Runaway Runway Incursions – A Simple Inexpensive Remedy Worth Trying

Runaway Runway Incursions – A Simple Inexpensive Remedy Worth Trying; Try Using AI Programs To Monitor Radio Traffic, Detect Objects, ... Read more Runaway Runway Incursions – A Simple Inexpensive Remedy Worth Trying; Try Using AI Programs To Monitor Radio Traffic, Detect Objects, and Analyze Runaway Runway Incursions WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 223) – Just within the past several days: two flights has to abort their landings as Southwest plane crosses runways in San Francisco, United and Alaska flights were forced to abort landings after the pilots happened to not another plan on the runway, and a Viva Aerobus A321 was mistakenly cleared to cross a runway in advance of an Aeromexico Boeing 737 beginning its takeoff roll. Lasr Month the FAA was forced to issue an emergency “Aviation Safety Call to Action” following a recent series of “concerning” near-miss incidents at American airports; at least eight serious runway incursions – some having avoided a catastrophic collision and certain loss of life by only seconds – having occurred during only the two months of January and February. Then, as a result of apparently snowballing number of runway incursions, the FAA has awarded more than $100 million to 12 airports across the country to reduce runway incursions by reconfiguring taxiways that may cause confusion, install airfield lighting or construct new taxiways to provide more flexibility on the airfield. Unfortunately, these and many of the proposed remedies – e.g., hiring and training more controllers and pilots, employing next generation radars, more and different lights and markers at airports, etc. – are expensive, and would take a considerable amount of time to fully implement; time during which another runway incursion could easily occur and cost hundreds of lives. Moreover, current incursion-avoidance systems – e.g., Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X, or ASDE-X – even at airports where it has been installed, is not reliable, and many major airports don’t even have it. Indeed, half of the recent close calls occurred at important airports without this protective system. These include Santa Barbara, Austin, Sarasota, and Burbank. See, e.g.: “As Runway Near-Misses Surge, Radar That Keeps Planes Apart Is Aging and Unreliable : “A crucial safety system that’s relied on to avoid potentially fatal collisions at major US airports is aging and plagued by outages that have left travelers unprotected for months at a time. At some airports, it hasn’t ever been installed. The technology – which tracks vehicles on or near runways to alert controllers before impending crashes – often uses decades-old radar equipment for which spare parts are difficult to find, according to government data and the president of the union representing air-traffic controllers. . . some of the most serious incidents happened at airports without the technology.” But one idea worth at least considering and then testing, and which could be implemented within months at very low cost, comes from a professor at George Washington University who is a safety expert with a degree from MIT and several patents to his name, and experience regarding computers and data processing. Using AI Software To Monitor Airport Radio Transmissions His idea in a nutshell is to use existing AI software to monitor airport radio transmissions, and to then warn controllers of possible runway incursions; eventually also possibly providing the AI program with input from other existing technologies including ground-based radar, digital cameras and complex target-analytics software already in use and tested in airports such as Miami’s. We’ve all now learned that existing inexpensive AI programs can already understand speech potentially involving more than a million possible words (in English) and an almost infinite variety of subjects, and analyze it using its vast database to do incredible things such as writing a thesis and even passing difficult professional exams. In contrast, radio traffic at airports uses only a much smaller number of words and covers only a tiny number of well known topics, so existing AI programs can easily understand what is being said and analyze it to help anticipate possible incursions, all in real time, argues Professor John Banzhaf. To make such analysis even easier and quicker, a very detailed map of the airport showing the locations, lengths, markings, etc. of each runway and roadway at the airport, as well as a constantly updated schedule of aircraft landings and takeoffs, would likewise be entered into its memory. Then, after only several months month of operation, even a simple AI program should be able to learn how long each type of aircraft needs to taxi on each runway and roadway, how long it takes to become airborne once each type of aircraft begins its takeoff. The time it will take each type of aircraft to land from each approach and from a variety of altitudes and distances from the runway, and a myriad of other bits of valuable information which can help it calculate if any time-and-distance aircraft separation requirements are likely to be violated, and/or if for any reason an incursion seems likely. If it seems, based upon the vast amount of input and information it can process in milliseconds, that the probability of a runway incursion exceeds any pre-programmed danger-limit parameters, the AI program can immediately warn the controller(s) handling the flights. In this way any decisions about whether or not to issue orders to pilots (e.g., to abort takeoff, climb and go around, etc.) would not be made by a computer, but rather by human controllers who could if necessary override a warning from an AI program if appropriate. Once such an AI runway incursion warning program has been tested and has proven its value, aviation experts can consider adding additional input from – for example – ground-based radar and digital cameras mounted so as to cover every inch of the airport. We know that inexpensive video cameras linked to simple inexpensive on-board vehicle computers are now to the point where they can almost drive a truck on an interstate highway, or even a car on city streets, which is much more complicated. Keeping track of airplanes and their movements is obviously orders of magnitude simpler because airplanes are bigger and much easier to see and detect than cars (or children who might run into the street in front of a car), they generally move quite slowly while taxing, can only move along a small number of clearly defined paths at a airport’s map stored in a computer’s memory, and are supposed to coordinate their movement with orders from controllers which are also simultaneously being analyzed by the AI program. Since the FAA is often slow to move and embrace new ideas and technology, skilled computer enthusiasts – including even a professor teaching computer science at a local university and his eager students, or a white-hat hacker collective – could pick up radio traffic from a nearby airport, feed it into their own computer using AI software, and keep track of how often it was able to predict possible runway incursions – even without add-ons such as ground-based radar and digital cameras, suggests Banzhaf. In summary, the professor asks whether a simple test of using AI to warn about possible runway incursions isn’t warranted, especially now that so many life-threatening near crashes have occurred already just this year......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk18 hr. 42 min. ago Related News

The Saudi crown prince revealed his latest vision for Neom, the $1 trillion "utopian" megacity that critics fear will become a dystopian nightmare

In a new collection of pictures, Saudi Arabia presents the planned megacity of Neom as a vacation paradise. Experts have warned of a darker reality. This concept image shows the planned design of 'The Line,' a 'vertical skyscraper' from the planned futuristic Saudi Arabian city of Neom that cuts through the desert in the northwest of the country.NEOM Saudi Arabia unveiled new pictures of the Neom megacity planned by its ruler, Mohammed bin Salman. They highlight the landscapes surrounding the city, and present it as a vacation paradise.  But human-rights groups have concerns about the city's plans for mass surveillance. In a desert in the arid northwest of Saudi Arabia, plans for a trillion-dollar, futuristic megacity are beginning to take shape.Neom is the brainchild of Saudi Arabia's crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman.In his bid to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, the crown prince aims to attract billions in investment to Neom, which he envisages as a tourism attraction and global hub for technology and innovation. In a new set of pictures released by Neom and Unsplash, the city is portrayed as a paradisaical adventure holiday resort. But activists are warning that that rights are being trampled as Saudi Arabia readies parts of the resort to be opened to visitors. Let's take a look at the latest images. Saudi Arabia is seeking to draw millions of tourists to NeomAn photograph released in May 2023 showing a desert canyon in Saudi Arabia where Neom is due to be builtGettyImages/Unsplash/NeomFor decades, Saudi Arabia was better known for its ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam and oil wealth than as a tourist destination. The kingdom already hosts millions of Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca every year, but was essentially closed to other visitors. It made a dramatic change in 2019, issuing its first tourist visas.Crown Prince Mohammed has ambitious plans to drive further change, and hopes to attract 100 million visitors to the kingdom each year.Neom is being billed as a core attraction, and is described on its website as the "world's most ambitious tourism project." The city will be built on 10,200 square miles of desertThis promotional photograph shows the Saudi Arabian desert where the city of Neom will be built.NEOM/GettyImages/UnsplashThe new images depict the unspoilt desert wilderness where the city will be built. Saudi Arabia has been keen to highlight to ecological credentials of the project as it seeks to pivot away from fossil fuels as part of its Vision 2030 plan. The city, planners say, will run entirely on renewable energy and 95% of the surrounding landscape and sea will be "protected for nature."  The coral reefs and hidden wrecks of the Red Sea are presented as among the exotic attractionsAn photograph showing a diver in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, near the site of the planned Neom megacityGettyImages/Unsplash/NeomTabuk Province, where Neom is being built, has the longest stretch of Red Sea coastline in Saudi Arabia. As well as Neom, luxury residences and eco resorts are being built on islands off the coast.The kingdom aims to attract scuba divers and yachters to the resorts.  "Go diving in Tabuk before the rest of the world discovers this dive area. You will be rewarded with crystal-clear, warm waters and pristine coral reefs few people have ever dived," said the diving news outlet Scubaverse in 2022.   The first part of Neom slated to be finished is Sindalah, an island due to include yacht marinas and luxury hotels. Officials say it will be opened to visitors from 2024.A concept image of the island of Sindalah, a planned yachting resort due to form part of the Neom project.NEOM"The destination will create a new season for superyachts, a dream alternative for yacht owners who want to spend the winter in an easily accessible location," Luca Dini, CEO of Luca Dini studio which designed the island resort, told Arab News.A new airport opened in the resort in 2019. But critics believe that the scale and ambition of the project mean it may never be fully realised, and ambitions for millions to live there in around a decade seem fanciful, Money Week reported. The images present the desert site as a place of mystery and wonderAn photograph showing a nighttime view of mountains in the region in northwest Saudi Arabia where planners say Neom will be built.GettyImages/Unsplash/NeomThe main planned residential area of Neom is "The Line," a 130-mile long building tower that cuts through the desert and is described by designers as a horizontal skyscraper.Residents and visitors are promised sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Saudi Arabia says it'll be able to preserve vast swaths of the desert, and will even begin reintroducing vanished wildlife.   But the glossy prospectus doesn't tell the whole story, and activists are raising alarm about Saudi Arabia's human-rights record.A Saudi Arabia flag flies behind barbed wires at the backyard in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 13, 2018Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo by YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty ImagesSaudi Arabia in May sentenced three men to death from the Howeitat tribe, which traditionally lives on lands earmarked for Neom's development. The cause was that they refused to be evicted from the site, the UN said. "Despite being charged with terrorism, they were reportedly arrested for resisting forced evictions in the name of the Neom project and the construction of a 170km linear city called The Line," the UN experts said. The UN alleges that Saudi Arabian officials evicted the tribe from three villages in the area, and despite promises did not compensate them adequately. One man resisting eviction was killed by Saudi special forces, it said in May.And experts told Insider that recent deals with China hint at plans for the sweeping surveillance of Neom residentsSaudi security personnel monitor the hajj pilgrimage from a control room in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, in October 2012.FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty ImagesCrown Prince Mohammed has presented himself as a reformer, keen to open up the kingdom to investment and liberalize the ultra-conservative society.But critics say that this masks a brutal authoritarian streak, and point to the crown prince's persecution of critics, the war he has waged in Yemen, and the 2018 assassination of dissident Jamal Khashoggi (the crown prince has denied any involvement in the killing.)Activists are alarmed by recent deals between Saudi Arabia and Chinese tech giants, which they say could enable Saudi security services to harvest data from residents and surveil them.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 29th, 2023Related News

See NYC"s charmless supertall skyscrapers, which one critic is calling a showy display of billionaires" stranglehold on America

One writer disses most of New York's new skyscrapers over 984 feet, arguing that both they look bad and don't serve the city's everyday residents. Billionaires' Row.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA Press New York City is home to 17 supertall towers measuring over 984 feet, the most of any metropolis. Writer Eric P. Nash claims the towers alter the skyline but add little to the city's character. Instead, he said, these towers are an ugly reflection of billionaires' social and political power. A person walks in Central Park with Billionaires' Row towers looming in the background.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesThe 21st century has seen real estate stretch to new heights. Enter the "supertall" skyscraper, defined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as a tower that clocks in at or above 984 feet — or about twice the height of the Washington Monument in DC. Billionaires' Row.C. Taylor Crothers/Contributor/Getty ImagesIn "Sky-High: A Critique of NYC's Supertall Towers from Top to Bottom," out from PA Press on June 27 and with photography by Bruce Katz, writer Eric P. Nash dives into the current state of Manhattan development, in which the supertall reigns supreme. It's a generation of architecture he is less than impressed with. He gamely takes turns explaining New York City's new skyline by plucking out its newest additions and dunking on what architect Steven Holl called "profane spires."Nash argues this moment's infatuation with supertalls has choked resources for civic buildings and affordable low-rise housing, and turned big-name architects' attention away from projects that would benefit a larger population because they lack the prestige that supertalls offer.The Vessel, a sculpture designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick at Hudson Yards.Business Insider/Jessica Tyler"It's not that the intellectual groundwork for attractive public housing hasn't been laid out," Nash writes, "it's just that there is no fame or money in it for careerists."Nash believes the race to complete supertalls has often zapped New York City of its urban character, making it less for the public and more for a select few.The 2019 opening of 30 and 35 Hudson Yards, both reaching over 1,000 feet and built atop a platform over a rail yard on Manhattan's west side, characterized that shift for Nash.Hudson Yards.Related-OxfordNash has few kind words to spare about the neighborhood on the city's far west side, saying it is "nothing if not completely consumed by the dollar.""Hudson Yards," Nash writes, "the largest private development in the history of the United States, is the unacceptable face of quintessential capitalist production of space."He goes on: "Cities designed from the top down like Hudson Yards emit a decaying whiff of totalitarianism." They are not, he said, spaces designed for public use.On top of that, he adds, the cluster of new supertalls and skyscrapers are so disjointed that "[a]esthetically, Hudson Yards resembles a random assortment of chess pieces."One Manhattan West.Michael Lee/Getty ImagesOne Manhattan West on the easternmost edge of Hudson Yards is a 995-foot office tower that was completed in 2019. Its 67 floors are home to consulting firm Accenture, accounting giant Ernst & Young, and the National Hockey League. One Manhattan West.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressHowever, Nash calls the building, by revered architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, "slouchy" and "eminently forgettable."Billionaires' Row.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressTwenty minutes north by subway, a cluster of supertall buildings — currently four towers with a fifth slated to join — make up Manhattan's so-called Billionaires' Row.The sky-high spires dot the southern border of Central Park and have permanently altered the New York City skyline.    Billionaires' Row.francois-roux/Getty ImagesNash traces Billionaires' Row's roots back to developers' discovery that the superrich would forgo the tasteful, palatial classic six-style apartments of yore for a seven-figure "pied-a-terre in the clouds, in what amounts to a safe-deposit box in the sky, mostly with foreign equity in untraceable nested shell companies."111 West 57th Street with its fluted siding stands in the foreground.Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesOne of the Billionaires' Row spires, 111 West 57th Street, stands as the world's "skinniest" skyscraper. Completed in 2020, the residential tower tops off at 1,400 feet and features an 82-foot lap pool with a limestone deck and luxury cabanas.Currently, a $66 million, four-bedroom triplex penthouse is for sale, with two private elevators — one for direct building access and another to glide between all three floors — and 1,300 feet in private outdoor space overlooking Central Park.111 West 57th Street.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressHowever, because it's perched atop the landmarked concert venue Steinway Hall, Nash finds the "lavish, expensive detailing" of 111 West 57th Street's exterior, an intricate terracotta fluting by lauded architecture firm SHoP, completely "lost on the man on the street."Billionaires' Row.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressCentral Park Tower, another addition to Billionaires' Row, reached 1,550 feet and is now the world's tallest residential building. Condos currently on the market range from a three-bedroom seeking $9.5 million to a 17,500-square-foot penthouse seeking $250 million.Central Park Tower.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressAlthough it claims the title of the world's tallest residential building, Nash notes, "a full fifth of the building's height is unoccupied vanity height." Of the 131 floors of Central Park Tower, only 98 are residential, creating empty floors potentially for the sake of a title."The stats on Central Park Tower have been fudged by the developer for marketing superlatives," writes Nash.53 West 53.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressSix blocks south of Central Park but nonetheless part of the extended Billionaires' Row, the 77-floor 53 West 53 opened to residents in 2021 and reaches 1,050 feet. A four-bedroom penthouse is currently listed for sale at $63 million.Residents of the tower can access VIP concierge services like in-home visits from celebrity hairstylist John Barrett and helicopter rides to the airport. 53 West 53.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PRessNash actually finds 53 West 53 "sophisticated" and "respectfully contextual" for how architect Jean Nouvel integrates the tower at street level with other buildings and incorporates setbacks.He finds the "quilt-like" patterns on the tower to have a sense of playfulness that's missing in other projects. It's just about the only building in the book he praises. Central Park Tower.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressNash argues that New York City's infatuation with supertalls has "shamelessly pandered to the one percent instead of aiding the public." Substantial tax breaks were given away to developers for buildings that serve only as "billionaire's playgrounds."The spire of the Chrysler Building.Bruce Katz Courtesy of PA PressIn time, Nash argues, supertalls will be seen like the Chrysler Building — as living chapters of the city's history. This chapter, however, will be about the social and political power of billionaires in the 21st century.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 29th, 2023Related News

Can A Soldier Come Home From War?

Can A Soldier Come Home From War? Authored by John Waters via RealClear Wire, It has been said that a lifestyle arose after 20 years of the war on terror. People lived in the war long enough that it became an alternative to everything else. Better than a video game. Better than boredom. Going to war “was the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else,” as Hemingway wrote. But the portal to war’s mystery closed once the fighting stopped. You feel the need to talk but there's no one who can listen. People have heard “too many atrocity stories" to be entertained by the simple truth that you liked it, that war magnified who you were. Once you lose the quality that made you vital, you discover the hardest part of going to war is coming home to face yourself. For combat veterans, the process of resuming normal life has meant a series of abstract labels and diagnoses. It began with post-traumatic stress disorder. Then came anxiety disorders. "Moral injury," discussed among mental health professionals if not operationalized for diagnosis, appeared somewhere along the way, but there have been many others. Daniel Swift, a Navy SEAL who died fighting in Ukraine earlier this year, had been diagnosed with something called "adjustment disorder." Evidently, it's a term encompassing feelings of hopelessness and anxiety experienced after a complex, stressful life event. For Swift, that event was coming home from war and attempting re-entry into civilian life.  Though war is among the hardest things a person can survive, it's not the only hard thing. Countless events unrelated to combat trauma can trigger dark feelings. Love, loss, and death form parts of everyone's experience, and the totality of their effect on our psychology and behavior can change who we are. When combat infantryman Bill Bee wrote about holding a Marine's hand as he died of a gunshot wound to the head during a tour in Helmand, most of us could imagine how it might feel (or remember how it felt) to be similarly helpless, holding a parent's hand as life fades away.   In her new book Night Vision: Seeing Ourselves Through Dark Moods (Princeton, 2023), philosophy professor Mariana Alessandri argues persuasively that so-called "dark moods" should not be shamed and covered in stigma. She frames these moods as natural responses to the skin-of-your-teeth, emotionally rich experience of living. "[In life], I don't think suffering is optional," she told me by telephone. Life, especially one that includes combat, will inevitably agitate and stir our "arsenal of feelings," and wanting constant positivity and success creates unhealthy expectations. Though her book does not contemplate how and why veterans deal with "dark moods" as they reassimilate to life after war, Alessandri was quick to acknowledge how cold the world can feel when a person is open about sadness, grief, and suffering. Perhaps medical health professionals and "superstar bloggers" have claimed too much responsibility for "narrating our psychic lives," she writes. It is okay to feel sad; the world has always been full of tragedy. We spoke about her book and inspiration, and how this brand of philosophy might apply to combat veterans. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation. Why did you write Night Vision? My book is getting categorized as self-help but that’s not my cause. I want to reserve a space to let people be themselves. I want to help people create spaces to allow one another to be truthful in their moods. I’m not telling people that you need to share your pain, but I am saying that if you want to share the pain, it gives other people an opportunity to love you. We’re not yet in a world of “night vision,” and so people might squander that opportunity and make it worse. Personally, my father passed away three months ago. Instead of hiding it, I just emailed all of my colleagues and told them my father passed away. It was a low-stakes touch. I saw the most beautiful outpouring of love from colleagues. People were volunteering themselves to me in ways that were beautiful and also surprising. When we choose to share (with eyes open, of course), we might find that people are waiting for an opportunity to care and respond well. It’s totally the individual’s choice. Do you believe we've developed a formula for living badly? We’ve developed a formula for living emotionally impoverished lives. In terms of how we treat ourselves and how we treat our emotions, and how we treat others, too. There is an emotional anemia. Emotional nyctophobia. I don’t think we’re good at handling people’s darker moods. We have been trained to celebrate being well, and we treat people better when everyone is doing well. As a philosopher, I’m very influenced by Plato’s Cave. I think the world is full of walls, that society is just walls with writing on them. The posters, pillows, coffee mugs—they all tell us messages. I’m getting my ideas from reading the world. I think philosophers ought to look closely at the world and read what it’s telling us. For example, my son’s soccer coach has a t-shirt that says #NoBadDays. Or, consider the poster in my local airport that shows a man in a dark tunnel with a small light at the end. The poster reads “It will get better.” You see book titles like “Eliminate Anxiety.” For all these signs, I read them and think: “Well, people must believe that these things are actually possible.” And so, though it’s well-intentioned, there is a focus on the bright side and not knowing what to do when we’re dark. The word “toxic positivity” is being used and it’s quite helpful. You write that “sooner or later, we pay the price of living […] No medicine is so powerful it can turn off pain.” How does the price manifest? The price manifests in suffering. Loving is the number one thing that invites suffering. Because everything you love will die or end, and that attachment when it breaks is what causes disappointment and pain. I don’t think suffering is optional. There is no getting rid of suffering, and my point in the book about pharmaceuticals is saying that there’s no way to get rid of something that is a part of the human condition. My idea is that we have to live with suffering in a way that honors the pain and honors the person or the love behind the pain. But you say the pain manifests in particular moods, no? Grief. Depression. Anxiety. Tell me about them. Yes, and some of the moods run into each other. For my purposes, grief is when a loved one has died and depression is taken to be a state without a cause, like an uncaused grief. I’m dubious of that explanation because we might be looking for causes when depression might be caused by a big success, such as when the author William Styron won a literary award and then fell into a state of depression. The point in the chapter on depression is that we don’t have to only medicalize these moods. I’m not trying to redeem the mood of depression or grief, but I’m trying to redeem the person. I don’t think you’re broken because you suffer depression. Anxiety, meanwhile, is a different beast. It’s the voice that will not stop. It’s so loud that you cannot stop hearing it. I’ll note that I use other languages in the book because using English only elicits reactions. Pain doesn’t just mean skinning your knee. There is pain of the heart, too. English-speaking readers might get hung up on the word itself and what they think it means when I want the thing to mean more. I find readers are more passive and open to listening when I use dolor or another word from a foreign language—it frees them up to understand. Are your views on dealing with grief, depression, and anxiety at odds with those of the medical community? I think before writing this book, I was leaning more on the side of being super suspicious of the medical-industrial complex that makes so much money off the suffering of others. But it’s a difficult question to answer. Therapies, diagnoses, medical treatments—they do a lot of good. Depression is the one that makes it very, very challenging to say “go on without medication,” though. The book Noonday Demon was a very good book on this. It’s dangerous to be completely anti-medical—depression can be a real force. But even medicated people are still living with depression, and so we need to understand the underlying emotion without casting ourselves or others as broken. There was a book in the 80’s called “Plato, not Prozac.” I would be happy if my book were called “Plato and Prozac.” My book is about seeing these moods and understanding them, rather than how to resolve them or treat them. Military experience teaches us that life is going to be hard. Troops train so rigorously to prepare themselves for inevitable hardships. Then, once service ends, we send them back home as civilians to lead lives that society says should be fun, happy, effortless, and free of inconvenience. When life isn’t immediately any of those things, there is confusion and suffering. What is this suffering trying to teach us? I’m struck that veterans have a potential understanding with each other that goes beyond the rest of society. If you can assume that people in your position have experienced something similar to you, then you don’t have to pretend. The world you come back to might be too light to understand you, and people want you to leave that behind and not have that hardship or combat continue to be a part of your life. I can imagine that the sort of connection among veterans can be profound. The Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno writes that suffering can unite us in a way that is joyous. Bodies are joined by pleasure but souls are joined by pain. Instead of trying to cheer each other up, people who share pain together have an ability to connect with one another that others cannot really touch. We don’t get to choose whether we do or don’t have suffering, but the suffering allows us to see other people in a new, profound way.    Your passages on anxiety made me think about how veterans struggle to find a new mission. Sometimes this struggle plays out in dramatic changes to their personal lives or professions. Divorce. Job-hopping. Is it possible that we have too many choices to make? Maybe. Classic existentialists think that we spend a lot of our time denying death. Kierkegaard calls anxiety a feeling of dizziness. When you tell a young person that they can do anything, you may think that you’re giving them hope and possibility but you’re also messing up their life. Freedom is a double-edged sword because it means you have the freedom to mess up your life. We take measures to tie ourselves down to reduce the options. For example, think about the midlife crisis. The midlife crisis is the time at which our bodies stop letting us fool ourselves and say, “Could it actually be different?” I see my students with their heads down and gently try to suggest that they’re not always going to be able to stay inside there, that something will eventually give. Psychologists call it drift, going with the non-controversial or least difficult option rather than sitting with it and figuring out what you want, probably trying different things. Why would we want to go through life sleeping? It’s easier, yes, but we don’t really stay asleep. I believe that philosophy is a discipline of awakening, not letting people sleep through life.  Intense experiences have a way of stretching our emotions. Many combat veterans relate experiencing extreme emotions after returning home from war, and how the expression of these emotions shocked their family, friends, or co-workers. Has it become unacceptable to express chaotic emotions? I don’t know. Some of my students tell me there’s funny social media outlets where they try to cry or look like they’re crying, like a feigned emotion. That seems strange to me, but professional society is different because the goal is not to look chaotic. I would love for the world to go down a few notches and not panic. It’s not cause for alarm. I think the more pressure we have to keep it under, the more harm that’s done to ourselves and the more opportunities are missed. Do you think a soldier ever comes home from war? The metaphor of coming home is very beautiful, but it’s not like home doesn’t have suffering, too, and so a lot depends on people’s attitudes. You cannot just advise people coming home from war to leave themselves behind. You will have grief with you and you need to be allowed to keep that. You have to have a family or community that’s willing to take you as you are, people who are not demanding that you just be happy already. I find that the phrase “adjustment disorder” is really funny. It shows that the adjustment is about how you need to adjust to the world, that the world doesn’t adjust to you, that society is fixed and unbending and that you’re going to have to change yourself to live here. But who should adjust to whom? Ultimately, I think the answer to your question depends on who is around him. I can picture it going very well or very badly. John Waters is a writer in Nebraska. His novel River City One publishes this fall.  Tyler Durden Sun, 05/28/2023 - 12:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 28th, 2023Related News

Man accused of stealing a backhoe to make a 10-mile drive to an airport to catch his flight

Security camera footage appears to show the man parking the backhoe, jumping down, holding a guitar case, and strolling into the Illinois airport. A man stole backhoe for 10-mile drive to Illinois airport to catch his flight, police say.Williamson County Sheriff Office Facebook screenshot Police believe a man stole a backhoe and drove it to an airport in Illinois to catch a flight. Footage appears to show the man arriving with the equipment and leaving it outside the airport. Timothy J. Baggott was later charged with theft, authorities said. A man from southern Illinois has been charged with theft accused of stealing a backhoe and driving it 10 miles to an airport to catch a flight to the West Coast, authorities said earlier this week. Security camera footage posted on the Williamson County Sheriff's Office Facebook page appears to show a man arriving at the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in the digging equipment.He then parks the backhoe and jumps down holding a guitar case, leaving it and calmly walking into the airport, police said. "Deputies were informed that a backhoe was parked in the airport parking lot, which was suspicious in nature," authorities said in a statement. The owner of the vehicle later arrived at the scene and identified it as belonging to his company. It had been parked at a job site nearby."You hear of people either getting rides from other people, borrowing cars, stealing cars, but a backhoe being stolen from a job site, driven 10 miles to an airport for an individual to catch a flight all the way to the West Coast carrying a guitar, that is unique," Sheriff Jeff Diederich said, according to local news outlet KFVS12. The man who is alleged to have stolen the backhoe, a piece of machinery weighing many tons that is used to move heavy debris, was identified as Timothy J. Baggott of Carbondale. Baggott flew to the West Coast and was later arrested in Nevada.Baggott was charged with theft in excess of $10,000, police said. The charge is a felony, and he is currently being held in the Elko County Jail in Nevada on a $40,000 bond, KFVS12 reports.Facebook users seemed to support the backhoe driver, however. One user joked, "The guy just was trying to make it on time for his flight. What's the big deal?""Well, at least he didn't do anything stupid other than borrowing the backhoe to go to the airport, and for safety, he did put the bucket down," another user wrote.It wasn't as if he took the equipment to "keep it or be destructive, come on, give the man a break." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 28th, 2023Related News

Gingrich: Where Are Woodward And Bernstein When We Need Them

Gingrich: Where Are Woodward And Bernstein When We Need Them Authored by Newt Gingrich via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The conspiracy between a corrupt set of bureaucracies (including the Justice Department, the IRS, and the intelligence community) and an equally corrupt and enabling elite media is astonishing. The Durham Report is just one more confirmation of the devastating level of dishonesty and manipulation which have characterized the last few years. The Department of Justice emblem at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida in downtown Miami is pictured on Jan. 25, 2023. (D.A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP) Some analysts believe the open corruption can be traced back to Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal, in which she clearly stonewalled conservative organizations from getting tax status. When she was found to be in contempt of Congress, the Obama Justice Department spent two years ignoring the congressional contempt charge and then decided not to prosecute her. As Congressman Jim Jordan said at the time, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen was “us[ing] his power as a political weapon to undermine the rule of law.” Jordan went on “Mr. Machen … unilaterally decided to ignore the will of the House of Representatives. He and the Justice Department have given Lois Lerner cover for her failure to account for her actions at the IRS.” The signal had been sent that protecting the left would itself be protected. This lesson was reinforced in the cover up about the terrorist attack at Benghazi. The Obama administration was worried that the killing of an American ambassador—despite his consistent appeals to the State Department for more security—would hurt the president’s reelection campaign. So, the administration adopted a strategy of simply lying to the American people. This began the week of the attack when the administration did everything it could to avoid responsibility for a terrorist killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. In fact, the Obama White House immediately sent former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on five network shows to blame an American-made anti-Muslim video for causing the supposed unrest. It was exactly what Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick had warned against in her famous “Blame America First” description of liberals. We now know that the entire story was a falsehood, and no one in Benghazi was motivated by a film they had never seen. When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress, she dismissed the whole question of responsibility for the failure to protect Stevens. She even failed to be honest about his murder famously saying: “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” The leftists in the national bureaucracies learned a big lesson from Lerner and Clinton. Whatever you need to do to defeat the right or protect the left is OK. You can get away with it. There is no responsibility for your actions if you are protecting the corrupt system. That lesson was publicly driven home in late June 2016, when former President Bill Clinton walked uninvited onto the airplane of Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport. The FBI was investigating the former president’s wife (and Democratic presidential candidate) for a variety of charges including deleting more than 33,000 government emails and having staff destroy computer hard drives with a hammer. It is hard to imagine anything more inappropriate than a former president visiting an attorney general while his wife (and presidential candidate) was being actively investigated by the FBI. As then-candidate Donald Trump described in a tweet “Take a look at what happened w/ Bill Clinton. The system is totally rigged. Does anybody really believe that meeting was just a coincidence?” We now know from the Durham Report—and the reports from Chairman James Comer and the House Oversight Committee—that candidate and then-President Trump has been consistently smeared and defamed by corrupt elements of the Washington bureaucracy on a scale which makes Watergate look trivial. At the same time, the corrupt system was working overtime to protect Joe Biden and his family. The stunning dual nature of the corruption makes the present moment so dangerous for the future of the rule of law—and the entire constitutional process which has protected American freedom for more than 200 years. As deeply and persuasively corrupt as the bureaucracy has become, the other great decay since Watergate has been the corruption of the elite media. The New York Post, Fox News, and a few others have attempted some sense of honest coverage. Smaller conservative publications, podcasts, and social media have called out the big media systems for being active allies of the corrupt bureaucracy. Still, when needed, the elite corporate media have eagerly smeared President Trump and enthusiastically lied to protect the Bidens. There are no Bob Woodwards or Carl Bernsteins courageously working to uncover the truth and get it published. (Indeed, Woodward has reinvented himself into a chief Trump smear-monger.) There are no courageous editors like Ben Bradley backing up the reporters. There are no fearless publishers like Katharine Graham willing to risk lawsuits and withstand the anger of the government. Today, there is only a corrupt media protecting a corrupt establishment. The challenge to the American people to get at the truth is far more difficult than it was when Richard Nixon was under attack. The establishment rot threatens our survival as a free people, and it is increasingly difficult to uproot. Where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins when we need them most? Tyler Durden Sat, 05/27/2023 - 23:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 28th, 2023Related News

Uber drivers lay out 4 reasons they think tipping has been getting worse — and why events like Taylor Swift concerts seem to make riders more generous

One driver from Dallas blames TikTok trends and business travelers for tips that have dwindled every year since the peak of the pandemic. Drivers interviewed for this story not pictured.Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Ben, a 42-year-old Dallas Uber driver, told Insider his tips were getting smaller. Many gig workers reported generous tips early in the pandemic but say customers have tightened up. Ben and other drivers have some theories about why riders aren't as generous as they used to be. Ben, a full-time Uber and Uber Eats driver for five years, said he'd worked as many as 90 hours in one week to make ends meet. He said smaller customer tips had made this increasingly difficult to accomplish."Tipping has been getting worse every year," he told Insider.Ben is not the Dallas-Fort Worth 42-year-old's real name. His identity is known to Insider, but he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions.Last year, Ben earned roughly $77,000 pretax driving for Uber and Uber Eats. That's $47,500 in take-home pay from over 2,000 trips, according to documents viewed by Insider.On average, customers tipped him roughly $4 a ride, according to another document, which broke down the details of his earnings and trips for nine weeks last year. Tips brought his average hourly rate from just under $19 to over $22 — though this doesn't account for the cost of gas."There have been days where I received zero tips, and there have been days where I receive a tip every single trip," he said. "It really depends on the mood of the city."Compared with Ben, some ride-hailing drivers have fared worse when it comes to tips. A 2019 analysis of over 40 million Uber rides found that roughly 16% of rides were tipped, 60% of riders never tipped, and that only 1% of riders tipped every trip. However, Alix Anfang, an Uber spokesperson, told Insider that tipping has increased since 2020."On the rides side, tipping frequency and the average tip on a trip roughly doubled over the last two years," Anfang said. "Food delivery has always had a high tipping rate, but the average tip on a delivery increased even further by about 20%."While Ben didn't know exactly how much he'd made from tips in past years, he said he's confident he's earning less than he used to — and he's not alone. Last week, The New York Times published a story about the financial struggles of gig workers for companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Among drivers' key challenges, the Times reported, is that customers have cut back on tipping. While many delivery drivers said they benefited from larger tips during the beginning of the pandemic, some said this generosity had since faded. Others blamed the persistence of "contactless delivery," which they said has cut down on interaction with drivers and contributed to smaller tips.The Times story received over 3,800 comments in the first 48 hours after publication, and the most popular ones pushed back on the idea that customers should have to step up their tips to supplement the income of food-delivery drivers. Some commenters said drivers shouldn't expect the same tips as the waitstaff at restaurants, while others said they shouldn't be responsible for paying these workers a living wage.Ben said there were some bright spots. During the week of Taylor Swift's three-night run from March 31 to April 2 at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium, Ben said the city was in a great mood. "Because people were happy at the concert, I was getting tips," he said. 4 reasons some people don't tip like they used toIn recent years, Uber has said it's taken steps to encourage higher tips and reduce tip baiting, when customers offer high tips to attract drivers and then revoke them.Anfang said these steps included allowing riders to tip during a trip — in addition to after — and moving the tip selection prompt up in the app, as well as reminding riders of inclement weather to encourage higher tips.But Ben is still frustrated by the tips he's seeing. He cited two reasons he thought customers were tipping less than they used to. First, he pointed to YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok videos that show people receiving lavish tips.  "That has given a false perspective that everybody receives the same tips," he said.He said he thought this had made some people comfortable with tipping less than they otherwise would have if they knew how stingy a lot of tippers were.Second, Ben pointed to tip limitations for some business travelers. As a result of living in a city with the second-busiest airport in the world, Ben said that many of his ride-hailing and food-delivery customers were business travelers. Ben said some of them had limits on how much they could tip — one customer told him they had a 10% tip limit. While he doesn't know exactly how many customers have these limits, he said he thought this was a sizable factor in his tips.  Sergio Avedian, a 55-year-old Uber and DoorDash driver in the Los Angeles area, shares his gig-work experiences on The Rideshare Guy blog and YouTube channel, which has nearly 150,000 subscribers. He said the growth of the YouTube channel had helped him stay updated on the experiences of thousands of ride-hailing drivers across the country.Avedian said that, in general, tips were down since the beginning of the pandemic and pointed to two other factors he believed were driving this.He said that ride-hailing companies have raised prices over the past few years to increase profitability and help drivers offset elevated gas prices, and that as a result, customers have become less willing to tip than they used to be."I feel like the consumer goes, 'OK, gosh, I just took a 5-mile trip, cost me $25 on Uber or Lyft. I really don't have room to tip this poor guy,'" he told Insider. "In the old days, we used to get tipped more because the trips were so cheap and people would throw $5 or whatever."While the number of Uber ride and delivery trips rose by 20% from fiscal year 2021 to 2022, the company reported, gross bookings — the total value of fares and deliveries excluding tips — rose by 28%. When reached for comment, Uber said that in April of 2022, for instance, government imposed fees accounted for over 18% of riders' payments, and that this was among the key factors driving any price increases. Sergio Avedian, an Uber and DoorDash driver, said tips have fallen since the beginning of the pandemic.Sergio AvedianUltimately, Avedian said Uber riders' tipping habits today could be traced to the company's decisions several years ago. In-app tipping wasn't even an option for Uber riders until 2017, despite drivers pushing for it for years. The company's former CEO Travis Kalanick was resistant to adding a tipping feature because he thought it would add friction to the in-app user experience and didn't want riders to feel guilty for not tipping, Fortune reported in 2017. Uber's public-policy team wrote in a 2016 blog post: "When we started Uber six years ago, we thought long and hard about whether to build a tipping option into the app. In the end, we decided against including one because we felt it would be better for riders and drivers to know for sure what they would pay or earn on each trip — without the uncertainty of tipping."By the time Uber rolled out tipping in 2017, Avedian said it may have been too late."Consumers have been trained, basically, not to tip when it comes to rideshare," he said. "But I think it should be the opposite way around. When was the last time you were in a cab, you got out without a tip? So to me, rideshare drivers are getting stiffed on this deal."Are you a gig worker willing to share your story about pay, schedule, and tipping? If so, reach out to this reporter at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 27th, 2023Related News

These 20 US airports had the worst delays last summer

As summer travel roars into high gear for 2023, let this list of the worst airports for delays last year guide you in booking travel this year. Delays and cancellations peaked during the summer of 2022, with the Friday of Memorial Day weekend recording a particularly high number of canceled flights.RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images Last summer, 22.9% of scheduled US flights arrived more than 15 minutes late at their destination.  During the summer of 2019, 18.2% of flights were delayed, only marginally better than in 2022.  Airports in New York and Orlando tend to record a high percentage of delays regardless of the year.  Memorial Day weekend is kicking off what's expected to be a very busy air travel season, and many are wondering: is it going to be as bad as last summer? During the summer of 2022 — the months stretching in between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend — 2.1% of flights were canceled, and 22.9% had a delay of more than 15 minutes, according to data provided to Insider by flight tracking company FlightAware.That's a minor increase compared to the summer of 2019 when 1.8% of the flights were canceled and 18.2% delayed, but the season was still perceived as a nightmare for air travel, with cancellations and delays peaking the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. While it's hard to know how things are going to go in the coming months — delays are often linked to unpredictable factors like the weather  — there are some airports that tend to be bad performers no matter the year, Kathleen Bangs, an aviation expert with FlightAware, told Insider. "We have definitely seen the New York triad high on the list," she said. "It's a very, very busy, but tight geographic airspace, with Canada to the North and the Atlantic Ocean to the South, and a lot of European travel coming and blending in."The Federal Aviation Administration has already predicted a 45% increase in delays in the New York region compared to last year and encouraged airlines to schedule fewer flights. "Orlando always tends to be high on the list too," Bangs added. "And part of the reason is that a lot of families with children are traveling out of the Orlando airport, and you are going to have slower TSA lines as you move through hundreds of children." Take a look at the 20 airports with the worst delays — calculated by the percentage of flights leaving the airport and arriving more than 15 minutes late to their destination — for the summer of 2022, ranked from best to worst: 20. Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport: 18.13%Associated Press19. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: 18.25%Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images18. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: 18.66%EQRoy/Shutterstock17. San Francisco International Airport: 20.13%JasonDoiy/iStock /Getty Images Plus16. George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texas: 20.17%Justin Sullivan/Getty Images15. Los Angeles International Airport: 21.5%Eric Glenn/Shutterstock14. Chicago O'Hare International Airport: 21.56%tupungato/iStock13. Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 23.31%Thomson Reuters12. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 24.88%BCFC/shutterstock11. Boston Logan International Airport: 25.35%Getty Images/Scott Eisen10. New York LaGuardia Airport: 25.98%Libby Torres/Insider9. Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport: 26.65%Usa-Pyon/Shutterstock8. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport: 26.70%Patrick Donovan7. Denver International Airport: 27.04%Scott Olson/Getty6. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport: 27.48%John Moore/Getty Images5. Charlotte Douglas International Airport: 27.96%Fang Deng/Shutterstock4. Miami International Airport: 30.48%Daniel Slim/Getty Images3. John F. Kennedy International Airport: 33.81%David Jay Zimmerman/Getty Images2. Orlando International Airport: 34.41%Jerry Driendl/Photodisc/Getty Images1. Newark Liberty International Airport: 34.85%Jeenah Moon / Stringer / GettyRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 27th, 2023Related News

Travel chaos on holiday weekend as passport gates fail at UK airports, causing long delays for passengers

Travelers said on social media it was "utter chaos" and an "absolute mess" at British airports Saturday as automatic gate problems caused huge queues. Passengers are stuck in long queues at airports such as Luton, just north of London, due to the e-gate failure.Anna McGovern Passengers faced long delays at British airports Saturday after electronic passport gates failed. The outage meant all passengers' passports were being checked manually by officers.  One traveler at Heathrow said on Twitter they were stuck in the "mother of queues." Tens of thousands of passengers arriving at airports in the UK have been delayed for hours at passport control after e-gates failed.Reports about problems with the gates at Heathrow, Britain's busiest airport, emerged on Friday night. Other airports serving London including Gatwick, Stansted and Luton have also affected, as well as others including Manchester and Edinburgh in Scotland. Many passports were being checked manually by UK Border Force officers until the problem was resolved.Anna McGovern, a writer and campaigner, was stuck in a queue for passport control at Luton Airport early Saturday along with "thousands" of other passengers.She tweeted: "Many have been waiting for 3/4+ hours to go through. What an absolute mess."Passengers waiting for hours due to nationwide outage.Anna McGovernOne traveler at Heathrow said on Twitter they had landed at "this mother of queues," while another passenger tweeted: "Just landed to scenes of utter chaos. 2 hour queues just to get to the real queue. Gates broken."A representative for Heathrow tweeted: "We are aware of a nationwide issue impacting the eGates, which are operated by Border Force. This issue is impacting a number of ports of entry and is not Heathrow-specific."Our teams are working closely with Border Force to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible and we have additional colleagues on hand to manage queues and provide passenger welfare. We apologise for any impact this is having to passenger journeys."A representative for Gatwick airport said some passengers may experience delays at immigration due to the nationwide issue with the e-gates. Manchester Airport tweeted Saturday that it was also affected.It isn't clear what caused the outage.A Home Office representative told Insider: "We are aware of a nationwide border system issue affecting arrivals into the UK. We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and are liaising with port operators and airlines to minimise disruption for travellers."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 27th, 2023Related News

How to book a skiplag flight to save money — and why you shouldn"t

Booking a ticket with a layover city intended as the destination may seem like a savvy loophole to skirt high airfares, but it comes with risks. Skiplagging is a risky decision as airlines become more hyper aware of the strategy and actively punish customers for doing it.iStock/Getty Images "Skiplagging" is the practice of booking an airline ticket with the layover city intended as the destination. The strategy can save travelers hundreds, but airlines hate the practice and can punish customers for doing it. Lufthansa took one traveler to court, while American Airlines billed a customer $2,500 to recoup revenue. Cheap airfares are hard to come by these days as inflation and fuel prices stay on the rise — but that doesn't mean they're impossible to find.Over the years, savvy flyers have popularized a practice known as "skiplagging" to skirt high ticket prices on nonstop flights.The strategy involves booking a flight with a layover intended as the destination city and then skipping the second leg. In other words, buying an itinerary that is point A to B via C, and getting off in C. This can be done by:Booking two separate one-way tickets with either the outbound or return layover city as the intended destination. This is typically more expensive than booking a roundtrip on international flights, but can be a strategy for domestic flying.Manipulating a multi-city booking by setting the "fake destination" on the outbound, and then selecting the intended destination as the starting point for the return, or vice versa. Travelers can then compare that to the cost of a regular nonstop roundtrip, and adjust the fake city as needed to find a lower airfare.For example, flying on Dutch flag carrier KLM from New York to Amsterdam nonstop each way is about $2,850 in late June — but the same roundtrip flights manipulated to have an onward leg to London on the outbound journey brings the ticket cost down to about $2,150.Google FlightsIn this case, the fake city — London — is not the traveler's actual destination, but the skiplagged fare was cheaper than booking nonstop to Amsterdam.While customers could scour Google Flights looking for these loophole fares, booking website can actually do the work for you.Founded by computer scientist Aktarer Zaman in 2013, the website helps customers find "hidden city" fares based on their preferred airports and destination.However, the company warns travelers to only bring a backpack because checked luggage is tagged to the final city — and it's unlikely the airline will unload it during the layover, even if you ask nicely.Screenshot of hidden city ticket with the second leg slashed out, sent to Insider by company COO Dan Gellert who noted the "backpack only" warning on the itinerary.Dan Gellert/Skiplagged.comAlso, asking might actually work against you as it raises an immediate red flag to airlines as many have worked to curb this practice.In 2014, United Airlines and the travel company Orbitz filed a lawsuit against Zaman over "unfair competition" and "deceptive behavior," claiming he caused $75,000 in lost revenue. The case was eventually dismissed due to the Illinois court not having jurisdiction in New York where Zaman lives and works.With still up and running, carriers have taken an aggressive stance against these "throwaway" fares — even going as far as to punish offenders by taking away loyalty miles and elite status, canceling the return leg of the hidden city fare, or even banning them from flying the airline again.Because of this, the benefit of saving a few hundred dollars may not be worth the risk of going toe-to-toe with air carriers, even if the practice is legal.In 2018, German carrier Lufthansa filed a lawsuit against a passenger who booked a roundtrip business class ticket from Oslo, Norway, to Seattle with a layover in Frankfurt both ways.However, the company accused the customer of intentionally ditching the second leg of the return flight — Frankfurt to Oslo — and buying a separate one-way ticket on Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Berlin instead.This did not bode well with Lufthansa, which identified the itinerary as hidden city ticketing and then requested about $2,400 from the customer as additional payment, according to court documents.But, the case was eventually thrown out because the judge determined Lufthansa's contract of carriage was not transparent enough to warrant an airfare recalculation, NPR reported.While the court sided with the passenger, airlines are becoming extremely vigilant when it comes to skiplaggers.American Airlines, for example, added new tools in 2021 to help agents recognize a hidden city ticket. And, the carrier has billed customers when caught, with one getting a $2,500 invoice in August 2020 for skiplagging 52 times.Another was banned from American's AAdvantage program in spring 2020 for 95 counts of skiplagging, The Points Guy reported.American has language in its contract of carriage to prohibit customers from "purchasing a ticket without intending to fly all flights to gain lower fares." Delta Air Lines and United also have similar protections written in.Despite airlines actively fighting against throwaway tickets, Atmosphere Research Group and travel analyst Henry Harteveldt told the BBC in 2019 that skiplagging was actually created by the carriers themselves, saying high fares into hub airports "invite hidden-city booking."But, that doesn't mean airlines don't have the freedom to stop doing business with customers who they believe are cheating the system — and they won't hesitate to take action — so skiplag at your own risk.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 27th, 2023Related News

The world"s most powerful militaries in 2023, ranked

Global Firepower ranked 145 countries based on factors including their total available active military, weaponry, and overall resources. Pakistani military personnel stand beside a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile during Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, in March 2017.REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood Global Firepower ranked 145 countries based on their military power. It said the US, China, and Russia rank highest, with some surprises further down the list. See below for the world's 25 strongest militaries in 2023. Global Firepower's 2023 Military Strength Ranking lists 145 countries in order of their overall strength.The ranking considers factors including the amount of military equipment and troops each country has, as well as their financial standing, geography, and avaliable resources.It uses these factors to generate a PowerIndex score, with a score closer to zero indicating a more powerful military.Here's how the top 25 countries stack up:25: GermanySoldiers of German armed forces Bundeswehr in Altengrabow, Germany, in January 2023.REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschWhile 25th overall, with a PowerIndex score of 0.3881, Global Firepower ranked Germany in the top 20 globally in areas including total aircraft fleet strength, helicopter strength, and its total armored fighting vehicle fleet.It said that as of January 2023, Germany had around 601 aircraft, 266 tanks, and 287 helicopters.The country also had the fifth-highest defense budget, of around $52.3 billion, behind only the US, China, Russia, and India. It also benefits from being a core part of NATO.24: ThailandThai soldiers march through Bangkok's financial district as they clash with anti-government protesters in May 2010.REUTERS/Damir SagoljGlobal Firepower ranked Thailand in the top 20 in terms of total available population fit for military service, and total available active military manpower.As of January 2023, Thailand's available manpower was over 36 million people, Global Firepower said, resulting in a PowerIndex score of 0.3738.Understandably, given its long coastlines, Thailand has a strong navy, and while it has no aircraft carriers, its total naval assets (292), which includes six corvettes and seven frigates, are the 8th largest in the world, Global Firepower said.23: TaiwanTaiwan's special forces move through colored smoke during a military exercise in Taipei.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, FileGlobal Firepower ranked Taiwan first in terms of total available reserve military manpower, with around 1.5 million reserve personnel as of April 2023, the equivalent of 6.4% of the country's population.Taiwan, which was given a PowerIndex score of 0.3639, also ranked highly in terms of air power, with 285 fighter aircraft and 91 attack helicopters, both the 8th largest fleets of those kinds in the world, according to Global Firepower.22: Saudi ArabiaGraduating soldiers from the Saudi special forces demonstrate their unarmed combat skills in Riyadh, June 2010.REUTERS/Fahad ShadeedGlobal Firepower ranked Saudi Arabia second when it came to its total aerial tanker aircraft fleet strength, and in the top 20 in areas including total helicopter strength, total oil production, natural gas production, and total available active military manpower.The country had 22 aerial tanker aircraft as of January 2023, with Saudi Arabia the second-biggest oil producer in the world, after the US.Its defense budget of $46 billion was also the eighth highest in the world.Global Firepower gave the country a PowerIndex score of 0.3626.21: SpainMembers of the Spanish Navy in Tyre, Lebanon, in September 2006.REUTERS/Alessandro BianchiGlobal Firepower ranked Spain as having the 21st most powerful military in the world in 2023, and a top-20 power in areas including its total transport fleet strength, total fighter/interceptor aircraft strength, number of submarines, and also its number of available ports.Spain is also one of the few countries in the world with a helicopter carrier, and its fleet of 11 frigates places it 7th globally in that category.The country, which was given a PowerIndex score of 0.3556, also had 140 fighter aircraft and two submarines as of January 2023.20: PolandA Polish soldier stands guard in front of a pile of burning illegal narcotics in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, November 25, 2008REUTERS/Shir AhmadGlobal Firepower ranked Poland in the top 20 in areas including its total helicopter strength, its armored fighting vehicle fleet strength, its total number of mine and countermine warfare ships, and its total number of submarine craft.It said that as of December 2022, Poland had 208 helicopters and more than 50,000 armored fighting vehicles, giving it a PowerIndex score of 0.3406.19: VietnamVietnamese soldiers during a welcoming ceremony for South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, in March 2018.REUTERS/Kham/PoolGlobal Firepower ranked Vietnam in the top 10 in areas including total available active military manpower and its total Self-Propelled Gun vehicle fleet strength.It said that as of January 2023, Vietnam had more than 53 million people who count as available military manpower, with an estimated 470,000 active military personnel (9th highest in the world), in addition to 2.5 million reserves.It gave Vietnam a PowerIndex score of 0.2855.18: IsraelA military flyover as part of an aerial show organized for Israel's 75th Independence Day celebrations, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 26, 2023.REUTERS/Corinna KernEighteenth overall, Global Firepower ranked Israel in the top 20 in areas like its total fighter/interceptor aircraft strength, its total aircraft fleet strength, and its total available reserve military manpower.It said that Israel, which it gave a PowerIndex score of 0.2757, had 601 military aircraft as of January 2023, with 241 of those being fighters. It also had 2,200 tanks, as well as a stock of 650 pieces of self-propelled artillery.Israel ranks low when it comes to naval assets, with just 67 vessels, of which 45 are offshore patrol vessels, though its fleet of five submarines is the 16th largest in the world, according to Global Firepower.17: IranThe commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Force Gen. Kioumars Heidari among Iran-made drones on April 20, 2023.Iranian Army via APGlobal Firepower ranked Iran in the top 10 in areas including its total combat tank fleet strength, total self-propelled Multiple Launch Rocket Projector vehicle fleet strength, and its total available active military manpower.It said that as of January 2023, Iran had more than 4,000 tanks and more than 1,000 rocket projectors. Its active military personnel of 575,000 was the seventh largest in the world.Overall it gave the country a PowerIndex score of 0.2712.16: AustraliaTwo Australian Defence Force (ADF) S70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters fly in formation along Sydney's Parramatta River in 1999.REUTERSWith the sixth highest defense budget in the world, Global Firepower ranked Australia in the top 10 in areas including its total aerial tanker aircraft fleet strength, total number of helicopter carrier warships, total natural gas production, and its number of roadways, airports, and major ports.While its active military personnel was just 60,500 (61st largest), the country has two helicopter carriers (4th) and six aerial tanker aircraft, making its fleet the eighth largest in the worldIt gave Australia a PowerIndex score of 0.2567.15: UkraineUkrainian soldiers in a trench on the Vuhledar frontline in Donetsk Oblast, January 5, 2023.Diego Herrera Carcedo/Getty ImagesGlobal Firepower said Ukraine increased its ranking compared to last year due to its response to Russia's invasion, and the military help, including weapons, it is getting from its allies.Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, expecting to take the country in a matter of days. Instead, it was pushed back to the east, where both sides are now grinding it out on the battlefield, with no signs the conflict will end any time soon.Global Firepower ranked Ukraine 10th overall for its number of self-propelled Multiple Launch Rocket Projectors, saying that as of April 2023 it had 647 of them. It gave the country a PowerIndex score of 0.2516.14: EgyptEgyptian soldiers in front of the Great Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, February 9, 2011.REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-GhanyGlobal Firepower ranked Egypt in the top 10 in areas including total available active military manpower, available paramilitary force strength, and total available reserve manpower, as well as the strength of its aircraft fleet.It said Egypt had more than 1,000 military aircraft as of January 2023, and that it had 300,000 people who can be considered part of its paramilitary forces.It gave Egypt a PowerIndex score of 0.2224.13: IndonesiaIndonesian army soldiers during a rehearsal for the 70th anniversary of Indonesia's military in Cilegon, Banten province, in October 2015.REUTERS/BeawihartaGlobal Firepower ranked Indonesia in the top 5 worldwide in areas including its total available population fit for military service, total available population reaching military age on an annual basis, and its total number of offshore patrol boats and corvette warships.It said that, as of January 2023, more than 112 million Indonesians were eligible for military service, 40.7% of the country's population.It gave Indonesia a PowerIndex score of 0.2221.12: BrazilA soldier stands guard outside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa in September 2009.REUTERS/Eliana AponteGlobal Firepower ranked Brazil in the top 5 in areas including its available population that is fit for military service, its total transport fleet strength, and its number of total serviceable airports. The country has over 4,000 airports, the second-highest in the world, as well as 17 ports and trade terminals, the fifth highest in this category.Global Firepower said that Brazil had more than 87 million people fit for military service as of January 2023, 40.3% of the country's population.It gave Brazil a PowerIndex score of 0.2151.11: TurkeyTurkish marines land near the Greek village of Kyparissia during a phase of the NATO "Dynamic Mix" exercise in June 2000.REUTERSGlobal Firepower said Turkey is "undoubtedly a rising military power, relying evermore on local industry to satisfy equally-local defense requirements on land, on sea, and in the air. "It ranked the country in the top 10 in areas including aircraft fleet strength, transport fleet strength, and helicopter strength. It said Turkey had 1,065 military aircraft as of January 2023, giving it a PowerIndex score of 0.2016.10: ItalyItalian Ariete tank of NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group fires during military exercise "Silver Arrow" in Adazi, Latvia, in September 2021.REUTERS/Ints KalninsGlobal Firepower ranked Italy in the top 10 in areas including its aerial tanker aircraft fleet, total helicopter strength, attack aircraft strength, and its total number of aircraft carrier warships.It said Italy had 404 helicopters, including 58 attack helicopters, and two aircraft carrier warships as of January 2023.It gave Italy a PowerIndex score of 0.1973.9: FranceArmored cars drive down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris during the annual Bastille Day parade, July 14, 2005.REUTERSGlobal Firepower ranked France, ninth overall, in the top 10 in areas including total aerial tanker aircraft fleet, total helicopter fleet, and number of destroyer warships, as well as its total transport fleet strength.It said France had 438 helicopters, including 69 attack helicopters, and 10 destroyer warships as of January 2023, giving it a PowerIndex score of 0.1848.8: JapanA soldier from Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force participates in a beach invasion drill at Camp Pendleton, California, in February 2019.REUTERS/Mike BlakeGlobal Firepower ranked Japan in the top 10 for its aircraft fleet strength, total helicopter strength, and armored fighting vehicle fleet strength.An island nation, Japan was the highest-ranked nation when it came to major ports, and with four helicopter carriers it ranked second in that category, as well as second (behind only the US) when it came to the strength of its special-mission aircraft fleet – platforms specifically developed to undertake an over-battlefield role "by utilization of advanced onboard equipment or specialized trait."Global Firepower said that Japan had more than 1,400 military aircraft, and more than 111,000 vehicles as of January 2023, with a PowerIndex score of 0.1711.7: PakistanPakistani military personnel stand beside a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile during Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, in March 2017.REUTERS/Faisal MahmoodPakistan rose from ninth overall in 2022 to seventh on the list in 2023.While Pakistan had more than 3,700 tanks, 1,400 military aircraft, nine submarines, and 654,000 active military personnel as of January 2023, Global Firepower said its rise was also due to this year's rankings having a bigger focus on natural resources and shared borders.Pakistan neighbors Afghanistan, China, India, and Iran, and has a lot of coal, as well as some petroleum and natural gas fields.Global Firepower ranked Pakistan in the top 10 in areas including its total available population fit for military service, total available active military manpower, and total aircraft fleet strength, with a PowerIndex score of 0.1694.  6: South KoreaUS and South Korean marines take part in an amphibious landing drill called the 'Ssangyong' exercise in Pohang, South Korea, in March 2023.REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiThe strength of South Korea's military is no surprise giving its decades-old tensions with North Korea.Global Firepower ranked South Korea in the top five for its aircraft fleet strength, armored fighting vehicle fleet strength, and its helicopter strength. It said the Asian nation had more than 133,000 vehicles and 739 helicopters, including 112 attack helicopters, as of January 2023.Overall, it gave South Korea a PowerIndex score of 0.1505.5: UKGraduating cadets are seen prior to inspection by Britain's King Charles III on April 14, 2023.Dan Kitwood/Pool Photo via APGlobal Firepower said the UK's position was boosted by its strengths in manpower and airpower, as well as its strong financial position. "It is also one of the few powers to operate more than one aircraft carrier," it added.The UK currently has two aircraft carriers, equal to the number that China, Italy, and India have, but far fewer than the 11 that the US operates.Global Firepower ranked the UK in the top 10 in areas including its total number of available ports and its total aerial tanker aircraft fleet strength, giving the country a PowerIndex score of 0.1435.4: IndiaAn Indian army soldier shouts commands to his colleagues in October 2007.REUTERS/Danish IsmailIndia's strength lies in the size of its population. Global Firepower ranked India second for available manpower, total available active military manpower, and paramilitary force strength.It said India's avaliable manpower was more than 653 million people, 47% of the country's population, as of January 2023. It also said that India had almost 1.5 million active military personnel.It gave India a PowerIndex score of 0.1025.3: ChinaWarships and fighter jets of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea in April 2018.REUTERS/StringerGlobal Firepower ranked China first for available manpower and for the strength of its naval fleet.China has a "distinct advantage economically and by way of sheer manpower and has placed a decided focus on increasing (primarily through local means) naval, airpower, and land warfare capabilities," Global Firepower said in its latest ranking.If the trend continues, it added, China "will become the primary global military adversary to the United States."According to Global Firepower, China has available military manpower of more than 761 million people as of April 2023, along with 50 destroyer warships and 78 submarines, among many other military assets.It gave China a PowerIndex score of 0.0722. 2: RussiaA military parade on Victory Day in Red Square, Moscow, May 2022, to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.REUTERS/Evgenia NovozheninaWhile its military's reputation has taken a hit since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia retained its second-place spot on Global Firepower's ranking.Russia's invasion of Ukraine "showcased key limitations in Russian military capabilities despite its quantitative manpower and material advantage over neighboring Ukraine," Global Firepower said. It added that China was moving closer to taking the runnerup spot.Global Firepower ranked Russia second in areas including total aircraft fleet strength and total transport fleet strength. It said that, as of January 2023, Russia had more than 4,100 military aircraft.While Russia has faced a number of military setbacks since it launched its invasion of Ukraine, losing considerable quantities of equipment, notably tanks, its airforce and navy has largely avoided damage.Overall, Global Firepower gave Russia a PowerIndex score of 0.0714.1: USMembers of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army at Pope Field ahead of deployment to Poland from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in February 2022.AP Photo/Nathan PosnerGlobal Firepower said the US took the top spot as it "showcases commanding numbers in key material, financial, and resource categories."The US, which was given a PowerIndex score of 0.0712, leads the world technologically, it said, and is advanced in key medical, aerospace, and telecom sectors, while maintaining an edge in several major industry markets "allowing for a certain degree of self-sustainment."With 92 destroyers, 11 aircraft carriers, 13,300 aircraft, and 983 attack helicopters, as of April 2023, the country was ranked first in many areas, including the size of its aircraft fleet, number of warships, and its transport fleet strength.It also had by far the largest defense budget, of $761.7 billion, more than triple that of China in second place, which had a defense budget of $230 billion.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 27th, 2023Related News

Video shows the terrifying moment a passenger opened a plane"s emergency door as it was coming in to land

The video shows the wind roaring through the Asiana Airlines cabin and blasting passengers seated by the open door as it comes to land in South Korea. The plane was an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 flying from Jeju Island to Daegu International Airport.Shutterstock A passenger reportedly opened an emergency door of a plane as it made its landing approach. A terrifying video shows the moment wind roars through the cabin of the Asiana Airlines plane. Authorities in South Korea are questioning a 33-year-old male passenger over the incident. A video shows the terrifying moment a passenger reportedly opened an emergency exit door while it was coming in to land in South Korea on Friday.The video, which circulated on social media, shows the wind roaring through the plane and buffeting the passengers seated closest to the open door. Passengers can be heard crying out in the background. The plane, which had 194 passengers on board, was an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 flying from Jeju Island to Daegu International Airport, according to the Associated Press.The incident reportedly took place at an altitude of 700 feet when the plane was descending to Daegu airport.Some of the other passengers tried to stop the person, but they succeeded in partially opening the door, the Transport Ministry said, AP reported.An unidentified 33-year-old male passenger who was seated near an emergency exit row is being questioned by authorities over the incident, according to The Guardian.Local news agency Yonhap reported that the man, who was traveling alone and did not appear to be intoxicated, has so far refused to answer investigators' questions."It is difficult to have a normal conversation with him," an official told Yonhap. "We will investigate the motive of the crime and punish him."Dozens of schoolchildren were on the flightIllustrative Emergency exit of a plane.roibu/ShutterstockOfficials said the plane landed safely, but 12 people were taken to hospitals after suffering minor symptoms, including breathing problems, according to AP.The injured passengers included eight schoolchildren, according to the island's education office, The Guardian reported. The plane was carrying 48 primary and middle school children to a sporting event. "The children were shaking, crying, and frightened. Those sitting near the exit must have been shocked the most," the mother of one of the pupils told Yonhap.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 26th, 2023Related News

5 ETF Gateways for This Memorial Day

This summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports, which are bracing for a flood of flyers. More Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend despite inflation and pricey airline tickets. According to travel service provider American Automobile Association (“AAA”), this summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports, which are bracing for a flood of flyers.  An increase in travel demand should boost revenues and profitability for the travel and tourism industry, thereby leading to higher share prices. Investors can tap this trend through ETFs that stand to profit big time from an upbeat Memorial Day travel trend. As such, ETFMG Travel Tech ETF AWAY, Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF CRUZ, ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF JRNY, AdvisorShares Hotel ETF BEDZ and Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF HOTL look like intriguing picks.Busy Travel TrendsAccording to travel service provider American Automobile Association (“AAA”), about 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles (80 km) or more over the Memorial Day weekend (May 25-29), up 7% from last year's Memorial Day weekend. This would represent the “third busiest Memorial Day weekend” in over two decades. Of them, 37.1 million are expected to go on a road trip, 3.4 million would fly, and 1.85 million would travel by train and other modes (including buses and cruises).Per the booking data, demand for iconic cities, international vacation packages, and cruises are high. Tourist hotspots like Orlando, New York City, and Las Vegas and Cruise port cities in Florida and Alaska, as well as Seattle, are top domestic destinations. Other popular U.S. cities for this Memorial Day include Denver, Boston, Anaheim, and Canton, OH  – home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (read: Forget Mixed Airlines Earnings: Play JETS ETF on Upbeat Outlook).Relatively lower gas price after last year’s record has provided some relief to travelers. Heading into Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. retail gasoline price has averaged $3.53 per gallon, 26% lower than the inflation-adjusted price one year ago, per the latest data of EIA.However, airline ticket costs, hotel room prices, eating out and recreation services costs have risen. AAA booking data shows a 40% increase in airfare to this year’s top destinations. Hotel rooms are up 3.3% over last year, eating out is 8.6% more expensive and recreation services cost 5.8% more than they did in 2022, according to the latest federal data.ETFs Set to SurgeETFMG Travel Tech ETF (AWAY)ETFMG Travel Tech ETF is the first ETF that offers direct access to the technology-focused global travel and tourism industry. It follows the Prime Travel Technology Index, charging investors 75 bps in annual fees. ETFMG Travel Tech ETF holds 33 stocks in its basket, with travel bookings & reservations companies accounting for 58.3% of assets, followed by a 14.8% share in travel price comparison firms.ETFMG Travel Tech ETF has accumulated $121.4 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 39,000 shares (read: Time for Leisure & Travel ETFs?).Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF (CRUZ)Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF tracks the BlueStar Global Hotels, Airlines, and Cruises Index, which measures the performance of globally listed companies primarily engaged in the travel and tourism industries. Holding 56 stocks in its basket, American firms make up for 47.8% of the portfolio, while Liberia, Panama and the United Kingdom round off the next three with single-digit exposure each.Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF, launched in June 2021, has gathered around $52.9 million in its asset base and charges 45 bps in annual fees. Volume is lower as it exchanges around 12,000 shares a day on average.ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF (JRNY)ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF provides diversified exposure to the global travel industry by tracking the S-Network Global Travel Index. The fund invests in 78 companies engaged in booking and rental agencies, airlines and airport services, hotels, casinos and cruise lines, along with travel-related companies identified through machine learning algorithms, such as luxury retail, entertainment, leisure, food and beverage and payment processing vendors.ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF has accumulated $6.2 million in its asset base and charges 65 bps in annual fees. JRNY trades in an average daily volume of 1,000 shares.AdvisorShares Hotel ETF (BEDZ)AdvisorShares Hotel ETF is actively managed and provides exposure to the global hotel and lodging industry as well as its related services. It holds 35 stocks in its basket that are pretty spread across components (see: all the Consumer Discretionary ETFs here).AdvisorShares Hotel ETF charges 99 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 1,000 shares. It has amassed $4 million in its asset base.Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF (HOTL)Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF tracks the Strategic Hotel & Lodging Sector Index, which measures the performance of companies that specialize in providing hotel, motel, lodging, residential, and timeshare properties management services, operational services, including lodging platform services (e.g., global marketplaces for private accommodations) and companies that own or lease hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, timeshare properties. It holds 37 stocks in its basket, with a concentration on the top four firms.  Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF has accumulated $0.7 million in its asset base while charging 78 bps in annual fees. It trades in an average daily volume of about 100 shares. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ETFMG Travel Tech ETF (AWAY): ETF Research Reports AdvisorShares Hotel ETF (BEDZ): ETF Research Reports Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF (CRUZ): ETF Research Reports ALPS Global Travel Beneficiaries ETF (JRNY): ETF Research Reports Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF (HOTL): ETF Research ReportsTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2023Related News

Airline passenger complaints surged after the summer of travel chaos, with lost luggage in the US up by a quarter

The Canadian Transportation Agency is dealing with a record backlog of 47,000 complaints and plans to charge airlines for unresolved ones, per Reuters. Passengers boarding a plane.Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images Last summer saw a spate of horror travel stories as airlines struggled to cope with renewed demand. Complaints broke records in Canada, where the backlog has reached an all-time high of 47,000 per Reuters. And complaints about lost, stolen, or damaged luggage went up 25%, the Daily Mail reported. Complaints from airline passengers surged last year as the sector struggled to cope with renewed demand after the pandemic, Reuters reported.2022's summer of travel chaos saw a spate of horror stories like a lost wedding dress and a 13-month-old booked onto a separate flight from her parents.The Canadian Transportation Agency is currently dealing with a record backlog of 47,000 complaints, and plans to expense airlines if they hand over unresolved complaints, according to Reuters.And in the US, the Department of Transportation saw a 55% increase in complaints between 2021 and 2022, although that's about one-quarter less than the record set in 2020. Lufthansa told Reuters that it paid out $355 million over complaints last year — an increase of more than 1,300% from the $26.9 million in 2021.The airline did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. According to data from aviation IT firm Sita reported by the Daily Mail, complaints about lost, stolen, or damaged luggage in the US went up by 25% last year. That means an average of 6.35 mishandled bags for every thousand passengers.Last summer, Insider's Grace Dean reported that American Airlines was among the worst for this, mishandling one in every 108 bags.The new data comes as LAX airport expects Memorial Day weekend to bring its busiest day in three years, and Delta Airlines predicts travel over the holiday period to beat pre-pandemic demand.To try to avoid a repeat of last summer's mayhem, the Federal Aviation Administration is encouraging airlines to schedule fewer flights but use bigger planes. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 26th, 2023Related News

A passenger was arrested after opening a plane door while it was coming in to land, reports say

Some passengers on the Asiana Airlines flight tried to stop the man but he partially succeeded, South Korea's Transport Ministry said, per ABC News. The incident occurred on an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321.Getty Images An Asiana Airlines passenger opened a door as the plane made its approach to land, reports say. A man was arrested after the flight landed safely at an airport in South Korea, CNN reported. Some passengers were taken to hospital after hyperventilating, per CNN. An airline passenger was reportedly arrested after opening a plane's door as it descended into an airport in South Korea Friday.Multiple local outlets reported the story and a video of the incident was posted online showing wind whipping through the cabin.The plane was an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 from Jeju Island to Daegu International Airport with 194 passengers on board, per CNN.Asiana Airlines and South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider. An Asiana Airlines representative told CNN that the door appeared to have been opened by a passenger when the plane was about 700 feet from the ground. Some passengers tried to stop the man from opening the door but he eventually partially succeeded, the Transport Ministry told ABC News.The plane landed safely, according to local media. However, 12 people suffered minor injuries from hyperventilation and nine were taken to hospital, the Daegu Fire Department told CNN.The Daegu Fire Department could not immediately be reached for comment by Insider.The passenger was arrested shortly after the plane landed, several outlets reported. Asiana Airlines told BBC News that police had begun an investigation into the incident.Last year, there were multiple reports of unruly passengers attempting to open plane doors. In one incident that occurred during a Southwest flight, the passenger said "Jesus told her to open the plane door."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 26th, 2023Related News

Flyers are "skiplagging" to try and save money on flight tickets. Airlines hate it.

"Skiplagging" is the practice of booking a flight with a layover in the intended destination city, and then bailing on the second leg of the journey. United Airlines passengers at the ticket counter.Chicago Tribune/Contributor Sky-high airfare has many travelers turning to unique strategies to find cheaper tickets, like "skiplagging." This means booking a flight with a layover city intended as the destination and then skipping the second leg.  The practice is sometimes cheaper than booking a regular nonstop flight, but airlines hate it. The post-pandemic travel bug has people flocking to destinations far and wide, but getting there isn't cheap — forcing some flyers to turn to a cost-saving strategy known as "skiplagging."Skiplagging — also referred to as "hidden city" or "throwaway" ticketing — is the practice of booking a flight with a layover in the intended destination city, and then bailing on the second leg of the journey.People can save hundreds on tickets, which is particularly enticing as expensive fares continue to plague the industry thanks to a combination of inflation, rising fuel costs, and strong post-pandemic demand  For example, a roundtrip flight from New York to Amsterdam in late-June is about $2,850 on Dutch flag carrier KLM.However, manipulating the booking by setting the outbound destination as London City instead of Amsterdam brings the roundtrip price down to about $2,150.Google FlightsThe return flight is still nonstop out of Amsterdam, so hypothetically one could simply not take the second leg to London on the outbound and stay in the Netherlands instead. In some cases, people will book the return leg separately if it's cheaper — or travelers will eventually make their way to the original itinerary's destination and try to catch the scheduled return from there.Flight booking website has even built a business around the concept by providing a platform that can alert travelers to these deals based on their preferred airport and destination.The company only allows one-way tickets though — which can many times be more expensive than booking a roundtrip skiplagged itinerary directly through the airlines.While this strategy may seem like a saving grace post-pandemic, it is not as innocent as it may seem. Airlines actually hate it.In a January 2021 memo to employees, American Airlines started cracking down on the practice by introducing new tools to flag potential skiplag booking to agents."We've always prohibited these types of booking practices," the carrier told TravelPulse at the time.In 2014, United Airlines and travel website Orbitz even teamed up to sue Skiplagged founder Aktarer Zaman for "unfair competition" and "deceptive behavior," saying his website cost the duo $75,000 in lost revenue.The case was filed in Illinois but was thrown out because the court did not have jurisdiction as Zaman worked and resided in New York City — not Chicago. maintains the practice is "perfectly legal," according to its website."We remain troubled that Mr. Zaman continues to openly encourage customers to violate our contract of carriage by purchasing hidden-city tickets," United told CNN Money in 2015.Because of the clear disapproval from airlines, the practice is a risk for passengers — especially as carriers have since added written protections against skiplagging in their contract of carriages.According to NerdWallet, airlines could punish travelers by canceling the return leg or taking away loyalty miles and elite also notes that this strategy won't work with checked bags as the airline tags them to the final destination — and it's unlikely a passenger can convince an agent to just unload the bag in the layover city."Booking unusual itineraries could raise red flags, and someone could flag and monitor you while you fly," Atmosphere Research Group founder and travel analyst Henry Harteveldt told the BBC in 2019. "At some point, you may get a letter or corporate security meeting you at the gate. The airlines' intention is to intimidate and recover what they perceive to be lost revenue."However, he explained this is a self-imposed problem created by airlines."I fully understand, as an airline analyst and business person, why airlines extract as much as they can where they have leverage. That is what business is all about," Harteveldt told the BCC. "But when an airline puts out stupid airline pricing and the fare into a hub [airport] is nonsensically high, it is almost like airlines invite hidden-city booking."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 26th, 2023Related News

Donald Trump is selling his other private jet now Trump Force One is back in the air

The former president's Cessna Citation X has flown 11,615 hours since it was built in 1997 and is being sold by Jet Edge Partners in Colombus, Ohio. Trump stepping off the Cessna Citation X.John Locher/AP Images A Cessna Citation X jet owned and used by Donald Trump is up for sale.  The nine-seat plane is 26 years old and has done more than 11,600 hours in the air. Jet Edge Partners, an aircraft broker based in Columbus, Ohio, is running the sale. A private jet once used by Donald Trump is up for sale.The Cessna Citation X was built in 1997 and is registered to the Trump Organization. Trump, who often has his name emblazoned on his planes, kept it uncharacteristically subtle with the Citation. He only added his crest on the exterior, although its tail number N725DT bears his initials.Jet Edge Partners, an aircraft broker based in Columbus, Ohio, is running the sale of the aircraft, which is sometimes called the "rocket in the sky" because of its speed. The Cessna Citation X at Muscatine airport in Iowa.Andrew Harnik/APThe Boeing 757 that the former president calls "Trump Force One" returned to the skies last year after getting a makeover. It can seat 43 people and boasts a lavish interior, while the Cessna is far more modest and can only seat nine.  Jack Sweeney, the college student who tracks Elon Musk's private jet and Trump's 757, noted the sale in a tweet Thursday.Kevin White, Jet Edge Partners' president, referred Insider to the Trump Organization when contacted for comment about the sale. The Trump Organization didn't respond to requests for comment from Insider. White said he welcomed all written offers but didn't say whether there was a reserve price.But according to AVBuyer, a 1996 Citation X costs more than $4 million, while a 2012 model would be $8.75 million.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 26th, 2023Related News

Mexico Deploys 1000s Of Troops As Popocatépetl Volcano Rumbles, Millions Warned Of Possible Evacuation

Mexico Deploys 1000s Of Troops As Popocatépetl Volcano Rumbles, Millions Warned Of Possible Evacuation Popocatepetl volcano has been blanketing towns with ash and disrupting flights at Mexico City's airport this week. Authorities are preparing for the possible evacuation of millions of people as thousands of troops were deployed to the region, according to NPR News.  On Tuesday, Mexico raised the alert level of Popocatepetl to "yellow phase three" from "yellow phase two," one notch below the top "red" level. About 25 million people are living within 60 miles of the 17,797-foot volcano. The country's Defense Department said nearly 7,000 troops had been deployed to the region, located 45 miles southwest of Mexico City. VIDEO: Local authorities deliver emergency kits to protect people from the ash spewing from Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano — AFP News Agency (@AFP) May 25, 2023 Troops are being positioned in case an evacuation is needed. popocatépetl volcano starting to blow its top in mexico ~7000 troops deployed to the region in case mass evacuation is needed > 25 million live within 60 miles of the peak — ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 24, 2023 "There is no risk to the population at this time," National Civil Defense Coordinator Laura Velazquez said earlier this week.  Velazquez noted, "We don't know what's going to happen. We are prepared for any scenario." Many are wondering if the next big eruption is imminent.  On 2023-05-24 #TROPOMI has detected a strong SO2 signal of 18.31DU at a distance of 57.6km to #Popocatepetl at an altitude of ~1km. Estimated mass within 300km: 5.5ktons.. @tropomi #S5p #Sentinel5p @DLR_en @BIRA_IASB @ESA_EO #SO2LH — TROPOMI SO2 (@DlrSo2) May 24, 2023 Servando de la Cruz Reyna, a senior geophysics researcher at the UNAM in Mexico, told AP News there are no signs that the current waves of rumblings, and minor eruptions could point to higher volcanic activity. He said: "The probability that this continues as it has previously is far higher than the probability that this grows to much higher levels."  However, Popocatepetl is a stratovolcano capable of a massive eruption. That is why Mexican authorities are preparing for any scenario by staging thousands of troops in the area because millions might need to be evacuated if a mega eruption is seen.      Tyler Durden Thu, 05/25/2023 - 18:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 25th, 2023Related News

Planes are coming mysteriously close to colliding at rates unseen in 20 years — and experts are stumped

Federal regulators are investigating at least six near-miss incidents on runways at US airports in the first five months of 2023. Delta and United Airlines planes taking off.Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Federal regulators and airline officials met in March to discuss a string of near-miss incidents across the US, WSJ reported. At least six incidents in the first five months of 2023 involved planes touching or nearly colliding.  The meeting did not provide a concrete answer for why the incidents are happening at the highest rate in decades. Planes have come dangerously close to hitting each other at airports across the US several times this year — and if the trend continues it would mark the highest rate of near-miss accidents in decades.The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating six incidents involving near collisions in the first five months of this year at airports in cities including Austin, Baltimore, Boston, New York City, and Santa Barbara, the Wall Street Journal reported. A March meeting between Federal Aviation Administration regulators and major airlines failed to produce a concrete explanation for the frequency of the near-collisions, per the Journal.Citing a recording of the meeting, the Journal reported that officials and regulators speculated about several causes for the incidents, including a spike in inexperienced pilots and air traffic controllers as post-pandemic travel increased and worker fatigue resulting from busy travel schedules.Some officials also hypothesized the incidents could be due to decreased staffing levels among flight staff and air traffic controllers that have contributed to flight delays and cancellations in recent months."Every piece of the system is under stress," Ed Sicher, president of American Airlines' pilot union, reportedly said in the March 15 meeting.Runway incidents are on the riseAir travel has become significantly safer as the surrounding technology has improved, with accidents steadily decreasing since 2000, but the recent string of incidents this year prompted concern among FAA and NTSB officials.An NTSB spokesperson referred Insider to comments made by agency chair Jennifer Homendy earlier this week, who confirmed it is investigating six events in which a collision was narrowly avoided or there was "significant potential" for an accident."We all may have different views on the path forward to prevent such tragedies, but we all want progress," Homendy said, advocating for better staffing and training, as well as additional funding for the FAA to upgrade technology and hire more air traffic controllers.According to an FAA spokesperson, the rate of "runway incursions" peaked from late 2022 into this year, topping out around 33 incursions per 1 million takeoffs and landings across the US, and dropping to about 19 per 1 million in April. The rate of incidents it classifies as most serious has dropped to about 0.5 incidents per 1 million takeoffs and landings, the spokesperson said. "Our efforts are working, but we must remain vigilant and continue to find ways to prevent close calls from happening at all," Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement to Insider.The agency also earlier this week announced a $100 million investment in upgrades at 12 major airports across the country to reduce the risk of near-collision incidents happening in the future.A plane fuels up on the tarmac.Lya_Cattel / Getty Images'Severe runway incursions is coming closer to the norm'Several of the incidents — which involved a mix of full and empty planes — were relatively low-risk with airplanes touching or coming close to each other while traveling at low speeds on the ground.However, a February incident drew significant concern when a FedEx plane was cleared to land at an Austin, Texas airport just after a Southwest plane was given the go-ahead to take off. The FedEx plane's pilots spotted the Southwest plane through the fog and pulled up before circling around and landing later.The Journal reported that the plane was at an altitude of just 75 feet while the Southwest plane was directly below it, though Homendy said the FedEx and Southwest planes came within 115 feet of each other.A commercial pilot with 16 years of experience told Insider's Rebecca Cohen in March that he has never seen an accident or near-miss in his decade plus of experience. He said it was possible the five incidents to that point were coincidence, but noted that every possible cause should be investigated.While the findings from the NTSB's investigations likely won't be public for months, officials have indicated they think the string of runway near-misses could be over."I want to say this cautiously. We are seeing early and preliminary indications that the level of severe runway incursions is coming closer to the norm," US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said at a Tuesday press conference on the industry's plans for Memorial Day travel.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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