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The perfect way to use Your Airplane Oxygen Mask

Monitoring Desk

The frightening and tragic accident on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, in which one passenger died, is an uncomfortable reminder to always pay attention to those pre-flight safety instructions.

Except for a few minor injuries, the other passengers on the flight were safe and were instructed to use their oxygen masks after the incident. Photos of passengers started circulating shortly after the accident, and it’s pretty easy to see what’s wrong with this picture.

Many of the passengers did not seem to know how to properly put on their oxygen masks, putting their safety and health at risk. It can be difficult to remember what to do in an emergency, which makes it all the more important to pay attention to safety instructions at the beginning of every flight.

Pull the mask toward you, place it over your NOSE AND MOUTH! Secure the elastic band and breathe normally

At tens of thousand feet in the air, the air is thinner and there’s less oxygen, so plane cabins use a pressurized system to help people breathe normally. Southwest Flight 1380’s engine malfunctioned at 32,000 feet, causing a window to break and damage to the plane’s fuselage. This also caused a drop in cabin pressure, which, if you’re familiar with pre-flight safety presentations, makes the oxygen masks on most commercial jets drop from above.

If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you have to use one of these masks, it’s important to remember to always cover both your nose and mouth with the mask, using the elastic straps to tighten it. The mask does not need to be perfectly tight to provide oxygen. Even if the mask seems like it is too small or just more comfortable fitted only on your mouth, using it in this way could affect how much oxygen you get.

According to the FAA, the masks are capable of giving passengers enough oxygen to prevent oxygen deficiencies in emergencies up to 40,000 feet, SF Gate reported. However, this is only true when used properly. Breathing only through your mouth can block a sufficient flow of oxygen to your lungs.

Think of it this way: When you’re hyperventilating, one of the first things you’re told to do is calmly breathe through your nose. The nose is actually the main, direct pathway to the lungs. Using your nose to breathe also creates greater air pressure and gives the lungs more time to extract oxygen from the air, according to Livestrong. Mouth breathing is considered inefficient, and can actually cause hyperventilation, rather than prevent it.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to use the skills provided in pre-flight safety presentations. But just in case, make sure you pay attention on your next flight.


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Thousands passengers stranded due to Air France strikes

Monitoring Desk

PARIS: At least 40,000 passengers have been left stranded by the latest Air France strike, with a similar number likely to be affected tomorrow.

The management have warned the stoppages are “putting the company’s future in danger”.

Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff working for the French airline are on their eighth day of industrial action in a bitter pay dispute.


They are demanding a 6 per cent rise this year, while the airline is offering 2 per cent.

Some flights linking Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh with Paris Charles de Gaulle have been cancelled, along with about 150 other short- and medium-haul flights.

At least 24 long-haul departures from Paris CDG have been grounded, with passengers to Tahiti, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Miami among those affected. With the corresponding inbound services on Tuesday, more than 40 long-haul links will be cancelled.

The airline is also warning that some flights that do depart may not be able to accommodate all the booked passengers, due to a shortage of cabin crew.

The strike continues on Wednesday, in which a similar number of passengers are expected to find their travel plans wrecked.

Talks earlier this week failed to reach an agreement. However, Air France management is “proposing a final agreement for signature up to Friday 20 April 2018 at midday”.


measure), 2019, 2020 and 2021, within the framework of a ‘growth pact’ for the future. It includes proposals that are both strong and economically sustainable.”

The proposal would boost the earnings of the lowest-paid workers by more than two per cent.

The management warned: “The continuing strike action is having serious consequences for the company, its customers and staff. It is financially destructive for the airline and its staff and is putting the company’s future in danger.”

The cost of nine days of strikes has been put at €220m (£190m).

Under European passengers’ rights rules, no compensation is payable, but the airline is required to provide meals and accommodation to disrupted travellers, and buy flights on rival airlines if necessary.

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British Airways keen to buy up its Norwegian rival

Monitoring Desk

It’s no surprise that in the same week British Airways launched its no-frills fares on long-haul flights, the UK flag carrier considers a move for Norwegian.

After all, the Scandinavian airline is all-but the reason BA felt the need to introduce hand luggage-only fares on its longer routes to compete with more fervour at the budget end of the market.

IAG, BA’s owner, already entered the increasingly viscious low-cost, long-haul fray last year when it launched Level, a Barcelona-based carrier for the price-conscious millennial traveller.

But bringing Norwegian under its wing by way of takeover would negate the need for a gruelling battle with a carrier that has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, expanding its cheap, transatlantic flights operation across the US, to South America, and even Singapore.

In February, Norwegian celebrated its first flight to Buenos Aires (sold, like the others, from eye-catching base rates, such as £259 one-way), by announcing it was eyeing up new routes to Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Detroit, more of South America and the Middle East. Broadly speaking, it was confident its new model of low fares offering basically just a seat – on new, comfortable aircraft – was here to stay.

“Norwegian will continue to pursue further route expansion from London to South America and Asia,” the carrier, which was founded in Norway but has a UK subsidiary, said in a statement.

“The airline is exploring potential new routes to more South American countries due to strong ticket sales on the Buenos Aires route.

“Further Asian expansion will build upon the successful launch of the world’s longest low-cost route to Singapore, with destinations such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing planned.”

While BA carries some 12 million more people a year than Norwegian, the latter, at current trajectory, is catching up.

Norwegian, which entered the budget market in Britain in 2014 with transatlantic services selling from £99, also said it was planning an assault on the business class market, adding more premium seats to its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft and increasing the number of flights a week to destinations such as Los Angeles and Miami. It has ambitions for a thrice daily service to New York.

“The UK will be at the heart of our continued global expansion and we remain fully committed to the market,” said CEO Bjorn Kjos. “We are launching long-haul routes exclusively from London Gatwick, introducing our newest Dreamliners to Gatwick and increasing frequency on popular routes which reflects the growing importance of the UK to the future of our business.”

Kjos said Norwegian has “huge global ambitions” and that he is confident “the UK can offer Norwegian a springboard to further expansion as we aim to become the long-haul airline of choice for passengers seeking a high-quality service at great value”.

In December last year Telegraph Travel crunched some numbers, courtesy of the air travel analysts OAG, to see how Norwegian was competing in the transatlantic market.

The data showed that while BA had increased the number of seats available this winter by 1.1 per cent on the previous year, Norwegian enjoyed a 111 per cent increase, the largest growth for any carrier. It then occupied seventh place in the rankings of most transatlantic seats flown but that position is likely to improve.

The airline’s low base fares, on which it prides itself, come under scrutiny when the cost of checked luggage, meals and seat selection are added, but there’s no doubt about the impressive modern fleet that Norwegian boasts, allowing efficient, comfortable long-haul travel.

Telegraph Travel’s Natalie Paris, travelling on the airline’s inaugural flight to Singapore last year, said the 787 Dreamliner made the 13-hour journey “actually a pleasurable experience”.

The carrier, which started life in 1993, is today the third largest low-cost carrier behind Ryanair and Easyjet.


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Superb Egypt temple that had to be moved

Monitoring Desk

Deep within the interior of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel, carved into a mountainside in southern Egypt’s ancient Nubian Valley, lies a vast, wondrous world. Pillars adorned with intricate military artworks support a ceiling painted with winged vultures. Floor-to-ceiling hieroglyphics depicting the victorious battles of Pharaoh Ramses II, the same man responsible for constructing this enormous temple, decorate the walls. Outside, four colossal statues of the pharaoh face east toward the rising sun, looking out over a crystal-clear lake.

It’s an incredible sight to behold, but one that if history had gone just a little bit differently, would not be here today. Instead, this temple would be under the lake’s waters. What’s even harder to imagine, if Abu Simbel had not been saved, places like Vienna’s Historic Centre, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and other Unesco World Heritage sites might only live on in history books.

“Egypt has done a great job preserving their ancient temples,” said Kim Keating, director of global sales for luxury adventure tour company Geographic Expeditions. “And this [complex] – with soft lighting highlighting its interior artworks; graffiti that dates back to early invaders, documenting how Egypt was conquered over time; and its location in front of a beautiful lake so large it’s like peering out on to the ocean – is magnificent.”

North Africa’s Nubian Valley straddles the border of southern Egypt and northern Sudan, a remote desert region dotted with palm-fringed oases and occasional wadis (seasonal rivers) that is home to the mighty Nile River, which winds its way past the Egyptian city of Aswan towards Cairo. In ancient days, this was a land of gold and riches, and one ruled by kings – many of whom built pyramids, monuments and temples, in part as a show of power. The Abu Simbel complex, built over the course of 20 years in the 13th Century BC, is one of the most impressive still standing today. Alongside the larger Great Temple stands a smaller temple that honours Ramses’ queen, Nefertari.

It’s all done so perfectly

Keating was in awe when she saw the temples for the first time. But she was even more amazed to find out that in the early 1960s, a team of international engineers disassembled and then carefully moved – piece by piece – each of them. They then reassembled the temples more than 60m above their original location to save the complex from the Nile’s rising waters. That 5,250-sq-km lake that Keating described is Lake Nasser, a reservoir that formed when the valley flooded. Just more than 50 years ago, it didn’t even exist.

“It’s all done so perfectly,” she said. “It’s impossible to tell, even when you (like me) really try.”

Unesco’s ‘Nubia Campaign’ came about in 1960, when the United Arab Republic (a political union of Egypt and Syria that existed between 1958 and 1961) began construction on a new dam along the Nile River, just outside of Aswan. While the dam would improve irrigation throughout the valley as well as significantly increase Egypt’s hydroelectric output, in a few years the swelling waters would also completely submerge Abu Simbel’s exquisite temples.

In an effort to prevent the temples’ destruction, Unesco embarked on its first-ever collaborative international rescue effort (the organisation initially formed in 1945 to promote a joined culture of peace and prevent the outbreak of another war). This incredible effort later became the catalyst for a World Heritage list that would help protect and promote what now totals 1,073 significant cultural and natural sites around the globe.

“I had no idea before visiting Abu Simbel that it led to Unesco creating a World Heritage list,” Keating said. “But I can definitely see why. The setting… the history… it all has that wow factor.”


Beginning in November 1963, a group of hydrologists, engineers, archaeologists and other professionals set out on Unesco’s multi-year plan to break down both temples, cutting them into precise blocks (807 for the Great Temple, 235 for the smaller one) that were then numbered, carefully moved and restored to their original grandeur within a specially created mountain facade. Workers even recalculated the exact measurements needed to recreate the same solar alignment, assuring that twice a year, on about 22 February (the date of Ramses II’s ascension to the throne) and 22 October (his birthday), the rising sun would continue to shine through a narrow opening to illuminate the sculpted face of King Ramses II and those of two other statues deep inside the Great Temple’s interior. Finally, in September 1968, a colourful ceremony marked the project’s completion.

“[Abu Simbel] was a case in which the confluences of Unesco – culture, science and education – came together in an amazing way,” Dr Rössler said.

Indeed, it has gone down as one of history’s greatest archaeological engineering challenges. Imagine such a massive project being conducted in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, often in stifling heat. In retrospect, the whole thing seems preposterous, but it was exactly what Unesco needed to prove to themselves that by pulling together resources, they were virtually unstoppable.

“The completion of such an enormous and complex project helped [the organisation] realise that we were capable of three main things,” Dr Rössler said. “First, bringing together the best expertise the world has to offer. Second, securing the international cooperation of its members [at the time totalling around 100 member states; today there are 195 member states and 10 associate members]. And third: assuring the responsibility of the international community to bring together funding and support that would help the world’s heritage as a whole.”

“We recognised that one country alone is just not capable,” she said.

With momentum flowing, Unesco continued launching campaigns, including the ongoing safeguarding of Venice, nearly destroyed by floods in the mid-1960s. In 1965, a White House conference in Washington DC proposed the formation of a ‘World Heritage Trust’ to continuously preserve the world’s ‘superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites’. A few years later, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) crafted a similar proposal. But it wasn’t until November 1972 that the General Conference of Unesco adopted the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, merging both drafts together to preserve cultural and natural heritage equally.

Natural disasters, war… we can’t let these things take that heritage away

Fifty years after the completion of the Nubia project, the Abu Simbel temples remain a popular – albeit still remote – traveller pilgrimage. Lake Nasser is known for its excellent freshwater fishing, as well as its numerous crocodiles. But the highlight of the Nubian Valley is undoubtedly the temple complex, which 3,000 years on endures as an iconic symbol of both humankind’s common heritage and how one ancient monument can help preserve the planet. Of course, it could have been something else entirely:

“People might still be visiting the temples,” said Dr Rössler, “but it would be through snorkelling or diving or – because of the crocodiles – looking at them through the floor of a glass-bottom boat.”




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These 25 cities have the worst traffic jams in Europe

Monitoring Desk

Paris is the third most congested city in Europe behind only London in second and Moscow, a runaway leader, new data shows.

Motorists in the French capital spend on average 65 hours a year in traffic, according to statistics from Inrix global traffic scorecard and the Department for Transport analyzed by GoCompare. Londoners spend 73 hours a year in jams while for Muscovites the figure is 91 hours, nearly four days.

Two UK cities made the top 25, with Manchester in 18th place (39 hours), while four Russian cities were in the top 10. Russia had five in the top 25, while Germany had seven, with Munich worst in ninth place (49 hours).

Of the 25 cities suffering from congestion, 10 are capitals. One of the reasons Moscow’s congestion is said to be bad is because of the privileges afforded to motorcades of the rich and famous in the city, which can grind other traffic to a halt.

Traffic in Paris is currently at the centre of a debate over the future of the Right Bank, pedestrianised in 2016 to provide “ space to breath and walk. In February a court ruling raised the prospect of the 43,000 cars a day diverted by its closure returning to the Georges-Pompidou Expressway on the northern side of the Seine.

Parisian authorities have vowed to fight to retain the Right Bank for strolling residents and visitors.

The French capital is not the only city with pedestrianisation on its agenda.

In London, the second most congested city in Europe, according to the study, removing traffic from Oxford Street. Transport for London is examining the results of a consultation on a scheme that would see the city’s busiest shopping thoroughfare free of cars, and traffic directed elsewhere.

Edinburgh is also preparing to ban cars from parts of the city centre to make it more people-friendly.

Council leader Adam McVey said the city was looking at having “less private cars and better public transport.”

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The world’s fastest zip wire in North Wales just got faster

Monitoring Desk

It’s a good week for anyone with an interest in hurtling themselves down a wire at 125mph.

Zip World in North Wales has just unveiled its new zipline Velocity 2. The wire allows riders to glide 25mph faster than on the original Velocity, unveiled as the world’s fastest in 2013..

With a steeper decline (now 20 degrees), Velocity 2 lets visitors travel from 0 to 60mph in under 10 seconds before reaching the top speed of 125mph – equal to the legal limit for standard trains in the UK, and 5mph faster than the speed at which you fall when skydiving.

Zip World has also doubled the capacity of the zipline, meaning that four people can enjoy a “flight” at the same time.

Sean Taylor, the co-founder of Zip World, said: “Velocity 2 is the fastest zipline in the world and it’s right here in North Wales, the adventure capital of Europe

“The brand new experience features custom made technology developed by our world class team, to increase speed, accessibility and comfort for our riders and spectators alike.”

Zip World is located in the Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales, seven miles south of Bangor. Riders fly over 500 feet above the water, and will experience views to Snowdonia, Anglesey and the Isle of Man on clear days.


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Why Your Flights Have Been Seeming More Turbulent Lately

Monitoring Desk

Seven people threw up on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to San Jose last week due to severe turbulence. Last month, “pretty much everyone on the plane,” threw up during a particularly. Even the pilot’s reported being on the verge of vomit.

Unusual weather patterns and strong winds have generated multiple reports of nauseous passengers over the past few weeks. And it could be getting worse.

A study from the University of Reading last year predicted that climate change could lead to a 149-percent increase in severe turbulence. And another study published in Geophysical Research Letters predicted that clear air turbulence (impossible to see and difficult to predict with radar) could increase threefold in 30 years, due to climate change.

Significant, sudden changes in global temperature could lead to rougher and more frequent air pockets above the world’s jet stream winds, creating worse and more frequent turbulence.

Like a boat through choppy waters, airplanes experience turbulence in rough winds. These rough winds can be caused when a mountain or large man-made structure pushes air up from below, when a pilot moves from one course of airflow to another (like crossing into a jet stream to take advantage of fast winds), or when warm air rises through cooler air Turbulence can also be affected by seasonal weather patterns.

Different aircraft react to turbulence in different ways: “You feel the turbulence on an aircraft depending on two factors: one is the type of aircraft — the turbulence is not felt the same in different types of aircraft,” Gilberto López Meyer, senior vice president of safety and flight operations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said at conference in December. When passing through the same patch of air, travelers on a large commercial aircraft would feel less turbulence than those on a small private jet. Airspeed can also affect how turbulence affects the plane.

While frequent fliers may notice their routes getting bumpier, aircraft manufacturers are working on technology that could mitigate the effects of turbulence for those in the cabin. Boeing is developing a laser that, when attached to the nose of an aircraft, could help pilots avoid clear air turbulence. This technology would give pilots a chance to dodge the path of rough air or allow flight attendants enough time to secure the cabin.

In the meantime, travelers who remember to keep their seatbelt fastened throughout flights likely don’t need to worry about safety during turbulence. In 2016, only 44 people were injured by turbulence — the majority of which were flight crew or passengers who were not wearing their seatbelts. And it’s highly unlikely that the structure of the plane will be compromised by turbulence. Federal Aviation Administration regulations require that aircraft be engineered to withstand much, much more turbulence than most will ever encounter.


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The Happiest Place on Earth is quickly becoming the Pinkest Place on Earth

Monitoring Desk

If Cinderella blue, Snow White red, and Belle yellow are the only colors you think of when you dream of Disney, that’s all about to change.

Come April, Disney parks on both coasts will start selling sparkly Minnie ears and spirit jerseys, embossed, long-sleeved, athletic-style shirts — in a faded “millennial pink” hue.

If this news is giving you déja vu, that’s because this baby pink craze comes hot on the heels of rose gold’s takeover at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort. Ever since Minnie ears in the wildly trendy hue became a best-selling souvenir last summer, Disney has come out with rose gold margaritas, rose gold cupcakes, rose gold churros, and rose gold shirts to please fans of the sparkly stuff.

Still, millennial pink is different. Unlike rose gold’s darker pink hue with a metallic sheen, millennial pink is a classic bubblegum shade, a cherry blossom pastel with saturation dialed all the way up.

From your souvenirs to your mid-day snack, both tints will be inescapable during your future Disney-going experience. Pastel pink MagicBands are for sale at Walt Disney World (while darker pink ones come complimentary with resort hotel stays), and on Monday, Disneyland Resort added rose gold macarons to its menu.

Available at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream and Jolly Holiday Bakery, the cookie sandwich comes filled with strawberry compote and lemon buttercream — and just like the ultra-trendy ears arriving in April, it’s topped with its very own baby pink Minnie bow. Even if pink is not your preferred color, it’s impossible not to admit that a perfectly pink dessert wearing its own tiny pink souvenir is enticingly cute.

And these delightfully pink-hued treats and eats are likely here to stay. Whether you’re onboard with the millennial pink and rose gold trends or you don’t get what the fuss is about, food, beverages, clothing, souvenirs, and merchandise in trendy and Instagrammable colors seem to be just what Disney-loving fans and park-goers are looking for.


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French strikes: The days to avoid train and plane travel in France in April

PARIS (AFP): French rail workers will stage rolling strikes from April to June which threaten to cause travel misery for passengers across the country. Meanwhile Air France staff will also walk out on certain days in April. Here’s a look at the dates you might want to avoid travelling.

Rail unions have described the move to hold a series of two-day rolling strikes throughout the spring as “innovative”.

The rolling strikes will be carried out on two days out of every five until June 28 unless the government drops its plan, which includes stripping new recruits of jobs-for-life and other benefits, the CGT said on Thursday after a meeting of rail operator SNCF’s four main unions.

With the government planning to push through the reforms using parliamentary decrees rather than putting them to a vote by MPs it appears both sides are entrenched in their positions, which means bad news for passengers.

Although the strikes may yet be called off if negotiations succeed it appears unlikely given the anger among unions for whom scrapping the special employment status of rail workers, who often have to work weekends, nights and holidays is a red line.

The unions took the step of announcing the dates on which they plan to strike, which will total 36 days. The industrial action led to 60 percent of TGV trains being cancelled as well as half of normal train services. RER commuter services in Paris were also hit by cancellations and delays.

The impact on rail services including TGVs, TER and Intercité trains won’t be known until a day or two before the strikes when SNCF will know how many workers have answered the unions call to walk out.

SNCF has announced that they will not be selling train tickets for those days in April when rail workers are due to strike.

The calendar below highlights in blue the days when rail workers will be on strike. The days with a red circle underneath are for when Air France staffs are also due to walk-out which will cause headaches for plan passengers  April 3rd is definitely a day not to travel then.

Guillaume Pepy, head of SNCF said the announcement by unions was “bad news for the 4.5 million French people who take the train everyday”.

Laurent Brun, head of the CGT Cheminots rail union, put the blame on the government.

“The unions see no will to negotiate on the part of the government… and take responsibility for an intense and long-lasting conflict,” he said.

But transport minister Elisabeth Borne said they must move quickly to get the SNCF back on sound financial footing before passenger rail traffic across Europe is opened to competition next year.


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Is Flying Via Private Jet Really an Accessible Option for Businesses?

The private jet charter sector is undergoing a revolution of sorts. A new business model and the integration of new technology means that chartering a private jet is easier and costs less than ever before. So, here we explore if flying via private jet really an accessible option for businesses.

“The Uber of the Skies”

The Uber of the skies is an expression that is frequently being used to describe the business model that companies such as Vistajet have adopted. The model means that passengers can now share a private jet, much like Uber passengers share a cab and this significantly lowers the cost. In addition, charter companies now offer deals such as seats on empty leg flights where normally the aircraft would return back to base without any passengers aboard. This is good business for the charter companies and passengers get a great price.

Those with the inclination and the resources can, of course, still revert to the old school tradition of chartering the entire aircraft and so what is new is that there are simply more options.

How to Charter a Private Jet

The introduction of mobile phone apps that allow the user to book seats on a private jet charter has put an end to problems regarding accessibility. It is now really simple to do so, all that is required is to download the app, sign up to the service and then enter some personal details.

The process can be completed in around 10 minutes, after which users can browse through flights using the search tools and book with just a few taps of their smartphone screen. Once a booking is made the passenger will receive an email with details and instructions, as they would when booking a flight with a commercial airline.

Advantages of Flying Via a Private Jet

There are several advantages to flying via a private jet, for example, it is quicker to navigate the airport as passengers won’t have to stand in queues waiting to check in and only need to be at the airport around 20 minutes before the jet is scheduled to leave.

For businesses, in particular, there is also the bonus of kudos to be won by travelling on a private jet, as success breeds success. Then there is the luxury and freedom that comes with private jet travel and this makes relaxing, working or even entreating clients or partners, whilst flying, much easier.