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Qatar Airways Now Operates the World's Longest Flight | Frommer's  

The World's Longest Flight, the Truth About Bowling Green, and More: Today's Travel Briefing

Travel news from all over

Good morning, everybody! Here's the latest from the world's airplanes and fictional massacre sites.


Even if you think the federal government should stay out of most things, you're probably glad somebody's keeping an eye on airplane safety.

Too bad the guy in the White House is making that harder to do.  

President Donald Trump has moved swiftly to roll back federal regulations on businesses, signing an executive order that put all new and pending regulations on hold for 60 days (a fairly standard move for new presidents), and another that blocked federal agencies from introducing rules that would cost businesses or members of the public more money than they're currently spending. Additionally, the President's order mandates that every time an agency creates a new regulation, it has to get rid of at least two old ones. 

The orders come with exceptions for regulations affecting health, safety, and national security. 

And yet, as CNNMoney reports, the White House's rush to remove regulations has hindered the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to issue safety orders relating to aircraft. 

The FAA's frequently released "airworthiness directives" are the agency's way of formalizing instructions to get a plane inspected or make changes to correct unsafe conditions. 

The most recent finalized directive came out on January 18, two days before Pres. Trump's inauguration.

In the meantime, 15 to 20 directives have not been finalized, thanks to the freeze on federal regulations.

According to aviation experts, that doesn't mean that airlines are unaware of safety concerns. Aircraft operators typically receive bulletins from manufacturers about potential problems, and the FAA says it's working to ensure that no safety orders are being withheld.

Still, industry officials told CNNMoney that before taking required safety actions, aircraft operators sometimes wait for final notices from the FAA—notices that aren't going out at present. —Zac Thompson

And in other airplane-related news . . . 


If aviation were an endurance sport, there'd be a new reigning champ. As of this week, the longest flight in the world is now operated by Qatar Airways, whose new 9,032-mile service between the carrier's hometown of Doha and New Zealand takes 16 hours and 10 minutes to reach Auckland, and a tush-mushifying 17 hours and 30 minutes to come back. 

That beats the previous record-holder, Emirates, which flies from Auckland to Dubai in a mere 17 hours and 20 minutes.

The new ultra-long haul fits in with the ongoing push to position Doha as a travel hub—an effort that recently helped the city earn a spot on our list of the best places to visit in 2017. (Of course, New Zealand has plenty of charms in its own right.)

Spending more than 17 hours on a plane wouldn't be so bad if you could be ensconced in one of the posh apartments in first class that Middle East carriers are known for. If you book a seat in economy for a marathon flight, however, you might want to follow our guide to surviving the experience with your sanity and circulatory system in full working order. —ZT


This week we received a topical press release from the people who promote Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It seems they've read the same headlines that we have about terrible things that never happened there.

Cleverly, they're seizing the hashtag moment to remind Americans of all the great things that truly are actually, really, honestly happening in Bowling Green. 

We won't act as factual gatekeepers for this one because the truth is the truth: Bowling Green has a lot of cool things to recommend it. The place deserves to have its full pitch out there, just the way it was written, no alternative facts inserted:

"With all the recent buzz surrounding Bowling Green, Kentucky, I thought you might be interested to get to know the real Bowling Green and all that it has to offer for families, adventure-seekers, car enthusiasts and foodies.

Located an hour north of Nashville, Bowling Green is the perfect road trip destination, and while there may not have been a massacre (#alternativefacts), there are quite a few secrets in this vibrant destination that are ready to be discovered:
• Bowling Green’s Mammoth Cave National Park is known to be the longest cave system in the world, putting it at the center of the outdoor recreational activities that make south central Kentucky’s cave country an adventure destination

 • A local favorite, Chaney’s Dairy Barn is a real working family-owned dairy farm that also happens to make the best ice cream in Kentucky according to USA Today’s “The USA’s Best Ice Cream: Top Parlors in 50 States”

 • Every Corvette made in the world today is produced in Bowling Green. At the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, visitors can see the step by step production of America's favorite sports car

 • Bowling Green’s local natural wonder is Lost River Cave, a seven-mile cave system with a river running through it. Kentucky's only underground boat tour takes visitors on a river that Ripley's Believe It or Not claims is the shortest and deepest in the world."

Way to go, Bowling Green, for turning a political negative into a tourism positive. Gotta say—you really did kill it. —Jason Cochran

Our Travel Briefing appears regularly on the home page. Catch up on past installments by clicking here. For more updates, as well as vacation photos and travel tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.