News

Just landed

30 Nov 2007 by Mark Caswell

Businesstraveller.com compiles this week’s stories from the lighter side of business travel.

Sheikhen not stirred

Qatar Airways has announced it will feature the entire collection of 21 Bond films on its new Oryx in-flight entertainment service. The new system, which will have over 150 films and 500 music albums on offer, will be phased in across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the Washington-Doha route being the first to see the new service in January next year. Businesstraveller.com wonders if the films will also come with a free martini?

Easy grooming

Not content with planes, car rentals, pizzas, cruises, internet cafés and mobile phones, the Easygroup has ventured into the world of male grooming, with Easy4Men.com. For £4.50 customers get a pack including three sachets each of shaving cream, hair and body wash, and aftershave balm. The total volume of the nine sachets comes under the current 100ml liquid restrictions at airports, meaning the pack can be taken in hand luggage. Despite the company’s orange logo, there are currently no plans for a self-tan kit.

Don’t forget your toothbrush

According to a recent survey by online travel company Orbitz, the item business travellers would miss most if their luggage were lost is the lowly toothbrush. Over half (57 per cent) worry about their gnashers being neglected, with missing deodorant coming in second, at 27 per cent. Mind you, the same survey says that almost a quarter of those surveyed have had to share a room with a colleague when travelling on business, which may explain the worries about personal hygiene…

Mobile ticketing

Transport for London is trialling mobile phones with built-in Oyster cards. If the trials are a success, passengers will be able to swipe their mobile on readers to pay for tube, bus, tram and selected train journeys in London. The O2 Wallet will be included on specially designed Nokia 6131 handsets – it’s not clear what will happen if you swipe the phone while in mid-conversation but businesstraveller.com is keeping its ear to the ground.

Swiss cuisine

First and business class passengers with Swiss Airlines can now sample cuisine from Switzerland’s Grisons canton. The airline has employed Frederic Breuil, executive chef at Badrutt’s Palace hotel in St Moritz, and his colleague Reto Mathis of Mathis Food Affairs in Corviglia, St Moritz, to come up with delicacies such as zucchetti stuffed with a seafood terrine, air-dried venison and gravlax with a dill and mustard sauce, and palace truffle gateau with walnut ice cream. Mathis Food Affairs is most famous for its La Marmite restaurant, so you’ll either love it or hate it.

A room with a vue

Business travellers to Paris might want to check out the latest in “high-end” luxury – a one-bedroom hotel perched on top of the Palais de Tokyo gallery. The prefab-constructed Hotel Everland was designed by Swiss artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, and comes with 1970s retro décor, views of the Eiffel Tower and a personal concierge. Prices start from around £300 and the room will be available until December 2008. Oh, and bring a bigger suitcase, as guests are actively encouraged to take the bath towels with them when they check out.

Fat chance

Air France has been forced to pay damages of £5,800 to a passenger who was asked to pay for a second seat due to his size. Jean-Jacques Jauffret, a French scriptwriter who weighs 170kg (26st 11lbs), said he felt humiliated when staff measured his girth with wrapping tape in front of other passengers at New Delhi airport. Still, we’re sure the person due to be sitting next to him was relieved. Do you think fat passengers should have to pay double? Click here to take part in our survey.

Mark Caswell

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