That’s how Timothy Snyder describes the American attitude toward air travel. It appears Mr. Snyder was not pleased with his recent experience with Delta Airlines. Read about it here.
(Note: This post sent me to EarthPhotos.com to retrieve the photo of the Delta jets up there, taken at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson airport. In the EP Transport Gallery, there are 1058 photos of all sorts of different ways of getting around, from all over the world. Check it out, you might enjoy it. You can set up a slide show from the Transport Gallery main page by clicking where the arrow points, as below.)
The best way from Buenos Aires to Darwin is apparently via south Australia. Qantas flight QF14 “approached Australia from the south on Wednesday night, crossing the Great Australian Bight to then fly over the Red Centre to Darwin.” Traveller.com reports:
“The longest commercial flight in Qantas’ history landed in Darwin on Wednesday night after a route that took it from Buenos Aires over the coast of Antarctica on a near-18 hour long haul.
The repatriation flight was the return leg of a charter flight that carried Argentina’s rugby team home from Brisbane to Buenos Aires on Sunday after the 2021 Rugby Championship. The Department of Foreign Affairs were notified about the flight and worked with Qantas to use the returning plane to bring home Australians.
Flight QF14 took off from Buenos Aires at 12.44pm local time, 19 minutes behind schedule, but landed in Darwin five minutes early after a journey that took 17 hours, 25 minutes.”
With a view of Antarctica:
Captain Alex Passerini, Qantas’s chief technical pilot, said, “We’ll end up flying over the continent at around 73 or 74 south latitude, depending on the winds,” he said. “Hopefully the cloud cover will be kind to us and we can give our passengers a view.”
By comparison, in the north, 74 degrees north latitude crosses Novaya Zemlya in Siberia, here from Wikipedia:
Here’s the entire flight between Westray and Papa Westray, Orkney islands. It’s 1.7 miles, shorter than Heathrow runways.
The Covid AVDaily newsletter reacts to the UK’s “green list” of countries approved for travel without the requirement for travelers to quarantine on their return. They’re unimpressed.
They note that “it includes a number of remote islands such as South Georgia, as well as countries that are right now not welcoming tourists (e.g. Australia, New Zealand and Singapore).”
Then there is talk of passengers facing immigration queues of up to seven hours. The newsletter opines that “Governments like the UK are sending signals that they’d rather people didn’t travel. One of the most revealing parts of Friday’s announcement was when … Paul Lincoln from the UK Border Force (talked) about significant border delays. Lincoln said that each officer would be taking up to ten minutes to check every passenger … listening to him talk the message seemed to be ‘these are the consequences of you choosing to travel.’
Nobody needs that. So we’ve routed ourselves through Amsterdam Schiphol for our July visit to Finland.
Seven of the 10 most-active international city pairs feature US links, suggesting one of the world’s most-advanced inoculation programs is uncorking demand that’s been building for a year.
And OAG forecasts that the U.S. domestic market “should return to almost normal levels by July.”
Forbes, also using OAG’s data, isn’t so sure.
“Granted, the odds of surviving a 6-mile plummet are extraordinarily slim, but at this point you’ve got nothing to lose by understanding your situation.”
If you’re good with that premise, here is How to Fall 35,000 feet (and Survive).
“Near bankrupt low-cost airline Norwegian has told over a thousand laid-off employees that it can’t afford to pay them their final wages or other redundancy payments but that it will let them keep their uniforms and branded cabin bags as a “keepsake” of their time with the airline.”
From Paddle Your Own Kanoo.
The government has grounded Montenegro Airlines, whose employees hadn’t been paid since September.
Things ended poetically: “[T]he pilots on the company’s last flight to Belgrade on Friday were given permission by air controllers to make a heart-shape course in the skies over the picturesque mountainous Adriatic state.”