Wacky world - weekly offbeat travel roundup

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The Independent Travel

A roundup of this week's offbeat travel stories.

Policy turnaround

Faced with a severe cabin crew shortage, Air India has invited back the former air hostesses that it sacked for being overweight. However, passengers shouldn't expect an immediate improvement in service - only "about three" of the nine or ten women approached were willing to come back, a company spokesperson told the AFP.

Religious theme park gets go-ahead

Kentucky is set to build its own religious theme park called Ark Encounter, featuring a 150 meter-long wooden ark modelled on Noah's Ark. Organizers also plan a zoo called Noah's Animals, a Tower of Babel building with exhibits and a theatre, a historical exhibition and the First-Century Village, a model of a Middle Eastern first-century town. If you want to help out (perhaps to reduce the $37m/€28m Kentuckians are reportedly stumping up for the project) $1,000/€750 will provide one very expensive plank of wood, apparently.

Hotel murder - not what it seems

Pittsburgh police were left red-faced last month after spending eight hours at the city's George Washington Hotel investigating a murder scene - only to discover it was a movie set. After being called out by firefighters who discovered the blood-splattered room, the city's Police Chief described it as 'the most grisly murder scene in his 35 years in law enforcement' - so we can't understand why the movie went straight to DVD.

Naked ambition

Police were called to meet a plane at JFK this week after a passenger stripped naked on the flight. The incident happened as Delta Flight 6562 began its descent towards New York, with reports suggesting that the woman took her clothes off before being covered up with a blanket by cabin crew members. The whole incident may not have made the headlines, were it not for the Newsday journalist who happened to be on board.