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Photo of swimsuit model rankles some SWA flyers

(Airlines) Permanent link

It was bound to happen. Some Southwest Airlines customers are not happy with the newest addition tBlog-SWAo the carrier’s fleet.

They don’t object to the Boeing 737 itself, but to the giant bikini-clad image of Sports Illustrated cover model Bar Refaeli painted on the fuselage. The photo of Refaeli on the plane is part of a promotional deal to tout the magazine's annual swimsuit issue.

The carrier's blog is full of comments pro and con. Some labeled the image as pornographic, "hardly the epitome of the friendly, down-home airline I’ve grown accustomed to," one customer blogged.

Another said it was "a true sign of marketing genius. This is Southwest being Southwest, having fun, not taking themselves too seriously, willing to take risks."

Whatever. The paint job is temporary and will be removed within a few months when the promotion ends.

-- Gay Nagle Myers

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The Norwegian Epic revealed

(Cruise) Permanent link

Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled what its mega-ship under construction, the Norwegian Epic, will looNCL-NorwegianEpick like.

The 153,000-ton, 4,200-passenger, 19-deck ship is scheduled to be completed in May 2010.

Did you ever think you'd be pushing a button for the 19th floor in a cruise ship elevator? Would you even think about taking the stairs?

NCL said travel agents would be able sell room blocks for group bookings later this month. Cruises are scheduled to go on sale to the public this spring.

The ship will debut in the U.K. in May 2010 with inaugural Europe cruises. Then the Epic will sail year-round Caribbean cruises out of Miami, starting in the sNCL-NorwegianEpicSidewaysummer.

Additional details about the Norwegian Epic will be released in the coming months, NCL said.

To date, NCL has revealed that the Epic will have a nightclub scene that "rivals the experiences of Las Vegas, Ibiza, the Riviera and South Beach." Staterooms will have curved walls.

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