Do Electric Airplanes Reduce Emissions?

David Pflieger explains whether or not airplanes actually reduce emissions.

Electric power is the future. It is designed to overtake traditional dirty fossil fuels in a big way over the next decade or so. From the sleek electric cars of Tesla to he solar roofs that are popping up on houses all over the sunnier parts of the world, the electric industry has never been bigger. But what about airplanes?

In the modern age, flight is simply a fact of life. Everybody needs to get around somehow and if the destination is far and time is of the essence then there really are not any better alternatives. Nothing can compete with the efficiency of an airplane. It is therefore too bad that airplanes are themselves not very efficient when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Despite all of the optimism coming out of the current electric industry, the truth is that jet-fueled airplanes are not going to be replaced any time soon. In order for a viable alternative to take over, the new source of energy would have to be comparable in efficiency to jet fuel. The reality is that nothing can compare to jet fuel except rocket fuel, which is even worse for the environment.

Current electric vehicles make use of lithium-ion batteries. This is what powers everything from the cars of Tesla to the electric subways that make their way through the English countryside. Lithium-ion power has seen several advances within the last few years and has proven to be a viable competitor to gasoline. Even so, it is not without its downsides.

In order to read the full article, written by David Pflieger, make sure to click the link.

Tips and Tricks Behind Designing an Airport

David Pflieger highlights what architects consider when designing an airport.

Architects don’t have an easy job, but there’s something especially daunting about designing an airport. The dramatically high volume of travelers that come through these transit points are also incredibly diverse. The necessary chokepoints like security stations and baggage claim add an extra layer of complexity to things, and while airports are fundamentally about shuttling people from one place to another as efficiently as possible, it’s also a place of commerce. These two competing notions are often in conflict with one another. As a result, architects have to be strategic with their design, and there are a number of clever tricks they’ve learned to employ over the years.

One of the key tasks an architect needs to achieve is putting customers at ease. The crowds, tight deadlines, and high level of security in airports can be incredibly stress-inducting, so designers have learned that establishing cues is necessary to facilitate a sense of orderly conduct. The most critical of these is a philosophy known as “wayfinding”. Getting lost disrupts the core efficiency of an airport while also exacerbating that core anxiety, so architects try to use the environment to guide individuals to their destinations as quickly as possible. Different terminals often use different signage, coloring, and even carpets to designate a change of environment, and large pieces of art serve as implicit guideposts for passengers who might have lost their way.

And while airports have become increasingly more secure with the presence of tighter security checkpoints and more officers, smart airport design ensures that passengers play an important role in maintaining order and security. Posters and signs throughout modern airports don’t just nudge customers into reporting suspicious behavior. They strongly enforce the notion that doing so is an act of virtue. In doing so, these prompts become an implicit act of virtue on the part of passengers rather than an imperative from an authoritarian figure.

One of the great ironies of modern airport design is that many of the security measures themselves are largely theater in the same way this signage is. Small measures like encouraging engagement by customers and increasing administrative security protocol have the most substantive effect on an airport’s security, but they aren’t decisions that are objectively present in the minds of passengers and thus do little to ease concerns about their safety. When new security machines and checkpoints are put in place, they’re as much for the sake of the attitudes of passengers as they are preventive anti-crime measures.

In order to read the full article, written by David Pflieger, make sure to click the link.

Speedy Security: How to get Through Airport Security Quickly

Dave Pflieger highlights some of the best ways to speed through security checkpoints at the airport.

Going through airport security can be a daunting process with its long lines and wait times. Airport security is especially worrying for travelers who are pressed for time and are trying to get to their gate. Luckily, there are multiple things a traveler can do so they can pass through security as quickly as possible.

Join a Trusted Traveler Program
The Department of Homeland Security has various Trusted Traveler programs that will enable travelers to quickly pass through security. Two that are useful for the majority of travelers are TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. TSA PreCheck is great for domestic travel. Over two hundred airports and sixty-seven airlines are part of the TSA PreCheck program, so it is likely that it will be useful to travelers wherever they are in the United States. Travelers pass through TSA PreCheck lines where they are not required to take off their shoes or belt nor are they required to remove their computer or liquids from their bag. The majority of travelers wait no longer than five minutes in a PreCheck line. Global Entry is great for travelers who travel internationally and also includes TSA PreCheck. Besides the benefits of TSA PreCheck, Global Entry speeds up the arrival process for travelers who are coming from abroad. Global Entry members use automatic kiosks instead of going through the usual arrivals line and processing by a customs officer.

In order to read the full article, written by Dave Pflieger, make sure to click the link.

Deciding if ATOL is Worth It

Dave Pflieger explains whether or not ATOL is worth it for passengers.

As the summer gears up for many in the United Kingdom, plenty of travelers question whether or not ATOL protection is necessary when booking holidays through various travel agencies in the UK. Since 1973, ATOL, Air Travel Organiser’s License, has helped protect UK citizens when booking holiday travel through UK travel agencies. In 2012, it was expanded to include certain online bookings.

At a cost of £2.50 per traveler, a steal at that bargain rate, the tourist insurance offers added protection against unknown circumstances out of the would-be explorers’ control. ATOL travelers’ insurance covers each person in case various companies involved with the holiday travel cease to do business. For example, airline strikes, the company goes under, or other unseen problems which may arise. Per Money.co.uk, “As well as cancellation and delay caused by a travel company or airline going bust, you might find your trip being put on hold or called off altogether because of strike action, a natural catastrophe, or a breakdown of your plane, train, coach, or bus.”

All vacationers do have the option of booking through non-UK companies and save the £2.50 per person in the vacationing group. Doing so will result in the traveler(s) bearing responsibilities should something go wrong with the airlines, lodgings, or other forms of travel booked for the holiday. While having a credit card as backup may seem to be enough, the added cost of finding the proper passage to return can cost more than the original booking, and none of which will be guaranteed a refund.

It should be noted ATOL only applies to flight package based holidays. For cruises and self-driving trips, Brits should learn about ABTA [Association of British Travel Agents]. All covered agencies must supply a certificate of coverage as well as a four or five digit number which can be checked through the CAA’s [Civil Aviation Authority] website.

The monies are added to an insurance pool which the CAA uses to help stranded passengers return home or receive a full refund depending upon circumstances. While it may seem it doesn’t matter if they book through an ATOL covered company, the small fee may become the one addition that turned a vacation from breaking the bank to one in which a near disaster was averted.