Week in travel: Student has to flush emotional support hamster

Norwegian launches one-day shopping trips from Dublin to New York, while old Ethiopian plane becomes a chic café, and Tokyo’s Narita airport serves the best food

Dubliners have the chance to take a one-day shopping trip to New York's Woodbury Common in Central Valley —Tooykrub / Shutterstock support, spirit, emotional, support, hamster
Dubliners have the chance to take a one-day shopping trip to New York’s Woodbury Common in Central Valley —Tooykrub / Shutterstock

A one-day shopping trip to one of the best malls in New York? Soon to be a reality for consumer-hungry Dubliners.

Low-budget carrier Norwegian has doubled connections from Ireland’s capital to New York, enabling passengers to take a trip to one of the most famous outlet centres in the Big Apple,  Woodbury Common in Central Valley.   

The mall includes outlets such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Disney, Michael Kors, DSquared, Armani and 200 other stores.

The planes will take off from Dublin at 8:30 am and will arrive at Stewart Airport at 10:30 am US east coast time.

Stewart lies 96 km from New York City and has connections on road and rail.

Shoppers can take a shuttle bus to get to Woodbury Common and return back to the airport three hours before the scheduled evening flight to Dublin.

The carrier will begin services from April 26th.

Student allegedly told to flush her emotional support hamster down the toilet

Travelling turned awful for a tiny rodent as a college student alleges a Spirit Airlines employee told her to either release her emotional support animal to the nature or flush it down the pipes.

Belen Aldecosea says she could either release her hamster to nature or end his life — Shutterstock
Belen Aldecosea says she could either release her hamster to nature or end his life — Shutterstock

21 years old Belen Aldecosea from Miami Beach, Florida, told the Miami Herald she had contacted Spirit Airlines before her flight from Baltimore to South Florida. She claimed the airline had confirmed her that taking a hamster on board was not a problem.

Once she arrived at the airport, however, another Spirit employee allegedly told her rodents are not allowed on board. 

“She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea said. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.” 

Derek Dombrowski, Spirit Airlines spokesperson, confirmed that an employee had misinformed Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed on the flight. However, he denied that flushing down the toilet was suggested.

“After researching this incident, we can say confidently that at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal.  It is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly decided to end her own pet’s life,” Dombrowski told Fox News.

The incident happened just a few days after a traveller was denied boarding a flight with her emotional support peacock.

Old plane in Ethiopia’s Oromia region turns into a cosy café

Once roaming the skies over Africa, an old plane has found a suitable position for its well-deserved retirement.

An aircraft decommissioned by Ethiopian airlines and put for auction three years ago now serves as a café with an unusual interior.

“It feels like you’re on board for take-off,” said one of the airplane café customers in a BBC video.

“But we don’t fly, we just sit here and enjoy.”

Before the new owners could rebuild the machine into a cosy spot, they had to figure out how to move it to the new location.

“We had to dismantle its wings. We started transporting it from the airport at around 7:00 a.m. and arrived here at 2:00 p.m,” one of the owners explained.  

“We loaded it on a 92-wheeled ‘low bed’ truck to bring it here.”

The air-café serves a traditional drink that’s gained popularity among with visitors. A type of honey wine, it’s purely organic and mixed with nothing but honey produced by the cafe’s own bees, nesting at the back of the plane.

“This café is known for its traditional honey wine. People love it,” a customer said in the video.

Tokyo’s Narita named the best airport for dining

Scoring the highest marks in quality, price and very high in diversity, Tokyo’s Narita airport dominated RewardExpert’s International Airport Dining Scorecard for 2018.

Narita named the best airport for hungry travellers — pio3 / Shutterstock support, spirit, emotional, support, hamster
Narita named the best airport for hungry travellers — pio3 / Shutterstock

The service that assists customers in taking full advantage of travel rewards credit cards created a list of the top 15 airports in the world that offer the best refreshment options.

Tokyo-adjacent travel hub is the number one international airport to eat at on our rankings, and by a healthy margin at that!,” is how RewardExpert explained their choice.

The site also picked the best places to try at the hub: “Yakitori, Sushi, Udon and Tonkatsu abound in this airport; you can get some great Japanese food that will leave both your tummy and your wallet satisfied.”

Second position in the overall ranking belongs to Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei while Hong Kong International Airport gained the third place.

“We compiled thousands of reviews from the fifteen most trafficked airports outside of the United States and gathered menu and pricing data to determine the best airports in terms of overall restaurant quality, price and variety to help international travellers find culinary refuge from their long layovers” the agency explained.