Just landed

15 Dec 2008 by Mark Caswell compiles stories from the lighter side of business travel. This week: Virgin Atlantic, Samsung Electronics Europe, the Palazzo Versace hotel Dubai, and the Andaz hotel Liverpool Street

Boarding game thought Christmas had come early when we received a large parcel from Virgin Atlantic at our offices last week. Turns out it was an “Anti Monopoly” boardgame to highlight the carrier’s umbrage with BA’s proposed tie-up with American Airlines. Sounds like a bit of a trivial pursuit to us.

TV tantrums

In a recent online survey, Samsung Electronics Europe discovered that nearly one in three people experience “flatscreen separation anxiety” when travelling abroad. Not only do hotel guests miss their TVs at home, but one in ten miss their teddy bear, while almost half of women miss their own pillow. However, the poll did not reveal if guests experience “minibar bereavement” when they return home.

Picture perfect

On the subject of homesickness, according to, 58 per cent of business travellers miss their loved ones when they’re away on trips, so the booking site has come up with a way to stay close on the road by offering pillow cases printed with photos of partners. And, of course, the added bonus is that they won’t complain when you dribble on them at the night.

Life’s a beach

Not content with the tallest building in the world and palms visible from space, a hotel in Dubai is taking luxury one step further by providing guests with a refrigerated beach. The sand at the Palazzo Versace hotel will feature underground heat-absorbing pipes and giant wind blowers to protect guests’ delicate tootsies from the scorching heat. Now that’s what we call a feet of engineering.

Silence is golden

Tired of being disturbed by noisy cinema-goers crunching popcorn or slurping on soft drinks? Then head along to the Silent Cinema at the Andaz hotel Liverpool Street, where visitors get wireless headphones to listen to their movie in peace and quiet. Here at, we think you’ll have the time of your life, but don’t let anyone put you in the corner. Visit

By Mark Caswell and Jenny Southan

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