‘Star Wars’-inspired rentals

The room looks like it’s straight out of “Star Wars.” A disabled TIE fighter sits in the middle, doubling as a TV-viewing cubicle and bed. A stormtrooper stands guard in one of the 12 bedrooms of the house on Muirfield Loop in Kissimmee, Fla., where a night’s stay runs between $1,300 and $3,000. As Walt Disney World barrels toward its Aug. 29 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, some vacation rental properties in Florida have been trying to capitalize with themed rooms, especially in Kissimmee, which has several newly built neighborhoods made up exclusively of vacation rentals. The themed rooms are a mix of commissioned wall paintings, licensed decals of main characters and papier-mâché Imperial war vehicles. For instance, a wall painted to look like a desert with C-3PO and R2-D2 decals appears to be straight out of “Return of the Jedi.”

Orlando Sentinel

Airport bans plastic bottles

Plastic water bottles are an endangered species at San Francisco International Airport. The airport announced the decision to ban the sale of the bottles last week as part of a larger zero-waste initiative. Shops, restaurants, lounges and vending machines will not be allowed to sell or offer water in plastic bottles. Instead, passengers are encouraged to bring their own containers and refill them at stations around the airport. But while public reaction has mostly been positive, the news has resulted in some disgruntled business travelers as well as proponents who think it doesn’t go far enough. Sodas, juices and flavored water can still be sold in plastic bottles. Rachel McCaffery, director of Travel Without Plastic, said in an e-mail that more airports are trying to reduce single-use plastics, but San Francisco is the first that she’s aware of to ban the sale of water bottles altogether.

Washington Post

Airlines adding bigger bins

Airlines including Delta, American and Alaska are adding new jets with larger overhead compartments. The airlines are promoting the bigger bins to ease the frustration of passengers who can’t find space to stow their carry-on luggage. But that doesn’t mean they’ll let passengers stuff the bins with more or bigger bags. Instead, carriers are addressing a problem they created by charging to check luggage and cramming more seats into each cabin. Delta has ordered 100 Airbus A321neo planes containing larger overhead bins. In addition, Delta ordered 90 A220 planes that are advertised as having “high-capacity overhead bins.” “On medium and long-haul domestic flights, chances are very good that customers will be on an aircraft with larger overhead bins and thus less likely to have a carry-on bag checked at the gate,” Delta spokeswoman Liz Savadelis said.

Los Angeles Times

Spirit flight goes batty

At least snakes on a plane don’t fly. A bat materialized on a Spirit Airlines flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Newark, N.J., and shot through the cabin, freaking out passengers. The July 31 incident was caught on video by Peter Scattini, who posted the mayhem on Twitter. Passengers can be heard screaming as the animal flits by. At some point someone trapped it and locked it in a bathroom, Scattini said in a follow-up tweet. “Whoever trapped it needs free flights for life,” wrote one commenter, though another opined, “That sounds more like a punishment.” “I wonder how much Spirit charged the passengers for the bat upgrade,” pondered another.

New York Daily News