Leave your iPhone at home
While most hotels are scurrying to keep up with travellers' demands for in-room Internet, Marriott plans to offer tech-free "braincation" zones this winter at nine luxury resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. No cellphones or electronic devices will be allowed. The move follows a Marriott survey in which 85 per cent of respondents said they had been annoyed while travelling by someone talking loudly on a cellphone and 31 per cent said they had been tempted to throw their mobile device into the ocean.
Of mice and security men
An Israeli company is promoting a new tool for airline security agents: sniffer mice. Should the BioExplorers system be adopted, boarding passengers would be directed to a booth to have air blown over their bodies, then sucked out. A posse of eight mice would be trained to gather in a reporting area should they smell explosives, drugs, money or other suspicious items. Otherwise, within eight seconds, the traveller would be given a green light to proceed. A prototype of the technology will be tested next year.
Long haul luxe
Life is getting sweeter for privileged first-class passengers on two airlines. United has launched a turn-down service on its long-haul flights. Fliers can now ask cabin staff to make up their flat beds with a sleeping cushion, duvet and pillows. Meanwhile, South American-based TAM Airlines has a new four-seat first-class cabin modelled on a home living room. Features include individual closets, a library with books, a dining table, wall-mounted TVs and seats that convert to an ottoman sofa.
Sources: Marriott International, Agence France-Presse, CNN, airline trends.com