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Week in travel: American Airlines don’t have enough pilots for Christmas

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From an unexpected sauna, through the possibilities of time travel, to hybrid planes

Another week is over and we bring you the most exciting news from the world of travelling.

Hot wings: A flight from to Singapore turned into an unwanted sauna

The malfunctioning air condition turned the cabin into an unwanted sauna — ShutterstockMalfunctioning air condition turned the cabin into an unwanted sauna — Shutterstock

It is normal for plane’s cabin to be a bit chilly. But an overheated flight can turn a journey into a real flying hell.

Passengers on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore experienced sweaty times last week. Malfunctioning air condition made the temperature on board rise to more than  35C.

According to Aero Inside, one of the passengers complained the aircraft was already uncomfortably warm during boarding “as if it had been parked in the sunshine and the window shades were open without air conditioning for a considerable time”.

After takeoff, the temperature got even higher. The cabin crew tried to cool down passenger’s complaints with beverages and turned all magazines and brochures into improvised fans.

The pilots decided to proceed with the flight, and after 40 minutes the aircraft landed safely.

For the passengers who enjoyed the unexpected sauna, we recommend visiting Finland. The Finnish will include real saunas in every means of transportation possible, including boats, planes, and even cars.

A glitch in scheduling has left American Airlines without enough pilots for December

American Airlines won't have enough pilots for christmas — Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock American Airlines won’t have enough pilots for Christmas — Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

The world’s largest carrier is dealing with an unprecedented issue. The Allied Pilots Association reported on Wednesday that the American Airlines do not have enough pilots and other staff for the busiest times of December.

“[There has been] a failure within the pilot schedule bidding system. As a result, thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period,” union representatives said.

However, passengers travelling this Christmas have no reason to worry. American Airlines spokesman, Matt Miller, said that the airline would avoid cancellations.

“We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 per cent of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract. We will work with the APA to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.”

Airbnb expands service for disabled travellers

Airbnb acquired a start-up that helps disabled travellers — lesiaKan / ShutterstockAirbnb has acquired a start-up that helps disabled travellers — lesiaKan / Shutterstock

The favourite short-term lodging app Airbnb has made a huge step towards making travelling possible for everybody.

The company recently acquired accessible-travel startup Accomable, which aims to find barrier-free places for people with disabilities.

The startup was founded by friends Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley who both suffer from spinal muscular atrophy and dedicate their time to help others who are limited in various ways.  

“Our decision to join Airbnb was one that we spent a long time considering,” Madipalli stated in an open letter.

“Our work has allowed us to develop unrivalled expertise in the world of accessible travel, building a brand that disabled travellers can trust. We are convinced that joining Airbnb provides the best opportunity to take our dream and mission to a global level.”

Trips through the fourth dimension? Scientist says time travel is possible

Travelling to the future is possible, scientist claims— ShutterstockTravelling to the future is possible, a leading scientist claims — Shutterstock

It’s time to explore the future. A leading scientist has said that travelling to the future is not an impossible journey.

Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, explained our current understanding of time travel to Business Insider.

“It’s critical that you realise that there are two types of time travel, and they are radically different. Time travel to the future? Definitely possible,” Green said.

According to Green, it was Einstein who discovered the method over a hundred years ago.

“He showed that if you go out into space and travel near the speed of light, and you turn around, and you come back, your clock will be ticking off time more slowly. So, when you step off it’s going to be the future on planet Earth. You will have time travelled into the future,” Green says.

So the only thing you need is an engine powerful enough to get you over the speed of light. Piece of cake.

Airbus, Siemens and Rolls Royce teamed up to create a hybrid plane

Rolls Royce, Airbus and Siemens are developing a hybrid aicraft — Fasttailwind / ShutterstockRolls Royce, Airbus and Siemens are developing a hybrid aicraft — Fasttailwind / Shutterstock

Three major players in the transportation industry and electronics have put their heads together to engineer a brighter future.

Airbus, Siemens and aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce plan to create an electric hybrid aircraft that could cut aviation pollution.

Rolls Royce is creating a new electricity generator that, along with jet fuel, will power Siemens’s two-megawatt motor. This will be attached to the E-Fan X plane manufactured by Airbus.

“We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation,” Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ chief technology officer, said in a press release on Tuesday.

Calling the project the E-Fan initiative, they seek to develop electric passenger jets for commercial use by 2025.

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