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Super 8 organizes world-record pillow fight

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Super 8 pillow fightSuper 8 Hotels celebrated 40 years of hospitality last week by setting the Guinness World Record for the largest pillow fight, breaking the previous record set by 4,200 participants earlier this year.

Held at South Dakota State University's Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, in the state where the brand opened its first hotel in 1974, the effort included 4,201 spectators. The pillow fight happened between the first and second quarters of the football game between South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota.

The event was hosted by Joey Fatone, TV personality and former member of 1990s pop band 'N Sync.

The record-breaking event lasted for 60 seconds, per Guinness rules.

Immediately following the event, participants were encouraged give their pillows to Feeding South Dakota, a philanthropic group that will donate the pillows to households in need throughout the state.

An air safety epic

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Air New Zealand's newest safety video, launched ahead of the December release of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, "the final film in the Hobbit trilogy, stars members of the cast from all three films: Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Dean O’Gorman (Fili the Dwarf) and Sylvester McCoy (Radagast).


 The video was shot at a number of New Zealand's Middle-earth locations, including Hobbiton and Central Otago, which appear in the trilogy.

The carrier's safety video roster includes the Bear Essentials of Safety, featuring “Man vs. Wild” star Bear Grylls, and Safety Old School Style with Betty White and fitness guru Richard Simmons.

The video wraps up a three-year partnership between Air New Zealand and the Hobbit film franchise, which has included branded aircraft and Hobbit-inspired online content. Collectively, the airline's safety videos have clocked up more than 30 million hits online.

-- Gay Nagle Myers 

Racing down the runway

(Airlines) Permanent link
Runway raceRunway runs are popular community events at smaller airports in the U.S., but are hard to stage in Europe, where runway capacity is seriously constrained at major airports.

In a rare move, Budapest Airport closed one of its normally active runways for a few hours on Sept. 6 to stage the aviation industry's annual 12 kilometer (7.2-mile) charity race.

Teams of runners totaling 609 airline employees and management staff from more than 50 airlines competed for the title of Fastest Airline in the World.

Racing down four lengths of runway 13R-13L to take the title not only of fastest airport but also fastest aviator was Aer Lingus fleet cost manager Robert Murphy, in a time of 41 minutes, 26 seconds.

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said that the carrier was now not only one of Europe's most punctual airlines "but also now the undisputed Fastest Airline in the World."

Teams and individual runners included competitive entries fielded by Swiss International Airlines, Qatar Airways and Ryanair.

Southwest Airlines was presented with the unofficial Air Miles Team Prize for having traveled the longest distance, from Dallas.

Krakow Airport in Poland won Fastest Airport in the World, beating out Aeroports de Paris.

— Gay Nagle Myers

British Airways: We'll relax you with kitten videos

(Airlines) Permanent link

British Airways in September will launch Paws and Relax, an inflight channel showing cute footage of cats and dogs.

The channel's purpose is to enhance the well-being of its long-haul customers by lowering heart rates and relieving stress, according to Richard D'Cruze, inflight entertainment manager.

British Airways claims that footage of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies soothes and relaxes passengers, in addition to being entertaining.


"It might sound barking [a reference to the the British expression 'barking mad,' indicating insanity], but there's lots of research to suggest that watching pets can enhance overall well-being," he said.

The carrier cited psychologist Richard Wiseman, who said that watching a video of a cute animal can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in under a minute.

D'Cruze said that the carrier has "sniffed out some fantastic content that is cute, comforting and sure to appeal to travelers of all ages."

The channel will include footage of the "Simon's Cat" cartoon, a segment on the secret life of cats and a video of America's cutest dogs.

— Gay Nagle Myers 

Caribe Hilton celebrates the pina colada

(Hotels, Caribbean) Permanent link
pina coladaTo celebrate National Rum Day in Puerto Rico on Aug. 16, the Caribe Hilton is sharing its original pina colada recipe from 1954 and rolling out a special menu at its Oasis Bar, where it all began.

Bartender Ramon "Monchito" Marrero created the rum drink in 1954. He served at the hotel for 35 years until his retirement in 1989. His legacy remains and the pina colada now is the official drink both of the hotel and of Puerto Rico.

Through Oct. 15, guests can book the Pina Colada Fest package from $60 per person, double, including accommodations, daily buffet breakfast for two and two welcome pina coladas.
The rate is a starting rate subject to availability and does not include taxes, resort charges, incidentals or tips.

The offer is available for travel through Dec. 19.

In the spirit of the celebrations, other activities include mixology classes at the Oasis Bar and sweepstakes contests.

The original recipe, still followed at the Caribe Hilton, is two ounces white rum, one ounce coconut cream, one ounce heavy cream, six ounces fresh pineapple juice and one-half cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth.

Serve in a 12-ounce glass, garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and top with a maraschino cherry.

— Gay Nagle Myers
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