UK airport’s ‘bus shelter’ prayer room ridiculed online

CNNIn travel news this week: a 50-year romance between a Pan Am pilot and a flight attendant, a three-year cruise that never happened and the European ski resorts that ran out of snow.

Bus shelter, smoking shed or house of God?

Rome has St. Peter’s. Cambodia has Angkor Wat. And now, joining the pantheon of must-visit places of worship around the world, the UK’s Bristol Airport has revealed its new prayer room – which looks suspiciously like a bus shelter with a “multi-faith area” sign stuck on it. Even more so because it’s located inside the airport’s free waiting zone, the passenger drop-off and collection area.

“Located just off the Silver Zone roundabout, the new area provides customers with a private space to reflect and pray whilst waiting to collect friends, family or loved ones,” the airport posted Thursday on X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, as it debuted photographs.

Unsurprisingly, users were quick to share their own reflections, not at all privately. Our thoughts and prayers are with the airport’s social media manager.

Love is in the air

When Pan Am flight attendant Ilona Zahn spiked pilot Ian Duncan’s coffee with salt and Tabasco sauce on board a flight from Rome to Tehran in 1970, it led to a 50-year romance. “It still gives me butterflies in my stomach,” Zahn tells CNN Travel today.

Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, one of the top chefs in the United States, made her name with more appetizing concoctions than Zahn. But she also found the recipe for love while working as an attendant on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to New York in 2006.

Ski season

Numerous ski resorts around the world are facing the reality that in these times of climate crisis, there just isn’t enough snow to carry on. Some, such as La Sambuy in the French Alps, close down for good. Then there’s the former skiing paradise of Bellagio, Italy, which plans to build a new resort with artificial snow. But not everyone’s happy.

Turkey is a famous choice for beach destinations, but it’s also home to a number of under-the-radar ski resorts. The Kaçkar range in northeast Turkey, on the southern edge of the Black Sea, has snow-laden peaks ideal for heli-skiing. And in the States, Alaska is the summer choice for wildlife adventures, but at this time of year, it’s a smart pick for winter sports.

If you’re planning to hit the slopes soon, our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have this roundup of the best ski backpacks, according to pro skiers.

Cruise news

They’d been promised a three-year cruise traveling the world at prices that rivaled regular living expenses. But now, just shortly before the intended departure, customers have been told the trip is canceled – and the cruise company doesn’t even have a ship. Some would-be passengers got the news while stranded in Istanbul, having sold or rented out their homes.

The cruising experience isn’t always that peachy for the customers who make it onto the water, either. With reports of chair hogs, food fights and booze guzzlers, CNN Travel asks if cruising etiquette has been lost at sea.

Valley of Fire

Just an hour north of the Las Vegas strip, Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park is home to spectacular red rock formations. Most of the hiking spots are right off the roadway, but you can also explore further by hopping on an all-terrain vehicle tour.