Articles on air travel

Displaying all articles

Lower prices make for more congestion, and passengers aren’t happy. Daniel Lobo/Flickr

The rise of the whiny air passenger

Everyone loves to complain about airline travel, leading to what the airline industry has called the "entitled passenger".
US domestic carriers won’t face emissions curbs until the rest of the world’s airlines do too. Lasse Fuss/Wikimedia Commons

Without a global deal, US curbs on airline emissions are hot air

Greenhouse emissions from the aviation industry are still largely unregulated. The prospect of regulations for US flights sounds like progress, but it won't happen without an elusive international consensus.
Who will be the first to crack? Daniel Lobo

Air rage: bad behavior at 30,000 feet

People do disgusting and disruptive things on airplanes. They show little regard or patience for fellow passengers and their needs. Inconsiderate behavior on the part of passengers can make air travel…
Oil prices have been in a tailspin for month, falling to a five-year low, yet airfares have barely budged. What gives? Shutterstock

Oil prices have nosedived – why aren’t airfares doing the same?

Oil prices are down almost 50% from their peak this year, and jet fuel has plunged 33% since last December. Given energy costs consume almost a third of airline operating expenses, shouldn’t we expect…
Mass spectrometry will identify those explosive molecules. Marcia Cirillo/Flickr

The science of airport bomb detection: mass spectrometry

You’ve probably had your hand luggage swabbed after walking through the metal detector at the airport. Whatever molecules were picked up by the swab have been separated using gas chromatography. So how…
You have gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to thank for keeping you safe from explosives in air travel. Dustin Ground/Flickr

The science of airport bomb detection: chromatography

As the holidays draw near, many of us will hop on a plane to visit friends and family – or just get away from it all. Some will be subjected to a swab at the airport to test clothes and baggage for explosives…
One of the perks of becoming an elite flyer is it’s easier to upgrade to better cabins, such as Virgin Atlantic’s upper class cabin. Phillip Capper, CC BY-SA

Frequent flying is getting a lot more rewarding – for those at the very top

Frequent flyer programs are one of the primary ways airlines build customer loyalty. In a nutshell, the more you travel with the same airline (or its partners), the higher the odds you will be able to…
Prior to the introduction of jets, most commercial airplanes were propeller driven, like the DC-3 pictured here. These planes had a limited cruising altitude – and experienced much more turbulence. NOAA Photo Library

Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air…
Classic traffic jam in the airplane aisle. ChameleonsEye /

Passengers boarding airplanes: we’re doing it wrong

‘Tis the season for airplane travel. We may be looking forward to getting where we’re going, but most aspects of the travel itself are merely endured. There’s stressful security, the madding crowd and…
Consumers always hope to get the best deal when they make their travel and holiday plans. But so do the airlines. Shutterstock

So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

How airlines price tickets is a source of many myths and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy…

Top contributors