Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.
#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.
#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.
#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.
Huge jumbo jet, tiny runway. Despite all the technology involved, some planes still land in the wrong place. This exact thing happened in November 2013, when a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter landed at a tiny airport in Kansas, 8 miles from its original destination. New pilots were brought in and the flight was (just about) able to take off the next day.
Predict the weather with plane trails. The little white lines in the sky that planes leave behind will tell you if it’s about to rain. If the con trails are thick, long last tails indicate a storm is on the way, while thin, short lasting tails suggest decent weather.
LAX was once shut down over a haircut. Los Angeles International Airport had two runways shutdown for an hour when a hair stylist was called to Air Force One, to give then President Bill Clinton a short, back and sides. That’s one of our absolute favourite facts about flying!
You don’t get drunk faster in the air. Contrary to popular belief, Mythbusters asked an ‘alcohol expert’ who said your alcohol level doesn’t increase, but you can get higher levels of hypoxi. That’s less oxygen in your blood. The symptoms are similar to drunkenness, but that’s no excuse!
Pilots don’t eat the same meals. It’s one of those just-in-case things. It’s not exactly forbidden by airlines, but it is discouraged.
Flying is incredibly safe. Even though aviophobia, fear of flying is very common, the risk of dying in a commercial flight varies, but it is well over 1 in 5 million. Safe enough if you ask us.
If you’re still scared.Statistics say the back of the airplane is safer than the front. In over half of 20 crashes surveyed, passengers at the back had a better rate of survival.
A plane lands somewhere in the world every 3 seconds. In the US alone, around 87,000 planes take off every single day. Don’t believe us? Take a look at flight tracker to see what’s in the air right now.
You can’t get stuck on an airplane toilet. The 2002 news story about a woman trapped on a toilet for two hours because of the vacuum suction was announced as a myth. In reality the flush button is behind the lid, so it’s not possible to push it while you’re doing your business.
Don’t bother with tea. Sorry, but it’s impossible to make a good cup of tea on a flight. Air pressure is reduced, so water boils at 90 degrees, so it’s never quite hot enough for a proper brew.
Do you have anymore facts about flying? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth is celebrating the release of the new Hobbit film early, with a scary Smaug themed livery for its planes. A Boeing 777-300 has been specially touched up to show the dragon Smaug all the way down each side to celebrate the release of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.
The plane’s new livery is all part of a theme for Air New Zealand who pull out all the stops when it comes to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Last year there was a similar effort when various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey featured on the side of an aircraft. However, this year the mighty dragon Smaug voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch takes the starring role. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s been a privilege to collaborate with the film team and Director Peter Jackson; “we worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”
The no-frills airline announce on 28th November it was to allow passengers to bring a second small carry-on bag for free. It’ll also see the Ryanair boarding card fee reduced from €70/£70 to €15/£15 for customers who are already checked in online. This will presumably come into play if a customer has already printed out their check in card and mislaid it.
It’s part of CEO Micheal O’Leary’s plan for a whole series of customer service improvements across the Ryanair network. It comes in addition to a grace period of 24 hours to correct minor booking mistakes and a selection of new quieter flights, (pre 8am and post 9pm.) There’ll be no more fighting over seats either, as fully allocated booking will be introduced on 1st February.
Maybe the most important part of the changes is Ryanair hand luggage size. In addition to a single 10kg cabin bag, te introduction of a second small bag, from this Sunday (Dec 1) means there’ll be less trying to wear all your clothes at once like Joey From Friends – or these girls… However don’t think you’ll be grabbing another big case, the dimensions of the second bag must be 35cm x 20cm x 20cm.
Ryanair’s head of communications Robin Kiely said: “We are actively listening and responding to our customers so that they can continue to expect low fares and on-time flights, but can now enjoy a second small carry-on bag and reduced boarding card reissue fees for those who have checked-in online, along with easier website access, 24 hour grace periods and quiet flights, with further improvements set to be rolled out over the coming months.”
While you might wonder about the ethics or even legal status of joining the Mile High Club, it’s no secret that it’s a bucket list entry for lots of people. Seeing a niche business opportunity a US based airline has created a special package for couples who want to do just that.
Flamingo Air, based in Ohio, USA, is offering private flights especially for couples who want to get on board with love in the air. The hour long flight in a Piper Cherokee 6 plane has its own private love nest, and as mentioned on the site, a very discreet pilot (!) Offering champagne and chocolates, the flights of fancy will set you back $425, but promise to give you a flight you won’t forget.
So, ditch the tricky trips to the toilets and take it easy at 20,000 feet in the comfort of your own personal (temporary) bedroom. Just remember, these flights take two people at a time, so no extra funny business!
A job title that starts with “professional sleeper” isn’t one you see everyday. A hotel in the heart of Helsinki, Finland’s capital, is looking for someone to test out the comfort and sleep quality of its 35 rooms.
The Hotel Finn wants someone to promote the hotel which has undergone a huge renovation project. Hotel manager Tio Tikka told the AP they want ‘a dynamic person to write a quality blog” about a charming stay at the “best spot of summer Helsinki.” If you’re about to rush out with your CV, you better know you need to be fluent in English and Finnish, with a bit of Russian thrown in.
The latest social media kid on the block has offered up a brand new kind of postcard.
Thanks to Tnooz for first highlighting how Vine allows users to post six second snippets of anything and everything, with just one rule, it can’t be edited. Six seconds seems tiny doesn’t it? well, there’s actually a lot you can tell in that time, and travellers are jumping in on the action with amazing postcards from all over the world.
Here are some of our favourites so far in Vietnam, New York and Italy, tell us yours in the comments below!
Meet the new electric scooter by Hungarian design company Antro Group, that fits up neatly into a suitcase, so you can forget about airport parking or weekender tickets and just get on your way.
We’re told the scooter packs up in just two minutes, so it’s ideal for travellers on the go, and thanks to clever design features, there are no greasy stains as you pack it away. CEO of the Antro Group Tamas Slezak says it’s a simple, easy and eco-friendly way to get around the biggest cities in the world.
The scooter known as the Moveo weighs around 25 kilos and its battery lasts for a whopping 22 miles! However users will really find the benefits in hopping in and out of busy city destinations and of course its swish golden colour. To top it off, bringing it around with you ensures you won’t lose it… unless of course you end up leaving it somewhere! The £2,000 model is set to be on sale from the end of the year.
Passports are tricky things, we can’t tell you the amount of stories we’ve heard from people who realize they’ve left theirs at home the day they were meant to travel, missing flights because they couldn’t find it, or realising it’s out of date the a week before you leave!!
We don’t want your holiday to be ruined by something like that, so we wanted to answer some of your most asked passport questions in one handy place. First thing is, it is your responsibility to keep your passport safe and in good order.
It usually takes around three weeks to renew a passport and the price changes depending on how fast you request it. You need to bear this in mind when making a booking and ensure your passport will have arrived well before you leave.
If your passport is going to expire soon, you should think about applying for a new one early. Some countries require a minimum of two years validity on your passport from the date you arrive home.
Our rule guideline is that you have validity of at least six months left in your passport after your return date. If you have specific questions you should contact the consulate or embassy of the country you are travelling to. You can search here for UK guidelines on passport requirements by country.
It’s a good idea to leave copies of your passport, insurance details, ticket details and itinerary with friends and family at home too.
Lost: If you’ve lost your passport, or believe it has been stolen you’ll need to report it to the local police so you can get a copy of the report. You will need that to get replacement passport papers and for insurance reasons. Get in touch with the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate too.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, you will need to fill in an LS01 form (available from the local embassy/consulate.) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will issue you with replacement documents to get back to the UK.
If you need to travel urgently, it is possible to get an emergency passport but you will need to show some document verifying your identity and a copy of a police report if it has been stolen. There is a fee involved in this too, so be prepared to pay the price. And not all countries accept an Emergency Travel Document (ETD.)
Similarly if you’ve reported your passport is missing to an embassy or consulate and you find it tucked away in a bag or under a pillow, you won’t be able to use it, as it will have been electronically cancelled. Be warned, if you try to use it, you may be stopped by the authorities.
In addition, whatever happens everything related to passports takes time, e.g. renewing or reporting it as lost, so your travel plans might be disrupted.
My passport says Miss, but I am a Mrs
As long as the gender on your booking corresponds to the gender on your passport, there should be no problem in being able to fly. Being labelled incorrectly as Ms/Mrs or Miss won’t change your booking. UK and most other passports do not actually state the title on travel documents. However, if this is not the case for you, please contact our team immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got married and am in the process of changing my name
Your booking must be in the name that is on your passport. DirectGov has some sound advice. It says if you need to renew your passport it might be better to get one earlier in your maiden name and change it afterwards. Most travel companies won’t allow you on board if your name is different to your passport even if you have your marriage certificate with you.
We would urge anyone in any doubt about any aspect of their passport to contact the Foreign Office for up to date information.
Last week, we heard news that Birmingham International may be in for a rename, after Brummie-born King of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Now it looks like San Francisco Airport have similar plans in mind.
San Francisco’s airport has released news that they may be renamed after campaigner Harvey Milk. David Campos of the Board of Supervisors, has asked voters to approve the memorial of Milk, who was the first gay man elected to public office in the United States in 1977. His openness and call for others to do the same with their own sexuality, inspired a whole generation of activists. Sadly, Milk, along with Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated at City Hall just over a year later.
His nephew, Stuart Milk, runs an international gay rights foundation in his uncle’s memory. He believes that the renaming of the airport would mark a milestone in gay rights campaigning, as flights to and from San Francisco International serve 68 countries where homosexuality is illegal.
He told one newspaper, “For young gay people in an illegal place looking up at a monitor and being able to point to this international airport named after an LGBT advocate, it gives them the green light to authenticity. It’s a major representation that (they) are being celebrated somewhere in the world in a high-level way.”
Plans are currently well under way and Campos said the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could vote on the amendment in as little as two weeks.