In brief: IATA reveals five-second airport scanner
IATA reveals five-second airport scanner, Etihad Airways takes luxury air travel to a new level, Nomadic Matt learns what it’s like to lose a passport abroad, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Airport scanner could get passengers through security in five seconds
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed a prototype for a new time-saving airport scanner yesterday in Singapore. Passengers will be able to stroll through a 21-foot tunnel without letting go of their bags or removing any of their clothing. While this sounds great, there is a trade-off: travellers would have to go through an iris-recognition system, which may irk some who consider the current system intrusive. The new technology is expected to be trialled within 18 months and in use at major airports within five years, reports the Telegraph, which also has a video explanation.
Singapore Air and Virgin Australia partner up
The two airlines have made a code-sharing agreement which allows them to sell tickets on each other's flights, meaning customers can purchase tickets with Virgin, but fly on a plane operated by Singapore Air, and vice-versa. It will allow Singapore Airlines customers access to 30 more destinations, while Virgin customers will be able to fly to 70 more airports, the BBC reports. The deal, which will go into effect 1 August, pending regulatory approval, will also allow passengers reciprocal frequent flier programme benefits and lounge access.
Why fly first class when you can fly Diamond First?
Well, one reason would be if you don't have $15,000 in expendable income. That's the cost of a roundtrip “Diamond First” ticket between New York and Abu Dhabi, MSNBC reports. It's no surprise that the new bar for luxury air travel has been set by the United Arab Emirates, home of the world’s most expensive chocolate truffles ($272 each). Etihad Airways, the UAE's national airline, already has lie-flat beds, personal loungewear and sliding privacy screens. But the airline recently gave new meaning to extravagance by offering female passengers a cosmetics purse detailed with Swarovski crystals and men a black-leather cufflink box. Beginning in October, a crew of 100 chefs will prepare made-to-order dishes.
The consequences of losing a passport abroad
Anyone who has travelled for an extended period has inevitably lost a possession… or 10. But nobody wants to lose a passport, which is an unfortunate feat travel blogger Matt Kepnes recently accomplished. Though it cost Kepnes about $120 and forced him to forgo a friend's wedding, he used the experience to inform American citizens about the consequences of losing a passport abroad. It turns out, if you don't have a wedding to attend, it's not so bad — after filling out a couple forms, paying a reasonable fee and waiting in line a bit, US citizens can get a temporary passport rather quickly. Though, there are some downfalls to the three or six month passports, which Kepnes thoroughly explains.