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Embarrassing moments at the airport security check

We all have to go through the necessary airport security checks, but a survey carried out by the luggage delivery company SendMyBag has revealed that some passengers suffer embarrassing moment when asked to explain items in their bag.

The survey, which was carried out amongst UK travellers, listed a top ten of items that the owners of the bag, wish had not been revealed! A number of the things were perfectly normal every day medications, but the timing was not exactly perfect, one was the haemorrhoid cream was pulled out of his case in front of his new and younger partner; it was their first trip away for a romantic holiday. Then how about the large tub of personal lubricant a man was questioned about, the questioning was necessary because it contravened the airplane liquid allowance, nonetheless somewhat embarrassing.

Another item was one which you would not particularly want your parents to see when they went on holiday with you would you; it was a sex toy for personal use! Perhaps amongst the worst though was when a pharmacist was going away with a new partner when she was asked to explain what the cream was, it turned out to be an anti viral for genital herpes, a possibly shock for the pharmacist and it no doubt left the lady mortified too.

One that we think could have had a happy ending though was when the security scanner went off as a man was walking through, he had to produce a nice new engagement ring that he was going to surprise his girlfriend with, shame she had to find out his romantic intentions that way.

If you are happy to, we would welcome your comments, particularly if you care to reveal any embarrassing moments that you have had at airport security.

Airport SecurityPicture: ECP

My ski chalet was on a mountain and other hilarious holiday complaints

It is a true saying that you can please some of the people, some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time and this is what was revealed by a holiday home insurer who listed a number of hilarious complaints to holiday home owners in the UK and abroad and these are some of the funniest ones that we feel that we would like to share with you.

Now we have all heard about beds being lumpy, hard or just darned uncomfortable, but what about a complaint received that the beds were so comfy, they could not get out of them and so they missed too much time when they should have been sightseeing!

A contradiction in terms perhaps when a couple requested a holiday home away from mobile phone access or internet and then complained they had missed an important email, getting into trouble back at work, “if you had internet access it wouldn’t have happened”!

We are not sure what the couple who went to a ski chalet wanted, but they were mortified to find the chalet was on a mountain and demanded a full refund. Then there is the smart lady who rented a beach home abroad and complained that the sand ruined her designer shoes, we always thought that beaches usually have sand on them, perhaps she thought it would be like Brighton!

These are just a snapshot of the many amusing complaints that the holiday home insurer Schofields found when they carried out a study which involved 2,581 participants, concerning their holiday experiences, and complaints, if you have heard of any amusing complaints and would like to share them with us, we will be delighted to hear from you.

complaintsPicture: Life As Art

Stay a night or two in Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion, as it reopens as luxury hotel

Almost 14 years after his death, Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion has been reopened as a luxury hotel. The boutique hotel, which will fully reopen at the end of March features 10 suites and a 54 foot swimming pool lined with 24-carat gold, which was designed by Versace himself.

Situated in South Beach, Miami, the five-star property was the scene where the Italian designer died; he was shot dead on its front steps by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997, but now has been transformed into what the new owners say is the ‘ultimate sensory experience’.

Rooms range in size from the 434sq-ft Medallion Suite to the 1,428sq-ft Venus Suite, featuring two private balconies and access to the swimming pool. Guests can also stay in the Italian designer’s former bedroom; the 1,174sq-ft Villa Suite features a 9ft double king-size bed, two private balconies and an ornate ensuite shower room.

The mansion, officially named Casa Casuarina for over a decade is still known as ‘the Versace mansion’ by local residents.

Prices start from $795 (approximately £475) per night.

Gianni Versace's Miami mansion

Indoor ski centre planned

Skiing has never been more popular, but the problem that we have in this country is that we do not get enough snow and unless you live in Scotland the mountain ranges are simply not there! This does bring a dilemma to our winter ski holiday makers as one week or so each year means that we can really never become totally competent and skilful, although most serious British skiers can cope with the blue runs and many the reds. For those lucky enough to have access to an indoor facility close by, this is a great way to practice your skills and even to improve on them, but most of the indoor facilities are very limited to a short run down.

So it is interesting that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson has announced plans to build a giant ski centre near the Olympic Park in Stratford. If the plans come to fruition then the centre will house around 20,000 square metres of piste, there will be several runs the longest of which will be 300 metres, also it will offer snowboard ramps, toboggan runs, an ice-skating rink, with a special snow play zone for the children.

The cost of this “snow dome” is thought to be around £200 million and will be on a similar scale to the successful one in Dubai. Naturally it will be open all year round and it is hope it will attract about three million visitors a year.

Picture: The Development of Birmingham

Checking your UK visa

You’ve received your UK visa, but before you jump on a plane or boat it is important that you check through all the details carefully to make sure that everything is right. If there is something wrong with your visa there is a good chance that you will be refused entry to the country; your visa will contain the following information:

•    Valid from date – you will not be able to enter the UK until this date so make sure that any travel arrangements to the UK are on or after the valid from date.
•    Valid until date – you must leave the UK before or on this date unless you have successfully applied to extend your stay. It is recommended that you apply for a visa extension at least 4 weeks before your valid until date to make sure that it is processed in time.
•    Length of stay – this is the maximum amount of days that you can stay in the UK for.
•    Entry terms – this tells you how many times you can enter the UK while your visa is valid, it can be 1, 2 or multiple (MULTI) times. Most UK visas are valid for multiple entries, but it’s worth checking before trying to enter the country.
•    Visa Category – this shows your immigration category during your stay in the UK. You must meet all the requirements of this category throughout your stay or you could have your visa revoked.
•    Conditions – this outlines any special conditions attached to your visa, e.g. if you can work or not, or if you are entitled to UK benefits during your stay.

It is recommended that you check that all of your information is correct including personal details, valid from and till dates and conditions during your stay. If you think that anything is wrong you should contact the visa application centre that issued your visa immediately.

For the latest information and up to date visa news visit the IXP Visas twitter account.

Picture: Dwilliams851

New York icon reopens

It has a huge significance for millions of Americans whose parents grandparents and maybe themselves passed through it between 1892 and 1954, some 12 million in fact immigrants looking to America for a new life. It was here on the Island that they were processed; they were required to pass a series of medical and legal inspections before they could enter America. It could prove to be nerve wracking and although most were allowed in, 2 percent of those coming to America were turned away at Ellis Island, that translated to over 250,000 people whose hopes and dreams were shattered.

Following on from the devastating problems caused to parts of New York by Hurricane Sandy, flood waters covered nearly all of Ellis Island and three quarters of nearby Liberty Island during last year’s storm which also caused severe damage on the East coast of America, extensive damage was caused to both islands. Ellis Island was forced to close but one year on the icon has reopened its doors to visitors, following extensive repairs to the halls and buildings of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Tourists taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, which reopened to visitors this summer, can also now disembark on Ellis Island, which forms part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

Ellis Island is just one of the very many attractions that the city of New York offers to the tourist and with more airlines flying direct from UK regional airports, the destination is set to become a hotspot for UK visitors, not just for the Christmas shopping experience, but as a holiday destination.

Picture: Sue Waters

Border Control – which country has the most intimidating?

In a recent survey conducted by IXP Visas, they found that the US has the most intimidating border control when it comes to making travellers uncomfortable.

The US topped the list with 22% of the vote, with Dubai (12%) a distant second; participants stated that weapons on show combined with a lack of humour and a stern demeanour made the US border control the most intimidating. The UK came in sixth behind Canada and Mexico.

When asked if they have ever been scared or put on edge at a border control 61% of respondents said yes, although nearly two thirds of those also said that that they felt that a stern demeanour was necessary.

Surprisingly, some respondents also cited that officials’ uniforms also caused them to become intimidated.

1. US – 22%
2. Dubai/UAE – 12%
3. Mexico – 9%
4. Canada – 8%
5. South Korea – 6%
6. UK – 5%
7. Israel – 5%
8. Pakistan – 4%
9. Venezuela –4%
10. Cuba – 3%

Why not tell us your border control stories, the good, the bad and the funny.

Airport Security

Picture: redjar