Singapore Airlines Becomes The 1st Airline in ASIA To Offer TSA Pre-Check

Meanwhile Global Entry allows for expedited customs & immigration, where eligible travelers can just use kiosks at immigration, rather than having to queue for an agent.

Global-Entry

While Global Entry is valid regardless of which airline you’re flying, TSA Pre-Check requires flying certain airlines that are enrolled in the program.

Over the past year the TSA has nicely expanded the number of airlines that participate in Pre-Check. For example, last year the TSA added Aeromexico, Etihad, and Lufthansa to the program, among other airlines. Earlier this year the TSA added 11 more airlines, including Avianca, Spirit, Virgin Atlantic, and more.

Seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check

The TSA announced today that seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check, including Copa Airlines, Dominican Wings, InterCaribbean Airways, Silver Airways, Singapore Airlines, Swift Air, and Turkish Airlines.

While a lot of foreign carriers have already been added, oddly no Asian airlines have been eligible for TSA Pre-Check up until now, so it’s great to see Singapore Airlines added to the list. This will benefit Singapore Airlines passengers traveling out of their gateways in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. I’ve taken Singapore’s flight from New York to Frankfurt many times, which departs from JFK’s Terminal 4. Security lines there can be abysmal, so it will be a huge time saver to have access to TSA Pre-Check.

I’m surprised to see Turkish Airlines added to the list, given the reports of passengers traveling to Istanbul getting “SSSS” on their boarding pass, and given that Turkey is on the list of countries which are impacted by the electronics ban.

Registering for TSA Pre-Check

Keep in mind that while you can pay to register for TSA Pre-Check directly, you’re much better off registering for Global Entry, as it also comes with TSA Pre-Check (TSA Pre-Check, on the other hand, doesn’t come with Global Entry).

I registered for Global Entry for the first time in mid-2011, and wrote about my experience at the time. Global Entry is valid for five years, and I just renewed my membership just last year.

Several credit cards offer Global Entry fee credits, where they’ll reimburse you for the $100 fee to join Global Entry. These cards include the following:

Citi-Prestige-Global-Entry-Credit

The very best way to get TSA Pre-Check is through NEXUS, which costs just $50 and gets you expedited immigration in the US and Canada, Global Entry, and TSA Pre-Check. You pay half the price and get the most privileges. But that’s not as practical for everyone, since there aren’t as many centers where you can enroll for NEXUS, since it’s primarily intended for those traveling frequently between the US and Canada.

Bottom line

It’s great to finally see more airlines eligible for TSA Pre-Check, and I’m especially happy to see the first Asian airline added to the list. Here’s to hoping that Cathay Pacific and other major Asian carriers become TSA Pre-Check eligible as well.

Which other airlines would you most like to see join Pre-Check?

How blue whale evolved to size of a Boeing 737

Blue whales can grow to a length of 30m but they only started reaching such a gigantic size two to three million years agoALAMY

Millions of children have gazed up at the massive blue whale model in the Natural History Museum in London and wondered at the sheer size of the largest animal to have lived. Now scientists believe that they have discovered why whales became so big.

Blue whales can grow to 30m (100ft), the length of a Boeing 737 airliner, but such size is a relatively recent feature in their evolutionary history.

Thirty million years ago, similar filter-feeding whales were much smaller, typically a maximum of 10m long. Very large whales began appearing only about two to three million years ago, according to a study of fossil whale skulls by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Researchers found that the increase in size coincided with the formation of glaciers in the northern hemisphere. Meltwater from the glaciers flushed nutrients from the land into coastal waters. The nutrients acted as fertiliser for phytoplankton at the base of the ocean food chain, resulting in periodic surges in the prey that whales feed on, such as krill and other small crustaceans.

Prey became less evenly distributed around the ocean and much more abundant at certain times and places. Larger whales could make more efficient use of the dense patches of food and were also better able to migrate thousands of miles to find those seasonally abundant supplies. They could survive for months without eating, thanks to their vast fat stores.

Nicholas Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian, said that studies showed that different species of whale all grew larger at around the same time. “We see the extinction of much smaller baleen whales and the sudden appearance of very large body sizes like the blue whales and fin whales that we see today,” he said.

Other species of filter-feeding whales, such as the humpback, gray and right whale, were also now “substantially bigger than anything we find in the fossil record”, he added.

“We live in a time of giants right now. Whales have never been as large as they are today.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JetBlue paints Airbus A320 in colors of New York City police

, USA TODAY – JetBlue rolled out its newest special paint scheme Monday, unveiling a livery honoring the New York City Police Department. The Airbus A320 will begin flying through JetBlue’s 101-city network after Monday’s unveiling at New York’s JFK Airport, the carrier’s busiest base.

The “Blue Finest” livery features a bright blue fuselage before ending with the NYPD flag across the tail section. A smaller badge and shield will greet fliers by the jet’s forward boarding door.

The flag that was the inspiration for the aircraft’s tail design was adopted by the NYPD in 1919. Among its highlights are a field of 24 white stars, which represent the 23 separate towns and villages that eventually became a part of New York City. The 24th star represents New York City itself.

The "Blue Bravest" livery is to honor the Fire Department

The "Blue Bravest" livery is to honor the Fire Department

 

“As New York’s Hometown Airline, supporting our local public servants including the NYPD is part of our DNA,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s EVP for customer experience, says in a statement. “Our mission of inspiring humanity is brought to life each day through our crewmembers, many of whom are also former public servants. This mission also lives in the work the NYPD does to keep our communities safe.”

Adding to the poignancy for the carrier, JetBlue estimates up to 15% of its in-flight crewmembers have served in some capacity as public servants in positions ranging from law enforcement to first responders to military service.

“I want to thank everyone at JetBlue for honoring the hardworking men and women of the NYPD with this incredible symbol of partnership and professionalism,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement. “This aircraft, ‘Blue Finest,’ has the perfect name and appearance to represent those who have made it their lives’ work to fight crime and keep people safe. It is an impressive interpretation of NYPD hallmarks and will spread our commitment to public safety far beyond New York City.”

JetBlue’s “big reveal” of the aircraft came Monday morning at its hangar at JFK in front of employees, “many of whom previously worked with NYPD and were specially invited to the event.”

Also on hand were “Bobbies” from the British Metropolitan Police Department, who were competing in “plane pull” charity event against teams made up of JetBlue crewmembers and local authorities from the New York Police and Fire departments. The event was to raise funds for childhood cancer research. Also benefiting from the charity event is the J-A-C-K Foundation, a children’s cancer research fund established by officers from the British Metropolitan Police Department.

Turkish Man Attempts Cockpit Break-in During LA to Honolulu Flight

A Turkish man who had been stopped hours earlier by LA Airport Police for breaching airport security – then released – attempted to enter the cockpit of an American Airlines jet traveling from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

According to authorities, Anil Uskanil, 25, was a ticketed passenger aboard the flight and had gone through a TSA screening. At 2:45 a.m. Friday LAX Police received a call that a man had gone through a door in Terminal 5 that leads to the airfield ramp. A contractor spotted him and detained him until authorities arrived.

LAX Police determined Uskanil was intoxicated, charged him with misdemeanor trespassing, and released him.

He boarded the flight to Hawaii, and his odd behavior started before the plane even took off.

Passengers Mark and Donna Basden of Albuquerque, New Mexico, sat down in their first-class seats, and Mark found a laptop in the seat pocket. A flight attendant suspected it belonged to Uskanil, who was in the bathroom.Basden returned it to the man when he came out. Basden says the man scowled at him, opened and closed the laptop computer and then sat in a different seat. A flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass, and then escorted Uskanil back to row 35.

There are conflicting reports about what happened later in the flight. The Basdens said Uskanil put some kind of towel or blanket over his head and tried to get into the first-class cabin, with his laptop in his hand. A serving cart blocked the doorway, and he was subdued for the rest of the flight.

government source reports he was loitering in the area of the forward restroom, near the cockpit, with his laptop in hand. When he was asked to return to his seat, he refused.

Other passengers told Hawaii News Now a more detailed and slightly different version of events.

Several hours in, passengers and authorities said, he allegedly tried to break through the cockpit door, throwing himself up against a beverage cart as he tried to force his way into the first-class cabin.Passengers said the man had a blanket or towel on his head, and didn’t say anything as he pushed forward.

Flight attendants, an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and other passengers were able to stop the man and secure him in a seat.

“It was all kind of surreal,” said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight. “It’s amazing to me how calm everybody stayed. Angels were watching out for us.”

Her husband was among those who got up to try to stop the man.

“It took seconds,” said Lee Lorenzen, of Orange County, Calif. “He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him. They found some duct tape. There were pillows and blankets. And they taped him to his chair.”

He added, “It was all over very quickly. They really deserve a medal for what they did.”

When the plane landed, law enforcement officers were waiting.

Greeted by the FBI in Hawaii. #fbi #police #hawaii #homelandsecurity

A post shared by bplus.noisefloor.dnb (@bplus.noisefloor.dnb) on


One passenger recorded Uskanil being led off the plane in handcuffs.


Uskanil’s visa has been canceled, and he is being held at a federal detention center in Honolulu.

6 shocking truths of UAE’s air hostesses

They live the high-life. Literally. Flying at 35,000 feet, approximately 22 days a month.

From hobnobbing with celebrities on air to getting free access to the most glamourous parties around the globe, the airline cabin crew lives a life envied by most.

But there is much more to it behind the glam veil. Khaleej Times spoke to air hostess in the UAE region to know what really goes on beneath the surface. To respect their privacy, we can’t mention their names and airlines they work for.

What’s best about the job?

When asked to single out the top perk of joining the high mile club, pat comes the unanimous reply: ‘Salary’.

“You feel rich working for airlines! There was a time I used to wonder when I could buy international brands like Prada, Armani, and Channel. Now after becoming a crew, I can easily buy Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands,” says the one flying for two years.

And how can we forget the incentive of travelling the world free of cost. As a cabin crew, they get approximately 90 per cent discount on tickets, 8 to 10 days off a month to either go home or travel to destinations.

Apart from the salary, the crew gets Daily Meal allowance for the layover days, inflight sales commission, and discounted tickets.

During their lay-overs, the cabin crew is usually put up at luxury hotels and get crew discount almost everywhere, including the best nightclubs in the town. “Like we pamper passengers on the flight, we get pampered by the hotel,” he says.

The weird on-air demands

Serving hundreds of passengers during a month, the crew is more often than not, subjected to weird demands by the passengers.

“I was doing my shift on an Indian subcontinental flight and after the meal service was done, one passenger gave me the Indian snack Dhokla and asked if I can warm it up for her. Of course, we can’t entertain such demands,” says the stewardess who started flying international after two years of domestic run.

Serving food is the most tiring work on the flight and they are met with unexpected questions usually. “When the menu reads chicken with rice, beef with rice, the passenger will still go ahead and ask for fish and rice, which isn’t on the menu,” shares another crew member exasperatedly.

Another strange incident was when a lady passenger asked the crew member to fetch her reading glasses from her bag that she had checked in. She had assumed that the cabin crew has access to the area where the bags are stored.

“Can I have some breast milk?” asked another female passenger mid-air. Few also ask them to throw a used baby diaper.

Do you eat airline food?

Extremely health conscious, most of the crew we spoke to weren’t fond of the airline food. “Eating the same food every day is boring. So, I prefer carrying home-cooked food for my flights.”

We heard it from more than one crew member about how they pack protein drinks, self-cooked food and healthy munchies before flying. One air hostess warns us that having the airline food regularly can take a toll on the health as it has preservatives. “The food is cooked and frozen immediately at very high temperature to preserve its freshness. This packed food is then heated and served to the passengers. we have to be careful as overheating could possibly spoil it.”

Are you among the ones who take the airline food home to be consumed once you land? Think again, as we are told that the food should not be heated again and be consumed as early as possible.

What do they do with their money?

Many of them admitted that saving can be difficult as they keep travelling to exotic locations and end up spending most of their salaries.

They know all the shopping hideaways to get the best bargain deals in the cities they land on. They mark their calendars to match the shopping festivals in each country.

However, we did come across one cabin crew who was saving up for her MBA she plans to pursue in 3 years. And another who bears her family expenses

Economy over business                       

Although serving the business class and first class passengers adds more money to their bank balance, many crew members still prefer serving the economy passengers.

Business class passengers demand more attention as they are paying for it. “The nature of the passenger demand is different in both the classes. In first and business class, we give a personalised service and the passengers know exactly what they want. They know their food, their drink and we need to keep checking on them. On the other hand, the economy passengers are easy-going.”

Unruly passengers onboard

Often called the ‘in-flight waiters’, the cabin crew are subjected to abusive behaviour by the arrogant passengers.  “If their demands are not met immediately, they get furious without trying to understand our side. They consider it their right to be angry but we are helpless and need to be at our politest best.”

One cabin crew gets emotional as she shares that even they have families waiting for them who freak out if the flight doesn’t land on time.

Before flying off, they have a simple message for the passengers – Just a little ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

Incredible moment Pilot lands helicopter at McDonald’s to collect order

A helicopter pilot with the munchies landed his chopper next to a McDonald’s to grab some food.

At approximately 4:20 pm (seriously) on Saturday, a pilot landed his his chopper onto the lawn next to a McDonald’s in northwest Sydney, got out of the aircraft, entered the restaurant to get food, got back into the helicopter, and flew away.

But in the modern day of documenting every single thing that you do, the man snapped a photo of his chopper in front of McDonald’s before flying away, because stories.

“Oh, for real?” a man can be heard asking in the clip. “I thought it was an emergency.”

Nope. Dude just wanted some Macca’s.

According to 9 News Australia, concerned citizens sent the news outlet a video of the incident, and although it’s bit unusual, the landing may not have been illegal. The  Civil Aviation Safety Authority says that as long as the pilot had the permission of the land owner, the pilot could technically use it to land his aircraft and get some grub as long as it was safe.

The agency is currently investigating the incident in order to determine if the landing and takeoff were safe enough.

18 Secrets From Flight Attendants That Will Change the Way You Fly

Does a cheaper flight mean a less safe flight? What happens if your plane is struck by lightning? And why do we have to put our seats in the upright position for landing? The keepers of the answers to your burning questions are the very same people serving you cocktails and snack packs. Flight attendants see it all, and they know the ins and outs of air travel.

We spoke to two flight attendants who both work for one of the top three major US airlines — they answered our questions on the condition of anonymity. From the things that annoy flight attendants to tips and tricks they practice when they’re flying, these expert travelers have secrets that will calm your fears and may make you think twice before you complain extra loud about your dinner not being just right on your next flight. Read on for the juicy details only flight attendants can provide.

1. What are some things that annoy flight attendants?

“Discourteous passengers, touching the flight attendant to get their attention as we walk by, whispering (the airplane can be very loud and I’m not the best at reading lips!), complaining about weather and/or aircraft maintenance delays (we don’t have any control over this, and we are just as inconvenienced as you are).”

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2. Why do tray tables and seats have to be in upright position for takeoffs and landings?

“Especially the tray tables! During an evacuation, where every second matters to get away from the plane, if a tray table is down it will slow down the egress of the two passengers on the middle and window seat. If the aircraft were on fire, wouldn’t you want a clear escape path to the exit? Same goes for the seat back. Any added obstacle will slow egress in an emergency.”

3. What is something flight attendants wish passengers knew/understood?

“We don’t choose what we serve — we simply show up and serve what’s there, and if it’s not there, you’re not getting any. We also have no control when it comes to delays due to weather and/or aircraft maintenance. So please, be courteous to us in the event those may occur. As Captain Sullenberger said, ‘Better a delay than a disaster!'”

4. What are some common myths that people believe about flying that aren’t true?

“That the brace position is meant to kill you faster — I find this to be the most ridiculous myth; in a crash landing you wouldn’t want to be tucked away and brace your body for impact by compacting it and covering your vitals such as neck, face, stomach, etc. Even flight attendants have a brace position, and we do it every takeoff and landing!”

5. Does a cheaper ticket/airline mean a less safe flight?

“Absolutely not! A lot of variables make up the complex formula for ticket price such as time of booking, cabin, seat, frequent flyer status and miles, airplane configuration, in-flight service on that particular flight, optional items like baggage allowance or seat assignment. Basically, all aircraft are subject to FAA regulations, and we wouldn’t be in the business if safety wasn’t our number one priority. Airlines are able to customize their product to their brand, but safety remains the number one focus.”

6. What sort of training does a flight attendant go through?

“Training is on average five and a half weeks, most of which is unpaid. In training we learn and are tested to proficiency on certain items such as aircraft general, first aid, security, and evacuation drills. Only about four days is spent on service!”

7. What are flight attendants trained in, in terms of safety emergency situations, both plane and people-related?

“We have a lot of formal training in safety and emergency situations. Four of our five weeks of intense, six-days-a-week training was spent on safety and emergency situations. Most of our people-related situations are learned on the job. We have been hired/selected by other professional flight attendants for our ability to make good decisions and to be able to read situations and people with good judgment. So many of us are well equipped to handle these situations that come up, but sometimes it does take a second opinion of another crew member.”

8. What happens when one engine goes out?

All aircraft are certified to fly with one engine operation for a safe landing. The aircraft that fly over water are ETOPS certified. Airplanes are aerodynamic, meaning they are designed so air can easily flow around the airplane to decrease drag so they can glide in descent for an extended time with one working engine. One example is Air Canada Flight 143, which ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet and managed to glide and land without a loss of life. And then there’s the all too famous US Airways flight 1549 — so in short, engine failure isn’t like a flat tire, just a rare inconvenience.”

9. Can turbulence make a plane crash?

“No, but it can be unsettling and even throw people about. Due to modern technology, turbulence can now easily be predicted than ever before. In general the pilots know what’s ahead of their aircraft at all times, but severe turbulence does happen unexpectedly from time to time. Most turbulence-related injuries are actually to flight attendants, as we are more vulnerable being out of our jumpsuits most of the flight. The main danger to passengers is not being seated with their seat belts fastened when this unlikely event occurs or unsecured items becoming instant projectiles.”

10. What happens if the landing gear fails?

“Simple, we land without it! This event is actually called a ‘belly landing,’ where the plane lands on the belly without the gear lowered. This event has actually happened where LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 landed with out the gear lowered with emergency vehicles and personnel on the ground standing by. The plane landed without incident on its belly, and the flight attendants warranted an evacuation — all 231 people were evacuated via the escape slides without injury or loss of life.”

11. Is it safe to fly during a thunderstorm? What happens when a plane is hit by lightning?

“Planes are designed to be hit by lightening both in the air and on the ground! Thanks to the engineers who design the plane. The skin of the aircraft acts as a conductor to keep lightning from entering the internal parts of the aircraft, such as the cabin or anything such as flight controls that may affect the well-being of the airplane, and the lightning is redirected out through the wings and tail. There may be damage to the plane (rare), but it will make a safe landing. Thanks to the engineers and plane manufacturers, an airliner has not crashed from lightning in over 45 years. From the passenger perspective, there may be a loud bang or white glow, but not to worry, the internal parts if the plane are protected.”

12. What are some reasons that a flight is completely canceled rather than just delayed?

“A lot of reasons can a play a factor with this, mostly crew legality comes into play especially out of our hub cities where we don’t have ready reserve flight attendants who can easily take over the flight. FAA mandates how many hours a crew can work a day in any given duty period — pilots are usually 12 hours and flight attendants are usually 16 hours. A long day’s friend is fatigue and fatigue is usually where mistakes can be made. Planes have been crippled and met demise under fatigue conditions of the crew. Sometimes the delay can be so long that they cancel the flight for the day and run an extra segment the following day.

Although cancellations are becoming more and more rare, with airlines running about 90 percent completion rate of flights. The most common cancellation is weather, where planes are late or never take off to come in or they just simply can’t operate a safe operation under the severe weather conditions and it makes sense to cancel the flight vs. stringing the passengers along to departure that will never happen.”

13. What are some tips you have for packing light?

“My suggestion is to wear your larger coat and bulkiest shoes on the flight if possible. Also pack things that combine well together. One skirt that goes with four different shirts or a dress that can be worn for day and evening. It cuts down on the number of items you’ll have to pack. Things like underwear, socks, tank tops, etc. can be shoved into boots if those are something you choose to pack instead of wear on the plane.”

14. What are the essentials you HAVE to have when you fly?

“(Noise-canceling) headphones, sweater/jacket/wrap or scarf, Kiehl’s in-flight spray, and empty water bottle to fill up after security checkpoint.”

15. What other travel tips/tricks/secrets do you have?

“Do not depend heavily on the airline/flight attendants. Things happen, we make mistakes, and sometimes we aren’t having the best day, but if you can make the flight attendants smile or laugh, you’ll never go thirsty. Always anticipate delays and your own needs such as temperature — bring a sweater, dietary needs — we aren’t a 7-Eleven, bring your gluten-free stuff from home, medication — keep it with you at all times, along with your wallet, keys, and passport!”

16. Any tips for beating jet lag?

“Drink a lot of water! My best advice is to get yourself onto the time of the place you’re going as best you can. If I get in and it’s 2 p.m. and I really want to nap, I force myself to stay awake until it’s ‘bedtime.’ It can be really challenging, but that’s why coffee exists.”

17. What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

“I have to say that being paid to work a flight to Maui and then getting to lay on the beach all the next day and then working the flight back is not such a rough life. As long as I have enough time, I try to get out and find some things to explore in every city. I also love Boston and NYC (places I’d never been until I got this job).”

18. What made you get into the airline business? What do those in the business love about it?

“I have wanted to be a flight attendant for a long time. I have always been drawn to the idea of traveling all over for work, the flexible scheduling, and the fact that I get to work with a variety of people. Why people stay in the airline business is due to the flexible hours and the travel benefits. And with many of the larger carriers, once you’ve worked with them for 15 years, you get lifetime flying benefits with that carrier.”

Tracking over the UK, US Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion ‘sniffer’ 62-3582 COBRA55

On Feb. 17, 2017, U.S. Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion “sniffer,” serial number 62-3582, using radio callsign “Cobra 55” deployed to RAF Mildenhall, UK.

As we have already reported the WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.

Effluent gasses are gathered by two scoops on the sides of the fuselage, which in turn trap fallout particles on filters. The mission crews have the ability to analyze the fallout residue in real-time, helping to confirm the presence of nuclear fallout and possibly determine the characteristics of the warhead involved: that’s why the aircraft is important to confirm the type of explosion of today’s test.

 

Along with monitoring nuke testing, the WC-135 is used to track radioactive activity as happened after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima incident back in 2011.

One of these aircraft was deployed near North Korea in anticipation of Kim Jong Un rocket launches then was spotted transiting the UK airspace in August 2013 raising speculations it was used in Syria thanks to the ability to detect chemical substances down wind from the attack area days, or weeks after they were dispersed.

Although they cross the European airspace every now and then, their deployment in the Old Continent is somehow rare. As of yet, there has been no official statement from the U.S. military about the reasons why such nuclear research aircraft was deployed there. However, many sources suggest the aircraft was tasked with investigating the spike in Iodine levels detected in northern Europe since the beginning of January.

Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

However, no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131. Along with nuclear power plants, the isotope is also widely used in medicine and its presence in the air could be the effect of several different incidents.

Or, as someone speculates, it could have been the side effect of a test of a new nuclear warhead in Russia: an unlikely (considered the ability to detect nuke tests through satellites and seismic detectors) violation of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Maybe the WC-135 will help authorities find out the origin of the Iodine-131.

Boeing vs. Airbus: Which Airplane Manufacturer Is a Better Buy?

In this clip from Industry Focus: Industrials, Sean O’Reilly and Adam Levine-Weinberg talk about which airplane manufacturer is a better buy for long-term investors: Airbus (NASDAQOTH: EADSY) or Boeing (NYSE: BA). Find out which has the bigger backlog (and why that isn’t necessarily a good thing), what’s coming around the bend for both companies, what’s going to be cutting into demand for the next few years, and, of course, which company is a better buy.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Sean O’Reilly: Let’s talk some numbers before we head out of here. Who sells more planes?

Adam Levine-Weinberg: As I said before, Airbus definitely has a lead right now in terms of the orders. Every year for the last few years, they have pretty reliably come in ahead of Boeing in terms of orders. On the widebody side, both companies had about 1,200 or 1,300 orders in backlog, and those planes tend to go for $100 million or more. So, between the two of them, that’s several hundred billion dollars of planes. On the narrowbody side, the numbers are actually even bigger. Boeing has over 4,400 planes that are in backlog just with the 737 and the upcoming 737MAX. Airbus has over 5,600. That’s quite a bit ahead.

O’Reilly: This is a lot of planes we’re talking here.

Levine-Weinberg: So there’s definitely an advantage for Airbus, but the fact remains that it’s going to take Boeing seven years just to build all the planes that it has. Airbus, it’s kind of overkill. It’s great to have that many orders in backlog; it means that you can survive a recession where you might have orders dry up suddenly for a couple years at a time. But unless that happens, it’s not going to really matter so much, because Airbus doesn’t have the capacity to build planes much faster than it’s already planning to build them, which is less than 700 a year. So it has eight or nine years of production already locked in. As a result, it’s just not going to sell as many planes in the future, or it’s going to have to figure out some way to build new factories or squeeze more planes out of the existing factories it has.

O’Reilly: So, obviously, this is The Motley Fool; we’re investors. What do you see coming around the bend for these guys, and what do you think of the valuations of these companies? I have looked, Boeing is long — I cannot believe this company’s return on capital and equity. It’s like in the 90s, some years, 90% return on equity in a year. It’s a fun balance sheet, and we can talk about that a little bit more another time. But it’s got a 12, 13 multiple P/E. Airbus, it’s a good business, but it’s inferior by every measure. They’re not free-cash-flow positive most years. Boeing just throws off money like it’s its job. Which stock do you like? What do you see coming around the bend for these guys?

Levine-Weinberg: I still like Boeing’s stock. It has run up quite a bit in the last few months. Early last year, about a year ago, it had dived down to the low hundreds, and it’s risen about 15% since then. But I still think that Boeing could continue to gain ground over the next few years. Right now, they have a little bit of a transitional period where a couple of their models, particularly their 777, which has been a big cash cow for them in the past few years, demand is really falling off. But the reason why is that you have a new version of that plane which is coming out in 2020.

O’Reilly: And they all know it, so they’re not ordering it.

Levine-Weinberg: Everyone knows; they announced it several years ago. It’s really hard to keep selling an old plane when everybody knows that a new, better model, more fuel-efficient, more range, is coming out not that far in the future. And it’s also true that right now, a lot of the developing world in particular has been having trouble both with a strong dollar, which makes it more expensive to buy these planes, and also just unsteady demand, especially in places like Russia and Brazil, where you’ve had big drop offs in GDP recently. So that’s definitely cut into the demand for these planes. But if you look out to 2020 and beyond, once that new version of 777 ramps up, Boeing is going to be, I think, in pretty good shape to continue growing its free cash flow.

Adam Levine-Weinberg owns shares of Boeing. Sean O’Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

5 Tech Hacks That Will Save You a Bundle on Airfare

We all love to complain about airlines and their never-ending efforts to find new, clever, and incredibly annoying ways to squeeze every penny out of travelers. But when it comes to soothing your travel rage, revenge is sweeter than anger.

You know they’re using every tool out there to maximize their profits. So, of course, you should arm yourself with every tech hack possible to fight back and potentially save yourself a ton of money. Plus, how great does it feel to get a great deal and beat the airlines at their own game? Happy shopping!

1. Google Flights is your best friend.

As Suzy Strutner points out on The Huffington Post, when it comes to saving money on flights, Google Flights is your best friend. In an enormously helpful article, Strutner lays out all the ways the site can help you get a deal, including its “best bang for your buck feature” that figures out the best deal not only based on price but also on flight duration, and notifications when prices will probably jump via your phone.

2. A niche site for every issue.

Kayak and Google Flights might be the usual go-to choices for the savvy traveler, but there are a ton of other tech tools you should be aware of that can help with a head-spinning variety of particular travel issues.

  • Hopper notifies you of price drops.
  • Got no time but $49? FlightFox will do the work of finding cheap airfare for you.
  • Yapta tracks your flight details and lets you know if the price drops after you purchase. If the decrease is large enough, it can be worth paying the penalty to change your ticket.
  • Budget airlines don’t appear on all comparison sites, but WhichBudget will tell you which ones fly where.
  • Not sure where you want to go? Skyscanner shows you the best deals currently on offer for a particular country or even the whole world.
  • Use Points.com to trade, buy, or redeem points.
  • Airfarewatchdog employs actual humans to handpick a smaller number of truly awesome deals.

3. Clear your cookies.

Clever airlines use every crumb of data they can get to decide how much money they can charge you, including whether you’ve visited travel booking sites previously. Deprive them of that info by clearing the cookies on your browser and you’re likely to see a lower price.

Setting your browser to incognito or private browsing mode before you start searching works too.

4. Fudge your location.

What other information do airlines use to set fares? Your location. Tickets are sometimes cheaper in countries with a lower cost of living, a fact you can use to your advantage, Erica Ho of Map Happy tells Thrillist.

“It’s as simple as using the airline’s regional website (or masking your IP address to make it look like you live there) to buy your ticket in the foreign currency. So, let’s say you wanted to fly from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. All you’d do is log onto South African Air’s local site (.za, NOT .com) — or use a VPN to get a South African IP address — select the ATL-JNB flight you want, and buy it in Rand — preferably using a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees,” explains the site.

5. Pretend you’re going solo.

According to lifestyle site MyDomaine, “many airlines hike up prices when you’re buying several seats at once.” Therefore, “even if you’re booking for the entire family, be sure to do a separate search for the flights set to one person first.”