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Why you should be wary of charging your phone in an airport

<p dir="ltr">While charging stations at airports can often be life-savings before boarding a flight, it turns out these handy outlets can be leaving you vulnerable. </p> <p dir="ltr">Many people have fought over a spot to charge up your devices at the last minute before embarking on a holiday, but next time you leave home with your phone or laptop needing some more juice, think again. </p> <p dir="ltr">Emily Stallings, co-founder of tech retailer <em><a href="https://www.getcasely.com/">Casely</a></em>, says that by plugging your phone into a power outlet at a public USB charging station, you're at risk of data breaches and malware infection.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If a device gets infected, it could end up leaking sensitive information or even stop working properly," she told <em><a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/charging-phone-at-the-airport-danger-expert/57d141df-33ba-4a50-89e5-26f6f2a0c18d">9Travel</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These public USB ports have often been compromised by cybercriminals, who then use these unsecured ports to steal sensitive information transmitted between devices.</p> <p dir="ltr">"From personal emails to financial data, the information intercepted through these compromised ports could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other serious consequences," explains Stallings.</p> <p dir="ltr">The best way to get around this threat, without letting your phone run out of battery, is to pack a portable charging device in your carry-on bag every time you travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">With your own cord and power bank, it's far less likely that any sneaky hackers will be able to access your device's data.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stallings says you can also enable security features such as USB Restricted Mode on your device, for those moments when you're desperate for a charger and have to rely on public ports. </p> <p dir="ltr">"This adds an extra layer of protection against potential data breaches and malware infections when charging from public USB ports."</p> <p dir="ltr">"By activating USB Restricted Mode or similar security features, you restrict data transfer over USB connections, effectively preventing unauthorised access to your device's data while charging in public spaces."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

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Airport worker steals half a million dollars of personal items

<p>A trusted worker at Sydney Airport has been jailed for two years after stealing more than $450,000 worth of personal items from airport cargo. </p> <p>The 38-year-old man from Western Sydney, who was a freight handler at the airport, was identified as a potential suspect when the thefts of personal electronic items were first reported in February 2022.</p> <p>Several months later, he was found with $189,000 cash in the boot of his car, according to Australian Federal Police. </p> <p>The AFP then found that a further $261,000 had been transferred into the man’s personal bank accounts, after a number of stolen devices had been “sold, gifted, or kept for personal use”.</p> <p>“This money, which totalled $450,000, was criminal proceeds generated from the sale of the stolen electronic devices,” AFP said.</p> <p>The man was charged with receiving stolen property and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, while his partner, a 45-year-old woman, was charged with two counts of dealing with money or other property reasonable to be suspected of being proceeds of crime under $100,000.</p> <p>The pair pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2023, and on Wednesday the man was sentenced to three years and four months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years.</p> <p>The woman was to an intensive corrections order of 70 hours community service.</p> <p>AFP Sydney Airport Police Commander Morgen Blunden said the pair was “motivated by profit and greed”.</p> <p>“People with trusted access in an airport precinct are critical to the successful operation of Australia’s tourism and trade sectors,” Blunden said.</p> <p>“But the AFP will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who abuse this trust. AFP has zero tolerance for those to abuse their access to air-side operations for their illegal pursuits.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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10 best airports for sleeping

<p>Sleeping in airports isn’t exactly luxury, but sometimes when you’re stuck between flights you’re all out of options. We’ve taken a look at the 10 best airports to sleep in. While you might not be able to get your full set of 40 winks, at least you can catch a little bit of shut eye at these airports.</p> <p><strong>10. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport – Taiwan</strong></p> <p>You might want to bring along an eye mask or sunglasses, but you can definitely get a bit of shut-eye between flights at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. This airport makes the list but it is quite busy so it’s an idea to have some earplugs or even a pillow if you’re serious about sleeping.</p> <p><strong>9. Stockholm Arlanda International Airport – Sweden</strong></p> <p>Nothing ruins an airport nap like missing your international flight! Travellers sleeping at Stockholm Arlanda International Airport needn’t be concerned though as there have been reports of travellers leaving post-it notes with stickers that say “Wake me at 5:00am”. Beats an alarm clock!</p> <p><strong>8. Tallinn International Airport – Estonia</strong></p> <p>This international airport is fast gaining a reputation as a good place to catch some sleep, but it’s advised that you make sure you sleep near other travellers. The website says, “Make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.”</p> <p><strong>7. Tokyo Haneda International Airport – Japan</strong></p> <p>Due partly to its proximity to the rest of town, Tokyo Haneda International Airport is a very popular airport to sleep at, to the point where the site says, “If you are staying at a busy airport overnight, you'll have to get there early if you want a good spot, especially during the summer season.”</p> <p><strong>6. Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport – Portugal</strong></p> <p>While this airport provides a great option for travellers looking to catch up on a little bit of shut-eye, they still have to be creative. The website recommends heading, “behind ticket counters, under and behind seats, in wheelchairs and on luggage conveyor belts,” to get some sleep.</p> <p><strong>5. Vienna International Airport – Austria</strong></p> <p>This airport sports a grand-spanking new terminal with some nice cots for you to catch up with some shut eye in peace and privacy. There are also lots of power sockets around the place if you need to charge devices or even if you were looking to check out the latest <a href="../news/news/">O</a>ver 60 article  on your tablet!</p> <p><strong>4. Munich International Airport – Germany</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking to catch up on some sleep at the home of Oktoberfest you’re in luck – Munich International Airport is set up pretty well for dozing travellers, relatively safe and asides from the odd security officer asking to see your boarding pass you will generally be left alone.</p> <p><strong>3. Helsinki International Airport – Finland</strong></p> <p>There is a range of options for sleepy travellers at Helsinki International Airport including the famous GoSleep airport sleeping pods. These handy capsules measure in at 1.8 metres by 0.6 metres, and can be rented for as little as $12 to ensure you get some peace and quiet as you sleep. </p> <p><strong>2. Seoul Incheon International Airport – South Korea</strong></p> <p>This huge international airport is a marvel in and of itself and provides a state of the art, luxurious place to get a little bit of shut eye between naps. What is even better is the fact that there have been reports of, “a few generous vendors giving away their unsold food to airport sleepers.”</p> <p><strong>1. Changi International Airport – Singapore </strong></p> <p>When you look at the inclusions this airport has sheerly designed to enhance customer comfort you can see why there’s no question Changi International Airport came out at number one. Enjoy massage chairs, low-lit relaxation zones, armrest-free seating and handy charging outlets.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Sydney Airport launches massive auction of lost property

<p>Have you ever lost something at the airport? </p> <p>You're not alone.</p> <p>This year there were more than 2,500 unclaimed items left at the airport including electronics, jewellery and designer handbags, and now they are up for grabs for a fraction of their retail price. </p> <p>The airport has launched their annual online auction, with all the money raised going to the Harding Miller Education Foundation, which grants four-year scholarships to high-school girls with high academic potential who are experiencing disadvantage. </p> <p>Over the past decade, the auctions have raised $1.6 million for various charities. </p> <p>“It’s clear the public love nabbing a bargain in support of a worthy cause," Sydney Airport general manager of corporate affairs Josh Clements said. </p> <p>“There’s something for everyone with plenty of great tech, clothing, accessories and beauty products as well as a host of unique items like a massage table, an electric scooter, a leaf blower and a quintessential Aussie favourite, a jaffle maker (sandwich press),” he added. </p> <p>“It’s great to see these unclaimed items find new homes, while also supporting a charity that’s offering comprehensive scholarships to help level the playing field for high school girls facing disadvantage.”</p> <p>“Opening bids start at just $10, which means shoppers have a chance to grab a great deal while also supporting an impactful charity,” Theodore Bruce Auctioneers director, Casi Prischl, said.</p> <p>The auction runs until Sunday May 12, with the <a href="https://www.theodorebruceauctions.com.au/sydney-airport-lost-property-auction-2024a" target="_blank" rel="noopener">complete list of auctions currently open for bids below</a>: </p> <ul> <li>Tech & Gaming - Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May, closing at 10am</li> <li>Sunglasses, Bags, Scarves & Accessories - Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May, closing at 2pm</li> <li>Jewellery & Watches - Saturday 4 May to Sunday 12 May, closing at 10am</li> <li>Clothing - Saturday to May to Sunday 12 May, closing at 2pm</li> <li>Beauty, Alcohol, Home - Saturday 4 May to Sunday 12 May, closing at 4pm</li> </ul> <p>Goods can be delivered at a price, or picked up by appointment. </p> <p><em>Images: Theodore Bruce Auctions</em></p>

Money & Banking

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As you travel, pause and take a look at airport chapels

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p>Flying home? It is very likely there is a chapel or meditation room tucked away somewhere in one of the airports you’ll pass through. <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/06/most-of-the-busiest-u-s-airports-have-dedicated-chapels/">Sixteen of the country’s 20 largest airports</a> have chapels, as do many more around the world.</p> <p>I am a <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/">sociologist</a> of contemporary American religion and have written <a href="http://www.wendycadge.com/publications/airport-chapels-and-chaplains/">two recent articles</a> about airport chaplains and chapels. My interest in airport chapels started as simple curiosity – why do airports have chapels and who uses them? After visiting a few – including the chapel at Logan, my home airport here in Boston – I have concluded that they reflect broader changing norms around American religion.</p> <h2>How airports came to have chapels</h2> <p>The country’s first airport chapels were intended for staff rather than passengers and were established by Catholic leaders in the 1950s and 1960s to make sure their parishioners could attend mass.</p> <p>The first one in the U.S., Our Lady of the Airways, was built by Boston Archbishop Richard J. Cushing at Logan airport in 1951 and it was explicitly meant for people working at the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">airport</a>. A neon light pointed to the chapel and souvenir cards handed out at the dedication read, “We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us away from all dangers, O glorious and blessed virgin.”</p> <p>Our Lady of the Airways inspired the building of the country’s second airport chapel, Our Lady of the Skies at what was then Idlewild – and is today John F. Kennedy airport in New York City.</p> <p>Protestant chapels came later. The first was in New York – again at JFK. It was designed in the shape of a Latin cross and was joined by a Jewish synagogue in the 1960s. These chapels were located at a distance from the terminals: Passengers wishing to visit them had to go outside. They were <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Exploring_Interfaith_Space.html?id=on5YNwAACAA">later razed</a> and rebuilt in different area of JFK.</p> <p>In the 1970s and 1980s, Protestant chapels opened in Atlanta, and in several terminals of the Dallas airport in Texas.</p> <h2>Becoming more inclusive</h2> <p>By the 1990s and 2000s, single faith chapels had become a <a href="http://www.tciarchive.org/4534.article">“dying breed.”</a> Most started to welcome people from all religions. And many were transformed into spaces for reflection, or meditation for weary travelers.</p> <p>The chapel at San Francisco International Airport, for example, known as the <a href="https://www.flysfo.com/content/berman-reflection-room-0">Berman Reflection Room</a> for Jewish philanthropist Henry Berman who was a former president of the San Francisco Airport Commission, looks like a quiet waiting room filled with plants and lines of connected chairs. A small enclosed space without any religious symbols or obvious connections to things religious or spiritual is available for services.</p> <p>The scene at the <a href="http://www.atlchapel.org/">Atlanta</a> airport chapel is similar, with only a few chairs and clear glass entrances, to provide space for quiet reflection.</p> <p>Some airports, such as JFK, continue with their “Our Lady” names, indicating their faith-based origins.</p> <p>Others include religious symbols and objects from a range of religious traditions. The chapel in <a href="https://cltairportchapel.org/">Charlotte</a>, North Carolina, for example, has multiple religious texts alongside prayer rugs, rosary beads and artistically rendered quotes from the world’s major religions.</p> <p>Pamphlets on topics ranging from grief to forgiveness are available for visitors to take with them at the Charlotte airport.</p> <h2>Different airports, different rules</h2> <p>As these examples show, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">no two airports</a> have negotiated chapel space in the same way. What is permissible in one city is often not in another. Often, it is local, historical and demographic factors, including the religious composition of the region, that influence decisions. These could even be based on who started the chapel, or how much interreligious cooperation there is in a city.</p> <p>Certain airports such as Chicago’s <a href="http://www.airportchapels.org/">O'Hare</a> have strict rules regarding impromptu religious gatherings whether inside the chapel or out. Some use their public address systems to announce religious services. Others prohibit such announcements and do not even allow airport chaplains to put out any signs that could indicate a religious space.</p> <p>If they are included in airport maps, chapels tend to be designated by the symbol of a person bent in prayer. But even then, they can be difficult to spot. About half of the existing chapels are on the pre-security side of the airport and the other half accessible only after passengers pass through security.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srx025">Only four large American airports</a> – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York’s LaGuardia – do not have chapel spaces, although opening such a space is under consideration. In the interim, at LaGuardia, a Catholic chaplain holds mass in a conference room.</p> <h2>What’s the future?</h2> <p>The reasons for these spaces and their variations are idiosyncratic and intensely local. These chapels reveal a range of approaches to contemporary American religion and spirituality.</p> <p>So on your travels, keep an eye out for these chapels. Note their similarities and differences and recognize how important local histories are to how church-state issues are resolved – at airports and beyond.<!-- 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/87578/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/wendy-cadge-343734">Wendy Cadge</a>, Professor of Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brandeis-university-1308">Brandeis University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/as-you-travel-pause-and-take-a-look-at-airport-chapels-87578">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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12 expert ways to manage stress at airports

<p><strong><em>Betsy Goldberg writes for <a href="http://blog.virtuoso.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Virtuoso Luxury Traveller</span></a>, the blog of a <a href="http://www.virtuoso.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">global luxury travel network</span></a>, and she enjoys nothing more than taking a holiday.</em></strong></p> <p>Airports should be happy places. They’re the beginning of a journey, either to a new place, a vacation, business meetings, time with family and friends, or back home.</p> <p>If you’ve spent even a brief amount of time inside an airport, though, you know that’s not the case. They can be stressful places with people running to and fro trying to make flights. All while dealing with their day-to-day life via their phone. No surprise that a psychologist has even developed an air travel stress scale.</p> <p>Air travel stress gets to virtually all of us. But it doesn’t have to. How can you reduce the drama?</p> <p><strong>1. Put things in context</strong></p> <p>A lot of reducing air travel stress comes simply from having a good mindset.</p> <p>The most important thing is to start with the right attitude, says Rishi Piparaiya, author of Aisle Be Damned: “We’re talking about an extremely complicated industry, where millions of people fly in the skies in metal tubes at the speed of sound. Sure, something may go wrong, but our ancestors would spend a lifetime to make the journey we make in half a day.”</p> <p>Here’s another take from Brent Bowen, dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He noted that in 2013 the overall performance of U.S. airlines hit its highest point in 24 years.</p> <p>“The number of customer complaints has gone down,” he says. “Mishandled baggage has gone down and on-time performance has improved. So technically, based solely on the data, (the flight experience) has improved over the last 25 years substantially.”</p> <p><strong>2. When to fly</strong></p> <p>Leisure travellers tend to fly on weekends. Business travellers are crowding airports Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Therefore, book your flights for the quieter days of Tuesday and Wednesday when you can.</p> <p>Book an early-morning flight if possible to avoid more air travel stress. Airlines are less likely to have delays first thing in the day.</p> <p><strong>3. Use a packing list</strong></p> <p>This prevents “Oh no!” moments at the airport. If you’re not even at security yet and you already think you’re missing something and don’t have the time to go get it, the rest of the airport experience probably won’t be great.</p> <p>Avoid that kind of air travel stress before you get to the airport by starting with a packing list. Also, learn how to effectively pack a bag.</p> <p><strong>4. Check in promptly</strong></p> <p>Airlines let you check in online 24 hours before your flight. Do that to avoid lineups at the airport. Another bonus: it may help prevent you from being bumped off an oversold flight.</p> <p><strong>5. Carry on what you can</strong></p> <p>The advantages: less to potentially lose in your checked luggage. No baggage fees. And a faster exit from the airport when you arrive.</p> <p>Always carry on essentials like keys, medications, valuables and anything critical for business meetings. You don’t want to arrive in the Caribbean and be waiting days for everything you need to actually enjoy the Caribbean.</p> <p>So remember that air travel is actually much more effective than almost any human mode of transport in history. And in the past few decades, the experience has technically only improved. Take a deep breath when that air travel stress hits you.</p> <p><strong>6. The early bird approach</strong></p> <p>People fall into very distinct camps on this. Earlier tends to be better (especially around peak travel times like holidays). If you know security lines might be longer, why gamble and add more air travel stress?</p> <p><strong>7. The full charge</strong></p> <p>Phone batteries are getting better as technology continues to develop. And more airports are offering outlets and charging stations. But always get to the airport on a full charge. If you encounter a hiccup, you’ll need your device as a resource.</p> <p><strong>8. What to wear</strong></p> <p>Layers will help you navigate varying temperatures inside the airport and on the plane. Wear comfortable clothes you can move in, in case of a last-minute dash to a connecting flight. Wrinkle-free clothing is great, both for the journey to your destination as well as your trip itself.</p> <p>As far as footwear goes, wear something easy to slide on/off to get through security faster. In larger airports, you’re likely in for a big walk to and from your gate, so comfort is a must as well.</p> <p><strong>9. Entertainment</strong></p> <p>Unless you’ve booked an entire row on the plane, your seatmates are a random act of chance. They could be great – and not bother you. Or they could be challenging in many ways.</p> <p>So load up on distractions. Those include magazines, books, e-books, movies, TV shows and work you need to complete. They’ll also help in case of delays while you’re still in the terminal.</p> <p><strong>10. Your fellow passengers</strong></p> <p>Airports are amazing places for people-watching. If you stop at an airport bar or restaurant, you can usually strike up a conversation easily. You might be sitting next to someone from halfway around the world. You don’t get that chance every day, so take advantage of it.</p> <p>Want a conversation starter? Talk about the fastest way to board passengers. You’ll make some new friends and relieve your mutual air travel stress.</p> <p><strong>11. Airport lounges</strong></p> <p>Another place to meet new people: an airport lounge. You’ll await your flight in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. And you’ll enjoy peace and quiet, comfortable seating, food, drinks and reading materials.</p> <p>First-class and business-class travellers and elite frequent flyers have access to their airline’s lounge. Also, certain credit card holders enjoy complimentary access. For everyone else, there’s a day pass. A pass at an independent lounge will run you about $30 to $50.</p> <p><strong>12. Advisors as air travel stress relief</strong></p> <p>There are dozens of reasons why working with a professional travel advisor is a good idea. See here for real-life stories from actual travellers. One of those: an advisor can reduce air travel stress. Your advisor will work with you on itineraries, the best flight times, and any adjustments. If something crops up at the airport, you have a trusted resource one call away.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Traveller's $3,000 mistake at airport security

<p>A grandmother from New Zealand has copped a whopping $3,000 fine after failing to declare an airport sandwich to border control officers. </p> <p>June Armstrong, 77, was travelling from her native Christchurch to Brisbane to housesit for a friend, and treated herself to a muffin and a sandwich ahead of her 4am flight. </p> <p>Ms Armstrong ate her muffin before boarding the plane, and stashed the sandwich in her carry-on luggage to eat later on the flight. </p> <p>However, the grandmother fell asleep on the plane and the sandwich was left uneaten. </p> <p>When she woke up from her nap, she filled out the declaration form to enter Australia, as she had prescription medication, but completely forgot about the sandwich.</p> <p>When she arrived at the security gates at Brisbane Airport and her bags were checked, she was met with an unfortunate welcome to Australia as she was slapped with the fine. </p> <p>“I was just sobbing and said “$NZ3300 for a little sandwich?” Ms Armstrong told the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/canterbury-grandmother-fined-3300-for-chicken-sandwich-by-australian-border-officials/3KJUEZBB2JHVLHBNSXFY3XPKLE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>NZ Herald</em>.</a></p> <p>She said asked the official who found the sandwich if they could throw it away for her, but after they walked away and came back, they allegedly just said, “Twelve points, $3300”.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong first thought they were joking, but when she realised they were serious, she broke down in tears as staffers "strongly advised" her to appeal the fine within 28 days. </p> <p>She went through with the appeal to avoid forking out the four-figure sum, but to no avail and eventually ended up coughing up the hefty fine. </p> <p>“My husband kept saying, 'Just pay it'. I said, 'It’s our pension, we can’t afford this’,” Ms Armstrong said, adding that they had about $30,000 in savings as well as their pensions.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong sent an email asking why she was fined, considering it was her first infringement, and why the cost was so high, especially considering the sandwich was untouched and sealed. </p> <p>She also outlined the impact the fine was having on her mental health, but she allegedly never received a response.</p> <p>Six months on from sandwich-gate, she has accepted she won’t be getting her money back and has since spoken out to warn fellow passengers not to make the same mistake. </p> <p>“Everybody I show the fine to is dumbfounded, they just can’t believe it,” Ms Armstrong told the <em>NZ Herald</em>.</p> <p>Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said Ms Armstrong needed an import permit to bring the chicken sandwich into the county, adding it could have been a much higher penalty, as fines can be as much as $6260. </p> <p>“Meat has strict import conditions which can change quickly based on disease outbreaks,” a departmental spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/warnings/grandmother-who-forgot-to-declare-chicken-sandwich-cops-3000-fine-at-brisbane-airport/news-story/2bc94ac2e7e4f59cd16e5798fc7f9f7b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>. </p> <p>“Uncanned meats, including vacuum-sealed items, are not allowed into Australia unless accompanied by an import permit."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Elle Macpherson reportedly caught snapping at airport staff

<p>Elle Macpherson was reportedly overheard snapping at border security staff in Dallas Fortworth Airport, after being forced to double-back through a checkpoint. </p> <p>The 59-year-old Aussie supermodel had to wait for over 20 minutes at the security stop, and a witness reported that Macpherson was visibly frustrated during the incident. </p> <p>The onlooker claimed that Macpherson told the security staff: “Why did you just say I could go through and then tell me I had to come back?” </p> <p>“You just let five people through, I was before them and now I’m at the back again.”</p> <p>Images obtained by  <a href="https://www.perthnow.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/australian-supermodel-elle-macpherson-gets-frustrated-at-dallas-fort-worth-airport-in-texas-c-12525462" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Perth Now</em></a> show a frustrated-looking MacPherson checking her boarding pass while rocking a a fluffy statement vest, cowboy boots and flared jeans with a leopard print Christian Dior bag in hand. </p> <p>In another photo, Macpherson was pictured putting on her cowboy boots after passing through the checkpoint. </p> <p>It is unclear why Macpherson was travelling through Dallas. </p> <p>This news comes after the supermodel recently celebrated her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/body/elle-macpherson-marks-major-20-year-milestone" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one-year anniversary</a> with partner Doyle Bramhall, and 20 years of sobriety. </p> <p>Macpherson and her partner are avid travellers, with the model sharing a bunch of photos from their adventures and describing themselves as “nomadic lovers”. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Take a look inside the luxury airport lounge used by the royal family

<p dir="ltr">Around the world, many airports are known to boast luxurious airport lounges that service frequent flyers and elite travellers. </p> <p dir="ltr">These exclusive areas of the airport are reserved for VIP customers, with members of the royal family even utilising the luxury lounges. </p> <p dir="ltr">At London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, the famous Windsor Suite, found next to Terminal 5, has often been used by the royals including the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate.</p> <p dir="ltr">There are eight private suites, but they come at a hefty price, costing £3000 (A$5700) for just three people.</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/CuRL5p-IcIO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;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/CuRL5p-IcIO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Heathrow VIP (@heathrowvip)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The whopping price tag covers a series of luxuries during your time at the airport, including a chauffeur who picks you up from your door and takes you straight to the lounge, as well as takes you straight to the plane.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is also a private butler, personal shopper, Michelin star food, and priceless artworks adorning the suites. </p> <p dir="ltr">There are added security features too such as bombproof glass and anti-paparazzi nets to ensure privacy. </p> <p dir="ltr">This level of luxury is not exclusive to the London airport, as airports in Germany, America, the UAE and even Australia boast a similar service to VIP travellers. </p> <p dir="ltr">In Australia, the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge membership list includes the country’s top CEOs, A-list celebrities, and politicians.</p> <p dir="ltr">The lounges are in six domestic airports across the country, and offer world-class dining hidden behind unmarked wood-panelled doors.</p> <p dir="ltr">Former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described the luxury as “probably the most exclusive club in the country” for those who are willing to spend big on the service before their flight. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

International Travel

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How some people can end up living at airports for months – even years – at a time

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p>In January 2021, local authorities arrested a 36-year-old man named Aditya Singh <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/man-living-o-hare-3-001000925.html">after he had spent three months living at Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport</a>. Since October, he had been staying in the secure side of the airport, relying on the kindness of strangers to buy him food, sleeping in the terminals and using the many bathroom facilities. It wasn’t until an airport employee asked to see his ID that the jig was up.</p> <p>Singh, however, is far from the first to pull off an extended stay. <a href="https://udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/history/bednarek_janet.php">After more than two decades studying the history of airports</a>, I’ve come across stories about individuals who have managed to take up residence in terminals for weeks, months and sometimes years.</p> <p>Interestingly, though, not all of those who find themselves living in an airport do so of their own accord. This group includes Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who famously lived in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years and inspired the movie “The Terminal.” <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/11/12/1136307777/the-terminal-movie-merhan-karimi-nasseri-dies-paris-airport">Nasseri died</a> on November 12, 2022.</p> <h2>Blending in with the crowd</h2> <p>Whether it’s in video games like “<a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/airport-city/9wzdncrfjchj?activetab=pivot:overviewtab">Airport City</a>” or scholarship on topics like “<a href="https://airporturbanism.com/">airport urbanism</a>,” I’ll often see the trope that airports are like “mini cities.” I can see how this idea germinates: Airports, after all, have <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-you-travel-pause-and-take-a-look-at-airport-chapels-87578">places of worship</a>, policing, hotels, fine dining, shopping and mass transit.</p> <p>But if airports are cities, they’re rather strange ones, in that those running the “cities” prefer that no one actually takes up residence there.</p> <p>Nonetheless, it is possible to live in airports because they do offer many of the basic amenities needed for survival: food, water, bathrooms and shelter. And while airport operations do not necessarily run 24/7, airport terminals often open very early in the morning and stay open until very late at night.</p> <p>Many of the facilities are so large that those determined to stay – such as the man at O'Hare – can find ways to avoid detection for quite some time.</p> <p>One of the ways would-be airport residents avoid detection is to simply blend in with the crowds. Before the pandemic, U.S. airports handled 1.5 million to 2.5 million passengers <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput">on any given day</a>.</p> <p>Once the pandemic hit, the numbers dropped dramatically, falling below 100,000 during the early weeks of the crisis in the spring of 2020. Notably, the man who lived at O'Hare for a little over three months arrived in mid-October 2020 as passenger numbers <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput">were experiencing a rebound</a>. He was discovered and apprehended only in late January 2021 – right when passenger numbers dropped considerably after the <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput">holiday travel peaks</a> and during <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54966531">the resurgence of the coronavirus</a>.</p> <h2>Living in limbo</h2> <p>Not all of those who find themselves sleeping in a terminal necessarily want to be there.</p> <p>Travel by air enough and chances are that, at one time or another, you’ll find yourself in the category of involuntary short-term airport resident.</p> <p>While some people may book flights that will require them to stay overnight at the airport, others find themselves stranded at airports because of missed connections, canceled flights or bad weather. These circumstances seldom result in more than a day or two’s residency at an airport.</p> <p>Then there are those who unwittingly find themselves in an extended, indefinite stay. Perhaps the most famous involuntary long-term resident was <a href="https://www.gq.com/story/merhan-nasseri-charles-de-gaulle-stuck">Mehran Karimi Nasseri</a>, the airport dweller whose story inspired “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362227/">The Terminal</a>.”</p> <p>Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, was en route to England via Belgium and France in 1988 when he lost the papers that verified his refugee status. Without his papers, he could not board his plane for England. Nor was he permitted to leave the Paris airport and enter France. He soon became an international hot potato as his case bounced back and forth among officials in England, France and Belgium. At one point French authorities offered to allow him to reside in France, but Nasseri turned down the offer, reportedly because he wanted to get to his original destination, England. And so he stayed at Charles de Gaulle Airport for nearly 18 years. He left only in 2006, <a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0621/p11s02-almo.html">when his declining health required hospitalization</a>. Prior to his death in November 2022, he had returned to the airport on his own accord, and was staying in Terminal 2F when he suffered the heart attack that killed him.</p> <p>Other long-term airport residents include Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, who spent <a href="https://www.theregister.com/2016/09/12/edward_snowden_wikileaks_sarah_harrison/">more than a month in a Russian airport in 2013</a> before receiving asylum. And then there is <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4673103.stm">the saga of Sanjay Shah</a>. Shah had traveled to England in May 2004 on a British overseas citizen passport. Immigration officials, however, refused him entry when it was clear he intended to immigrate to England, not merely stay there the few months his type of passport allowed. Sent back to Kenya, Shah feared leaving the airport, as he had already surrendered his Kenyan citizenship. He was finally able to leave after an airport residency of just over a year when British officials granted him full citizenship.</p> <p>More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has created new long-term involuntary airport residents. For example, an Estonian named Roman Trofimov arrived at Manila International Airport on a flight from Bangkok on March 20, 2020. By the time of his arrival, Philippine authorities had ceased issuing entry visas to limit the spread of COVID-19. Trofimov spent over 100 days in the Manila airport until personnel at the Estonian embassy <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/travel-stories/man-trapped-in-manila-airport-for-100-days-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/news-story/09bfee03d3d1f23ca28f1fd97fa99109">were finally able to get him a seat on a repatriation flight</a>.</p> <p>[<em>You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors.</em> <a href="https://theconversation.com/us/newsletters/weekly-highlights-61?utm_source=TCUS&amp;utm_medium=inline-link&amp;utm_campaign=newsletter-text&amp;utm_content=weeklysmart">You can get our highlights each weekend</a>.]</p> <h2>The homeless find refuge</h2> <p>While most involuntary airport residents long to leave their temporary home, there are some who have voluntarily attempted to make an airport their long-term abode. Major airports in both the United States and Europe have long functioned – though largely informally – as homeless shelters.</p> <p>Though homelessness and the homeless have a long history in the United States, many analysts see the 1980s as an important turning point in that history, as many factors, including federal budget cuts, the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and gentrification, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519584/">led to a sharp rise in the number of homeless</a>. It is in that decade that you can find the earliest stories about the homeless living at U.S. airports.</p> <p>In 1986, for example, <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1986-12-12-8604020917-story.html">the Chicago Tribune wrote about Fred Dilsner</a>, a 44-year-old former accountant who had been living at O'Hare in Chicago for a year. The article indicated that homeless individuals had first started showing up at the airport in 1984, following the completion of the Chicago Transit Authority train link, which provided easy and cheap access. The newspaper reported that 30 to 50 people were living at the airport, but that officials expected the number could climb to 200 as the winter weather set in.</p> <p>This issue has persisted into the 21st century. News stories from 2018 reported a rise in the number of homeless at several large U.S. airports over the previous few years, including at <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2018/02/12/atlantas-homeless-fill-atrium-worlds-busiest-airport-overnight/328388002/">Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport</a> and at <a href="https://www.wbal.com/article/325387/3/growing-number-of-homeless-people-find-refuge-at-airport">Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport</a>.</p> <p>The coronavirus pandemic has added an additional public health concern <a href="https://saportareport.com/amid-pandemic-city-plan-directs-homeless-sleeping-at-airport-to-supportive-services/columnists/sean-keenan/seankeenan/">for this group of airport denizens</a>.</p> <p>For the most part, airport officials have tried to provide aid to these voluntary residents. At Los Angeles International Airport, for example, officials have deployed crisis intervention teams to work <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/lax-homeless-problem-bathrooms-waste/2278989/">to connect the homeless to housing and other services</a>. But it’s also clear that most airport officials would prefer a solution <a href="https://www.ajc.com/news/local/homeless-spending-night-hartsfield-jackson-prompt-police-monitoring/XKhpdJ8QZliOtGYutCsZOO/">where airports no longer operated as homeless shelters</a>.</p> <p><em>This is an updated version of an article originally published on March 3, 2021.</em><!-- 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/154336/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/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</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-some-people-can-end-up-living-at-airports-for-months-even-years-at-a-time-154336">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Airport renamed in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth

<p>An airport has been given the seal of approval to be rebranded in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth. </p> <p>The airport in the seaside town of Le Touquet in France was given the go ahead for the renaming by King Charles on Monday, as the entire royal family shared a particular fondness for the town. </p> <p>The renaming of the airport is one of the first places to get approval following Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8th last year.</p> <p>Although there is no official date announced for when the rebrand will take place, Touquet-Paris-Plage airport will become Elizabeth II Le Touquet-Paris-Plage International Airport.</p> <p>"The international airport of Le Touquet Paris-Plage is about to undergo a historic transformation by taking on the name 'Elizabeth II International Airport of Le Touquet Paris-Plage'," the town hall said in a statement.</p> <p>"This is a tribute to a great Queen and her uncle who had a fondness for France, as well as a recognition of the 'most British of French resorts'," it added.</p> <p>While honouring the late monarch in the name, the rebranding also acknowledges King Edward VIII, who held a love for the country before he abdicated the throne. </p> <p>Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth's uncle, frequented the resort to enjoy horse riding and sand yachting, sometimes accompanied by his niece when she was not yet Queen.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Google Maps </em></p>

International Travel

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Why do I have to take my laptop out of the bag at airport security?

<p><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>Anyone who has travelled by air in the past ten years will know how stressful airports can be.</p> <p>You didn’t leave home as early as you should have. In the mad rush to get to your gate, the security screening seems to slow everything down. And to add insult to injury, you’re met with the finicky request: “laptops out of bags, please”.</p> <p>But what does your laptop have to do with security?</p> <h2>The day that changed air travel forever</h2> <p>Airport security changed dramatically after the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11 2001. Before 9/11, you could pass through security with a carry-on bag full of everything you might need for your holiday, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/09/10/1035131619/911-travel-timeline-tsa">including a knife</a> with a four-inch blade. Indeed, that’s how the 9/11 attackers brought their <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/09/10/1035131619/911-travel-timeline-tsa">weapons on board</a>.</p> <p>After 9/11, screening processes around the world changed overnight. In the US, private security contractors being paid a minimum wage were swapped out for a federalised program with highly trained security personnel. Anything that could be <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00654/full">considered a weapon</a> was confiscated.</p> <p>Around the world, travellers were suddenly required to <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=6hBnJ-1hRp0C&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA86&amp;dq=why+do+I+have+to+take+my+shoes+off+at+airport+security&amp;ots=o6JIFHJzF1&amp;sig=B6azb6xqN2uxM9CP-VZdfyt3Ag0#v=onepage&amp;q=why%20do%20I%20have%20to%20take%20my%20shoes%20off%20at%20airport%20security&amp;f=false">remove their shoes</a>, belts and outerwear, and take out their phones, laptops, liquids and anything else that could be used as part of an improvised explosive device.</p> <p>This lasted for several years. Eventually, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">more advanced</a> screening methods were developed to effectively identify certain threats. Today, some countries don’t require you to remove your shoes when passing through security.</p> <p>So why must you still take your laptop out?</p> <h2>Airport scanners have come a long way</h2> <p>The machine your bags and devices pass through is an X-ray machine.</p> <p>The main reason you have to remove your laptop from your bag is because its <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/reviews-and-advice/why-do-i-have-to-remove-my-laptop-from-my-bag-at-the-airport-xray-machine-20170320-gv1vqs.html">battery</a> and other mechanical components are too dense for X-rays to penetrate effectively – especially if the scanning system is old. The same goes for power cords and other devices such as tablets and cameras.</p> <p>With these items in your bag, security officials can’t use the screened image to determine whether a risk is present. They’ll have to flag the bag for a physical search, which slows everything down. It’s easier if all devices are removed in the first place.</p> <p>A laptop inside a bag can also shield other items from view that may be dangerous. Scanning it separately reveals its internal components on the screen. In some cases you might be asked to turn it on to prove it’s an actual working computer.</p> <p>With newer multi-view scanning technology, security officials can view the bag from multiple angles to discern whether something is being covered up, or made to look like something else. For instance, people have tried to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">mix gun parts</a> with other components in an effort to pass checked baggage screening.</p> <p>Some airports have upgraded <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/no-more-removing-liquids-and-gels-laptops-at-melbourne-airport-as-new-scanners-installed-20191002-h1ijdf.html">3D scanning</a> that allows travellers to pass their bags through security without having to remove their laptops. If you’re not asked to take out your laptop, it’s probably because one of these more expensive systems is being used.</p> <p>Nonetheless, amping up the technology won’t remove the lag caused by airport screenings. Ultimately, the reason these are a major choke point is because of the speed at which staff scan the imagery (which dictates the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">speed of the conveyor belt</a>).</p> <p>Unless we find a way to automate the entire process and run it with minimal human supervision, you can expect delays.</p> <h2>What about body scanners?</h2> <p>But your bags aren’t the only thing getting scanned at airport security. You are too!</p> <p>The tall frame you walk through is a <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/airport-security3.htm">metal detector</a>. Its purpose is to uncover any weapons or other illegal objects that may be concealed under your clothes. Airport metal detectors use non-ionising radiation, which means they don’t emit X-rays.</p> <p>The larger body scanners, on the other hand, are a type of X-ray machine. These can be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">active or passive</a>, or a combination of both.</p> <p>Passive scanners simply detect the natural radiation emitted by your body and any objects that might be concealed. Active scanners emit low-energy radiation to create a scan of your body, which can then be analysed.</p> <p>The kind of machine you walk through will depend on where in the world you are. For instance, one type of active body scanner that emits X-rays in what’s called “backscatter technology” was once <a title="https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/backscatter-x-ray.htm" href="https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/backscatter-x-ray.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">used widely</a> in the US, but is no longer used. It’s also banned in <a title="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening" href="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australia</a> and <a title="https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/11/15/europe-bans-airport-body-scanners-over-health-and-safety-concerns/" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/11/15/europe-bans-airport-body-scanners-over-health-and-safety-concerns/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the European Union</a>, where only non-ionising technology can be used.</p> <p>Another type of scanner emits lower-energy <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/backscatter-machines-vs-millimeter-wave-scanners.htm">millimetre waves</a>, instead of X-rays, to image the passenger. Millimetre wave frequencies are considered to be non-ionising radiation.</p> <h2>AI in our airports</h2> <p>AI seems to be all around us lately, and our airports are no exception. Advancements in AI systems stand to transform the future of airport security.</p> <p>For now, human reviewers are required to identify potential threats in scanned images. However, what if an advanced <a href="https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/artiificialintelligenceinsecuritycheck/article/">AI was trained</a> to do this using a database of images? It would do so in a fraction of the time.</p> <p>Some airports are already using advanced <a href="https://www.in-security.eu/index.php/editorial/the-future-of-airport-security-faster-smarter-safer">computed tomography</a> (CT) <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/21/3d-body-scanners-at-australian-airports-what-are-they-and-how-do-they-work">scanners</a> to produce high-definition 3D imagery. In the future, this technology could be further enhanced by AI to detect threats at a much faster rate.</p> <p>Hypothetically, CT scans could also be used for both humans and their baggage. Could this allow travellers to walk through a body scanner while carrying their bags? Possibly.</p> <p>Until then, you should probably try your best to leave the house on time.<!-- 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/209041/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/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</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/why-do-i-have-to-take-my-laptop-out-of-the-bag-at-airport-security-209041">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Turtles on the tarmac could delay flights at Western Sydney airport

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ricky-spencer-158597">Ricky Spencer</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/deborah-bower-283709">Deborah Bower</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-van-dyke-351841">James Van Dyke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-b-thompson-351796">Michael B. Thompson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/richard-thomas-1451841">Richard Thomas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Amid the controversy surrounding <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-27/western-sydney-airport-flight-paths-made-public/102524808">preliminary flight paths</a> for <a href="https://www.westernsydneyairport.gov.au/">Western Sydney’s new airport</a>, another potential challenge is looming: turtles on the tarmac.</p> <p>The land surrounding Sydney’s newest airport is prime nesting area for native turtles. This may create problems for the airport’s operations.</p> <p>Turtle invasions at airports are not unprecedented. In recent years, a freshwater turtle was found wandering around <a href="https://m.facebook.com/SydneyAirport/photos/a.302787769759897/2906361926069122/?type=3&amp;locale=zh_CN">Sydney Airport</a>, which is built on Botany Bay. In 2021, a turtle strolling across a runway in Japan <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/28/turtle-slow-moving-reptile-delays-five-planes-at-japan-airport">delayed five planes</a>. A few years earlier, a passenger plane <a href="https://qcostarica.com/turtle-shuts-down-limon-airport/">aborted takeoff</a> because a 1.5m leatherback turtle was on the runway. And at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, employees <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/644989/nyc-airport-gets-barrier-to-protect-runway-from-armoured-short-slow-moving-turtle-threat/">carried 1,300 turtles</a> off the tarmac in one nesting season alone.</p> <p>Our expertise spans zoology, conservation biology and ecology. We know individual freshwater turtles can wander well beyond their wetland habitat into areas where they pose a risk to aviation safety, if proper planning is not in place. We urge authorities to incorporate turtle-friendly features into the airport’s design and make contingency plans for these remarkable reptiles.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vHbM3ytHKdA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Western Sydney airport: construction is well underway.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Western Sydney airport is turtle nesting habitat</h2> <p>Freshwater turtles face an <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982220306369">uncertain future</a>. Their numbers in Australia are <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-39096-3">declining</a>. Globally, more than half of all freshwater turtle species face <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(20)30636-9">extinction</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/zo/zo17065">Collisions with vehicles</a> are a main cause of death for adult freshwater turtles across south-eastern Australia. And data collected through the <a href="https://1millionturtles.com">1 Million Turtles</a> citizen science tool <a href="https://TurtleSAT.org.au">TurtleSAT</a> reveals Western Sydney is a roadkill hotspot.</p> <p>Wetlands, including the area around the new airport at Badgerys Creek, serve as prime nesting habitat. Citizen science data also feeds into our world-first predictive <a href="https://emydura6.users.earthengine.app/view/predicted-nests-and-water-bodies">nest mapping tool</a>, which confirms Sydney’s newest airport is prime nesting area for both long- and short-neck turtles.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=537&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=537&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=537&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=675&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=675&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535185/original/file-20230703-213604-aa70gw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=675&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Left, hotspots of turtle roadkill in Western Sydney. Right, predicting turtle nesting areas at Western Sydney airport.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">TurtleSAT and 1 Million Turtles</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Turtles nest throughout the airport district from November to January. Given the number of wetlands and the extent of cleared, open vegetation, turtles can be expected to emerge from the water and traverse the entire area during this period.</p> <p>Between nesting seasons, eastern long-necked turtles often move between wetlands on rainy days.</p> <p>Redirecting turtles away from runways (and roads) is a challenging but feasible task. It requires proactive planning, integration of turtle-friendly design elements, and recognition of their significance in environmental impact assessments.</p> <p>Construction of the Western Sydney airport involved filling in streams and farm dams. The Environmental Impact Statement for the project, released in 2016, <a href="https://www.westernsydneyairport.gov.au/sites/default/files/WSA-EIS-Volume-2a-Chapter-16-Biodiversity.pdf">recognised</a> the threat to turtles. To mitigate the impact on aquatic animals generally, the proponents planned to salvage and relocate them to nearby habitats deemed suitable.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Western Sydney airport, contacted for comment on this story, said all of the required wildlife and risk management procedures would be in place when the airport opens in late 2026. She said the turtle habitat was well outside of the airport site, so the risk of turtles on the runway was negligible.</p> <p>But around the airport, many streams and wetlands remain. So we believe there’s still a chance turtles will enter the airport grounds and, potentially, walk onto runways.</p> <h2>Turtles at the crossroads</h2> <p>Turtles are often little more than an afterthought in hectic construction plans and timetables. Wetlands are often filled in and roads built without any thought to wildlife crossings.</p> <p>Our study of the wetlands of Western Sydney, and the corridor between north-western and south-western Sydney, found up to 25% of wetlands were lost <a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.22.12736">in the last decade alone</a>.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=948&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=948&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/535249/original/file-20230703-240908-y2xpsk.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=948&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A map showing the change in western Sydney wetland surface area between 2010 and 2017 by local government area" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Change in western Sydney wetland surface area between 2010 and 2017 by local government area: more than 1% increase (green), 0-10% decrease (orange), more than 10% decrease (red).</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Harriet Gabites</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>While groups such as <a href="https://www.wildconservation.com.au/turtle-rescues-nsw/">Turtle Rescue NSW</a> can relocate wildlife such as turtles, eels and fish, many animals die when streams and wetlands are <a href="https://www.westernsydneyairport.gov.au/sites/default/files/WSA-EIS-Volume-2a-Chapter-16-Biodiversity.pdf">drained and filled</a> during development.</p> <p>Western Sydney’s new airport offers an opportunity to break this pattern. Construction has passed the half-way mark but it’s not too late to incorporate turtle-friendly infrastructure such as <a href="https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1466&amp;context=theses">specialised underpasses</a> and <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wlb3.01012">fencing</a> to guide these slow-paced wanderers away from high-risk areas. We also need monitoring programs to check interventions are working and identify any problems along the way.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/our-turtle-program-shows-citizen-science-isnt-just-great-for-data-it-makes-science-feel-personal-155142">Our research</a> emphasises education and awareness campaigns foster a culture of understanding and respect. This is important to ensure the long-term survival of turtles in the region.</p> <h2>It’s not too late for Western Sydney’s turtles</h2> <p>We must prioritise turtle-friendly design and integrate turtles into environmental impact assessments for major developments.</p> <p>The likely presence of turtles on runways at Western Sydney’s new airport warrants immediate attention. The project and its network of major roads are a chance to demonstrate how major urban infrastructure and wildlife can coexist harmoniously.</p> <hr /> <p><em>We acknowledge the vital contribution of Western Sydney University masters student Harriet Gabites to research on the turtles of Western Sydney and this article.<!-- 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/208930/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 --></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ricky-spencer-158597">Ricky Spencer</a>, Associate Professor of Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/deborah-bower-283709">Deborah Bower</a>, Associate Professor in Zoology and Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-van-dyke-351841">James Van Dyke</a>, Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-b-thompson-351796">Michael B. Thompson</a>, Emeritus Professor in Zoology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/richard-thomas-1451841">Richard Thomas</a>, Senior lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>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/turtles-on-the-tarmac-could-delay-flights-at-western-sydney-airport-208930">original article</a>.</p>

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Why can’t I use my phone or take photos on the airport tarmac? Is it against the law?

<p><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>Mobile phones are not allowed to be used while on a plane because they can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation instruments and <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-the-real-reason-to-turn-on-aeroplane-mode-when-you-fly-188585">cause various safety and social issues</a>.</p> <p>As soon as the plane lands, we’re permitted to turn off flight mode, but at some airports we can’t get much of a signal. That’s because airports are known as mobile signal “<a href="https://thepointsguy.com/news/slow-connection-airport-tarmacs/">dead zones</a>” due to a lack of mobile towers – they can’t be placed at the airport itself due to height restrictions.</p> <p>Any nearby mobile towers would be located away from the airport’s runway systems to avoid interfering with the aeroplane’s flight path, especially take-off and landing direction. Most airports put up indoor repeater antennas within the airport terminal; these help increase the mobile signal strength coming from the nearest mobile tower somewhere near the airport.</p> <p>But you won’t be allowed to make calls while walking away from the plane, anyway.</p> <h2>Why can’t I use my phone on the tarmac?</h2> <p>As we are taxiing in, the <a href="https://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-experience/onboard/communication.html">cabin crew</a> remind us not to smoke outside of designated areas at the terminal and not to use our mobile phones until we are inside the terminal building.</p> <p>If you exit the plane down the rear stairs, why aren’t you allowed to use your phone once away from the aeroplane, if you can get a signal? Surely it won’t affect navigation.</p> <p>The answer is manifold, and regulations aren’t the same across the world.</p> <p>In Australia, a <a href="https://www.casa.gov.au/operations-safety-and-travel/travel-and-passengers/onboard-safety-and-behaviour/using-your-electronic-devices-flights">government regulation</a> prohibits the use of mobile phones on the tarmac – the aeroplane movement and parking area of the airport.</p> <p>You won’t be fined if you whip your phone out while walking to the terminal, but the airline may admonish you for not following the rules. However, if you decide to (<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/woman-arrested-after-running-onto-tarmac-at-melbourne-airport-20151125-gl7bkq.html">run around on the tarmac</a>, you could get arrested by federal police.</p> <p>The airport tarmac is very busy not just with aircraft, but also baggage carts, catering trucks, aeroplane waste removal trucks, and fuel trucks. Getting passengers off the tarmac and into the terminal building quickly and safely is a priority for the staff.</p> <p>If you are distracted while walking to the terminal building because you’re talking on your phone, it can be <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/25/alabama-airport-worker-killed-jet-engine-safety-warnings">highly dangerous and even deadly</a> if you end up too close to an operating plane. An operating jet engine is extremely hot and has a strong exhaust. Additionally, the front of the engine has a low-pressure area called an <a href="https://www.ukfrs.com/guidance/search/aircraft-systems-and-construction">ingestion zone</a> that can suck in a person. Ground staff are trained to stay at least ten metres away from this area. However, this information is not shared with the passengers.</p> <h2>A myth about fuel</h2> <p>You may have heard that mobile phones are a fire hazard near fuel, and aeroplanes are, of course, refuelled on the tarmac.</p> <p>However, the chances of fuel catching fire during this process are extremely low, because the refuelling truck is <a href="https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/safe-aircraft-refuelling/">bonded and “grounded” to the plane</a>: the operator attaches a wire to the aircraft to move built-up static electricity to the ground to prevent any chance of a spark.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>There have been stories in the press about mobile phones sparking <a href="https://www.verizon.com/about/news/vzw/2014/12/fact-or-fiction-using-a-cell-phone-at-the-gas-station-can-cause-a-fire">fires at petrol stations in Indonesia and Australia</a>, but these turned out to be inaccurate. There is <a href="https://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/AboutTheCodes/30A/FI%20-%20NFPA%2030A-2015%20Para%208.3.1%20-%20Attachments%2014-19.2017-04-04.pdf">no evidence a phone can spark a fire at a fuel pump</a>, despite the warning labels you might see.</p> <p>Either way, the chances of a mobile phone causing this on the tarmac with a refuelling truck that is grounded to the aeroplane are extremely low, not least because the passenger permitted areas and refuelling areas are completely separated.</p> <h2>Why are we told not to take photos on the tarmac?</h2> <p>This rule varies from airport to airport depending on their <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/can-i-film-and-take-photos-security-checkpoint">security processes</a>.</p> <p>Such restrictions are carryovers from the changes to airport security following the <a href="https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/jlecono50&amp;i=739">September 11 2001 terrorist attacks</a>. The now federalised security teams, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in the United States and the Department of Home Affairs in Australia, change their processes frequently to prevent having any identifiable patterns that could be used to create a security breach.</p> <p>The increased security measures also mean new technologies were introduced; airport security sections do not want photos taken of how they operate.</p> <p>The airport security process is a major choke point in the flow of passenger movement due to the screening process. If a passenger is perceived to be slowing the process down by taking photos or talking on their phone, they will be reminded to turn off their device and/or stop taking photos of security personnel and equipment.</p> <p>If you refuse to follow the rules of the screening process, you will be <a href="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening">denied entry</a> into the airport terminal gate area and miss your flight. Can you also get arrested for using your phone? Depends on the airport and country. I, for one, do not want to find out.<!-- 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/207926/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/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </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/why-cant-i-use-my-phone-or-take-photos-on-the-airport-tarmac-is-it-against-the-law-207926">original article</a>.</em></p>

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6 surprising secrets from airport insiders

<p>Sometimes the truth can be hard to hear! Writing on Reddit, an anonymous forum, airport and airline employees have shared a series of revealing secrets about airport life</p> <p>Here are six of the most shocking truths from these anonymous airline insiders.</p> <p><strong>1. Locks on zippered suitcases aren’t that effective</strong></p> <p>According to a Reddit user going under the name of <em>royalsiblings</em>, ““You can pop a zipper with a pen and drag the locked zipper pulls around the bag to close them back up. I've done this many times to identify bags that are tagless and locked.”</p> <p><strong>2. It might be a good idea to bring your own headphones</strong></p> <p>Reddit user <em>ichigo29</em> said, “I used to work for warehouse that supplied a certain airline with items. The headsets that are given to you are not new, despite being wrapped up. They are taken off the flight, “cleaned”, and then packaged again.”</p> <p><strong>3. Make sure you remove old flight tags</strong></p> <p>Reddit user <em>aurelius</em> said, “Not a secret, just common sense; the reason some bags miss their flight or get misrouted is because passengers don't remove old tags. It confuses handlers as well as the conveyor belt scanners. I see it happen all the time.”</p> <p><strong>4. It’s a good idea to be kind to employees</strong></p> <p>Reddit user <em>ihatcoe</em> said, “The nicer you are to us, the more we can do for you… Your neighbour is noisy? Tell us nicely and we might be able to get you a better seat.”</p> <p><strong>5. Buy or fly on a Tuesday in the US</strong></p> <p>Redditor <em>Drama_Llama</em> said, “I work Revenue Management for an airline. On average, the cheapest time to BUY a ticket is Tuesday afternoon. The cheapest time to FLY is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. This applies to US flights in my experience.”</p> <p><strong>6. If you’re travelling with a pet, put its name on the carrier</strong></p> <p>Redditor <em>RabbitMix</em> said, ““If you checked your dog there's about a 30 percent chance it's terrified before it even gets on the plane, who knows how scared it gets during the actual flight. Bag room agents will usually try to comfort a scared animal, but all we can really do is talk to it, so if you write your pet's name on their carrier it usually helps a lot.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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7 strange and unique airports

<p>Making a connection at one of these airports would be quite an experience, and we’ve taken a look at seven strange and unique airports from all around the world.</p> <p><strong>US Federal Transfer Centre, Oklahoma City, USA</strong></p> <p>If you find yourself at the US Federal Transfer Centre, needless to say things have taken an interesting turn in your life. Located next to Will Rogers World Airport, this facility is used for holding inmates and transferring them between federal prisons.</p> <p><strong>Black Rock City Municipal Airport, USA</strong></p> <p>This airport is unique in the sense that it only operates for a week every year. Black Rock City Municipal Airport opens briefly every year for the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, playing host to around about 150 aeroplanes during the week.</p> <p><strong>Kansai International Airport, Japan</strong></p> <p>Entirely offshore, Kansai International Airport services a region that has no space to run a 24 hour airport in the city where no land can be expropriated. Over 21 million square metres of landfill was excavated from nearby mountains to put it together.</p> <p><strong>Kai Tai Airport, Hong Kong</strong></p> <p>While it’s no longer operational, Kai Tai Airport was once instrumental with linking Hong Kong with the outside world. From 1925 to 1998 landing on this little chunk of reclaimed land with high-rises on both sides was a harrowing experience in larger aircraft.</p> <p><strong>Sea Ice Runway, McMurdo Station, Antarctica</strong></p> <p>During the summer Antarctic field season the Sea Ice Runway acts as the principle runway for the US Antarctic Program. A proper runway for wheeled aircraft is constructed at the start of each season and used up until early December, until the ice breaks up.</p> <p><strong>Paro Airport, Bhutan</strong></p> <p>Flying into the only international airport in Bhutan is no easy task, with pilots having to navigate through two treacherously narrow valleys and performing a turn in its approach to the strip. Paro Airport is serviced by Bhutan’s National Airline Druk Air.</p> <p><strong>Barra Airport, Scotland</strong></p> <p>What makes this short-runway airport located at the north tip of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides is the fact that it’s the one airport in the world where scheduled flights use the beach as a runway (provided of course that the tide is out).</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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5 ways to get through the airport faster

<p>There’s a reason they say get to the airport at least two hours early. From checking your luggage to getting processed by customs, catching an international flight can be a tedious, at times frustrating task, particularly when pressed for time in a crowded airport. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. We’ve put together a useful list containing five handy airport tips to help you get to your gate faster.</p> <p><strong>1. Check in online</strong></p> <p>This can be a major time-saver, particularly if you’re not checking bags. Most airlines have now made checking in online a relatively simple, fool-proof process and even offer automated check in services when you arrive if you can’t get to a computer. Airlines these days also generally have an easy to use flight status feature, so you can be aware of any unexpected delays before you actually rock up.</p> <p><strong>2. Weigh your bags</strong></p> <p>The person who’s been standing in line for 20 minutes only to suddenly realise when they’ve reached the counter that they need to frantically move clothes from one bag to another to make the weight limit isn’t the most popular person at the airport. Make sure you know the weight of your bags before you arrive. Many airports have scales installed near the entrance for a last minute check.</p> <p><strong>3. Have your important documents ready</strong></p> <p>Make sure you’re ready to go when you hit the front of the line by having your boarding pass, ID/passport and credit card stored in an easily accessible part of your wallet or bag. This may seem like a small detail, but it means you won’t waste time rifling through your possessions when you get to the front of the line and decreases the chance of leaving something important at home.</p> <p><strong>4. Passing through customs and immigration</strong></p> <p>These processes can be streamlined by just being a little bit cooperative. Have your documentation ready, fill out any paperwork and answer any questions the officials may have in an honest, clear manner. Making sure you pay attention to little details like this also decreases your chances of having to face a grilling from a surly customs official, which is just as fun as it sounds. </p> <p><strong>5. Figure out the gate your flight is departing from</strong></p> <p>While you generally have plenty of time to pick up a nice duty-free bargain after customs, don’t be complacent. Even if it’s just a quick glance at the departure times, make sure you know the actual gate your flight is departing from. Nobody likes to hear their name over the airport loudspeaker, particularly if the voice is directing you to a gate that’s on the other side of the terminal.</p> <p>Don’t let long, potentially mood-killing lines at the airport derail the start of your trip. With a little bit of advance planning you can get through the airport quickly and avoid the unnecessary stress.  </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Tips

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This is the best airport in the world

<p><strong>World's number one airport</strong></p> <p>You have the busiest airports around the world and the most reliable airports, but only one can claim the crown of the best airport in the world: Changi Airport. The Singapore airport has been named the top airport in the world for the 12th time, according to Skytrax World Airport Awards. Changi Airport regained its number-one status after losing it in 2021 and 2022 to Hamad International Airport in Qatar (which finished second this year).</p> <p>Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, ranked number three, won the award for the World’s Cleanest Airport, while Seoul’s Incheon Airport, ranked number four, won the award for World’s Best Airport Staff Service. Zurich Airport was cited as having World’s Best Airport Security and Istanbul Airport, the biggest airport in the world, ranked sixth, while Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport was named the Best Airport in Europe.</p> <p><strong>What makes Changi the world's top airport?</strong></p> <p>In 2019, Changi Airport unveiled a $1.7 billion renovation project and the results are absolutely incredible, with so many things to do during an airport layover.</p> <p>The can’t-miss sight at this airport is its multi-purpose facility called the Jewel. Located outside Terminal 1, the 1,300,000 square metre complex features 10 levels of forest-like gardens, an indoor waterfall, a butterfly garden and a rock climbing wall, as well as hundreds of dining and shopping options. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport won the award for the World’s Best Airport Hotel for the eighth consecutive year.</p> <p><strong>What are the top 10 airports in the world?</strong></p> <p>According to the Skytrax World Airport Awards, the top ten airports in 2023 are as follows:</p> <ol> <li>Singapore Changi Airport – Singapore</li> <li>Hamad International Airport – Doha</li> <li>Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) – Tokyo, Japan</li> <li>Incheon International Airport – Seoul, Korea</li> <li>Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport – Paris, France</li> <li>Istanbul Airport – Istanbul, Turkey</li> <li>Munich Airport – Munich, Germany</li> <li>Zurich Airport – Zurich, Switzerland</li> <li>Narita International Airport – Tokyo, Japan</li> <li>Madrid-Barajas Airport – Madrid, Spain</li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/uncategorized/this-is-the-best-airport-in-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest.</a> </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Parents leave baby at airport counter after refusing to buy extra ticket

<p>A couple were checking in for a flight from Ben Gurion International Airport to Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday when they made the decision to leave their baby behind. </p> <p>Upon their arrival at the airport check-in desk in Tel Aviv, Israel, it was revealed that the baby did not have a ticket. Rather than address the situation and ensure their child’s safe travel, the pair opted to proceed to security without their stroller and its young occupant. </p> <p>The airline they were flying with, Ryanair, state on their website that "infants can be included in a flight reservation during the online booking process." </p> <p>Following their process for booking with an infant, a message will pop-up to let travellers know there is a €25 charge (approximately $39) for each one-way flight the baby participates in from an adult’s lap. If the adults want the baby to travel in a seat of its own with the proper equipment, a seat must be paid for. </p> <p>The parents, apparently, had not made such arrangements for their baby. The matter was referred to officials, as confirmed by a Ryanair spokeswoman.</p> <p>"These passengers travelling from Tel Aviv to Brussels presented at check-in without a booking for their infant,” she told <em>CNN</em>, “they then proceeded to security leaving the infant behind at check-in.</p> <p>"The check-in agent at Ben Gurion Airport contacted Airport Security, who retrieved these passengers, and this is now a matter for local police."</p> <p>Reports of the situation were confirmed by the Israeli Airport Authority, who provided a statement to <em>CNN </em>and offered some more information into what went on. </p> <p>"A couple and an infant with Belgian passports arrived for a flight at Terminal 1 without a ticket for the baby,” it read. </p> <p>“The couple also arrived late for the flight, once the check-in for the flight was closed. The couple left the infant seat with the baby and ran toward the security checks at Terminal 1 in an attempt to reach the boarding gate for the flight."</p> <p>A video allegedly from the airport at the time, staff can be heard expressing their sadness for the child. Another woman exclaims, “she left him there, I swear!”</p> <p>Ryanair staff also voiced their shock over the incident, telling <em>N12</em>, “we’re never seen anything like it.” </p> <p>Despite reports that the parents were detained, an Israel Police spokesman told <em>CNN </em>that the matter appeared to have been resolved by the time law enforcement arrived on the scene, stating that "the baby was with the parents and there's no further investigation."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Dog found hidden in carry-on bag at airport security

<p>A US Transportation and Security Agency (TSA) officer has discovered a small dog stashed in a traveller's carry-on luggage. </p> <p>The animal was found in a backpack when going through the X-ray machine at the Dane County <a title="Airport " href="https://www.9news.com.au/airport" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Airport</a> in Wisconsin. </p> <p>TSA told a local news outlet that the passenger was unaware of the screening protocol and did not tell security officers about her dog.</p> <p>After an officer explained the proper process and confirmed she disclosed she was travelling with a pet to the airline, she proceeded to her gate to board her flight. </p> <p>TSA Great Lakes confirmed that the woman's error was an accident on social media, while alerting people to the proper flying rules. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Here’s the proper way to travel with your pet. Note: This is a <a href="https://twitter.com/TSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TSA</a> PreCheck passenger traveling with a cat. If you think your pet will attempt an escape, ask to speak with a supervisor before removing the animal. Alternative screening options may be available. (2/2) <a href="https://t.co/NL2jNjni2l">pic.twitter.com/NL2jNjni2l</a></p> <p>— TSA_GreatLakes (@TSA_GreatLakes) <a href="https://twitter.com/TSA_GreatLakes/status/1600210121136537600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>"A dog was accidentally sent through the X-ray @MSN_Airport this week," it tweeted.</p> <p>"When travelling with any animal, notify your airline and know their rules."</p> <p>"At the checkpoint, remove your pet from the bag and send all items, including the empty carrier, to be screened in the machine."</p> <p>It then uploaded a video showing "the proper way" to travel with pets.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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