Posts tagged with "airplanes"

Air Travel COVID Glitches

Air Travel COVID Glitches

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer reports on the numerous glitches in the process of traveling safe in the air.

The day before I checked in for an early morning flight to Austin, Texas via SFO and Houston, United Airlines was advertising their promise to maintain empty middle-seat flights. But something went haywire at United overnight, as two of my three flights to Austin were packed to the gills with most middle seats occupied—it would have been all three flights, but I was upgraded to first on one leg.

When I checked in for my flight, a notice popped up on my phone from United informing me that it would be a fairly full flight and they offered alternative flights as an option. Nice gesture but rerouting would have entailed a delay until the following day to get to my destination—with no guarantee that the alternate flight option would have blocked middle seats.

As of this writing, virtually all airlines proudly tout mandatory mask requirements for all passengers—but while en route onboard my flights, the dutiful masked passengers dropped their face coverings as flight attendants dispensed beverages (water) and cookies. So there I was, mere inches from my seat mate, both of us doing our duty, wearing our masks – but now protecting only our chins, from the evil, invisible germ. And throughout the cabin it was the same, basically mask-less, scene.

Arriving at Austin/Bergstrom’s TSA cattle chutes, Social-Distancing sticker reminders adorned the concrete floor, every six feet…and the queued-up passengers were actually compliant in their attempts to maintain their distance — that is until we were flagged past the TSA ticket/identification checker. As passengers queued up to take shoes off, extract make-up bags, computers etc., they suddenly, randomly squished frantically up to within three or four inches from one another.

Throughout this collapse of proper social distancing, TSA workers ignored the traffic jamb and continued barking out reminders to remove laptops etc., from bags—but zero, zippo, nada, commands were interjected to maintain proper social distancing as the jumbled-up passengers squished toward the x-ray bag tunnel and body scanner.

Transiting through Denver’s DIA Airport, gaggles of Boulderites, and Denverians dutifully and proudly wore their masks. However, salted in to the hord of obedient, transiting passengers were the all-too-frequent mask less rogues with chins held high and chests puffed out proudly.

The reality of traveling by air today is akin to rush hour commuting by automobile. One moment you’re flowing along at a comfortably safe, even clip while maintaining a proper distance between you and the car ahead. A split second later the flow of traffic snarls up and you jamb on the brakes—Traveling by air is much the same, it’s a continual battle to protect yourself and maintain a bubble of safety.

RR × Charles Rolls

Rolls-Royce is celebrating the 110-year anniversary of Charles Stewart Rolls’ first non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by airplane.

At 6:30 pm on June 2, 1920, aviation pioneer Charles Stewart Rolls took off alone in his flimsy biplane from Swingate aerodome, near Dover, to achieve the world’s first non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by airplane. He had been waiting in frustration for over a week, his departure repeatedly frustrated by high winds, fog or mechanical problems with the machine. But finally, conditions were perfectly calm and clear. Among the spectators on the cliffs were Rolls’ parents, Lord and Lady Llangattock, and his sister and brother-in-law, Sir John and Lady Shelley.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Rolls reached an altitude of 900 feet and a speed of ‘quite forty miles an hour’ as he approached the coast of France. By 7.15 pm, he was flying over the small French town of Sangatte, where the present-day Channel Tunnel emerges. Leaning out of his airplane, he threw overboard three weighted envelopes, each containing the message: ‘Greetings to the Auto Club of France…Dropped from a Wright airplane crossing from England to France. C. S. Rolls, June 1910. P.S. Vive l’Entente.’’

He then turned northward and set a course for the English coast. At 8.00 pm, he was back in Dover where, the Daily Telegraph reported, “the sea front, cliffs and piers were thronged with people, all in the most intense state of excitement.” Rolls rewarded them in typically flamboyant style, by flying in circles around the outer towers of the town’s medieval castle. “I decided that, as I had plenty of petrol and my engines were working splendidly, I would encircle the Castle, although it would lengthen my flight considerably,” he told the Telegraph correspondent. The crowd loved it. This was more than mere entertainment: they knew they were present at a moment of history.

In an adventure lasting 95 minutes, Rolls had achieved two immortal landmarks. He had become both the first Englishman to fly an airplane across the English Channel, and the first aviator ever to fly non-stop from England to France and back again.

Torsten Müller-Ötvö, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said “Charles Rolls combined a fine technical mind with a bold, adventurous spirit; it is no wonder that aviation and motoring held such powerful, almost magical attractions for him. He was a true pioneer in both fields, instrrumental in the development of aeroplanes and motor cars with his record-breaking feats.”

Qatar Airways and Brooklyn Nets x Black History Month

Qatar Airways and Brooklyn Nets Celebrate Black History Month

To tip off the month, Qatar Airways hosted students and former Tuskegee
Airman for a series of events

On Monday, Qatar Airways, official airline partner of the Brooklyn Nets, celebrated Black History Month
by honoring the historical achievements of African Americans during the Nets game at Barclays Center.
The luxury airline invited Tuskegee Airman Willie Jackson, local community organization, United Youth
Aviators, and students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to enjoy a
series of activities throughout the evening.

To tip off the night, Qatar Airways presented former Tuskegee Airman and President of the 369th
Regiment Sergeant (ret.) Willie Jackson, with a special game ball delivery. The evening also included an
on-court, around the world competition with an HBCU alumni, for the opportunity to win roundtrip tickets
to incredible Qatar Airways destinations. Additionally, the airline highlighted stories of seven Black
aviation pioneers throughout the arena during the night and distributed Black History Month themed rally
towels to the first 5,000 fans in attendance.

“Black History Month is a time of reflection and an important reminder of the work we have left to do,”
says Senior Vice President of the Americas Eric Odone. “At Qatar Airways, we are fortunate to have
opportunities to engage with the community, and we’re grateful that our partnership with the Brooklyn
Nets and Barclays Center allows us to take these educational commitments further.”
Leading up to Black History Month, in partnership with Qatar Airways, Nets player Nic Claxton visited the
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum along with 20 children from United Youth Aviators. United Youth
Aviators is a specially-curated program that offers students from New York City the opportunity to learn
about aviation from an early age and ultimately how to fly a plane. Representatives from Qatar Airways
accompanied the group on their private tour around the museum, where they experienced the rich
aviation history and cultural significance.

The Doha-based airline also hosted the group from United Youth Aviators in a private suite at the Nets
game on February 3 where they participated in a Q&A session with Willie Jackson on his experience with
the Tuskegee Airmen. The children were also invited to stand on-court with Nets players during the
national anthem.

The month-long celebration of African American history is part of Qatar Airways’ corporate social
responsibility efforts aimed at building stronger communities and providing youth with meaningful
educational opportunities.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World
Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best
Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class
experience, Qsuite. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’
title, which is recognized as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, a record five times.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport
(HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline added several new
destinations to its network last year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines;
Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; Langkawi, Malaysia; and Gaborone, Botswana. The airline will
add Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Osaka, Japan; Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Kazakhstan; Cebu,
Philippines; Accra, Ghana; Trabzon, Turkey; Lyon, France; Luanda, Angola; and Siem Reap, Cambodia,
to its extensive route network in 2020.

Freewheel Holidays

Curious about castles? A UK company specializing in self-guided bicycle vacations throughout Europe offers itineraries from Italy to Denmark that reveal secrets of courtly lives on the other side of the moat.

Freewheel Holidays’ self-guided tours include, among others, inn and/or bed and breakfast accommodations, bike rental, luggage transfers, route maps and notes, services of a tour host including welcome and information talk.

France is first up on Freewheel Holidays’ castle-driven itineraries. Cyclists can tour the Paris royal countryside – think Fontainebleau — on a six-day Paris to Versailles adventure at £909 per person double. Departures are from April through October. One lunch stop is the Castle of Vaux le Vicomte of Blandy, a rare example of medieval architecture. The 17th century Castle de Courances opens onto magnificent grounds including a water park. Étampes (Royal City) dates to the 7th century. Fontainebleau with over 1,500 rooms boasts eight centuries of continuous occupation by sovereigns. In the royal city of Dourdan is the early 13th century Château de Dourdan. The Château de Rambouillet began life as a fortified manor in the 14th century. This trip concludes with a visit to the masterpiece of Louis XIV, Versailles, one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. More details here.

Dordogne Villages and Castles is an eight-day program from £749 per person double. Departures are mid March through mid October. Here are Château de Losse and gardens near the Lascaux pre-historic caves. In this archaeologically rich region is the château village of Beynac perched upon a cliff. Château de Caudon dates to Louis XVI. Along the Dordogne River are Château de Monfort and Château de Gourdon. More details here.

A seven-day tour, Loire Valley Castles, is from £599 per person double. Departures are from late April to late September. Steeped in history, Amboise is a market town celebrated for Château de Chenonceau that has spanned the river here since the 16th century. Château du Clos Lucé was home to Leonardo for three years and where some of his remarkable inventions are on display. Along the Loire are, among others, the 17th century Château de Cheverny and Château Royal de Blois in a community dating to the 6th century. Romantic castles surrounded by fields of wheat and poppy include Fougères-sur-Biévre and the Renaissance Château de Beauregard. Chambord is one of the most famous and majestic of the Loire castles. More details here.

The United Kingdom offers this stunner, a six-day Stamford to Lincoln cycling tour that visits Belvoir Castle that has gone through four iterations dating to 12th century Norman ruins; William the Conqueror’s 11th century edifice, Lincoln Castle; and Burghley, one of England’s greatest 16th century houses. The per person double rate is £699. Departures are available mid-April to the end September. More details here.

Two castle tours in Denmark include the eight-day Funen Fairytale Island tour available at £979 per person double from now through end August. Often referred to as the garden of Denmark, it is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and home to the 16th century Castle Egeskov, hosting a fine collection of old cars, airplanes and bicycles. More details here.

On the eight-day Copenhagen and Zealand Circuit cyclists explore the castle of Gavnø, dating to the late 12th or early 13th century. Grounds here sport over half a million bulbs, a rose garden and many rare plants and trees. An immersion in Viking lore reveals 10th century Trelleborg, one of seven known ring castles and the best rebuilt castle of the Viking period in Denmark. Cathedral of Roskilde is the place where most of Denmark’s kings and dynasties have their graves. Guests may also visit the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Per person double rates are from £829. More details here.

In Austria a seven-day Innsbruck to Salzburg tour is from £649 per person double with departures from end April to early October. High atop a hill in Salzburg, the city of Mozart, is Hohensalzburg Castle, a fortress dating to 1077. More details here.

In Italy,Freewheel Holiday’s Milan to Lake Como is a four-day tour from £259 per person double. Departures are early April to end October. The 14th century Castle of Trezzo sull’Adda is on a site occupied once by the Celts and overlooking a landscape that fascinated Leonardo da Vinci. More details here.

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email info@freewheelholidays.com or visit website.

Follow Freewheel Holidays on Social Media

Twitter:@FreewheelHols

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About Freewheel Holidays

A division of Sports Tours International, Freewheel Holidays specializes in self-guided, expertly supported European cycling holidays that strike the perfect balance between leisure pedaling and immersive sightseeing. The company offers easy cycling programs designed with special appeal to European and North American travelers. Guests cycle on their own, with enroute assistance and distinctive accommodations expertly chosen and secured by the company. A portfolio of over 40 established European holidays offers riders of all levels a freedom of choice. The company features a range of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9-night itineraries to 12 European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Portugal. The majority of tours are self-guided with the exception of a few fully-guided vacation packages in Croatia, France, Italy and Prague to Vienna. The company also offers family-focused, coastal, wine lover, bike and boat, and solo traveler holidays.