Last week in travel: Qantas completes test of longest non-stop flight

A robot could soon travel in your stead, while Air Canada will no longer greet passengers as ladies and gentlemen, and Manchester and Belfast have the worst security waiting times

The longest flight in the world — JFK to Sydney — was successfully completed over the weekend. The 10,000-mile-long journey from the American east coast to Australia’s largest city took 19 hours and 16 minutes.

The brand new Boeing 787-9 took off from New York’s airport on Friday at 9.27 pm and landed at Sydney on Sunday morning at 7.43 am local time.

 

Qantas Boeing 787-9 completed the test flight between JFK and Sydney in 19 hours and 16 minutes — christopheronglv / Shutterstock
Qantas Boeing 787-9 completed the test flight between JFK and Sydney in 19 hours and 16 minutes — christopheronglv / Shutterstock
 

The flight comprised a total of 49 people, out of which about half were the crew and the rest was Qantas staff and observes. 

One of the missions of the flight was also to assess the effects of ultra-long flights on the human body. That’s why the flight also included measuring the pilots’ melatonin levels, checking alertness and monitoring their brain waves.

Moreover, passengers could participate in workouts. The cabin lighting and meals were designed to potentially reduce jetlag.

The carrier plans to launch ultra-long flights to New York and London under the name “Project Sunrise”.

Japanese robot could soon help the elderly travel without leaving home

A new Japanese robot “newme” might soon be able to let elderly people travel from the comfort of their homes. All Nippon Airways plans to deploy 1,000 telepresence robots who would function as surrogates for people who are for health reasons unable to travel far. 

The small robot will be able to travel up to 1.8mph (just below 3kmh) for about three hours before it runs out of battery. It also features a tiltable 10.1in touch screen to serve as the traveler’s virtual face. This way, a robot could substitute the traveler at sports events or do the shopping on their behalf.

The deployment of the robots is planned by summer 2020, roughly for the summer Olympic games which will be taking place in Tokyo between July and August next year.

Air Canada will no longer greet its passengers as ladies or gentlemen

Air Canada will no longer address passengers as ladies and gentlemen — pho.stories / Shutterstock
Air Canada will no longer address passengers as ladies and gentlemen — pho.stories / Shutterstock
 

In an effort to be more inclusive, Air Canada will no longer be addressing its passengers as ladies or gentlemen. Instead, it will opt for “everybody” or “tout le monde” and use greetings, such as “hello, everyone”.

“The change will be reflected in the transmission of the Onboard Announcement Manual as part of our commitment to respect gender identity, diversity, and inclusion,” according to the airline’s internal announcement.

The carrier has not yet confirmed when the new change will be implemented. The decision to introduce the change came just four months after the government started allowing citizens to identify their gender as non-binary X on their passports.

Venice to launch its daily tourist tax in July

The tourist tax of up to $11 could help against overtourism — Stanislav Samoylik / Shutterstock
The tourist tax of up to $11 could help against overtourism — Stanislav Samoylik / Shutterstock
 

The overtourism in one of the most popular destinations in the world is becoming a real issue. That is also the reason why Venetian officials have introduced a tourist tax which should come into effect in July.

The new visitor charge will be between $3.30 and $11 (€3 and €10) for admission to the historic center.

Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro said earlier this year: “The aim is to improve the quality of life of residents. We’re not in it to make money.”

The new tax applies to visitors who arrive in the city by plane, train, bus, bus or a cruise ship. Those visiting for academic, work and family reasons will be exempt from paying. Tourists who are staying in the city overnight are already charged as per their accommodation fees.

New research reveals the UK’s airports with longest security waiting times

The UK airports with the worst security waiting times were Manchester and Belfast — Kollawat Somsri / Shutterstock
The UK airports with the worst security waiting times were Manchester and Belfast — Kollawat Somsri / Shutterstock
 

Queuing up for airport security checks can truly be a bad start or end to your vacation. A new study from Which? has revealed the UK airports with the worst security waiting times for travelers.

The study asked 4,499 travelers to provide an estimated wait time at security checks for their most recent airport visit.

In the category of large airports, Manchester scored the most poorly since it had the longest waiting times. On average, passengers reported waiting for 16 minutes. However, one even reported a waiting time of 90 minutes.

Stansted and Luton airports followed Manchester with an average wait time of 14 and 12 minutes respectively.

Belfast International scored the most poorly in the category of small airports. The average waiting time there was 22 minutes per passenger. The longest reported time was 130 minutes.