Just landed

18 Jan 2008 by Mark Caswell compiles this week’s stories from the lighter side of business travel.

Formula for success

Etihad Airways has repainted one of its aircraft in the livery of a racing car, ahead of its sponsorship of next year’s inaugural Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. As part of the three-year deal, an Airbus A320 has been painted black, along with the image of a red racing car – rumours that the airline has employed Lewis Hamilton to pilot the plane are unfounded. 

Leaf it to the experts

The Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge is offering visitors the chance to have their tea leaves “read” by professional tasseographer Anne Brady. The free service is available every Saturday afternoon, for those having tea at the hotel. With sandwiches and pastries to choose from while Brady consults your future from the bottom of a cup, the offer should suit everyone to a tea.

Monkey business

Eager to show how straightforward it is to travel through Kansas City International, officials have put together a 60-second video clip featuring a chimpanzee using the US airport. The primate can be seen using the airport’s website, driving to the facility, and checking itself in – it’s not clear if the chimp was asked to remove its shoes at security.

On your bike

The Intercontinental Carlton Cannes has introduced a number of environmentally friendly initiatives. Guests can now choose to be transferred between the hotel and the airport in a hybrid Lexus GS450 car, and electric Solex bicycles are available for guests to hire during their stay – neighbouring hotels are said to be green with envy.

Night flight

A Swedish youth hostel owner has announced plans to convert a disused Boeing 747 into a hotel. The entrepreneur wants to use the aircraft, which is located close to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, to create an 80-room property including a “cockpit suite” – all puns intended, we assume.

By Mark Caswell

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