Weekend what we’re reading: Airbus 380 surprising facts, free hotel breakfasts, travel gimmicks, where do we find these guys?


This weekend, we look at some surprising facts about the Airbus 380, the largest plane in the sky. We examine the rise of the free hotel breakfast, see some new gimmicks that just might work to entice travelers to visit new properties and venues, and we learn about US Homeland Security air marshals behaving badly.

9 surprising facts about the A380

Queen-size has long been the gentle euphemism for ladies of heft, and the moniker is often and appropriately applied to the new Airbus jumbo jet, the A380. Dozens of superlatives have been used to describe its sizable impact on aviation. The world’s largest passenger airplane is setting new standards for fuel efficiency and technological innovation. All of which is to say that looks aren’t everything. For the A380, that’s a good thing because the double-decker Airbus resembles a whale more than a plane. Here are some surprising facts about the A380.

Free breakfast Is a big selling point for budget hotel chains

One of my favorite rituals when traveling is breakfast at the hotel. When it is free, I am even happier. The last time I faced a mandatory resort fee, I stopped complaining when I learned that it included free breakfast with made-to-order omelettes and pancakes every morning (the resort fee was only $10). Hotels are starting to take notice and add better breakfast amenities.

“It’s extremely important. Everybody eats breakfast,” says Jody Smith, who has for 10 years managed the Embassy Suites on Austin’s South Congress Avenue. “I believe it’s one of the reasons why people stay here.”

An acknowledgement of that assessment is the proliferation of free breakfasts at hotel chains and the fact that even full-service hotels that don’t offer free breakfast now often include it when they put together promotional packages. In the same way that coffeepots started making their way into the rooms of full-service hotels years back, those hotels are now starting to acknowledge that people like eating breakfast.

13 of the coolest travel ‘gimmicks’

Would these gimmicks make you want to visit these establishments and sights? A Gyroscopic pool table? An undersea restaurant? Transparent cruise ship walkway? And, 10 more.

Tell us what you think.

Air marshal accused of taking photos under skirts

‘Nuff said. Sad state of affairs. Government surveillance is getting out of hand.

A federal air marshal has been arrested and accused of taking cell phone photographs underneath women’s skirts as they boarded a plane at Nashville International Airport.