From Foreign Policy's Passport blog:
A clever entrepreneur in India is selling plane tickets for just $4. The catch: The Airbus 300 never takes off!
Passengers just get to experience what it's like to sit on a plane. They get to fasten their seat belts, watch the safety demonstration, be waited on by stewardesses with drink carts, and hear announcements such as, "We will soon be passing through a zone of turbulence." The plane, by the way, has only one wing; a chunk of the tail is missing; and the bathrooms are out of service.
...The "virtual journeys" could serve a practical purpose, though. With India's rapid economic growth, more people are flying for the first time. A report about unruly Indian passengers quoted an airport manager as saying that many are first-time fliers who don't understand airplane etiquette.
One tried to open the door right before takeoff, for example. The report recommends that Indians be taught the do's and don'ts of plane travel. "Virtual jouneys" may be the place to start.
There's no word yet, though, on whether long security lines, lost luggage, and getting bumped for a free ticket later will be added to the experience.
Also at Passport:
State Department Invades the Blogsphere
The U.S. Department of State has apparently taken a page from David Miliband's book and started its own blog, the unfortunately named Dipnote.