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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

Qantas has created a series of custom books for its “valued customers”. The bespoke printed books are the result of a collaboration between the airline and publisher Hachette, and are designed to take flyers only the length of the flight to read them. [Ad Age]

Flyers are the most satisfied they have been with North American airlines since 2006, JD Power & Associates’ 2013 North America Airline Satisfaction Study has revealed. The last time customer satisfaction was this high customers were not paying baggage fees. As it seems, passengers have come to accept the new fees that come with flying. [Bloomberg]

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

All eyes are on Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and the images he is tweeting from above. The Wall Street Journal compiled a slideshow of some of his most striking images taken from the international space station.

An optical illusion and tangerine geometric light show has taken over Paris’ Grand Palais. See still the video and photos of the installation here. [HuffPost]

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

Good news for an ailing economy: Greece is expected to welcome 17 million foreign tourists this summer. The country’s prime minister is asking that his country folk put on a smile and are gracious hosts to these visitors, despite local economic troubles. [The Guardian]

Global tourism statistics are out for 2012, and Europe holds its title as the tourism group leader, attracting more tourists than any other continent with $457 billion in earnings and a 43% share of the total number of travellers. Europe’s tourism only grew by 2% last year, though, while the Americas jumped by 7%, more than any other region. [Skift]

It’s been a rocky year so far for the cruise industry, but things might be turning around. Over about the last month, major cruise lines have announced sizable upgrades to their fleets, and the royal princess Kate Middleton is expected to christen the Royal Princess, a new ship from Princess Cruises debuting in Southampton, England, in mid-June. [The Canadian Press]

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

Booking a non-smoking hotel room does not necessarily mean you are safe from second-hand smoke, a new study from the journal Tobacco Control shows. Non-smoking hotel rooms in buildings with a partial ban had nicotine levels 40% higher than in rooms of completely non-smoking hotels. [Time]

There seemed to be a collective squeal when a giant yellow rubber duck artwork floated into Hong Kong harbour a couple weeks ago. In turns out the oversize bath toy met an early demise, though, deflating to a yellow puddle-like mass in the water and leading many bloggers to mourn its loss. [WSJ]

One Chinese government official is asking Chinese tourists to be more mindful of their behaviour when travelling. In particular, so as not to appear impolite, he wants them to not spit when they are travelling internationally and to keep quieter. [BBC]

Cancelled
It’s a no-go

Snakes, storms and scares all have forced emergency flight landings before, but unruliness in the form of Whitney Houston songs? That has to be a first. An American Airlines flight was diverted from its original destination of JFK after a passenger refused to stop belting out Whitney Houston hits. [ABC News]

 

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