Hot in travel: airline protects fancy hats, e-cigarettes banned

This week brings more news of odd airline extras, luggage restrictions and unfortunately, airline insensitivity.

Virgin Australia has introduced a new hat valet service for those travelling to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

Virgin Australia has introduced a new hat valet service for those travelling to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. Image by Virgin Australia

Airline announces hat valet for passenger’s glamourous accessories

While most people spend their flights wishing for a little extra legroom, Virgin Australia has announced a new valet service to keep premium passengers from worrying about the state of their accessories.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival involves a lot of fashionable  hats.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival involves a lot of fashionable hats. Image by Jupiter Firelyte / CC BY 2.0

The airline will provide “first-class” handling of the traveller's hats - a popular accessory for those heading from Sydney to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival.

The glamorous horse racing event brings racegoers to Melbourne, with elaborate head gear in tow, and Virgin in prepared. The company says it will hand-deliver hats to guests to ensure their best accessory survives the flight.  To keep what goes under the hats looking perfect, the airline’s Sydney Lounge also includes complimentary blow-dries, hair styling and make-up touch-ups.

The service is available from 30 October to 7 November for those in business class, and platinum, gold and lounge members.

E-cigarettes to be banned from checked luggage in US

E-cigarettes will be banned from packed luggage on US flights.

E-cigarettes will be banned from packed luggage on US flights. Image by Vaping360 / CC BY 2.0

The threat of fires has led to the banning of e-cigarettes from checked luggage in the USA. While the devices are allowed in carry-on, they cannot be used during the flight. Read more here.

Disabled passenger forced to crawl off of flight

Darcee Neal, a disability activist with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl off a United Airlines flight

Darcee Neal, a disability activist with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl off a United Airlines flight Image by Facebook

A man with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl off of an American Airlines flight last week, leading the airline to apologize. D’Arcee Neal was asked to wait on the flight while a suitable wheelchair was found, but ended up stuck for 30 minutes, before he had to leave to use the facilities. Read more here.

App to help airline passengers with compensation claims

AirHelp App.

AirHelp App.

A new app will help people who’ve had flights delayed, cancelled or overbooked receive compensation. The company who runs the app claims 98% of people who are entitled to a refund don’t actually look to get their money back, which is where the app can help. Read more here.

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