plane seat

Photo by Basheer Tome.

Your weekly roundup of the hottest travel links across the net:

1. This is shocking to say the least: a man on a US Airways flight between Anchorage and Philadelphia was forced to stand for seven hours because the obese passenger in the seat beside him spilled into his own chair so much that he couldn’t actually sit in it. The flight was full, which meant the displaced passenger couldn’t sit anywhere else and had to spend the entire flight lurking in the aisles. What makes this worse is that this passenger couldn’t do his seatbelt up during take-off and landing – a definite safety hazard. And to add insult to injury, the airline only offered the troubled passenger $200 in compensation – despite the plane ticket having set the man back more than $800 in the first place. What do you think? How should situations like this be handled?

2. Traveling means coughing up dough for all sorts of things – plane tickets, meals, accommodation and sightseeing to name a few. But there are lots of little things that will cause you to incur expenses that you might not have thought of. So you’re not caught unaware, check out this list of top five costs you probably don’t think about when you go backpacking.

3. We hear a lot these days about people traveling to developing countries to take part in voluntourism – a kind of travel where the goal is to do good by helping to build orphanages, to plant trees, to conserve wildlife and so on. On the surface, taking part in these kinds of programs seems like a great way to give back to the community – but is that really the case? This article raises the thought-provoking question of whether voluntourism does more harm than good.