Every day from December 1st to December 25th, The Royal Institution of Great Britain is opening a new box on its virtual advent calendar and sharing an original piece of content. One of the best so far came last week, when Christmas Lecturer Kevin Fong boarded a parabolic flight to see the effects that weightlessness would have on water.
I wouldn’t blame you for reading that headline and thinking to yourself, “Well, this guy’s probably overreacting.” I get it — it can’t be that bad, right? I’ll let you make the decision, because my mind’s made up.
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of a flight for many people is takeoff. Once the plane is at cruising altitude, everything’s all right, but until then, you’re completely off-balance and you can’t even open your laptop to distract you from the fact that you’re floating five miles above the planet’s surface in a metal tube.
Sure, it only takes a few minutes, but as you’re about to see, there are jets out there that can do it a lot faster.
In a report released earlier this week, U.S. government watchdog group GAO (Government Accountability Office) warned that the increasing connectivity of our aircraft, from flight tracking technologies to in-flight WiFi, could give hackers an access point to tap in and potentially hijack a flight. More →
The advent of the PreCheck program has made trips to the airport far less stressful, but how does the TSA keep the screening process secure and unpredictable? Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the TSA uses a “randomizer” app at around 100 airports to determine which passengers will go through the expedited screening process and which will go through standard screening. More →
The United States Transportation Security Administration recently invested $1 billion in body scanner technology it claimed would make air travel safer, but the scanners have come under fire since the agency first revealed its intentions. Some people argued that the nude scanners were an invasion of privacy while others were concerned with radiation emitted by the machines. Now, however, it appears as though past arguments pale in comparison to recent information brought to light by scientist and blogger Jonathan Corbett. Read on for more. More →
American Airlines is starting to offer Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 units to its first class passengers as an entertainment option during several flights, Mashable is reporting. Apparently the tablet will be an option on flights between Los Angeles and New York, San Francisco and New York, Los Angeles and Miami, Boston and Los Angeles flights operated by 757s, and a few European and South American flights operated by American Airlines’ 767-300 aircraft. 6,000 tablets are being deployed in total, and American Airlines will offer passengers access to Wi-Fi during the trip. Hopefully AA at least loads the Tabs up with a few movies and some tunes, too. More →
Now is most definitely not a good time to run a US (or any) airline. People are traveling less, the economy is basically in the toilet and fuel is incredibly expensive which means that everything else is more expensive. On top of everything else we just entered a historically slow time of the year in terms of air travel as summer draws to a close and kids return to school. We’re not sure how far this tactic will go, but JetBlue is trying to ease the pain a bit by auctioning off a handful of flights on eBay. This doesn’t mark the first time an airline has turned to eBay but in the past, official eBay ticket auctions have been used to raise money for charity. JetBlue apparently isn’t quite concerned with humanitarianism at the moment as the airline has listed over 300 round-trip packages including single tickets, two-ticket packages and even a few mystery auctions that include hotel stays. All auctions were listed last night with varying durations and with opening prices of between 5¢ and 10¢. The auctions are expected to close between 85% and 90% of retail value, which means that travelers will indeed get a nice discount. To those interested, all flights depart on a Thursday or Friday and return on a Sunday or Monday. Travel resulting from the auctioned tickets must be completed by October 6th.