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One More Place Where Cameras Could be Watching you

American and Singapore both said Friday that they have never activated the cameras and have no plans to use them.

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ethiopia, plane crash
Safety experts took note of the similarities but cautioned against quickly drawing too many parallels between the two crashes. Pixabay

Now there is one more place where cameras could be watching you — from 30,000 feet.

Newer seat-back entertainment systems on some airplanes operated by American Airlines and Singapore Airlines have cameras, and it’s likely they are also on planes used by other carriers.

American and Singapore both said Friday that they have never activated the cameras and have no plans to use them.

However, companies that make the entertainment systems are installing cameras to offer future options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.

A passenger on a Singapore flight posted a photo of the seat-back display last week, and the tweet was shared several hundred times and drew media notice. Buzzfeed first reported that the cameras are also on some American planes.

flight, american, singapore airlines
A passenger on a Singapore flight posted a photo of the seat-back display last week, and the tweet was shared several hundred times and drew media notice. Wikimedia

Cameras standard features

The airlines stressed that they didn’t add the cameras — manufacturers embedded them in the entertainment systems. American’s systems are made by Panasonic, while Singapore uses Panasonic and Thales, according to airline representatives. Neither Panasonic nor Thales responded immediately for comment.

As they shrink, cameras are being built into more devices, including laptops and smartphones. The presence of cameras in aircraft entertainment systems was known in aviation circles at least two years ago, although not among the traveling public.

Seth Miller, a journalist who wrote about the issue in 2017, thinks that equipment makers didn’t consider the privacy implications. There were already cameras on planes, although not so intrusive, and the companies assumed that passengers would trade their images for convenience, as they do with facial-recognition technology at immigration checkpoints, he said.

“Now they’re facing blowback from a small but vocal group questioning the value of the system that isn’t even active,” Miller said.

American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said cameras are in “premium economy” seats on 82 Boeing 777 and Airbus A330-200 jets. American has nearly 1,000 planes.

“Cameras are a standard feature on many in-flight entertainment systems used by multiple airlines,” he said.

flight, singapore, american airlines
American and Singapore both said Friday that they have never activated the cameras and have no plans to use them. Pixabay

Singapore spokesman James Boyd said cameras are on 84 Airbus A350s, Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s and 787s. The carrier has 117 planes.

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Cameras not turned on

While the airlines say they have no plans to use the cameras, a Twitter user named Vitaly Kamluk, who snapped the photo of the camera on his Singapore flight, suggested that just to be sure the carriers should slap stickers over the lenses.

“The cameras are probably not used now,” he tweeted. “But if they are wired, operational, bundled with mic, it’s a matter of one smart hack to use them on 84+ aircrafts and spy on passengers.” (VOA)

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Air India Shuts Delhi Based HQ as Employee Tests Corona Positive

The headquarters will remain shut for 2 days

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Air_India Dhaka
Air India headquarters in Delhi will remain shut for 2 days as an emplyee was tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. Wikimedia Commons

National carrier Air India on Tuesday shut its national capital-based headquarters, Airlines House, after an employee was tested Covid-19 positive. Accordingly, the building will be shut for two days for sanitisation work.

Under the safety protocols, work places of those employees who have tested positive required to be shut and sanitised to prevent the spread of the virus. The test report of the employee had come out last night.

“One of the employees attending office at Airlines House has tested positive for covid 19,” the airline said in a statement. “As Air India accords top priority to safety and wellbeing of its employees, the building will be closed for two days for sanitisation, adhering to protocol. All support is being extended to the employee concerned”.

In an unrelated development, five pilots of the airline, who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus, have now tested negative for the infection.

Air_India_Boeing
The test report of the employee had come out last night. Wikimedia Commons

The new results were obtained after a re-test was conducted on the positive cases under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the airline. The pilots had tested coronavirus positive when 77 pilots of the airline were tested on a priority basis on Saturday.

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All the five pilots didn’t have any symptoms and would be home-quarantined in Mumbai, people in the know said. These pilots operated Boeing 787 Dreamliners aircraft, and were tested to be deployed for duty under the Vande Bharat Mission to ferry back Indians stranded abroad.

The national carrier has also been engaged in transport of essential medical supplies amid the pandemic. Starting May 7, Air India has been engaged in one of the largest rescue operations in the world, whereby 64 flights would bring back over 14,000 people stranded in 12 countries in 7 days.

Many Indians have already arrived in several cities under the Mission. (IANS)

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The Changing World of Travel

The future of travel

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Travel
From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there. Pixabay

International carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines did a recent survey to figure our how travellers are changing the way they search, book and travel. From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there.

Destination Instagram

The surveys shows that half of Gen Z and millennials consider how ‘Instagrammable’ their destination will be when booking. How many “likes” will it generate? The guarantee of taking beautiful holiday snaps is a prerequisite for 25.8 percent of them. The photos have to be authentic and taken by them personally.

Travellers increasingly use voice technology to navigate

Many people spend hours consulting search engines and browsing websites for their ideal travel destination. “Smart speakers” are assisting them on their quest, with more and more travellers finding their ideal destination and suitable air tickets using voice technology. KLM’s booking service, which is often consulted with the aid of Google Assistant, is attracting 10 percent more users every month.

Social media travel
Nowadays, people want to post about their travel experiences on social media. Pixabay

Travel inspiration on social media comes from friends and family

Instagram is expected to keep growing as a significant source of travel inspiration. The role of influencers and celebrities as a source of holiday inspiration is declining more and more (14.5 percent). Also, more than 50 percent of travellers don’t trust photos of holiday destinations shared by influencers. Travellers mainly look at posts from friends and family (65.3 percent) or click on hashtags to seek inspiration from strangers (45.9 percent).

Combining air and train travel will become more popular

Sustainability is important and travellers are taking it into account when booking. This is why travel operators are joining forces wherever possible to offer rail tickets for shorter distances as an alternative to flying. KLM will add more options to its website to plan short distances by train. The guiding principle being that the combination of air and rail travel can be planned and booked easily.

Are you compensating for CO2 emissions?

More and more passengers are compensating for their share of carbon emissions. A survey* commissioned by KLM revealed that 38.8 percent of travellers plan to compensate for CO2 emissions next year.

Air travel
Plane travel can be booked very easily these days. Pixabay

Your face is your passport

Queues will be shorter at the airport thanks to facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, KLM conducted tests where passengers passed through checkpoints at security, lounges and boarding by showing a selfie in the KLM App on their phones, instead of presenting their passports. The KLM App shows passengers at which airport this technology may be used. More and more passengers will encounter this technology in 2020 when new tests begin. Naturally, it is up to the passenger to decide whether they want to try this digital innovation or not.

AI to shorten waiting times in unforeseen circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances, such as thunderstorms, can lead to flight delays. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps reduce inconvenience to passengers by rapidly calculating how best to deploy available crews and aircraft. This will further improve flight punctuality in 2020.

Even more luxury and relaxation at the airport

All sorts of innovations will further improve the ways travellers spend their time at the airport. Transfer passengers will find sleeping pods in KLM’s new non-Schengen Crown Lounge or they can enjoy a luxury dinner at Restaurant Blue, with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Joris Bijdendijk.

Also Read- Ways to Treat Chapped and Dark Lips

Mobile telephone off or at home

Travellers increasingly prefer to stay off their mobile phone while on holiday, or at least to use it less. On the other hand, they can’t go without a phone altogether. Around 50 percent of passengers would prefer to use their phones as little as possible on holiday, but also indicate that this is not always possible. Almost a third of passengers would like to travel without a phone, but are afraid they will find this impossible. (IANS)

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After Spicejet, Air India Cancels Several International Flights

Air India flights are suspended w.e.f March 16, 2019 till further notice

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agra tourism industry
This week, the Air India flight connecting Delhi with Khajuraho, Varanasi via Agra began operations. Pixabay

National carrier Air India has cancelled several international flights on account of low passenger yields on the sectors which include Delhi-Madrid.

In a late Wednesday night development, the airline said 6 international flights from Delhi to places like Birmingham have been cancelled.

“Due to operational reasons..Air India flights are suspended w.e.f March 16, 2019 till further notice,” the airline said in a statement.

Airlines, Air India
However, the development comes even as other airlines like SpiceJet cancelled flights, which has sharply pushed up airfares. Pixabay

Route rationalistion is one the key programmes that the airline’s management is running to reduce cost and infuse efficiency.

 

ALSO READ: More Than 76% Indian Companies Hit by Cyber Attacks in Year 2018

However, the development comes even as other airlines like SpiceJet cancelled flights, which has sharply pushed up airfares. (IANS)

One More Place Where Cameras Could be Watching you
Air India Shuts Delhi Based HQ as Employee Tests Corona Positive
The Changing World of Travel
After Spicejet, Air India Cancels Several International Flights