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Category: Air Transport ✈️ (Page 1 of 2)

Changing conditions for visa-free travel to EU for non-EU nationals from December 2022

From December 2022, non-European Union nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, will need to request prior authorisation to visit Schengen countries.

You will be able to apply online for authorisation via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

The exact date on which these changes will come into force is not yet clear.

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May 21, 1927 » Charles Lindbergh completed the world’s first-ever solo transatlantic flight

Charles Lindbergh with the Spirit of St. Louis before his Paris flight

Charles Lindbergh with the Spirit of St. Louis before his Paris flight (Source » Wikipedia)

The New York City to Paris flight took place 94 years ago.

From Wikipedia »

In the early morning of Friday, May 20, 1927, Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island. His monoplane was loaded with 450 U.S. gallons (1,704 liters) of fuel that was strained repeatedly to avoid fuel line blockage. The fully loaded aircraft weighed 5,135 lb (2,329 kg), with takeoff hampered by a muddy, rain-soaked runway. Lindbergh’s monoplane was powered by a J-5C Wright Whirlwind radial engine and gained speed very slowly during its 7:52 a.m. takeoff, but cleared telephone lines at the far end of the field “by about twenty feet [six meters] with a fair reserve of flying speed”.

Over the next 33+1⁄2 hours, Lindbergh and the Spirit faced many challenges, which included skimming over storm clouds at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) and wave tops at as low as 10 ft (3.0 m). The aircraft fought icing, flew blind through fog for several hours, and Lindbergh navigated only by dead reckoning (he was not proficient at navigating by the sun and stars and he rejected radio navigation gear as heavy and unreliable). He was fortunate that the winds over the Atlantic cancelled each other out, giving him zero wind drift—and thus accurate navigation during the long flight over featureless ocean. He landed at Le Bourget Aerodrome[54] at 10:22 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.The airfield was not marked on his map and Lindbergh knew only that it was some seven miles northeast of the city; he initially mistook it for some large industrial complex because of the bright lights spreading out in all directions‍—‌in fact the headlights of tens of thousands of spectators’ cars caught in “the largest traffic jam in Paris history” in their attempt to be present for Lindbergh’s landing.

Trailer » ‘The Nepal Traverse’ an adventure film about the first solo paragliding attempt across the length of the Himalayas

The Nepal Traverse is a documentary style adventure film about the first solo paragliding attempt across the length of the Nepal Himalayas, starting at the Far-West of Nepal on the Indian border, between February and March 2020.

The film captures the vast remoteness and natural beauty of the Nepali Himalayas, as Steven Mackintosh, the solo paraglider pilot overcome the challenges of paragliding alone and unsupported, but never far from the generous hospitality of the local people.

Steve is raising funds through a GoFundMe page to complete the film.

On his GoFundMe page Steve writes »

… because of challenging weather conditions and the impending Covid-19 restrictions I was unable to complete the entire journey and finished at a half-way point in Pokhara. Fortunately, I have captured enough film rushes to be able to complete the film. Depending on permitted travel being allowed, I am still hoping to attempt to complete the solo journey to the Eastern border. If this can be undertaken then additional film footage would be included within the final film.

United Airlines adding bigger overhead bins

Most airlines have forced flyers to maximize their allowed carry-on luggage by introducing baggage fees for checked luggage. So it’s surprising they haven’t already had enough carry-on luggage space for every passenger.

This is another example that airlines prioritize profits over customer experience, despite what Toby Enqvist and other airline executives may claim publicly.

Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY »

The airline on Friday said the larger bins will accommodate one bag per passenger on domestic flights. On a 179-seat Boeing 737-900, that translates to room for an extra 65 bags.

Toby Enqvist, United’s senior vice president and chief customer officer, showed a photo of one of the larger bins with six larger roller bags comfortably tucked inside during the airline’s media day in Chicago Friday.

“This is like my Mona Lisa,” he said.

US Airlines collected $4.9 Billion in bag fees in 2018

JT Genter, writing for The Points Guy »

More than four months after the end of the year, we are just getting the 2018 statistics for airlines, and there are some jaw-dropping numbers. US-based airlines recorded $11.8 billion in after-tax profits for the full year. And a significant portion of those profits was baggage fees, which came in just shy of $4.9 billion in 2018.

That’s an increase of 7% from the baggage fees collected from a year prior. Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United all increased their fees for first checked bag during the year.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, airlines collected $1.25 billion in bag fees. That marks the 11th straight quarter that US-based airlines have collected over $1 billion in baggage fees.

10 Years After He Started, Norman Surplus Has Begun His Last Leg of His Around-the-World Journey in his Autogyro

norman surplus in his gyrocopter

From the BBC:

Nearly 10 years after he first began his mission, it was fitting that Norman Surplus left from his home town of Larne.

Mr Surplus will fly across Russia and complete what would be the first circumnavigation of the world in an autogyro.

On Monday, he took to the skies.

In August 2015, when he landed back in Larne, he set the record for single-handedly piloting his autogyro across the Atlantic Ocean.

He had previously flown across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

However, due to flight path restrictions imposed by Russia he was not able to fly across that country and complete the circumnavigation of the world.

Read More…

The Guardian – 2015 article: Around the world in an autogyro: cancer survivor attempts a global first

The GPS wars are here, or why you need to learn to use a compass

It is important to recognise how vulnerable our technology is and how over-dependent we have become to fragile systems, some of which was built during a more trusting era.

Many things we do today, and much of our economy, relies on global navigation satellite navigation and time keeping. Much of the western economy relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS), an aging, fragile, and vulnerable US military project. Turns out that it can be easily be jammed, hacked, and turned off. And has been. Sometimes unintentionally.

All this makes for a good argument to learn how to use an old-fashioned compass and read a map. Continue reading

British Airways Travellers’ Credit Cards Hacked

Data breach leaves 380,000 customers vulnerable.

Hackers obtained the credit card details of some 380,000 British Airways travellers during a two-week data breach this summer that leaves the customers vulnerable to financial fraud, the airline says.

CEO Alex Cruz, said Friday that enough data was stolen to allow criminals to use credit card information for illicit purposes, and that police are investigating. Travellers who booked on the company website or mobile app from Aug. 21 until Sept. 5 may have been affected.


More at the CBC, Sunday Times

 

Two Cities, One Airfare

Airline carriers are offering free or discounted hotel rooms, meals, museum admission to passengers who want to spend some time in places they are connecting through.

From the NY Times:

George Hobica, an airline industry analyst, said that attractive stopover programs, created for destinations where the airline is based, are a growing trend. “Stopping in your connection city on the way to your final destination used to have an extra cost, but now, layovers are increasingly free and come with additional freebies for travelers like hotel stays,” he said.

Carriers are paying more attention to their stopover programs, Mr. Hobica said, because they help boost tourism in the country where the airline is based and increase the airline’s business at the same time. “Having good stopover programs generally don’t cost airlines a lot because they usually collaborate with local tourist boards and hotels to create them,” he said.

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