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

Amazing things that should happen more often

People cannot get enough of Angry Birds: the brand’s third theme park is set to open next week in the UK. The Guardian looks inside the still-closed gates and provides background on the play place. [The Guardian]  

The editors of Travel + Leisure magazine put together a list of the 15 best up-and-coming hotels, from recent openings to fresh renovations. Winners include SLS South Beach, a luxury Miami property whose $45 million makeover was led by designer Philippe Starck and showcases “phantasmagorical murals". [T+L] 

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

It would work like Netflix -- except instead of DVDs customers would subscribe for private jet flights. That’s the idea behind a new start-up called SurfAir that’s manoeuvring to make private flying accessible to more travellers at $1,000/month, which includes tickets for four flights. We’re on board with this. [Mashable]

In the US, some individuals have turned to lawyers to create wills that pass on the gift of travel. One Minneapolis-based travel agency has teamed up with a law firm to create a travel trust, a way for parents and grandparents to place tax-exempt vacation funds into a family trust. Call it a dead giveaway. [USA Today]

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

It turns out “staycations”, often favoured as a money-saving alternative to a trip abroad, end up costing more than scheduling a full-out holiday, new research shows. This realization has more travellers leaning toward an international trip in the coming year, rather than a vacation nearby. [The Telegraph]

A biannual study unlocks the world’s most expensive cities for a hotel stay, and

some of the assumed top contenders — such as Paris or New York — surprisingly did not crack the top five spots. [CNNGo]

A class action suit is being brought against some of the most recognized names in hotels and online travel agencies, which are accused of conspiring to fix prices. The companies include big fish like Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and a number more. [Tnooz]

Six Flags announced it is shutting down its only drive-thru safari, located at its park in New Jersey. The company has not clearly stated why, but has said the animal sanctuary will remain in operation, so families might just have to settle for seeing monkeys in cages rather than climbing on cars. [Skift]

It’s a no-go

Two Qantas pilots were grounded for a cockpit dispute, an incident that came just two weeks after another pilot of the same airline was suspended after attempting to fly while intoxicated. The Qantas PR team must be working overtime. [Huffington Post]

The Mississippi River has been shallower than usual latey, which this week created a massive 97-boat jam in the river. It is still uncertain when the stretch of “closed” water will reopen for boats to pass. [CBS]

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