has put off enacting a law to limit carbon emissions from airplanes. Under the proposal, all airlines flying in and out of the EU would have to be part of a “cap and trade system”. [Grist]

Widespread anti-austerity protests across Europe this week interrupted travel, with a number of flights cancelled to destinations like Spain and Portugal. [BBC]

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