We all know that when the first of April rolls around we can expect practical jokes, yet we still get bamboozled year in and year out. We've chosen some of our favourite travel-related pranks that have caught the public off-guard. Here are our top 5 April Fools' travel pranks...
The Hotelicopter represented the ultimate in luxury travel - it was an all-in-one, flying luxury hotel. It was announced that this aviation masterpiece would make its maiden voyage during the summer of 2009 at an "undisclosed price". The vessel boasted 18 luxurious rooms, each soundproofed, with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and everything else you'd expect from a flying 5-star hotel. Supposedly a guy named Alvin Farley bought a Mil V-12 copter and spent 5 years converting it into the world's first flying hotel. The story became less believable when it was discovered that only 2 Mil V-12 helicopters ever existed - one is in a museum while the other was written off when it crash landed in the 1960s.
2. Rent Buckingham Palace
In 2009 Holidaylettings.co.uk posted a listing for Buckingham Palace on its website, complete with pictures and a detailed description of the facilities. For a whopping Â£10 million per week, tenants could reside in the home of the British monarch. The post read: "This stunning accommodation offers deluxe living in the heart of England's capital city. A gated property with secure parking and armed guards, this is the perfect property to relax in complete luxury. The owners do reside in the property but are discreet and are available should you require any assistance. They also own other properties throughout the United Kingdom. Please contact them for further details." The well-executed prank had many people guessing...
3. The San Serriffe Islands
Back in 1977, the Guardian newspaper published a 7-page supplement that featured the exotic islands of San Serriffe, mysteriously located in the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles Islands. Readers were enthralled, phoning the paper all day to learn more about the 2 main islands of Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. The hoax came to light when readers noticed that everything about the islands was named after printer's terminology, including the fictional leader's name, General Pica. Still, San Serriffe proved to be one of the most famous hoaxes of all time and initiated a secondary body of literature that still exists today.
4. WestJet Airlines Passenger Prank
In 2006, this Canadian airline fooled its passengers when it instructed everyone on board to save energy during takeoff by stretching out their arms and flapping. If this wasn't enough, 2 years later on April Fools', the carrier advertised its latest special offer. For an extra 12 dollars, Westjet passengers could get a comfy, fully flat sleeper cabin - located in none other than the overhead storage compartment. Executive vice president of guest experience and marketing, Robert Cummings, wrote the fake press released that read, "By offering our existing overhead bins as sleeper cabins, guests will now have the opportunity to lie down for a period of time and arrive at their destination refreshed, rested, and ready to go".
5. AA Rocketmen
Last year, the Daily Mail announced that the automobile breakdown service, the AA, would soon be launching an AA Rocketmen service. Instead of weaving through traffic, men powered by lightweight jet-packs could fly to the rescue of stranded motorists. This extraordinary new rescue service would offer a rapid response to those experiencing car trouble. To make the prank more believable, the Daily Mail even featured an online video of the so-called "Rocketmen" testing their accuracy during a series of "secret trials".more blog posts