Weigh yourself before getting on a plane

What has weighing you before you get on the plane anything to do with safety? You might recall that sometime back we wrote about a hilarious announcement some years back by an airline seeking passengers relieve themselves before boarding the plane. And you might have also read about some Pacific carriers selling airticket seats by weight in articles some years back…

But what if a mainline carrier in Europe starts to ask you to step up to a weighing machine (read here)? It was voluntary of course. What would zip through your mind and what will your response be?

If you re-read the first paragraph and pull a link between them, you might think that the airlines were trying to manage excess weight on the flights. And remember, the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it will need to use. Afterall it takes energy to move things around right?

However is there a higher purpose to all of this? If you had read the link above, you might know now that the weight that a plane carries is based on estimates. And it is critical just like a ship on the high seas to have a reliable understanding of the weight load that the plane has to carry. Not just for fuel consumption, but also for potential distribution of weight on the plane. You did read the part where it says folks in first class weigh more than economy right?

Can you imagine if the weight too frontloaded on the plane?

Anyhow. The next time your airline asks you to volunteer to be weighed with all you carryon luggage you know why.

Cruising the polar regions

Well climate change is probably here. Set aside the arguments for a while. The ice is melting faster and earlier in the polar regions. And nowhere is that more evident than the arctic where more shipping activity has been taking place of late.

If the article here is to be taken as a reference, it would appear that the waters of the arctic is likely to see regular cruising by tourists and transport of cargo within the next few years. You know, there had already been container ships making that journey to test out how much time is saved to transport goods between Asia and Europe.

It is known that arctic ice reaches its minimum every September. And using that as a benchmark measurements have concluded that the amount of ice remaining has declined by 13% over a period of 30 years measured from 1980. And it seems to be a trend too. Might not be too far into the future that low lying regions of the world start to see the effects of the sea swamping over them. Coastlines will change and some places will be lost forever. Seafront real estate owners beware! Heheh.

We know this will cause concerns and heartaches to some. And it pains us too. Unfortunately climate change is here to stay it appears. Whether the activities of humankind is the main cause is no longer the debate to us. Because instead of pointing fingers it is time to do something. Climate change may open up a new travel routes, but it comes with a price.

What will you do about it?

Is this dangerous – swimming with sharks

You might recall this post we put up two years ago on funny animal selfies. Can you imagine taking a selfie with a Great white shark? Well some people do. Like getting into a cage with folks on the boat throwing heaps of fish offal and blood into the water to attract them.

Sometimes goes awry… yikes! The sort of thing movies are made of.

But today our post is not about that. It’s about our own experience of swimming with sharks. Yeah you read that right. We SWAM with them. Not protected in a cage, or a glass tube somewhere in an aquarium. Paddling in the water with them… yeah beat that.

Heheh.

You might recall that we swam with a few of them large ones out there here. Ok ok what’s in a name – them whale sharks… They came pretty close and good photos were taken… now we know some might not agree with doing what we did if you dig into the details but it was an experience we just wanted to share with you.

Then there were the days when Mel nearly bumped into one (here) for real. You see, the lagoon was a nursery where baby black tips (4-5 feet long yeah) lived in safety (from whom you ask?). From what we don’t know. And Mel wasn’t using his presciption mask those few days.

Did you read those links to our posts and page? Heheh.. Would this be on your bucket list?

SSSS – not on our boarding pass please!

Have you ever wondered about those cryptic letters on your airline boarding passes? Now we are sure you are more than familiar with the flight class indicated on the pass. And you’d also be aware of the airport codes in case you fly to the wrong city with the same name (remember this post?).

Now if this article is accurate, then having the letters ‘SSSS’ printed on your boarding pass would be a big no no. Now just in case you did not read the article, let us summarize it for you. This code essentially identifies you for additional security checks before you board the aircraft. It means you will be Sadly Suffering Security Screening… though that’s not what it’s suppose to mean… heheh. Hey, this was the best we could come up with. Applause please.

Of course this was making reference the folks traveling to and from the US. But before you snicker at the thought that this does not affect you because you are not stateside, think again. You never know if this will be implemented in a different form elsewhere. Wonder why the security check folks ask for your boarding passes all the time even after you’ve been id checked? Perhaps in other airports there are similar codes which have been surreptiously incorporated onto your boarding pass without you ever noticing? Have we gotten you paranoid now?

Look out for strange and indecipherable codes on your boarding pass the next time. What did you find peculiar?

Cleanliness and health while on the road

One of the things about traveling is staying healthy and safe. And specifically we are talking about getting bitten by bugs. Not the ones out in the jungle. But in places where you’d least expect them.

In the past we had written about what is the dirtiest items in your hotel room (here). Two years ago we wrote about bed bugs (here) as one of our first posts. Yeah, that sure wasn’t a popular post, possibly because of the featured picture but probably also because it was among our first posts. Back in the day when we first started we had hardly any readership traffic! Heheh…

Hence it is time for us to revisit this topic, since it seems that these unwanted critters are making a real comeback not just in some parts of the world, but also beginning to be present in places that are quite unexpected – like on planes… We came across this article in the Straits Times recently while troughing through past articles. Darn it got us a little paranoid… not to mention the sudden feeling of itch coming out of nowhere.

Anyway. Now you know what to look out for.

Today with lots of us on the go, it is not just these bugs that get carried around. Viruses and bacteria too are being transported along too. We’ve read what folks pack for a journey for prevention. What do you do to prepare against bugs before getting on your journey?

Staying at the airport control tower

No. It is not that the airport terminal or the local airport hotels have run out of space. In July of last year the Arlanda airport folks held a competition where winners can spend some time living in the former airport control tower (here).

Fancy being in the control tower where folks once directed aircrafts?

Today though our post is not about staying in what we’d consider a quirky location. You can easily do that with AirBnB by looking up exotic locations on offer. What we want to talk about today is about airports. You know, the places where you take a plane.

As you might have read (here), our little red dot just opened a fourth terminal at our international airport (we have 5 others airports/strips btw). Now that’s nothing if one’s been to the large hubs in the US (O’Hare, McCarran, JFK etc) or in Europe (Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle etc). And it is not a boast about size.

It’s about the fact that airports are ‘putting on weight’. From a size 8 to a size 12 so to speak. Finding sufficient land to “fit” the expanding waistlines of airports can be a challenge. Getting from one side of it to the other a chore. They’ve become miniature cities in themselves such that some are sited well out and away from the cities they serve. Someday, we predict that they will become tourist attractions in themselves too. Just like the abandoned Arlanda control tower in the above link or the one at former Kallang airport in our little red dot.

Have you explore airports before? Or do you simply transit through them?