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Nicotine for nine bucks on Ryanair

(Airlines) Permanent link

Ryanair is enabling passengers to get an in-flight nicotine fix, if they shell out 6 euros (a little less than $9) for smokeless cigarettes.

The airline’s Similar Smokeless Cigarettes are available to passengers over 18 years of age and are sold in packs of 10 onboard all Ryanair flights. Ryanair said the product delivers a similar level of nicotine to traditional cigarettes, causes no discomfort to other passengers and contains no toxins.

Chris Parsons, the airline’s "smokeless director," was so bold to claim that Ryanair is now "the smoker's favorite airline."


Massachusetts agency celebrates 50 years

(Travel agents) Permanent link

Merrimac Travel in Lowell, Mass., marked its 50th anniversary on Thursday.

The agency is best known as home base for author, philanthropist and former ASTA president Mike Spinelli, founder of the agency and founder of the Action 6 consortium (now a part of

Spinelli also achieved some fame for pooh-poohing technology trends, about a decade ago, with the phrase "Internet, schminternet."

The new love of his life is a rebuilt tower house in Rye Beach, New Hampshire.

Deleting the greeting

(Business travel) Permanent link

When it comes to transmission of the swine flu virus, some greeting customs are better than others.

The Japanese bow is perhaps the most antiseptic of greetings. At the other end of the spectrum is la bise, the French custom of giving multiple light kisses on the cheek in greeting or parting.

And even though it flies in the face of French tradition, France's Ministry of Health is advising people to stop kissing for fear of spreading swine flu.

Meanwhile, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives is advising business travelers to temporarily eschew handshakes.

The public has been told it's better for people to sneeze or cough into a sleeve than their hand, but business travelers heading to a meeting don’t want to risk soiling that nice suit, ACTE reasons.

"A random polling of ACTE members has revealed it would be easier to drop the traditional handshake for the duration of the health crisis -- should one develop -- as opposed to sneezing or coughing into a sleeve," said Susan Gurley, ACTE’s executive director.

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