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

Amazing things that should happen more often

If you've had enough of the temporary neighbours at your hotel, consider the advice of travel blogger David Whitley, who has come up with a clever list of revenge tactics, including inviting the maids in and ordering food to their room. [Grumpy Traveller]

Intrepid traveller Graham Hughes has become the first person to visit every country on Earth, and managed the feat without ever boarding an aeroplane. After visiting more than 200 countries in nearly four years, Hughes gave a personal account of the journey from South Sudan, the world's newest country and the last on his list. [Telegraph]

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

In order to promote The Hobbit, Air New Zealand painted a mural featuring scenes from the new film spanning the length of the plane, and officially dubbed itself the "airline of Middle-earth." [Herald Sun]

A new high-speed train propelled by magnetic fields that would cut travel time in half has been proposed in Japan. Peek at the video to see how it would run. [Mashable]

Ready for takeoff

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

A UK government-backed consortium will begin testing remote-controlled civilian aircraft next month that will use the same technology as military drones -- which begs the question, will passengers ever be willing to board a flight with no pilot? [Daily Mail]

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced plans to build a new tourism complex in Dubai, including 100 hotels, a mall, a large park, several art galleries and a Universal Studios entertainment centre. Surprising, well, nobody, the "Mall of the World" will be the world's largest. [Telegraph]


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

United Airlines and Continental Airlines began their merger to form the biggest airline in the US in 2010, and two years on it's apparent that things still have yet to start going smoothly. A failed operations system and an abysmal on-time rate are just small examples of the myriad problems the airline faces. [NY Times]

Beginning today, Ryanair will implement even more new fees. The £2 processing fee comes along with the budget carrier announcing it will scrap exemptions from its £6 website administration fee. [Independent]

After a series of break-ins at Texas hotels, authorities are charging a 27-year-old man with the crime, reasoning that he learned how to break in after witnessing 24-year-old software developer Cody Brocious demonstrate how to disable electronic locks at a hacking demo. Brocious was easily able to remotely disable the locks used in about 400 million hotel rooms around the world, leading him to declare that he found a "glaring security vulnerability." [CNN]

China's controversial passport map, which includes territories also claimed by at least six other Asian countries, has already led to formal complaints by Vietnam and the Philippines, and Vietnam's refusal to stamp the passport at border crossings. Meanwhile, experts are warning that the map could have long term impact on relations with its neighbours. [Guardian]

It’s a no-go

According to the latest figures, Hurricane Sandy is believed to have caused $62 billion in damage and losses. The number is higher than previously estimated, with New York and New Jersey taking most of the hit. After Katrina, Sandy is the second-most costly storm the US has endured. [Associated Press]

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