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On the ground

Hertz has launched an eco-friendly option for visitors to London – electric bicycles. Twelve of the Ultra Motor bikes, which travel at up to 25 kilometres an hour, are available from Hertz's Marble Arch location. The cost of $31 a day includes training, lock, a guide with suggested bike routes and a helmet. Hertz says that if the offering is successful, it could be extended to other cycling-friendly cities, including Amsterdam.

In the air

American Airlines claims its "random boarding" procedure, launched in May, gets passengers into seats faster than the traditional method of loading the coach section from the rear. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants disagrees. The organization (which represents 18,000 AA attendants) says the process is causing "complete chaos" and creating extra work. Under the new system, once priority travellers are boarded, those remaining enter the plane in the order they checked in. American says this minimizes gridlock caused by passengers finding seats in the same row at the same time.

In the room

A New Zealand couple, who were trapped in their hotel room during the Feb. 22 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, escaped by smashing doors and braving collapsed staircases. So they were shocked to receive a bill for $186 covering a two-night stay. It included $11 for parking, even though it took two months to recover their car. The bill was later cancelled. The pair are still trying to collect $12,000 from their insurance company to cover luggage stuck in the wrecked hotel.

Sources: PR Newswire, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, New Zealand Press Association.

Special to The Globe and Mail