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"Not one ounce of compassion”: BBC star kicked off plane over daughter's allergy

<p>A BBC weather presenter and her family have been kicked off a plane after asking passengers to be wary of her daughter's peanut allergy. </p> <p>British weather presenter Georgie Palmer was flying from London to Turkey with her husband Matt and their daughters Annie and Rosie, as the family boarded their flight at Gatwick Airport with SunExpress airlines. </p> <p>Georgie and her family were kicked off the plane shortly after boarding, after the 49-year-old mother ran into issues around her daughter's severe allergy to peanuts.</p> <p>According to Palmer, she has requested that the captain make an announcement to all passengers asking them not to eat any peanut products on the flight, but the pilot refused. </p> <p>Palmer then took matters into her own hands and one by one asked passengers not to consume peanuts on the four-hour flight, before being asked to disembark the aircraft.</p> <p>The weather presenter took to Instagram to share her side of the story with a lengthy post. </p> <p>She began, “I thanked the beautiful souls on our plane for helping us. Many of them hugged, cheered and held our hands as we were forced to disembark."</p> <p>“The SunExpress captain and cabin crew refused to make the standard announcement on behalf of our daughter. We gently asked the passengers at the front of the plane to share our request."</p> <p>“Row by row, all the passengers turned back to kindly ask the row behind to please not eat nuts on the flight. It was calm, earnest and with an overwhelming sense of solidarity and empathy.”</p> <p>Georgie added: “There’s no beef with simple asks like these. People get it!"</p> <p>“We were hoofed off the plane after the angry little captain shouted at us from the cockpit.”</p> <p>She concluded by saying they were discriminated against for “simply having an allergy”.</p> <p>Georgie told the <a title="www.dailymail.co.uk" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13457399/bbc-weather-presenter-Georgie-Palmer-flight-nuts.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail</em>,</a> “The captain decided because of my daughter’s allergy he didn’t want to fly with her on board."</p> <p>“When he found out I had spoken to the other passengers he was screaming at me from the cockpit. He was so angry, the next thing I knew we were told to get off the plane."</p> <p>“How we were treated was disgusting – nobody working on that plane showed one ounce of compassion.”</p> <p>A SunExpress spokesman then shared the airline's version of events, claiming that Georgie's husband had become aggressive, and kicked the family off the plane with their best interests at heart. </p> <p>The statement said, “We take the safety of our passengers very seriously. Shortly after boarding our flight, the passenger raised a concern about one of his family group having a serious peanut allergy."</p> <p>“They requested an announcement to other passengers. We refrain from making these kinds of announcements. Like many other airlines, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment on our flights, nor can we prevent other passengers from bringing food items containing allergens on board."</p> <p>“Due to the insistent behaviour of the passenger to others on board, the captain decided it would be safest if the family did not travel."</p> <p>“When this was explained to the passenger, he behaved aggressively towards our crew members and tried to gain access to the cockpit. To ensure the safety of our crew and our passengers on board, we cannot tolerate aggressive and unruly behaviour on our flights."</p> <p>“Our website states that passengers must notify us 48 hours in advance of any special care required due to a medical condition. No such notification was received from the passengers in this instance.”</p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/28140666/bbc-family-flight-passengers-peanuts-allergy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sun</a></em>, Mr Sollom denies acting aggressively.</p> <p>The differing versions of events have divided many on social media as thousands weighed in on the debacle, with plenty of users siding with the pilot.</p> <p>“The pilot is a national treasure,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“As they should have been,” a second wrote, referring to the family getting kicked off.</p> <p>“Would have booted them off as well,” another agreed. </p> <p>A fourth wrote: “I think this story would be found under Self Entitlement in the dictionary.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Disabled man slams Qantas after they damaged his wheelchair

<p>An Australian man has called out Qantas for damaging his wheelchair during a flight, and then offering him a slim compensation package that wouldn't cover the cost of the repair. </p> <p>Queensland wheelchair athlete Timothy Lachlan was travelling from the USA to Sydney when he claims Qantas luggage handlers broke his wheelchair as it was being loaded onto the plane. </p> <p>Like many Australians living with a disability, Lachlan described his wheelchair as "his legs".</p> <p>"This wheelchair is basically my legs — Qantas has basically broken my legs," he told <em>7News</em> of the custom chair he's owned for more than a decade.</p> <p>"If you go up the slightest incline, the chair just tips back."</p> <p>Lachlan now can no longer use the chair and says the saga has cost him work as an occupational therapist. He's currently borrowing a friend's chair to get around and says though he did try to fix his chair, he wasn't able due to the extent of the damage.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7Q68PmJYXV/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7Q68PmJYXV/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 7NEWS Queensland (@7newsqueensland)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He was then locked in a bitter compensation battle with the airline for several months, which resulted in Lachlan being offered a mere $3,500, which he claims won't "even cover a set of wheels", let alone repair the entire chair. </p> <p>As part of the settlement agreement, which was described by Lachlan as a "signed confidential settlement", he claims he was forced to stay quiet about the amount he was offered by the airline. </p> <p>However, instead of staying quiet, he decided to do the opposite and call out the airline, which has taken a large hit to its reputation in recent years.</p> <p>In a statement provided to <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/qantas-offers-disabled-aussie-3500-to-stay-quiet-after-damaging-his-wheelchair-225833471.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Yahoo News Australia</a></em>, a Qantas spokesperson said they "sincerely apologise to Mr Lachlan for the damage caused to his wheelchair".</p> <p>"We have offered him compensation and are waiting to hear back," a spokesperson said.</p> <p>Lachlan said he would like the incident to serve as a reminder to Qantas, and airlines in general, to be more respectful when it comes to transporting mobility aids.</p> <p>"I am more than happy to meet with them, I invite the CEO of Qantas to jump in this chair and tell me it doesn't need to be replaced," he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Ruined our trip": Mum shell-shocked by $130k fine

<p>A mother has been slapped with a hefty fine after her children were caught in a seemingly innocent act while on a beach holiday. </p> <p>Charlotte Russ took her five kids on a trip to Pismo Beach in California, where her children started enthusiastically collecting what they thought were ordinary seashells. </p> <p>"My kids they thought they were collecting seashells, but they were actually collecting clams, 72 to be exact,"  Russ told local news outlet <em><a href="https://abc7.com/post/fresno-woman-fined-88k-after-kids-collect-clams/14859295/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">ABC 7</a></em>.</p> <p>Clamming is highly regulated in California, meaning if you don't have a fishing license, you cannot catch the small sea creatures. </p> <p>She received a citation right there on the beach and was later notified she has to pay close to $89,000, or $133,000 AUD, for her kids' seemingly innocent treasure hunt. </p> <p>"It made me really sad and depressed, and it kind of ruined our trip," said Russ.</p> <p>Department of Fish and Wildlife's Lieutenant Matthew Gil defended the fine, saying there are rules in place for a reason. </p> <p>"The reason we got it we have these regulations is because we have to let them get to 4 and a half inches so they can spawn so they can have they can have offspring every year, and they have juvenile clams," said Lt. Gil.</p> <p>Russ said her kids have learned their lesson, saying, "They know now at the beach don't touch anything, but they know now what a clam is, compared to what a seashell is now, I've had to explain that to them."</p> <p>The mother was able to plead her case with a San Luis Obispo County Judge, who reduced her fine to $500 dollars, and after she "won" her case, Russ got a shellfish tattoo to commemorate the incident.</p> <p>"It was definitely one expensive trip to Pismo, unforgettable," said Russ.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC 7</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Woman’s “selfish” business class upgrade divides the internet

<p dir="ltr">A woman has divided the internet after telling how she snagged an upgrade on her way home from a holiday, leaving her partner and his child in economy. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 30-year-old woman shared the story of how she landed the controversial upgrade, but explained to her social media followers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. </p> <p dir="ltr">She began by explaining that she had booked a 10-day holiday with her partner, who she called Matt, who she had been dating for one year. </p> <p dir="ltr">The couple wanted to spend some time together, but were joined by Matt’s younger son, who she called Alex, from his previous relationship. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Every now and then I would look after Alex when Matt was at work — we don’t live together but they stay at mine every now and then,” the woman explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">Due to family circumstances, Alex had to join the couple on holiday, as she explained, “The flights were over eight hours long and I have booked the tickets for all of us.”  </p> <p dir="ltr">During the flight to their destination, and throughout their whole holiday, the woman explained that she spent most of the time looking after Alex while Matt had “the time of his life”. </p> <p dir="ltr">While the couple were on holiday, the woman discovered that Matt had been unfaithful, and had been cheating on her through most of their relationship. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Some things came to my attention — he was still seeing his ex — which resulted in us breaking up at the end of our stay,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">On the flight back home, the three were sitting together when a flight attendant approached her ex, asking if he wanted an upgrade to business class, but before he could respond, the woman interjected.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mentioned it was me who bought the tickets and used my own account to pay for them, so an upgrade should go to me,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The flight attendant was trying to argue at first, as she assumed Alex was my child.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But I told her that’s not the case, and ended up having an upgrade so I can relax after spending all this time looking after Alex.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When they landed, Matt made comments the woman had been “an a**hole” and “selfish”, while some passengers made similar comments. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman shared the story to Reddit, asking social media users if she was in the wrong by taking the upgrade and was met with mixed responses. </p> <p dir="ltr">One person said, “Damn that sucks... paying for a flight, in a breakup, taking care of a child on YOUR vacation. You by no means are the a******, hell the audacity of the ex is unbelievable. It just p***es me off so much that I can’t even begin to imagine your frustration.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Another added, “I bet it was nice to put some space between you and your brand new ex with such a long flight, too. What was he going to do, take the upgrade and leave his young kid with the woman who he just broke up with? There’s no world in which that makes any kind of sense.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Others suggested the biggest culprit in the situation was actually the flight attendant.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why would it be ok to leave the mum with the kid but not the dad? Why did they not first offer it to the person who bought the tickets as that’s where the priority should’ve been?” one said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, one person pointed out: “Let this be a lesson."</p> <p dir="ltr">“Never take care of someone’s kid your whole holiday and let them have the time of their lives. You should have let him handle everything concerning his kid except some play time. I would be fuming.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The must-visit winter travel destinations

<p dir="ltr">As winter rolls around, many people are looking to flee the confines of their chilly homes and routines in search of sunshine and adventure. </p> <p dir="ltr">Aussies have been already planning their getaways to follow the sun, as <a href="about:blank">Booking.com</a>'s latest search data has revealed the top ten international holiday spots for this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">The results show that while many travellers are heading to tropical destinations this winter, others are searching for a different kind of holiday. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>10. Kuta, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Bali has long been a popular tourist destination for Aussies, many chose to head to Indonesia to enjoy the sandy beaches and escape the winter chill. </p> <p dir="ltr">With winter temperatures hovering around 25°C each day, there's no better place to escape the cold.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>9. Paris, France</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In 2024, Paris is on many people’s travel lists ahead of the Olympics in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">With charming restaurants, trendy boutiques, chic cafes, and amazing museums on offer, as well as warm temps, there’s no better time to head to Paris. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>8. Ubud, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another Bali region to make the list, Ubud is an inland paradise amongst rice paddies and lush jungle.</p> <p dir="ltr">The food heaven destination is also known for its gorgeous climate, making it a perfect holiday spot. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>7. Queenstown, New Zealand</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">For those who don’t want to venture too far from home, Queenstown is an amazing spot for anyone seeking an active holiday.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the only spot on the list which isn't about escaping winter, Queenstown - and New Zealand in general - is often visited by keen skiers and those looking to amplify their winter travels. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>6. Canggu, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another Bali spot making the list, Canggu is a beachside area surrounded by terraced rice paddies and known for good surf.</p> <p dir="ltr">Accommodation in the area ranges from beachside villas and gorgeous guesthouses, with something for everyone. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Singapore</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While Singapore has long been a default stopover city for travellers on their way to Europe, it's also a great destination in its own right.</p> <p dir="ltr">With a stunning mix of old town charm and modern skyscrapers, it's the perfect place for a mid-week getaway or long weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Legian, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Legian Beach is right next to the popular spot Kuta, though is a bit more relaxed and laid-back, and perfect for travellers who want to chill out.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to booking.com, Legian has become increasingly popular with travellers in the last year.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. London, England</strong> </p> <p dir="ltr">For anyone embarking on a Euro summer, London is a must-see destination for any keen traveller.</p> <p dir="ltr">There's something in London for everyone, from amazing museums and sprawling markets, to iconic landmarks and rich history.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Tokyo, Japan</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While tourism in Japan has surged in recent years, there’s a good reason why, as many travellers are flocking to the nation to experience its rich culture. </p> <p dir="ltr">On top of it being an affordable destination, the unique experience has Aussies heading to Japan in droves, with Tokyo seeing a 25 per cent search increase among Aussies in the last year. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. Seminyak, Bali</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Unsurprisingly, a Bali destination has topped the list, as Seminyak offers luxury hotels and villas, high-end dining, and famous beach clubs.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located between Canggu and Kuta, Seminyak has long hosted thousands of tourists looking to escape the cold, with travellers and locals alike basking in the picturesque sunsets. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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How risky is turbulence on a plane? How worried should I be?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hassan-vally-202904">Hassan Vally</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>The Singapore Airlines <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-21/singapore-london-flight-makes-emergency-landing/103876370">turbulence incident</a> that has sadly left one person dead and others hospitalised has made many of us think about the risks of air travel.</p> <p>We’ll hear more in coming days about how the aircraft came to drop so suddenly on its route from London to Singapore earlier this week, injuring passengers and crew, before making an emergency landing in Thailand.</p> <p>But thankfully, these types of incidents <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">are rare</a>, and much <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-accidents">less-common</a> than injuries from other types of transport.</p> <p>So why do we sometimes think the risk of getting injured while travelling by plane is higher than it really is?</p> <h2>How common are turbulence injuries?</h2> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-air-turbulence-196872">Turbulence</a> <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">is caused by</a> the irregular movement of air, leading to passengers and crew experiencing abrupt sideways and vertical jolts.</p> <p>In the case of the Singapore Airlines flight, this type of turbulence is thought to be a severe example of “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/article/2024/may/21/what-causes-air-turbulence-and-how-worried-should-passengers-be">clear-air turbulence</a>”, which can occur without warning. There are several other types.</p> <p>About 25 in-flight turbulence injuries <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/in-flight-turbulence">are reported</a> to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau each year, although it is thought many more are un-reported. Some of these reported injuries are serious, including broken bones and head injuries. Passengers being thrown up and out of their seat during turbulence is one of the most common type of head injury on a plane.</p> <p>Other injuries from turbulence are caused by contact with flying laptops, or other unsecured items.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-04/AR-2008-034%20Turbulence%20FactSheet_v2.pdf">one example</a> of clear-air turbulence that came without warning, cabin crew, passengers and meal trolleys hit the ceiling, and landed heavily back on the floor. Serious injuries included bone fractures, lacerations, neck and back strains, a dislocated shoulder and shattered teeth. Almost all of those seriously injured did not have their seat belts fastened.</p> <p>But we need to put this into perspective. In the year to January 2024, there were <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/international">more than 36 million</a> passengers on international flights to Australia. In the year to February 2024, there were <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/domestic">more than 58 million</a> passengers on domestic flights.</p> <p>So while such incidents grab the headlines, they are exceedingly rare.</p> <h2>Why do we think flying is riskier than it is?</h2> <p>When we hear about this recent Singapore Airlines incident, it’s entirely natural to have a strong emotional reaction. We might have imagined the terror we might feel if we were on the aircraft at the time.</p> <p>But our emotional response <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2001-16969-005">alters our perception</a> of the risk and leads us to think these rare incidents are more common than they really are.</p> <p>There is a vast body of literature addressing the <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-how-our-understanding-of-risk-is-changing-79501">numerous factors</a> that influence how individuals perceive risk and the cognitive biases we are all subject to that mislead us.</p> <p>Nobel Prize-winning economist <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/2002/kahneman/facts/">Daniel Kahneman</a> covers them in his bestselling book <a href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/thinking-fast-and-slow-9780141033570">Thinking, Fast and Slow</a>.</p> <p>He describes the way we respond to risks is not rational, but driven by emotion. Kahneman also highlights the fact that our brains are not wired to make sense of extremely small risks. So these types of risks – such as the chance of serious injury or death from in-flight turbulence – are hard for us to make sense of.</p> <p>The more unusual an event is, and this was a very unusual event, Kahneman says the more impact it makes on our psyche and the more likely we are to overestimate the risk.</p> <p>Of course, the more unusual the event, the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-02435-000">more likely</a> it is for it to be in the media, amplifying this effect.</p> <p>Similarly, the easier it is to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0010028573900339">imagine an event</a>, the more it affects our perception and the more likely we are to respond to an event as if it were much more likely to occur.</p> <h2>How can we make sense of the risk?</h2> <p>One way to make sense of activities with small, hard-to-understand risks is by comparing their risks to the risks of more familiar activities.</p> <p>If we do this, the data shows very clearly that it is much <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-accidents">more risky</a> to drive a car or ride a motorbike than to travel by plane.</p> <p>While events such as the Singapore Airlines incident are devastating and stir up lots of emotions, it’s important to recognise how our emotions can mislead us to over-estimate the risk of this happening again, or to us.</p> <p>Apart from the stress and anxiety this provokes, overestimating the risks of particular activities may lead us to make bad decisions that actually put us at greater risk of harm.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230665/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hassan-vally-202904">Hassan Vally</a>, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-risky-is-turbulence-on-a-plane-how-worried-should-i-be-230665">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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"Absolute carnage": Injured Aussie reveals turbulence horror

<p>An Aussie man who was onboard the Singapore Airlines flight that plunged <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/victim-identified-after-plane-hits-deadly-turbulence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">6000 feet</a>, leaving one dead and dozens injured, has spoken out for the first time. </p> <p>A heavily bandaged Keith Davis told <em>Today </em>that he is still in shock over what happened, and shared graphic detail of what happened straight from his hospital bed in Thailand. </p> <p>"We'd just finished a fantastic holiday in the UK and were one more flight away, nearly home - and this comes along," he said.</p> <p>The flight took off from London Heathrow on Monday night and bound for Singapore with 211 passengers on board. </p> <p>Davis and his wife were among the 56 Australian passengers when the plane was struck by severe turbulence just minutes into the beginning of the breakfast service. </p> <p>"It was absolute carnage, instantly, it was absolutely surreal and there was no warning," he recalled. </p> <p>"When you come into turbulence, there is usually some warning, but this was just a freefall and before we knew it - we were on the ceiling and then bang, we are on the ground."</p> <p>Despite looking battered and bruised, Davis said that his wounds were just superficial, and his wife had an even longer road to recovery ahead. </p> <p>"(My wife) fell into the aisle and she didn't move from then on," he said. </p> <p>"She hit the ground so hard and you know, I leant over her and said, 'hey honey, you're okay', I could see she was breathing and she could speak, but when someone hits the ground, they're going to try and get up and that wasn't happening.</p> <p>"And then I realised I was pouring blood all over her and I thought, wow, we're in a lot of serious trouble here.'</p> <p>Davis said that his wife remained conscious the whole way through, which he said was a blessing as she doesn't have a brain injury. </p> <p>"She's had a severe spinal injury and she has no sensation from her waist down," he said. </p> <p>"She's got all of her wits about her, she's strong and we just just want to get home."</p> <p>Nine Australians remain in the Bangkok hospital, and three are in the ICU with severe injuries. </p> <p>Doctors have also confirmed that a lot of those injured have got spinal issues after hitting their head and landing so hard on the ground, with several of them requiring surgery after showing signs of paralysis. </p> <p><em>Image: Today</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Singapore airline passenger's emotional text mid-turbulence

<p>A mum has revealed the terrifying text she received from her son while he was on board Singapore Airlines flight that <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/travel-trouble/victim-identified-after-plane-hits-deadly-turbulence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">plunged 6,000 feet</a> in a matter of minutes. </p> <p>As turbulence hit the plane 11 hours into its journey from London to Singapore, Josh Barker sent what he thought would be his final text to his mum at 9.10am on May 21. </p> <p>“I don’t want to scare you, but I’m on a crazy flight. The plane is making an emergency landing… I love you all," his text read. </p> <p>His mother, Alison recalled the most "terrifying" two hours of her life after receiving the text, as she waited to hear from her son who was en route to Bali. </p> <p>“It was terrifying. I didn’t know what was going on,” she told <em>BBC</em>. </p> <p>"We didn't know whether he'd survived, it was so nerve wracking. It was the longest two hours of my life.</p> <p>"It was awful; it was petrifying."</p> <p>She said that while her son was lucky to have survived the incident, he was still in “a lot of pain” having sustained minor injuries to his teeth. </p> <p>The aircraft was hit by "severe turbulence" 11 hours into the 13-hour flight to Singapore and was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok, Thailand. </p> <p>71 people were left injured, and one man, British grandfather Geoffrey Kitchen passed away after suffering a heart attack when the turbulence hit. </p> <p>Of the 211 passengers on board, 56 were Australians and 23 were from New Zealand. </p> <p>Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong has issued a public apology for the incident in a video message saying that the airline is cooperating with investigations. </p> <p>"We are deeply saddened by this incident. It has resulted in one confirmed fatality, and multiple injuries," he said.</p> <p>"On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.</p> <p>"We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through... our deepest apologies to everyone affected by this incident."</p> <p>He also said that 143 people who had been on the flight had been taken to Singapore this morning, while the remaining 85 - including six crew members - were still in the Thai capital. </p> <p>"Singapore Airlines swiftly dispatched a team to Bangkok last night, and they have been helping our colleagues with the support on the ground," he said.</p> <p>"A relief flight with 143 of the SQ321 passengers and crew members who were able to travel landed in Singapore this morning at 5.05am.</p> <p>"Another 79 passengers and six crew members are still in Bangkok.</p> <p>"This includes the injured who are receiving medical treatment, as well as their families and loved ones who were on the flight.</p> <p>"Singapore Airlines will continue to extend all possible support to them."</p> <p><em>Images: X/ news.com.au</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Are some routes more prone to air turbulence? Will climate change make it worse? Your questions answered

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>A little bit of turbulence is a common experience for air travellers. Severe incidents are rare – but when they occur they can be deadly.</p> <p>The recent Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London to Singapore shows the danger. An <a href="https://apnews.com/article/singapore-airlines-flight-turbulence-5a9a268e1a6a6fb9ece7e58b5ea9231b">encounter with extreme turbulence</a> during normal flight left one person dead from a presumed heart attack and several others badly injured. The flight diverted to land in Bangkok so the severely injured passengers could receive hospital treatment.</p> <p>Air turbulence can happen anywhere, but is far more common on some routes than on others.</p> <p>Climate change is expected to boost the chances of air turbulence, and make it more intense. In fact, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1465-z">some research</a> indicates turbulence <a href="https://theconversation.com/aviation-turbulence-soared-by-up-to-55-as-the-world-warmed-new-research-207574">has already worsened</a> over the past few decades.</p> <h2>Where does turbulence happen?</h2> <p>Nearly every flight experiences turbulence in one form or another.</p> <p>If an aircraft is taking off or landing behind another aircraft, the wind generated by the engine and <a href="https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim_html/chap7_section_4.html">wingtips</a> of the lead aircraft can cause “wake turbulence” for the one behind.</p> <p>Close to ground level, there may be turbulence due to strong winds associated with weather patterns moving through the area near an airport. At higher altitudes, there may be wake turbulence again (if flying close to another aircraft), or turbulence due to updraughts or downdraughts from a thunderstorm.</p> <p>Another kind of turbulence that occurs at higher altitudes is harder to predict or avoid. So-called “<a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2023gl103814">clear-air turbulence</a>” is invisible, as the name suggests. It is often caused by warmer air rising into cooler air, and is generally expected to get worse due to climate change.</p> <p>At the most basic level turbulence is the result of two or more wind events colliding and creating eddies, or swirls of <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/what-is-turbulence-explained">disrupted airflow</a>.</p> <p>It often occurs near mountain ranges, as wind flowing over the terrain accelerates upward.</p> <p>Turbulence also often occurs at the edges of the <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/what-is-turbulence-explained">jet streams</a>. These are narrow bands of strong, high-altitude winds circling the globe. Aircraft often travel in the jet streams to get a speed boost – but when entering or leaving the jet stream, there may be some turbulence as it crosses the boundary with the slower winds outside.</p> <h2>What are the most turbulent routes?</h2> <p>It is possible to <a href="https://turbli.com/maps/world-turbulence-map/">map turbulence patterns</a> over the whole world. Airlines use these maps to plan in advance for alternate airports or other essential contingencies.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=430&fit=crop&dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=600&h=430&fit=crop&dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=600&h=430&fit=crop&dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=541&fit=crop&dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=754&h=541&fit=crop&dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595676/original/file-20240522-21-ippmyt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=754&h=541&fit=crop&dpr=3 2262w" alt="Map showing air turbulence." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">A map of estimated clear-air turbulence around the world, current as of 3:00PM AEST (0500 UTC) on May 22 2024.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://turbli.com/maps/world-turbulence-map/">Turbli</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>While turbulence changes with weather conditions, some regions and routes are more prone to it than others. As you can see from the list below, the majority of the most turbulent routes travel close to mountains.</p> <p><iframe id="EktuH" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/EktuH/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In Australia, the <a href="https://turbli.com/historical-data/most-turbulent-flight-routes-of-2023/">highest average turbulence in 2023</a> occurred on the Brisbane to Sydney route, followed by Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane to Melbourne.</p> <h2>Climate change may increase turbulence</h2> <p>How will climate change affect the future of aviation?</p> <p>A <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2023GL103814">study published last year</a> found evidence of large increases in clear-air turbulence between 1979 and 2020. In some locations severe turbulence increased by as much as 55%.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=253&fit=crop&dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=600&h=253&fit=crop&dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=600&h=253&fit=crop&dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=318&fit=crop&dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=754&h=318&fit=crop&dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595683/original/file-20240522-17-p2zdrt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=754&h=318&fit=crop&dpr=3 2262w" alt="A map of the world with different areas shaded in red." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">A map showing changes in the chance of clear-air turbulence across the globe between 1979 and 2020. Darker red indicates a higher chance of turbulence.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2023GL103814">Prosser et al. (2023), Geophysical Research Letters</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>In 2017, a <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074618">different study used climate modelling</a> to project that clear-air turbulence may be four times as common as it used to be by 2050, under some climate change scenarios.</p> <h2>What can be done about turbulence?</h2> <p>What can be done to mitigate turbulence? <a href="https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/optimum-use-of-weather-radar/">Technology to detect turbulence</a> is still in the research and development phase, so pilots use the knowledge they have from weather radar to determine the best plan to avoid weather patterns with high levels of moisture directly ahead of their flight path.</p> <p>Weather radar imagery shows the pilots where the most intense turbulence can be expected, and they work with air traffic control to avoid those areas. When turbulence is encountered unexpectedly, the pilots immediately turn on the “fasten seatbelt” sign and reduce engine thrust to slow down the plane. They will also be in touch with air traffic control to find better conditions either by climbing or descending to smoother air.</p> <p>Ground-based meteorological centres can see weather patterns developing with the assistance of satellites. They provide this information to flight crews in real time, so the crew knows the weather to expect throughout their flight. This can also include areas of expected turbulence if storms develop along the intended flight route.</p> <p>It seems we are heading into more turbulent times. Airlines will do all they can to reduce the impact on planes and passengers. But for the average traveller, the message is simple: when they tell you to fasten your seatbelt, you should listen.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230666/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871"><em>Doug Drury</em></a><em>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-some-routes-more-prone-to-air-turbulence-will-climate-change-make-it-worse-your-questions-answered-230666">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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The sad state of Aussie ski resorts ahead of winter holiday season

<p>Ski resorts in Australia have had to get creative ahead of the tourist-heavy ski season after a lack of snowfall, despite plunging temperatures. </p> <p>The ski season begins this year on the June long weekend, running alongside the King’s Birthday on June 8th. </p> <p>Despite expecting a huge influx of keen skiers, there has only been light flurries of snow so far, according to WeatherZone, which melt away quickly and don't settle on the ground for long. </p> <p>In order to accommodate the busy season, Thredbo has had to resort to using fake snow for people to ski on. </p> <p>Manufactured snow happens by combining pressurised air and water through a ‘snow gun’ that gets blasted out into the air.</p> <p>The most ideal time to create the fake snow is on clear nights with low humidity, as the higher the humidity the colder it needs to be to make the flurries.</p> <p>Several photos from ski.com.au's cameras have shown popular ski sites with a disappointing lack of snow, in scenes similar to last year's ski season. </p> <p>“No significant snowfalls are on the horizon for the mainland Australian ski resorts before the official King’s Birthday Long Weekend season opening,” Weatherzone reports.</p> <p>“Snow-making began on the weekend at several resorts and has continued into the working week in the cold dry, air in the wake of the cold front.”</p> <p>According to WeatherZone, high-pressure systems, which have brought constant rain to the east coast recently, have been blocking the snowfall.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency / Thredbo</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Petition to put Gina Rinehart's portrait in Times Square goes viral

<p>When Gina Rinehart's portrait featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra, she <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/art/gina-rinehart-demands-for-national-gallery-to-remove-her-portrait" target="_blank" rel="noopener">demanded</a> it be taken down. </p> <p>The gallery refused, and said it would stay hanging in the gallery until the end of the end of the exhibit on July 21st. </p> <p>Rinehart's outrageous request to take down the artwork went viral on social media, and even saw her feature on Stephen Colbert's late night TV show. </p> <p>Now, comedian Dan Ilic has started a <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/put-vincent-namatjira-s-work-in-times-square#/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">petition</a> to get the artwork displayed in New York City's iconic Times Square. </p> <p>Ilic told <em><a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/news/2024/05/21/rinehart-times-square" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The New Daily</a></em> that it is important to celebrate Australia’s art and artists, because “not many other people are”.</p> <p>“The person who was seeking for it to be removed has a unique place in Australian culture and politics, and uses their power for things that are very much in line with their interests,” he said.</p> <p>“Us, using our own power as a community to try and leverage a lot of little people’s contributions to this celebration of great Australian art, is a great thing.”</p> <p>Ilic said people approached him to launch the fundraising campaign because “I’ve become the person to do such things”.</p> <p>“I happened to go to an art event on the weekend with some people who know [artist] Vincent Namatjirawell and I asked them to check if he would like it,” he said.</p> <p>“He said it’s very funny, so we went ahead with it.”</p> <p>A 10-minute slot in Times Square costs $16,000, however Ilic is campaigning to raise $30,000 to beam Rinehart’s portrait into one of the busiest locations on the planet, with any excess money being donated to Indigenous-led youth climate network Seed Mob.</p> <p>He said, “By the very nature of that organisation, they’re at odds with a lot of what big corporations like Hancock Prospecting are all about.”</p> <p>Ilic said he was confident about passing the $30,000 goal and making the 10-minute slot a reality, after already raising over 70 percent of his goal.</p> <p>“There is an old maxim in crowdfunding: If you reach 50 per cent within the 50 per cent mark of time, you’ll get the rest,” he said.</p> <p>“We hit that earlier this morning and it’s about halfway now, so I think we’ll get the rest.”</p> <p>Ilic has previously campaigned to have features in Times Square, with one such ad highlighting Australia's lack of climate change action ahead of the COP26 meeting in 2021. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Dan Ilic - Indiegogo</em></p>

International Travel

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"Not going to save anybody": Exit row passenger prompts plane evacuation

<p>A whole plane has been forced to disembark after a woman seated in the exit row refused to comply with safety instructions. </p> <p>Passengers were up in arms when they had to leave the plane, after the woman was overheard telling cabin crew that she would only save herself in the event of an emergency, before yelling at flight attendants. </p> <p>The interaction, which was captured by another passenger on video and posted to TikTok, shows the woman becoming heated while talking to cabin crew on the Frontier flight. </p> <p>The passenger can then be seen and heard progressively raising her voice to cabin crew, with fellow flyers pleading with the woman to disembark the plane.</p> <p>The traveller who filmed the altercation claims the woman said she was “not going to save anybody” when seated in the exit row, saying the disgruntled passenger had “attitude” and went on to say that if something were to happen, she would “only save” herself. </p> <p>“That was her attitude throughout the seating process. And I already knew something was about to pop off when she had that attitude,” the TikTok user said.</p> <p>The altercation only became more heated as the yelling progressed, before police eventually arrived on the plane to escort the woman off. </p> <p>The video then shows another Frontier employee approach the passenger and say, “I’m gonna ask you one more time, nicely, to get off, if not, we’re going to deboard the plane and police will come and escort you off.”</p> <p>When the cabin crew make repeated futile attempts to get through the woman, the pilot came down from the cockpit to try and call for calm. </p> <p>“You’re inconveniencing everybody else,” the pilot can be heard saying to the woman. as the pair continue to exchange words while he repeatedly points toward the front of the plane.</p> <p>Following the failed attempts, two police officers then make their way down the aisle and towards the passenger. </p> <p>Towards the end of the five-minute video, which has been viewed more than 80,000 times, all the passengers on board the flight were filmed disembarking the aircraft while the passenger at the centre of the ordeal exits with police from a separate door onto the tarmac.</p> <p>It is unclear if charges were laid.</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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Air travel exposes you to radiation – how much health risk comes with it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p>In 2017, <a href="http://www.independent.ie/business/world/18-million-miles-and-counting-the-globes-top-business-traveller-35666790.html">business traveler Tom Stuker</a> was hailed as the world’s most frequent flyer, logging 18,000,000 miles of air travel on United Airlines over 14 years.</p> <p>That’s a lot of time up in the air. If Stuker’s traveling behaviors are typical of other business flyers, he may have eaten 6,500 <a href="http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=689041">inflight meals</a>, drunk 5,250 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00339.x">alcoholic beverages</a>, watched thousands of <a href="http://www.iata.org/publications/store/Pages/global-passenger-survey.aspx">inflight movies</a> and made around 10,000 visits to <a href="http://blog.thetravelinsider.info/2012/11/how-many-restrooms-are-enough-on-a-plane.html">airplane toilets</a>.</p> <p>He would also have accumulated a radiation dose equivalent to about 1,000 <a href="https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=safety-xray">chest x-rays</a>. But what kind of health risk does all that radiation actually pose?</p> <h2>Cosmic rays coming at you</h2> <p>You might guess that a frequent flyer’s radiation dose is coming from the airport security checkpoints, with their whole-body scanners and baggage x-ray machines, but you’d be wrong. The <a href="http://www.aapm.org/publicgeneral/AirportScannersPressRelease.asp">radiation doses to passengers from these security procedures</a> are trivial.</p> <p>The major source of radiation exposure from air travel comes from the flight itself. This is because at high altitude the <a href="http://www.altitude.org/why_less_oxygen.php">air gets thinner</a>. The farther you go from the Earth’s surface, the fewer molecules of gas there are per volume of space. Thinner air thus means fewer molecules to deflect incoming <a href="http://www.space.com/32644-cosmic-rays.html">cosmic rays</a> – radiation from outer space. With less <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/atmosphere_and_climate/atmosphere">atmospheric shielding</a>, there is more exposure to radiation.</p> <p>The most extreme situation is for astronauts who travel entirely outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and enjoy none of its protective shielding. Consequently, they receive high radiation doses. In fact, it is the accumulation of radiation dose that is the limiting factor for the maximum length of manned space flights. Too long in space and <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/hrp/bodyinspace">astronauts risk cataracts, cancer and potential heart ailments</a> when they get back home.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s the radiation dose problem that is a major spoiler for <a href="http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-unveils-spacex-mars-colony-ship.html">Elon Musk’s goal of inhabiting Mars</a>. An extended stay on Mars, with its <a href="http://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html">extremely thin atmosphere</a>, would be lethal due to the high radiation doses, notwithstanding Matt Damon’s successful Mars colonization in the movie <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3ioOneTy8">“The Martian</a>.”</p> <h2>Radiation risks of ultra frequent flying</h2> <p>What would be Stuker’s cumulative radiation dose and what are his health risks?</p> <p>It depends entirely on how much time he has spent in the air. Assuming an <a href="http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/JobyJosekutty.shtml">average flight speed</a> (550 mph), Stuker’s 18,000,000 miles would translate into 32,727 hours (3.7 years) of flight time. The radiation dose rate at typical <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/why-do-planes-fly-so-high-feet/">commercial airline flight altitude</a> (35,000 feet) is about <a href="https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html">0.003 millisieverts per hour</a>. (As I explain in my book <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10691.html">“Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation</a>,” a millisievert or mSv is a unit of radiation dose that can be used to estimate cancer risk.) By multiplying the dose rate by the hours of flight time, we can see that Stuker has earned himself about 100 mSv of radiation dose, in addition to a lot of free airline tickets. But what does that mean for his health?</p> <p>The primary health threat at this dose level is an increased risk of some type of cancer later in life. Studies of atomic bomb victims, nuclear workers and medical radiation patients have <a href="https://doi.org/10.17226/11340">allowed scientists to estimate the cancer risk</a> for any particular radiation dose.</p> <p>All else being equal and assuming that low doses have risk levels proportionate to high doses, then an overall cancer risk rate of <a href="http://www.imagewisely.org/imaging-modalities/computed-tomography/medical-physicists/articles/how-to-understand-and-communicate-radiation-risk">0.005 percent per mSv</a> is a reasonable and commonly used estimate. Thus, Stuker’s 100-mSv dose would increase his lifetime risk of contracting a potentially fatal cancer by about 0.5 percent.</p> <h2>Contextualizing the risk</h2> <p>The question then becomes whether that’s a high level of risk. Your own feeling might depend on how you see your background cancer risk.</p> <p>Most people <a href="http://www.who.int/whr/2002/chapter3/en/index4.html">underestimate their personal risk of dying from cancer</a>. Although the exact number is debatable, it’s fair to say that <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer.html">about 25 percent of men ultimately contract a potentially fatal cancer</a>. Stuker’s 0.5 percent cancer risk from radiation should be added to his baseline risk – so it would go from 25 percent to 25.5 percent. A cancer risk increase of that size is too small to actually measure in any scientific way, so it must remain a theoretical increase in risk.</p> <p>A 0.5 percent increase in risk is the same as one chance in 200 of getting cancer. In other words, if 200 male travelers logged 18,000,000 miles of air travel, like Stuker did, we might expect just one of them to contract a cancer thanks to his flight time. The other 199 travelers would suffer no health effects. So the chances that Stuker is the specific 18-million-mile traveler who would be so unlucky is quite small.</p> <p>Stuker was logging more air hours per year (greater than 2,000) than most pilots typically log (<a href="http://work.chron.com/duty-limitations-faa-pilot-17646.html">under 1,000</a>). So these airline workers would have risk levels proportionately lower than Stuker’s. But what about you?</p> <p>If you want to know your personal cancer risk from flying, estimate all of your commercial airline miles over the years. Assuming that the values and parameters for speed, radiation dose and risk stated above for Stuker are also true for you, dividing your total miles by 3,700,000,000 will give your approximate odds of getting cancer from your flying time.</p> <p>For example, let’s pretend that you have a mathematically convenient 370,000 total flying miles. That would mean 370,000 miles divided by 3,700,000,000, which comes out to be 1/10,000 odds of contracting cancer (or a 0.01 percent increase in risk). Most people do not fly 370,000 miles (equal to 150 flights from Los Angeles to New York) within their lifetimes. So for the average flyer, the increased risk is far less than 0.01 percent.</p> <p>To make your exercise complete, make a list of all the benefits that you’ve derived from your air travel over your lifetime (job opportunities, vacation travel, family visits and so on) and go back and look at your increased cancer risk again. If you think your benefits have been meager compared to your elevated cancer risk, maybe its time to rethink flying. But for many people today, flying is a necessity of life, and the small elevated cancer risk is worth the price.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/78790/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-j-jorgensen-239253">Timothy J. Jorgensen</a>, Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program and Professor of Radiation Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/georgetown-university-1239">Georgetown University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/air-travel-exposes-you-to-radiation-how-much-health-risk-comes-with-it-78790">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Victim identified after plane hits deadly turbulence

<p>One man has died and dozens have been left injured after a Singapore Airlines plane encountered deadly turbulence, and was forced to make an emergency landing. </p> <p>The flight was travelling from London to Singapore - a route frequently used to continue on to Australia and New Zealand -  when the plane hit an air pocket while flying over Thailand. </p> <p>The unexpected and extreme turbulence caused the plane to drop over 6,000 feet in a matter of minutes, sending passengers and cabin crew flying around the aircraft. </p> <p>While dozens of people sustained injuries during the terrifying ordeal, authorities said that one elderly man had suffered a heart attack when the turbulence hit and had died onboard. </p> <p>British media named the man as Geoffrey Kitchen, a grandfather and amateur dramatics performer who was on his way to Australia with his wife for a six-week holiday.</p> <p>The 211 passengers - including 56 Australians - and 18 crew on board were diverted to make an emergency landing in Bangkok after the turbulence hit, just a few hours away from their destination. </p> <p>Kittipong Kittikachorn, general manager of Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport, confirmed in a press conference that seven passengers were severely injured, and 23 passengers and nine crew members had moderate injuries.</p> <p>Sixteen with less serious injuries received hospital treatment and 14 were treated at the airport.</p> <p>One passenger, Jerry, recalled hitting his head on the overhead lockers when the turbulence hit. </p> <p>"My wife did (hit her head too), some poor people were walking around, ended up doing somersaults," he said, adding that his daughter was also injured and would likely stay in hospital for "a few days".</p> <p>"It was absolutely terrible. And then suddenly it stopped, and it was calm again, and the staff did their best to tend to the injured people." </p> <p>"There were a lot of them, and some of the staff were injured themselves."</p> <p>Another passenger recalled the moment the aircraft had begun “tilting up and there was shaking”. </p> <p>“So I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop,” 28-year-old Dzafran Azmir said.</p> <p>“Everyone seated and not wearing seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling."</p> <p>“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it.”</p> <p>Singapore Airlines said the nationalities of the passengers were 56 Australians, two Canadians, one German, three Indians, two Indonesians, one from Iceland, four from Ireland, one Israeli, 16 Malaysians, two from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, five Filipinos, 41 from Singapore, one South Korean, two Spaniards, 47 from the UK and four from the US.</p> <p>In the hours after the traumatic event, Aviation consultant and pilot Tim Atkinson shared his theory on what caused the “very significant” incident.</p> <p>Atkinson told the BBC that in the increase in air turbulence can be linked to climate change, saying “it’s fairly clear” the Singapore Airlines flight “encountered atmospheric turbulence”.</p> <p>He also noted that the area — called the Intertropical Convergence Zone — is “renowned among pilots, and I dare say passengers, for turbulence”.</p> <p>“Despite abundant caution occasionally, there’s turbulence ahead which can’t be identified, and the unfortunate result of an encounter is injury and, very rarely, fatality,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Atkinson also noted that the larger the aircraft, “the worse the atmospheric perturbation, the disruption in the smoothness of the atmosphere, needs to be to cause major problems”. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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“My darling wife": Newlywed's tragic death overseas

<p>Madison Noronha (née Chatham) was in Amsterdam with her husband Kyle Noronha after only a few weeks of getting married when she suddenly collapsed on the street. </p> <p>When she was rushed to hospital last week, scans revealed that she had suffered a brain aneurysm and despite getting immediate surgery to relieve the pressure, she unfortunately <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">could</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> not be saved. </span></p> <p>“Madi fought like she always does right to the very end,” her heartbroken husband wrote on social media. </p> <p>She passed away in his arms and was surrounded by loved ones. </p> <p>“My darling wife I cannot comprehend what has happened, I’m in a million pieces. Forever and always babe.”</p> <p>Now, her family have set up a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/madison-noronha-chatham" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> in attempt to raise funds to “help with flights, funeral costs and to help bring our beloved Madison home to be laid to rest”.</p> <p>Since the launch of the fundraiser, people have come together and raised over $30,000 for the family. </p> <p>Taylah Wicks, the organiser of the fundraiser and a family friend, said that Madison was loved and cherished beyond measure”.</p> <p>“We are all left heart broken, but can’t imagine the pain that Kyle and her immediate family are experiencing,” she wrote on the page.</p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Flight attendant reveals what happens if a passenger dies onboard

<p dir="ltr">A flight attendant has revealed what happens if a passenger dies onboard, and the morbid reason the protocol has changed in recent years. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mandy Smith has been a flight attendant for 12 years and thankfully, hasn’t had to encounter such a tragedy during one of her flights.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the protocol of the airline she serves, previously when passengers passed away on board they used to be put inside the bathrooms, but now their bodies are laid across the front seats. </p> <p dir="ltr">She explained to <em>LadBible</em>, “This has not happened to me, thankfully. It happened to a friend of mine, where they had a passenger pass away on the flight.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Now, we used to have to put passengers in the bathrooms, and then lock the bathrooms off. But because they would be seated on the toilet, as they sat there - if rigour mortis set in - then they would be then stuck in that position, and they wouldn't be able to fit in their coffin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">'So, unfortunately, now, we have to lay them across the front of the seats and try and calm their loved ones down, treat them with respect, cover them with blankets, and maybe just cordon the area off with blankets tucked into the overheads, which is what I would probably do.'</p> <p dir="ltr">Mandy also explained that according to different laws, if someone dies on a flight, cabin crew officially have to keep going to their final destination.</p> <p dir="ltr">She said, “If they passed away on board, it's the law that we, as cabin crew, have to keep going. So, we have to keep doing any kind of resuscitation until they're deemed to be deceased.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“So, if it was an accident that happened on board, or if they had a heart attack, we would then just keep going doing CPR.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But if it was someone who passed away from natural causes, or another kind of ailment, then obviously, we wouldn't need to do anything to them then.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We'd need to contact the ground services to be met by an ambulance or the coroner. We wouldn't really do it as an emergency landing, we'd just treat it as a normal landing if that person's definitely passed away.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: YouTube </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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How one widow has changed how women solo travel

<p>After Yvonne Vickers' husband passed away in 2014, she thought her opportunities to travel and see the world had slipped away. </p> <p>Yvonne had always been a keen traveller and went on trips with her married friends after becoming a widow, but she "got over being the third wheel", she admitted to <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/cruising-solo-female-older-passengers/9553953c-84e8-418a-9c2b-8c9b847b9ba4" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>9Travel</em></a>. </p> <p>Still wanting to see the world on her own terms, Yvonne took to Facebook where she created a group seeking like-minded women who share her passion for adventure. </p> <p>Now, the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy is an ever-growing group that has connected thousands of women looking for travel companions. </p> <p>Whether they're single, widowed, or just married to someone who doesn't want to travel, the group is open to women across the globe to join.</p> <p>Thanks to her newfound community, Yvonne has taken 41 cruises and dozens of land trips since her husband's death, all while making friends for life, and the rest of the group's members are in the same boat.</p> <p>"It's wonderful to get feedback from ladies saying that it's helped to change their life," Yvonne said. "That's the rewarding part of it for me."</p> <p>Members can make a post in the group, detailing a cruise sailing or trip that they have their eye on booking, to see if anyone else would like to join them.</p> <p>"We have a lot of widows in our group who are cashed up and want to travel but don't have anyone to travel with or share their experiences with," Yvonne said. "The group gives them the opportunity to be able to do that."</p> <p>"There are also a lot of ladies who are married but their husbands don't want to travel. It gives them the opportunity to be able to travel."</p> <p>Yvonne says that cruising is a perfect way for older females to travel, especially if they're on their own.</p> <p>"It's a really safe way to travel as a solo female," she says, also noting that it's an easy way to get around and see places. Recently, she did a 35-day trip around Hawaii with a group of women from the group.</p> <p>For the Find A Female Cruise or Travel Buddy group, there's even more fun trips on the horizon.</p> <p>Yvonne just came back from a trip to Japan with 14 group members, and is heading to Bali in August with a friend she made through the group.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News \ Facebook</em></p>

Cruising

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Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first? Travel hack goes viral

<p>One TikTok user has racked up over 75 million views for their hack which warns travellers against buying red suitcases.</p> <p>The reason behind it? He claims that red suitcases are always loaded onto a plane first - meaning that they will be the last ones to come out at the baggage carousel. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@airportlife_/video/7359248989134327072" target="_blank" rel="noopener">viral video</a> showed a plane's cargo being loaded, with all the red bags being loaded first. </p> <p>Many commenters have shared their theories on why this might be the case. </p> <p>"If the red are at the back then they are less likely to get left behind when unloading," one wrote. </p> <p>"So that it's easier to check if there is any bag left at end corner of loading area and prevent missing out black bags at dark corners, maybe," another added. </p> <p>However, a spokesperson for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has debunked this theory and claimed that the video is "nonsense" and "was made purposefully to mislead or provide false information".</p> <p>They also said that there was simply not enough time for their baggage handlers to sort suitcases out by colour. </p> <p>The question of "Do red bags get loaded onto a plane first?" also made its way to Reddit, after the video went viral, and one user who claimed to be a ramp worker denied the theory. </p> <p>"If we had taken the time and brain power to load bags based on colour I'd still be loading flights from 2015." </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Huge drop in international economy airfares revealed

<p>Airfares to some of the most popular tourist destinations have dropped over the past year according to new data released by Flight Centre. </p> <p>The Australian agency revealed that average price of an international economy airfare sold in Australia has dropped by 12.8 per cent.</p> <p>The top three destinations with the most significant drop in prices include Indonesia at 21.01 per cent, New Zealand with 13.03 per cent and the US at 12.45 per cent. </p> <p>The UK has seen a decrease of 8.05 per cent and popular European destinations like France, Germany and Spain down 7.91 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 6.03 per cent, respectively.</p> <p>The cost of flights to Thailand has also gone down by 3.84 per cent. </p> <p>The figures are based on a comparison of the cost of flights between January and March last year and the same period this year. </p> <p>“In fantastic news for travellers the latest data shows the average cost of an international airfare is down almost 13 per cent when compared to this time last year,” Flight Centre global managing director Andrew Stark told news.com.au.</p> <p>“What that means in real figures is that an economy return airfare between Sydney and Bali would’ve cost on average $1010 this time last year, now it will now set you back under $800.”</p> <p>He attributed these changes to the increased competition and capacity. </p> <p>“It’s vital that there is active competition between the airlines and the more we see of it, the more likely we are to see cheaper airfares, more destination options and a better experience for consumers.”</p> <p>Qantas has also recently announced that they will be increasing the number of flights to Singapore and India, with flights from Sydney to Singapore set to increase from 14 to 17 return flights a week, and Sydney to Bengaluru from five a week to seven. </p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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