Travel news wrap: airport libraries and see-through planes


It's that time of the week, where we ask our worldly Lonely Planet editors what's making travel news in their corners of the globe.

Good news for frequent-flying book nerds. Travel can involve serious willy waving [An English way to say 'showing off' - Ed]. Look at airports. Look at me, the traveller screams: I’m on the move. I’m busy. And in order to complete my journey I need wi-fi. A fancy phone. Maybe an iPad. That’s why I turn up three hours early, try on some expensive shades and browse the Dixons electronics outlets at Heathrow. Travel and technology are a sexy, alluring match.

And then the Dutch, who have a habit of providing a contrary view, come along and open up a library in Europe’s fifth busiest airport. Yes, a library. The first in the world, and it’s nestled among the fancy boutiques of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The project is being set up by the ProBiblio Dutch public library organisation with money from the ministry of education, culture and science. The library has 1200 books, plus DVDs and music to listen to.

Those planning to pass through Schiphol for the first and only time and snaffle a tome or two should forget about late fines. This is not a lending library. In a very Dutch way, this is a place to come, read and pass the time between flights. How deliciously low-tech. - Tom Hall, UK travel editor

Where's Wonder Woman? Tell her that her plane has arrived! Wonder Woman's invisible plane was introduced in Sensation Comics #1, published way back in 1942. Fast forward 68 years and Airbus engineers have come up with concept technology that may very well give life to a pulp fantasy. The design involves a ceramic skin that peels back when electrical current is sent through it. Voila! Invisible plane and 360° views all around.

In reality, would it work? It isn't all that glamourous if the turning the skin invisible reveals all the innards of the plane's structures. Wouldn't the view also be obscured by all the luggage in the overhead compartments and in the storage below? Sadly, it's probaby a little too late. Wonder Woman doesn't have need for the plane anymore – like Superman, she can now fly. However, this was done as an exercise in future-casting. We're sure that there were many more ideas in the mix: we want to see a plane that flies on alternative fuels. Or a plane made entirely out of lightweight fibreglass. Or the rebirth of the Concord. Or a hyperdrive. - Asia-Pacific travel editor Shawn Low.

And in travel headlines from other places:

Liveblogging of Delhi's Commonwealth Games crisis. Will the Games go on? Who will be a no show? - The Guardian is updating the unfolding (unravelling?) story here.

Chernobyl: now a tourist attraction - AOL

The Top 10 most global cities...according to Foreign Policy Magazine. Do you agree? - Wall Street Journal Industry Wire

Confiscated goods from JFK airport become art show! - AOL

PHOTO GALLERY: Travellers pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa (because honestly, noone's thought of that one before) - Huffington Post

And here are some of the hot topics this week on Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree  forum:

Good and bad egg tales from Asia

Christmas and New Year in Thailand

Newfoundland on a budget

Learning a language from scratch

How to tell the boss you want to travel

European city sans car?

Permanently itchy feet

My crazy family gap year

What’s in a name?

How not to get robbed in Costa Rica

Day of the Dead newbie