• Luggage-grabbing flyers ignoring airline safety pleas

    Flames of burning jet fuel licked the side of American Airlines Flight 383 after it screeched to a halt on a Chicago runway. As panicked passengers raced to the exits, one woman approached flight attendant Laurie Mandich lugging a large bag. The 32-year airline veteran followed her training and ...

    POSTED 3 Feb, 2018 15 Comments

  • Is it safer to fly in a backward-facing seat?

    Only a few airlines have rearwards-facing seats in business class – BA and United are the most notable – but more than a few travellers dislike the notion of “flying backwards”. However, putting personal preferences aside, is it any safer to fly facing the rear of the pla...

    POSTED 3 Sep, 2013 9 Comments

  • Five things your airline doesn't say in the safety demonstration

    It's easy to zone out during the safety announcement — especially if you're a very frequent flyer. But although you've heard most of it before, there's some things you won't ever hear, among them some interesting and slightly frightening bits of information. George Hobica from airfare...

    POSTED 30 Jan, 2013 11 Comments

  • World's safest airlines? Finnair, Air NZ, Cathay Pacific & Emirates

    Qantas was once considered the world's safest airline. We know this because Dustin Hoffman's savant Raymond Babbitt declared it so in Rain Man, leading to a cheer whenever the movie played in any Aussie cinema. (For what it's worth, the scene in which Hoffman's character claims Qantas ...

    POSTED 9 Jan, 2013 14 Comments

  • Five pieces of travel advice that you should completely ignore

    Business travellers get a lot of advice from company policies, guidebooks and websites. But some of it's so bonkers that it's funny -- and you should just ignore it. From the people at the airport with those glad-wrapped suitcases, to that guy at the bureau de change who makes an obvious (and th...

    POSTED 13 Jul, 2012 11 Comments

  • BA offers training in 'how to survive a plane crash'

    British Airways is about to take those tedious and often-ignored pre-flight safety demonstrations to a whole new level, with an intensive day-long course on how to survive a plane crash. Yes, you read that correctly. This in-depth training goes way beyond fastening your seat belt (low and tight)...

    POSTED 15 Oct, 2011 0 Comments

  • The world's 10 safest airlines..?

    In brief: The European-based Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA) has released its list of the world's 10 safest airlines – and, perhaps controversially, there's not a single local name among them. Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Air New Zealand all failed to make the Top Ten in ATRA's...

    POSTED 30 Aug, 2011 0 Comments

  • New iPhone app provides travel alerts and warnings

    Frequent flyers have another way to check up-to-the-minute travel safety advice with the new Smart Traveler iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch app from the US State Department, the American foreign affairs ministry. While some of the content (like US embassy locations) might not be relevant to Aus...

    POSTED 5 Jul, 2011 0 Comments

  • Qantas flight QF32 A380 engine explosion: Rolls-Royce to blame says ATSB report

    Australia's ATSB air safety regulator has released an interim report that blames engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce for the Airbus A380 engine failure on flight QF32 last November. The explosion in the engine shredded part of the wing and sent engine fragments into the side of the A380, necessitati...

    POSTED 19 May, 2011 0 Comments

  • Air France flight 447 cockpit voice recorder found

    The "black box" cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from Air France 447 -- the Airbus A330 that disappeared over the Atlantic nearly two years ago -- has been found off the coast of Brazil. The newly-located CVR is different to the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), which was found on Monday.  The CVR r...

    POSTED 4 May, 2011 0 Comments

  • Security and safety advice for Australians after bin Laden death: the latest from DFAT

    Government security agencies and foreign ministries around the world are ramping up their safety advice to travellers following the death of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  Concerned about reprisal strikes by al Qaeda and associated groups, western travellers are being advised to ...

    POSTED 3 May, 2011 0 Comments

  • Flight data recorder from Air France 447 crash found

    The flight data recorder from the wreckage of Air France 447 has finally been recovered, almost two years after the plane went down. The cylindrical Honeywell ruggedised Flight Recorder stores data from the plane's many systems, but does not record cockpit conversations — that's the job of...

    POSTED 2 May, 2011 0 Comments

  • Airbus grants Singapore safety exemption for popular A380 business class seats

    Australians could be seeing more of Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380, which already flies on routes from Melbourne and Sydney to Singapore.  Singapore Airlines has got the green light from Airbus to fit its delayed A380s -- planned for delivery in 2010 -- with the popular sofa-sized business...

    POSTED 13 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • Air New Zealand to check entire Boeing 737 fleet for cracks after Southwest emergency

    Air New Zealand is checking its entire fleet of fifteen Boeing 737-300 aircraft following the explosive decompression of a Southwest Airlines plane last weekend. All the 737s in the Air New Zealand fleet (which have an average age of 13.2 years according to the airline) are the same 737-300 mode...

    POSTED 6 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • Four Qantas Boeing 737-400 aircraft grounded for emergency checks

    Qantas has been forced to ground four of its Boeing 737-400 jets in response to the emergency landing of a Southwest Airlines flight in the US over the weekend. The Qantas planes represent just a fraction of the 175 aircraft grounded worldwide following a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)...

    POSTED 6 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • Air France 447 wreckage found: new clues on safety of Airbus A330 planes

    A large amount of wreckage from Air France 447 has been discovered, 4 km under water on the ocean floor between Brazil and Africa. The discovery raises hopes that air crash investigators will be able to recover the missing black box recorders that could explain why the Airbus A330 -- a plane com...

    POSTED 5 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • Should Qantas and Air New Zealand passengers be worried about Boeing 737 safety?

    This weekend, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 was involved in an explosive decompression incident in the US, which resulted in an emergency landing. The pilots took the plane into a controlled descent and landed safely, but many passengers were understandably frightened. The United States FA...

    POSTED 5 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • Is it safe to travel to Japan during April?

    Travellers with trips booked to Japan during April are now asking the question: is it safe to travel to Japan yet? Currently, the Australian Government is still advising "do not travel" to Tokyo and surrounding areas, its highest-level travel warning. As travel insurance will generally not cove...

    POSTED 4 Apr, 2011 0 Comments

  • How to avoid Air New Zealand's Richard Simmons "Fit to Fly" disco safety video in flight

    Air New Zealand's new Richard Simmons safety video is ridiculously funny -- at least the first time you see it. Of course, if the airline carries through with it and actually installs it on their aircraft, frequent travellers with the airline will get heartily sick of spandex and disco lighting....

    POSTED 1 Apr, 2011 3 Comments

  • Is it safe to travel to Japan yet?

    Business travellers with appointments, suppliers and counterparts in Japan are making decisions about whether it is yet safe to travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and other areas of Japan. Should you travel? Is it safe? How do you get to Japan? Will travel insurance cover a trip to Tokyo? What precau...

    POSTED 31 Mar, 2011 0 Comments

  • It is safe to travel to Japan, say UN regulators

    In an unusual coordinated joint statement, four UN safety and human health regulators (IAEA, ICAO, IMO, and WHO) are reassuring travellers and airlines that it is safe to travel to Japan. "International flight and maritime operations can continue normally into and out of Japan’s major airp...

    POSTED 22 Mar, 2011 0 Comments

  • John Travolta Qantas safety video: annoying or appropriate?

    If you're annoyed by the new John Travolta-hosted safety video on Qantas flights, the cabin crew probably feel the same way, it has emerged today. The video starts with Travolta saying, "this is your captain speaking - well, maybe not today. But I can guarantee that the guys on the flight deck a...

    POSTED 21 Mar, 2011 2 Comments

  • Australian Government to Japan travellers: Leave now, Tokyo unsafe

    Australia's DFAT Smartraveller safety warning level against travel to Japan has been raised even further, urging Australians to avoid much of Japan (including Tokyo and its airports) entirely, and to "exercise a high degree of caution" in the rest of the country. DFAT now advises: "Australians s...

    POSTED 18 Mar, 2011 0 Comments

  • Australian government warns travellers away from Japan: Tokyo not safe

    The Australian government has upgraded its travel warning to "do not travel" to the north of Japan, and "reconsider your need to travel" for Tokyo and surrounds. In a new development, Australia is also warning against travel to the entire country because of the infrastructure disruption to Tokyo...

    POSTED 17 Mar, 2011 1 Comment

  • Stay safe in emergencies abroad: how to register with DFAT's Smartraveller

    When disaster strikes abroad -- whether it's an earthquake in Christchurch, an earthquake-tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis in Japan, a terrorist attack in London or New York -- the Australian government springs into action to locate its citizens. Leading the effort is DFAT, the Department of...

    POSTED 17 Mar, 2011 0 Comments

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