Singapore luxury ‘car vending machine’ dispenses Ferraris, Bentleys

A futuristic 15-story showroom in Singapore dubbed the “world’s largest luxury car vending machine,” has opened offering customers million-dollar supercars, including Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Porsches.

The facility built by used car dealer Autobahn Motors (ABM) simulates a “fish-bone” system capable of minimizing wind resistance. About 60 luxury cars are displayed in its illuminated showcase.

Vehicles on offer run from modern luxury sports cars to classics, including a 1955 Morgan Plus 4.

According to the company, customers on the ground floor choose from a touchscreen display which car they want to see. The car arrives within one to two minutes using an advanced vehicle retrieval system.

The vending machine format aims to make efficient use of space in land-scarce Singapore as well as standing out from the competition, said ABM General Manager Gary Hong.

“We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative,” he told Reuters, adding that developers have shown interest in using the company’s Automotive Inventory Management System for parking services.

US company Carvana also uses vending machine-like towers to sell used cars. In March, it opened an eight-floor facility that holds up to 30 cars in San Antonio, Texas. In total, the company has four locations across the United States, with the first car vending machine opened in late 2015. Carvana customers can drop a coin in the slot and pick up their new purchases at the vending machines or have the cars delivered directly to their door.

Farmers convert van to a glamorous romantic getaway

article-2415611-1BB1CDFE000005DC-453_634x414Paul and Anne Ormond, of Banbury, Oxfordshire, spent three months turning a 1974 Bedford TK they bought on eBay into a glamorous camping destination.A double bedroom is installed above the driver’s cabin with a sofa,wood burner and antique furniture in the back.The van is parked in a corner of their 250 acre farm and boasts a stunning view over the countryside.There is an small decking area on the outside  where the guests can enjoy the views and a composting toilet and shower.The van treated as a romantic getaway has hosted a number of soap stars and costs $160 per night.

No Bottles or Plates Allowed at Ukraine’s Unique Jar Bar

jar-cafe-550x366The Jar Bar, in Kiev, Ukraine, is the only place in the world where every item on the menu is served in glass pickle jars. To make sure patrons understand the concept, there’s even a sign on the door that shows bottles, glasses, bowls, cups and any other kind of dishes are strictly forbidden.

Although there are a handful of cafés and bars that use glass jars as dishes, the founders of Kiev’s Jar Bar claim no other venue in the world has taken such a radical approach to the concept as to serve every single item on the menu in jars. From soup, to ice cream, coffee and cocktails everything at this unique venue comes in glasses of various sizes. According to the bar’s official site, eating from a jar reminds people of home, taking them back to their childhood days when they tasted the delicious pickles made by their grandmothers, straight out of the jar. The unusual dishes also make it easy for customers to order their favorite foods and drinks to-go, or take leftovers with them. All they have to do is ask waiters for a jar lid. Apart from being the only available dishes, jars are also used for decoration purposes. The light fixtures are all large glass jars, the bar is lined with pickle jars, and the wallpaper is also jar-themed.Created Kiev restaurateur Maksym Khramov and marketing expert Anton Biletsky, the Jar Bar is located at the crossing of Oleny Teligy and Dorogozhytska streets, in Kiev, but its owners plan to open new venues at various locations around the Ukrainian capital, and eventually use a franchise model to expand nationally. It was about time bottles got some proper competition.

 

courtesy: odditycentral

http://www.odditycentral.com/travel/no-bottles-or-plates-allowed-at-ukraines-unique-jar-bar.html

Virgin Australia launches loyalty program for pets

pets_2607268bOwners of pet dogs and cats that travel on Virgin Australia domestic flight can now collect a minimum of 300 points that can then be used to obtain discounts on future flights.This is Australia’s first frequent flier programme for pets, but similar schemes are already available on other long-haul flights.Virgin Atlantic launched its Flying Paws scheme in 2005 which entitles each canine and feline passenger to a welcome onboard pet pack. Dogs receive a Virgin Atlantic t-shirt and a sparkly dog tag, while cats have a toy mouse to play with and a collar tag. Each will also receive a pet passport with a record of their flights and points which they can redeem for gifts such as dog bowls or bonus miles for their owner.Loyalty schemes for animals is the latest trend catering for pets within the travel industry

 

Etihad introduces ‘flying nannies’ to entertain kids on board

etihad_2659364bEtihad Airways is introducing the concept of ‘flying nannies’ to assist families and help children during long flights. 300 nannies will be brought on board on various flights to keep the little ones amused with face painting,puppets,magic tricks and origami. For older children there are quizzes and tours of the gallery. Etihad expects to have 500 nannies approved by Norland, a childcare training college in the UK, bringing order to the skies by the end of the year.According to the airlines, the nannies will entertain the children but will not be able to take off their parent’s hands entirely.The airline has also released tips for parents flying with young children.

Disaster Café – a rocking place to be

Disaster-CafeDisaster Café, in Lloret de Mar, Spain has customers waiting in queue to feel a 7.8 earthquake.Quakes happen all the time, and all one can do is try to keep the water from spilling. The ground level is an alien themed restaurant for kids.Weekends shows include wacky aliens and lots of fun activities but for the grown ups the excitement is from the depths of the Earth where they are seated in a cave like restaurant. Staff’s with construction helmets hover around and dishes served are a lot more heavier than normal so that it does not fly off when shaken. And then the place shakes and lights start to go out, women begin screaming, chairs, tables and pretty much everything in the room starts moving. There’s spilled food and liquids thrown everywhere but no serious injuries.The food at Disaster Café is apparently pretty good and for the strong hearted this place is definitely worth a visit the next time you’re in Costa Brava, Spain.

The creative ways hotel staff get back at rude guests

Former hotel employee Jacob Tomsky has revealed the dirty secrets that luxury hotels don’t want guests to know in his new book Heads in Beds: A reckless Memoir of Hotel, Hustlers and So-Called Hospitality. Having worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to working behind the front desk, Tomsky has spilled the beans on the creative ways staff get back at rude hotel guests.
Bored, overworked and often under-appreciated, staff have all the time and energy in the world to enact their revenge, which may include mini-bar raids and prank calls.

He said the wealthier the guests the more likely they were to be loudly and wildly abusive, while celebrities are often the worst of them all.

“A lot of people are watching Downton Abbey now, and they think, ‘Oh, I’ve got servants, too!’,” he said.

“Especially the affluent,  they treat people as they never would otherwise. Meanwhile, hardworking people – who might be getting screwed – won’t say anything.

“It’s the people who have way more money who want everything now, and they want it for free.”

Here are six inventive ways hotel staff get revenge on rude customers:

Keybombing

Having trouble accessing your room with your key card? You’ve probably upset someone at the front desk. They love to watch with amusement when flustered guests return to get the key re-activated.

Minibar raids

You’d better look over your bill closely, annoyed hotel staff often wander in and steal from mini-bars, or deliberately miscalculate your charges. If you’ve used valet parking, your car isn’t safe either.

Do forget your toothbrush!

You may want to be cautious of your toothbrush – it has been “fouled”, Tomsky warns.

Prank calls
Tomsky confesses to making a drunken midnight phone call to freak out one particularly mean guest. “I informed him he was an a–hole and he should sleep like s–t,” Tomsky says. And it did make him feel better. “But I got to the point where I built a wall up. I got an incredibly thick skin, and I really didn’t care.”

Room karma
Cause a scene while checking in? You’ll probably be downgraded to a lousy room. “You probably could have had a really nice suite,” Tomsky said. “And you’ll never know it. I became the master of instant karma. And if I saw a Black AmEx – watch out.”

Gross drinking glasses
All of your drinking glasses have been cleaned not with soap and water but furniture polish – apparently it makes them sparkle.

Rome tourists face €500 fine for snacking

Visitors who want to emulate Audrey Hepburn in the classic film Roman Holiday will be slapped with hefty fines under a new law adopted by the city’s council. Under the law, tourists are prohibited from eating pizza, sandwiches, panini or any other snacks around many of the monuments and architectural treasures in the ‘centro storico’ or historic centre of the Eternal City. They include the marble fountains of Piazza Navona, which is thronged with cafés, restaurants and street artists, as well as the stone walls which surround the Pantheon, a former Roman temple converted into a church, and Via dei Fori Imperiali, the broad approach to the Colosseum, the ancient Roman arena where gladiators once fought. Fines will range from 25 euros up to 500 euros, in what one Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, described as a war against the sandwich.

“It is forbidden to encamp or erect makeshift shelters and stop to eat or drink in zones which have a particular historic or architectural value,” reads the ordinance adopted by Rome city council. The law is intended to “guarantee the protection of areas of merit in the historic centre.” Similar bans have been adopted in Venice, where eating snacks on the street is prohibited in St Mark’s Square, as well as Florence and Bologna. “This is a way to re-educate people about how to behave in this city. We’ve let standards fall,” said Viviana Di Capua, from an association of residents who live in the historic centre.

“At the moment people can do anything they like in this city. We need to restore respect. It’s just a first step – a lot more needs to be done,” she said. She called for a crackdown on drinking alcohol in Rome’s cobbled streets and piazzas, while other campaigners said they wanted to see an end to the pub crawls that have become popular with young foreign tourists, particularly Britons, Americans and Australians.

Carrying Freedom pass or Prison Pass

Citizens of a certain northern European country enjoy visa-free travel to 157 countries—more than any other nationality. Who are these lucky travellers? WHICH nationalities have it easiest when travelling abroad? In one sense, it’s the Danes, who enjoy visa-free travel to 157 different countries—more than any other nationality. The Finns, Irish and Portuguese are almost as popular and can visit 156 countries without a visa; for Germans, Swedes, Belgians and Americans the figure’s 155.

The numbers come from Henley and Partners, a company specialising in international residences and citizenships, which has released a survey looking at international visa restrictions as of September 2008. The table is propped up by a sadly predictable pairing, Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghan travellers can only enter 22 countries without a visa.

While citizens of rich, democratic countries generally encounter less bureaucracy, there are plentiful anomalies. Citizens of the world’s largest democracy, India, must obtain visas before heading to all but 37 countries. Those from troubled, undemocratic Zimbabwe can visit 52 without hassle.

Ryanair boss slams Ms McLeod ‘idiot’ for having forgotten boarding pass

Last month, Ms McLeod received the backing of more than half a million Facebook users after the airline charged her €300 (£236) to print out five boarding passes before a flight from Alicante to Bristol. Ms McLeod wrote on the social networking site: “I had previously checked in online but because I hadn’t printed out the boarding passes, Ryanair charged me €60 per person! Meaning I had to pay €300 for them to print out a piece of paper! Please ‘like’ if you think that’s unfair.” More than 500,000 people lent their support. But the Ryanair boss branded her “stupid” for falling foul of the airline’s boarding card reissue rules. “We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid,” he said. “She wasn’t able to print her boarding card because, as you know, there are no internet cafes in Alicante, no hotels where they could print them out for you, and you couldn’t get to a fax machine so some friend at home can print them and fax them to you.

“She wrote to me last week asking for compensation and a gesture of goodwill. To which we have replied, politely but firmly, thank you Mrs McLeod but it was your ****-up.” He claimed that 99.98 per cent of Ryanair passengers did print their boarding passes in advance: “To those who don’t, we say quite politely: ‘B***** off’”. Although Ms McLeod, 35, from Newbury, printed boarding passes out for herself, her two children, and her parents, on the outgoing flight from Bristol to Alicante, she says she was unable to print out the boarding passes for her return flight due to the length of her holiday. Ryanair only permits passes to be printed out two weeks in advance of departure, but her trip lasted 15 days. Had Ms McLeod forgotten to print her own boarding passes on the flight from Bristol to Alicante, she would have faced an even greater bill of £300. This is because Ryanair uses an exchange rate of £1=€1 when calculating its numerous fees – a policy which, due to the weak euro, means British passengers are charged more.
The no-frills airline has been criticised in the past for imposing hefty charges on its passengers. In addition to the £60/€60 fee for reissuing boarding passes, passengers are charged a £6/€6 per person per flight “admin fee” and a £6/€6 “web check-in fee”. Ryanair also recently introduced an “EU261 levy” to offset the cost of paying compensation for flight delays and cancellations, and since January it has also charged an “ETS levy” to cover the cost of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, under which airlines are fined for exceeding carbon emissions limits.

Ryanair passengers wishing to check in a single bag, meanwhile, are charged between £15/€15 and £40/€40 per person per flight, depending on the time of year, their destination, and the weight of their luggage. Carriage of sports or musical equipment costs £50/€50.

Travellers at Gatwick walk 1.12 miles to board flight

New figures have revealed that passengers flying from Gatwick’s North Terminal can expect to walk up to 1.12 miles to reach their departure gate.  The study, carried out by Direct Line travel insurance, compares the distance that passengers must travel at some of Britain’s busiest airports. It showed that travellers at Gatwick face the longest walk, using the distance from the terminal entrance to the furthest departure gate. Despite Heathrow’s position as the largest UK hub, the equivalent journey from the airport’s Terminal 5 was 0.76 miles, placing it second behind Gatwick. Journeys at Manchester and Stansted came in at a more manageable 0.57 and 0.48 miles respectively, with part of the journey at Stansted made by way of a new transit system. Gatwick’s 1.12 mile hike also places it ahead of many of the world’s busiest airports, including New York JFK, Tokyo, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong.

However, it is only half the distance that passengers travelling from Beijing Capital airport can expect to face. Those departing from the airport’s Terminal 3 have to contend with a mammoth two mile journey to the furthest gate. Direct Line also recorded long distances at Atlanta, Zurich and Frankfurt, leaving Gatwick in fifth place worldwide. Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line said, “Holidaymakers travelling from Gatwick may not realise they could face a journey of more than a mile to reach a departure gate. We would advise them to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to reach their flight. “This is particularly important during the next few weeks as all of the major airports in the UK are likely to be very busy due to the peak summer holiday season.”

It’s cheapest to catch a plane on a Tuesday in the UK

Tuesdays are the cheapest day to fly, according to new research.  A major study by consumer group Which? found that Tuesdays are the cheapest day of the week to fly out of Britain, and traveling midweek can save people a significant sum of money. For outbound flights Tuesday was, on average, the cheapest day to fly with the three biggest airlines in the UK. Flights with Easy Jet from London Gatwick to Alicante on a Friday were, on average, 35 per cent or £28 more expensive than a Tuesday. Which? found flying on a Sunday was, on average, the most expensive day to return home. Return flights with Easy Jet from London Gatwick to Alicante on Sundays were, on average, 45 per cent or £56 more expensive than Thursdays.

The study also revealed that as well as cheaper days, there were cheaper times of the day to fly, though this varied across different airlines. BA’s cheapest outbound flights were before 7.30am in the morning. However, outbound flights with Easy Jet between 5.45am and 11am in the mornings were their most expensive. Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: “With household budgets squeezed, holidaymakers will want to make sure they are getting a good deal on their flights. “We found that people can save a significant sum of money if they shop around and can be flexible, changing the day or time they choose to travel.” Which? analyzed 1,174 flights in September from three London airports to three destinations in Europe – Dublin, Barcelona and Alicante. It tracked the prices, in August, for one person with one piece of checked-in luggage on a return flight.

Ryanair food costs more than price of flight

The cost of food and drinks bought during the journey can amount to more than the price of a single fare with the budget airline. Six basic items from a Ryanair in-flight menu, such as a cup of tea, a sandwich, a tin of Pringles, a Kit Kat, a bottle of water and a glass of wine, were found to cost £18.07 in total. That bill is higher than the £18 price of one-way flights currently being offered by the airline to Genoa, Warsaw and Paris. The cost of similar items on other budget airlines come to slightly less, with the bill for the six items reaching £16.10 with Aer Lingus, and £14.75 with easyJet. The research, by the price comparison website TravelSupermarket.com, found that some items could cost up to ten times as much as they would in supermarkets, with an 1,083 per cent mark-up on still water on an Aer Lingus flight and a 1,036 per cent price increase in the price of flapjacks on Flybe.

The figures also showed that hot drinks were the most extortionately priced – with drinks such as tea and coffee costing an average of 2,355 per cent more than they would in the supermarket. On a Ryanair flight, a 500ml bottle of still water, a cup of tea and a cup of coffee all cost £2.76 each. EasyJet charges £2.50 for tea and coffee but only £1.50 for the same size bottle of water.

Ryanair food costs more than price of flight

A Baby born on an international flight has been named after the airline

A baby boy  was born in the toilet of an Emirates flight, number EK 322 travelling from Dubai to Manila. He has been named Ek after the airline code. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Vietnam for the Filipina woman and her baby to receive treatment on August 22, Gulfnews partner website XPRESS reported.

Two nurses and four flight attendants reportedly helped deliver and care for the child, who was premature at 27 weeks. One of the nurses says after seeing the mother in pain, she followed her to bathroom where she found the newborn inside the toilet turning bluish-brown.

She and another nurse on board helped clean the amniotic fluid from the baby’s mouth, nose and ears. Meanwhile, the flight attendants gave the mother and child oxygen masks and kept the baby warm with two LED reading lamps attached to the passenger seats. XPRESS reported that the mother has been released from the hospital, but the baby remained in critical care.