Nowhere is the distinction between the haves and have-nots more apparent than when waiting for a flight at the airport. But it turns out you might not need an actual first class ticket to get into a swanky airport lounge — just a custom Android app that spits out a boarding pass-spoofing QR code.
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Every airline claims it has a better solution for the logistical hellscape that is checked luggage, from fancy new RFID tags to charging $$$ to deter the practice entirely. But the only way to never lose a bag again is to completely automate the process. Which is exactly what this adorable robot is designed to do.
A tag, a plastic bin, a metal chassis, and a six mile trek from the moment you check your bag at the counter until it gets on the plane. That's pretty much all there is too it. Well, of course there are a lot of scanners shooting off to match up your luggage tag to the number on the bin and chassis and there are a lot of machines working to x-ray your luggage and there are a lot of wheels spinning to zip your luggage around at crazy speeds in the right direction. So, hmm, I guess there's actually a lot to it.
Video: The best part about flying on an aeroplane is that moment during the final approach: you look outside your aeroplane window and see the city where you're about to land from way up above, and comment on why so many people have pools in their backyards and see how big the freeways are and delight at all the parks and so forth. It's so fun! There's so much to see! But the last thing I'd expect to see during that moment is another plane landing at the same time as my plane on the runway right next to mine.
To help alleviate long lines at Atlanta's airport, Delta spent more than a million dollars to install a pair of new high-tech security lanes that can handle more passengers simultaneously. When even the airlines, who are happy to charge passengers extra to sit next to their family members, thinks the United States' TSA is doing a bad job, you know there's a problem.
The US' busiest airline just spent $US50 ($65) million on tech that promises to more efficiently route your checked luggage to its destination. By the end of the year, all Delta Airlines flights will be tracking bags using RFID, or radio frequency identification. But can RFID really solve one of the most annoying things about air travel?
Usually when you hear "drone" and "aeroplane" in the same sentence, what comes next is a moralistic tale about how irresponsible drone pilots pose serious threats to airlines. That's why it's kind of weird when one of Europe's largest airlines partners with arguably the biggest civilian drone maker in the world.
On Monday, the US FAA will launch its online registry for American drone operators with the aim of collecting personal information from the owners of these unmanned aircraft. But according to a report from Forbes, all those names and addresses will eventually be publicly available. Which seems... kinda scary?
The same isolated, dictatorial nation that's currently expanding its nuclear test sites also wants to attract more foreign tourists. But visitors are subject to a ridiculous battery of tech-combing security inspections — including a very fine-grained look at your internet habits.
Cochin International in southern India is the world's first airport to be run solely on power from the sun. It became totally energy self-sufficient in August. How's it holding up?
The worst part about air travel isn't the cramped aeroplane cabins, the terrible food or the awkward security pat-downs — it's all the waiting and lining up you have to do at the airport. So New York's JFK airport is now using a new mobile phone tracking system to predict just how long you'll be standing around.
As the EU's self-appointed morality police, Germany publicly spanked Greece earlier this month for being so financially frivolous. Well, Germany has its own money troubles! Namely, a catastrophe-riddled $US6 billion airport that the country continues to pour money into — with no opening date in sight. Scheiße!
Air travellers have long complained that they're treated like cattle; and now cattle will actually be treated better than most economy passengers. An entire airport terminal is being built for animals, including a dog spa with "pawdicures" and a bone-shaped doggie wading pool. Yes, it's all very real, and it will be open next year.
When I say "airport", what do you think of? Pat-downs, overpriced Coors Light, screaming kids, broken sanity? In the near future, however, you could start associating air travel with robots: Airport halls may soon be filled with scuttling, helpful machines that will make flying less of a nightmare, and it's starting at a major airport near Tokyo.
Two years ago in the Netherlands, artist Paul de Kort designed an 81-acre park near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. His assignment? To use nothing but landscaping to dampen the noise of aeroplanes. Such a project had never been attempted — and a crucial element of the design was discovered almost by accident.
Does taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets and putting your laptop in a little plastic bin make you feel safe? Maybe it shouldn't. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the TSA is doing a lousy job. Like, "failed to detect mock weapons 95 per cent of the time" lousy.