Famous last words 'How I wait for that plane home you have no idea,' the celebrated American pianist William Kapell told a friend at the end of an unhappy concert tour of Australia in 1953. A few days later, 12,800km into their journey, he and his 18 fellow passengers and crew perished in the hills above San Francisco, just three minutes before they were due to land. The aircraft was a Douglas DC-6 belonging to British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines, a groundbreaking carrier that was founded in 1948 to operate a transpacific route from Sydney to Vancouver, via Auckland, Fiji, Hawaii and San Francisco. It closed in 1954, when Qantas began its transpacific services. Most of the debris from the doomed California-bound aircraft can still be found on the hill where it crashed 52 years ago today. The Flight of the Resolution Preservation Committee is planning a memorial exhibit at a nearby aviation museum and hopes to create 'a permanent display and a fitting tribute to the passengers and crew'. Go to www.flightoftheresolution.org for more information. No-frills cruising EasyCruise, the maritime cousin of no-frills airline easyJet, has just finished its inaugural Mediterranean summer schedule and its vessel, easyCruiseOne, is steaming to the Caribbean, where it will be selling berths from just GBP9 ($122) a night (depending on how early you book online). The weekly itinerary, which starts on November 13, includes stops at Barbados, St Vincent, Martinique, The Grenadines, Grenada and St Lucia. To put prospective passengers in the mood, easyCruise has created an annoyingly addictive online game (dock.easycruise.com), in which players have to dock their ship at each of the above ports. For reservations, visit www.easycruise.com . A friend indeed My Friend in London is a new 'companion' service aimed at female business travellers and the wives or partners of male executives planning to spend time in the city. Set up by locals Sharon Glanville and Stephanie Archer, it promises to 'take you to the best shops, theatres and beauticians, ensuring you share in the capital's best-kept secrets'. A gift-buying service is also offered and is available to men. Check out www.myfriendinlondon.com for details. Making tracks Rail travel became the founding mode of transport for popular tourism when, in 1841, Thomas Cook shunted a group of teetotallers from the British city of Leicester to a Temperance Society meeting in Loughborough (what a joyride that must have been). Since then, classic rail journeys have established themselves as some of the most romantic and least sullied tourist escapes. Tickets for many such journeys, along with a range of railway-related merchandise, can be found at The Rail Mall, a new website for train enthusiasts and travellers. Everything from CDs of steam-engine noises to tickets for the Orient Express can be found on the website. Go to www.therailmall.com for information. Dressing down 'Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an aeroplane in mid-flight [because of] a T-shirt. That's not freedom!' said an irate Lorrie Heasley, who was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight during a stopover at Reno airport, in Nevada, on October 7. The garment in question featured a picture of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, and a slogan that was just one vowel away from the movie title Meet the Fockers. Heasley, who had worn the shirt without incident on the first leg of her flight from Los Angeles, was asked to leave the plane after alleged complaints from several irate, and presumably Republican, passengers. A similar incident occurred in August last year, when American Airlines denied a man boarding because he was wearing a T-shirt that showed a female breast. He was eventually refunded the price of his ticket, but Heasley has taken her case to the American Civil Liberties Union. Drumming up business China Southern Airlines is running a Beijing business-class promotion to push its new Premium Business Class 'Minipod' flatbed seats (not that passengers are likely to be putting them to full use on the short flight from Hong Kong). The round-trip airfare is $5,680 and includes one night in an executive-floor room at either the Beijing Hilton or the Marriott West Beijing hotels. Extra nights are available for $1,350. China Southern is selling the promotion through local agent Four Seas Travel, tel: 2200 7848; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Deal of the week A two-night package to Chiang Mai, with round-trip, economy-class flights via Bangkok on Thai Airways, is on sale at Tiglion Travel from $1,990 a person, twin-share. The two hotels on offer at this price are the Holiday Garden and Novotel. Better value are the Amari Rincome ( www.amari.com ) for $2,190 and the Sheraton ( www.sheraton.com ) for $2,290. There are also two properties to choose from at the top end of the market: the Four Seasons Resort ( www.fourseasons.com ) for $5,190 and the Mandarin Oriental ( www.mandarinoriental.com ) for $5,290 (suite) and $6,290 (villa). Breakfast and airport transfers are included, and one free stopover in Bangkok is allowed. These prices will be valid until December 15. For further details and reservations, contact Tiglion Travel on 2511 7189, or e-mail email@example.com , quoting package ID 693.