air travel

NZ Herald writer didn’t get the memo; sides with Paul Henry

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Winston Aldworth manages to slide this past the Editor at the Herald

It was bound to happen sooner or later: Paul Henry has said something I agree with.

In Saturday’s Canvas magazine, Henry – a familiar face for the dozens of people who watch TV3 early on weekday mornings – fired a few choice bons mots at those most annoying of travellers: People who are slow at the security check. Read more »

Ebola… coming to a metropolis near you

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The graphic above shows the number of passengers that flow between Nigeria/Ebola Central and various countries.  You may note that the UK is facing the largest risk.   Read more »

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Ebola. Should we be concerned?

The Ebola virus is as nasty as it gets.  With death rates reported to be between 70-90%, it is one of the deadliest viruses around.   And the way it takes you out isn’t pretty – essentially liquidising your insides.

The good thing is – it is all happening far, far away.

The bad thing is – air travel.

Dubai’s Emirates said it had suspended flights to Guinea over Ebola, becoming the first major international airline to impose a ban in response to the outbreak of the deadly virus in West Africa.

Flights would be suspended until further notice, the airline said in a statement on its website.

”The safety of our passengers and crew is of the highest priority and will not be compromised,” it said.

The Ebola outbreak, which began in Guinea and has spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, has killed more than 700, making it the deadliest since the virus was discovered almost 40 years ago.

Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

In line with guidelines from International airlines association IATA and the World Health Organisation, several major airlines and international airports have started health screening of passengers on flights from West Africa.

But IATA said on Thursday the WHO was not recommending travel restrictions or border closures, and there would be a low risk to other passengers if an infected person flew.

Nigeria’s largest airline Arik Air, which flies to a limited number of international destinations including London, has stopped flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Pan-African airline Asky was suspended by Nigeria’s civil aviation authorities for bringing the first Ebola case to the country’s largest city Lagos.

As I understand it, New Zealand medical authorities have met to put contingency plans in place, in the event that Ebola makes its way here.   Read more »

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Will that be Bedlam, or non-Bedlam

Yesterday I was bemused by a mother and son team walking along, both on their mobile phones at the time, and I could hear them word for word from other side of the street.  The son was effin and blinding at someone to complete the little real-life vignette.

Imagine these people inside a bus.

Or a plane.

Or a whole plane full of them….

Scott Mayerowitz reports

Airline passengers have already been stripped of their legroom, hot meals and personal space. Now, they might also lose their silence.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering lifting its longtime prohibition on making cellphone calls on airplanes, saying it is time “to review our outdated and restrictive rules.”

But for many passengers, that would mean the elimination of one of the last sanctuaries from our hyper-connected world. Everybody wants the ability to stay connected while traveling, but nobody wants to be trapped next to some guy yapping away during the entire trip.   Read more »

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Because trains are gay

The Economist asks “Why don’t Americans ride trains?”:

AMERICA has by far the largest rail network in the world, with more than twice as much track as China. But it lags far behind other first-world countries in ridership. Instead of passengers, most of America’s massive rail network is used to carry freight. Why don’t Americans ride trains?

I’ve told you because they are gay.

There are many reasons why Americans don’t ride the rails as often as their European cousins. Most obviously, America is bigger than most European countries. Outside the northeast corridor, the central Texas megalopolis, California and the eastern Midwest, density is sometimes too low to support intercity train travel. Underinvestment, and a preference for shiny new visions over boring upgrades, has not helped.  Read more »