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Bamboo wheelchair (AFP/Getty Images)
Bamboo wheelchair (AFP/Getty Images)

Bamboo wheelchairs to ease security checks Add to ...

Travel roundup: three bits of hot travel news.

At the airport

Japan Airlines will soon be whisking some wheelchair users through airport security gates by transferring them to bamboo wheelchairs. That way the passengers can avoid the full body check that normally results when an alarm is activated by a metal chair. The airline plans to make the new chairs available next year, first at Japan's Oita airport on Kyushu island and then at Tokyo's Haneda airport. Each handmade chair with rubber wheels costs about $7,300 and takes a month to build.

In the air

Africa remains unstable when it comes to air-travel safety. Up to the end of November this year, the accident rate in Africa was 12.5 times the global average, says Guenther Matschnigg, senior vice-president of safety with the International Air Transport Association. Since 2008, IATA has been funding a program that helps its member airlines in Africa monitor their operations. The next stage, he says, is to use the collected data to implement changes in procedures, training and infrastructure.

On the ground

Britain hopes to entice the world's millionaires and multimillionaires to take luxury holidays in the country's castles and stately homes. A new VisitBritain marketing campaign will offer three categories of "fairytale" vacations: Gold (bling opulence), Platinum (discreet luxury) and Black (understated but substantial). While staying in a regal residence, the spare-no-expense tourists can choose such activities as helicopter rides, golf on a prestigious course or a backstage tour of the Shakespeare's Globe theatre.

Sources: IATA, Agence France-Presse, Reuters

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