Aeroflot: It's Not Just for Crashes Anymore

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/22/2016, 1:30 PM

Aeroflot, the flag carrier of the Russian Federation, has a dreadful reputation for being unsafe. And it deserves it: The Aircraft Crashes Record Office, a non-government organization based in Switzerland, says that as of May 2010, 8,231 passengers have died in Aeroflot crashes. That's a lot. Air France comes a distant second, with 1,783 fatalities, followed by the defunct Pan Am (1,645),...

KLM Offers Free Amsterdam Tour Guides

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/19/2016, 2:00 PM

Right now, Icelandair will set up its customers with a buddy to show them around on their visits. Now KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the Dutch carrier, is jumping in on the "local guide" trend. If you're connecting through Schiphol Airport on KLM—and some 70% of its passengers do—then you qualify for a free local guide as long as your layover is for six hours or more. The airline will give you a f...

Climate Change to Make Flights Longer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/18/2016, 8:15 PM

Environmental Research Letters, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that covers the Earth's environment, recently came out with a study that predicts airlines are about to require more fuel on transatlantic journeys. It predicts that the increase in wind speeds brought about by changing temperatures—a climatological shift that's already in evidence—will require flights to take more time to bat...

Three New National Monuments Named

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/12/2016, 2:45 PM

Meet your newest National Park units. President Obama has set aside some 1.8 million acres of delicate Southern California desertland as three of the United States' newest National Monuments. They're no longer "proposed"—as of today, they're confirmed. The new areas are called Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both are in the Mojave Desert), and Sand to Snow (in the Sonoran Desert). All o...

Will Travel Insurance Cover Zika Cancellation?

By Anna Waters

Posted on 02/09/2016, 7:30 PM

The short answer? No, unless you’re willing to pay extra. Some travel insurance providers offer plans that will cover cancelled travel for any reason, so Zika-related cancellations would inherently be included. But Dean Sivley, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, has said that’s not the norm: Such policies are added onto travel insurance “less than 10 percent of the time.” A ...

The World's First Hybrid Plane Is Here

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/09/2016, 1:15 PM

Introducing a new type of airplane: One that works on a hydrogen hybrid system. The new concept will be embraced by easyJet, the cheapie that operates in 27 European cities. But this is no publicity stunt—it's happening precisely because the airline is so stingy. The new aircraft, an adapted Airbus A320 to be called A320neo, will use a hydrogen battery to power part of its journey. It wo...

Fly to Iceland & They'll Give You a Friend

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/02/2016, 2:45 PM

Icelandair has long been one of the more inventive European airlines. It has to be—people used to believe that Iceland is too far off the beaten path to pay attention to. But for half a century, the country and its airline have successfully worked against that belief, first by offering low-cost stopovers there, and later by expanding flights to Reykjavik to many moderate-sized American citie...

New York City Copter Tours Chopped

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/02/2016, 2:00 PM

New York authorities just took a blade to the city's tourist helicopter industry: In an agreement that was jointly announced by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Helicopter Tourism and Jobs Council, helicopter operating companies agreed to reduce flights by about 50% annually within a year. All tourist flights would end on Sundays beginning April 1. Overall fli...

A Novel Device for Sharing Wi-Fi in the Sky

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/02/2016, 1:45 PM

You're at 1,600 feet and suddenly you feel the bile rising in your throat. It's not turbulence. It's the outrageously high cost of Wi-Fi in the sky. I wish I could tell you've we found a way to get around the exorbitant fees being charged by GoGo Worldwide, the internet provider that serves most of the major airlines. We haven't. But USA Today has found a nifty gadget that allows users to...

Last Chance to Take a Sleeper in Germany

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/02/2016, 1:30 PM

Rail Journal, a train industry publication, reports that German Rail (DB), the German rail company, is doing away with its overnight sleeper carriages. That romantic travel tradition of renting a berth or couchette for an overnight journey will soon be over in Germany—everyone will have to sleep in upright chairs from now on. The company said that just 1% of all long-distance travelers hav...

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