Tag: Travel

World’s Largest Geothermal Lagoon To Open In Canada, Powered By Renewable Energy

Image via geoLagon


What may be the largest thermal lagoon is being built in Canada, and it promises to keep things warm all year long. 


Located in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, the geoLagon is set to be 130,000 square feet. For reference, this puts it at 37,000 square feet larger than Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. 

Looking destined to be a new spa retreat, a village of chalets is slated to be constructed around the human-made lake. 


The enormous geothermal pool will be kept at a simmering 102 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, which promises a great escape on wintery nights. Or it could also be a great place to relax the body even on balmy summer evenings. 


Image via geoLagon


A reservoir of thermal heating is embedded under the lagoon, which captures and stores heat generated from the biomass, geothermal, and solar panel systems. This network of heating models will essentially make geoLagon self-sustainable.


In an interview with New Atlas, CEO, and founder of geoLagon, Louis Massicotte notes that the project will be able to produce energy in surplus, which it will then distribute to surrounding areas. 


Adding to the eco-friendly efforts, the wooden chalets that surround the lake will also be solar-powered. 


Construction for geoLagon will happen in three phases, the first of which begins in March of next year when half of the cottages will rise before the lagoon is erected, followed by the rest of the houses. In total, the entire project will take 18 months to complete. 

[via Robb Report and Unofficial Networks, images via geoLagon]


American Airlines Revamps Business-Class Cabins To Offer Flyers ‘Suite New Ride’

Image via American Airlines


When you hop aboard an American Airlines flight from 2024, you could experience its all-new Flagship Suite, with a reimagined interior and premium seats to afford you extra rest and privacy on your trip. 

Earlier this year, rumors had surfaced that the airliner was doing away with its first class service on international flights. While it has confirmed that there indeed will no longer be those seats on long-haul flights, customers will soon get to enjoy updated business-class Flagship Suites.


Image via American Airlines


According to a statement, customers in the revamped cabin will get to enjoy a tailored luxury flight, including the addition of a privacy door, a lie-flat seat, and more personal storage space. Travelers in groups can conjoin their suites to dine or watch movies together during the trip. 


By fitting its long-haul fleet with new interiors, the company will see its premium seating options grow by more than 45% come 2026. It plans to retrofit existing aircraft to include these Flagship Suite seats, including on its 20 Boeing 777-300ER, starting late 2024. 


Image via American Airlines


Not forgetting pre-flight waiting, American Airlines will welcome passengers to its refreshed Admirals Club lounges, with the first of the newly-renovated rooms opening at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in the coming months. 


“We are enhancing the customer experience across their entire journey with American,” said Julie Rath, American’s Vice President of Customer Experience. 


“The arrival of new long-haul aircraft and the customized seat design of the Flagship Suite seats will offer customers a truly private premium experience on our long haul fleet,” she added.


Image via American Airlines




[via Robb Report and American Airlines, images via American Airlines]


All NYC Subway Cars To Get Surveillance Cameras, But Not Everyone Is On Board

Image via Kevin P Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul


Commuting on the New York City Transit could soon get safer, with the Urban Area Security Initiative federal grant program awarding US$2 million for the entire fleet of subway cars to be installed with surveillance cameras. 


This implementation comes on the heels of a recent public gun shooting at Sunset Park station that left more than 20 persons injured. Investigations were stalled because the surveillance camera malfunctioned.

According to a statement, 5,400 security cameras will be added to subway carriages, with two in each car. Furthermore, an additional 3,800 cameras will be added to expand surveillance coverage in nearly 130 subway stations across the city. 

“My number one priority as Governor is keeping New Yorkers safe. I am proud that we will be installing cameras on all Subway cars—expanding our security capabilities, deterring crime, and providing our law enforcement with support,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. 

“As we continue welcoming riders back to the transit system, we will continue doing everything in our power to keep riders safe,” she added. 


Currently, the existing subway security network comprises over 10,000 shared across all 472 stations. With the new funding, every train carriage will be fully outfitted with surveillance devices. 


An estimated 200 train cars will be upgraded each month from the time installation begins, with the entire car fleet expected to be camera-equipped sometime in 2025. New subway carriages being added to routes from next year will come with pre-installed cameras. 


However, not all residents are too keen about the measures. As per Gizmodo, Albert Fox Cahn, Director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), a non-profit group, released a statement condemning the upgrades, calling it “surveillance theater.” 


“New Yorkers want safety, not surveillance. As the Governor admitted, subway crime is down this summer, not up. Big brother’s spying never prevented crime before, and it won’t start now,” Cahn quipped. 


Others have concurred with these remarks, as a technology strategist at the New York Civil Liberties Union told the publication there’s currently no evidence the expansion of the surveillance system will increase commuter safety. 


In addition, civil rights activists have pointed out that the city has yet to share details on the cameras and software system, including which departments will access the footage, how long it will be stored, and other privacy-related concerns. 


Despite the naysayers, it seems that the plan is still in motion to go forward, though it’s unclear if activist organizations will step up protests to deter that. 



[via Gizmodo and New York State, cover image via Kevin P Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul]


Southwest Airlines Flight To Hawaii Turns Into Ukulele Lesson

Image via Guitar Center / PR Newswire


When travelers boarded a flight from Long Beach, California, bound for the island of Hawaii, they were probably expecting to have a light snack, catch some Z’s, or just watch the clouds as they journeyed to the island. Instead, what waited for them was a ukulele on each seat and a music instructor to teach them a new skill.


Southwest Airlines partnered with Guitar Center to bring the happiness project to life, and the ukulele—perhaps the one instrument that has been the soundtrack to the island—was chosen to be its in-flight entertainment this time around.


Each passenger was gifted with a Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele and a carrying case with a classic Hawaiian print on it.


Image via Guitar Center / PR Newswire


Guitar Center’s instructors, Alexandra Windsor, Ryan Miyashiro, and Ryan Imata, took to the aisle of the plane to teach the passengers how to play Hello, Aloha. How Are You? from start to finish within the duration of the flight.


Windsor noted that the ukulele was the perfect instrument for beginners to start on their musical journey and could also demonstrate how fun it is to pick up something new.


The goal behind the music lesson was to promote the spirit of Aloha and to spread positivity and fun to Southwest’s passengers. And after the last few years of the pandemic, a cheery flight filled with music may just be what the pilot ordered.




[via Today and Good News Network, images via Guitar Center / PR Newswire]


‘Invisible’ Cabins Invite You To Sleep In Forest Without Interrupting Scenery

Image via Bolt Farm Treehouse


A unique hotel in Tennessee is inviting guests to take a nap on the wild by placing a mirrored cabin right in the middle of a forest. 


The Bolt Farm Treehouse is a glass-mirrored cube that sits right on the forest floor among trees, flora, and roaming animals nearby. Guests can laze in bed or sit around their room taking in the views without having to be exposed to the elements or having anyone else peer in. Glamping at its finest!


Image via Bolt Farm Treehouse


The ‘Mirror Cabins’ were designed by Estonian design firm ÖÖD and feature panoramic glass mirrors supported by a sturdy steel frame, giving visitors a private, uninterrupted view of their surroundings. The glass panels reflect off 97% of UV rays and keep the interiors cool during the summer.


We previously reported that UV-protected glass is important for the preservation of avian life as it doesn’t confuse our winged friends—this bird-friendly glass is transparent to the human eye but obvious under bird vision.


For nature lovers looking to rough it out in the wilderness, this may not be the place for you. A queen-sized bed, a rainforest shower, and a movie theater in the room await those who still love a little bit of luxury when on a camping trip.


Image via Bolt Farm Treehouse


Guests are not just expected to stay indoors all day long as the cabins come with their own patio equipped with a seating area, barbecue, and even a hot tub—because who wouldn’t want to soak while deer pass by? 


Image via Bolt Farm Treehouse


Bolt Farm Treehouse has just opened five new cabins across the mountainside of Chattanooga’s Whitwell Mountain on its 55-acre retreat. The Mirror Cabins rest alongside other types of vacation homes, including domes and treehouses, that were first opened in May 2020. The luxury camping grounds were even featured in Netflix’s The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.




[via Robb Report and Bolt Farm Treehouse, Businesswire, images via Bolt Farm Treehouse]


World’s Largest Cruise Ship Might Be Reduced To Scrap Before Ever Setting Sail

Video screenshot via Dream Cruises

Global Dream II, the world’s largest cruise liner, is docked at a shipyard in Germany. It hasn’t been on a voyage before. Chances are, it might never.

Intended to be operated by Dream Cruises, the ship was envisioned to accommodate 9,000 passengers across its 1,122-foot vessel and 20 decks. Its sheer monstrosity gave it ample space to fit in a whole outdoor waterpark and a movie theater.


Video screenshot via Dream Cruises

Global Dream II
was on course to sink Royal Caribbean’s record for world’s biggest ship to traverse the waters, Wonder of the Seas, which stretches 1,187 feet and can carry up to 6,988 passengers.

Alas, Global Dream’s manufacturer, German-Hong Kong ship builder MV Werften, filed for bankruptcy early this year, the Daily Mail reports. By then, an eye-watering £1.2 billion (US$1.37 million) had been poured into bringing the global, groundbreaking dream to life.


Video screenshot via Dream Cruises


While Global Dream II’s structure is complete, yet to see completion are, reportedly, some of its equipment and passenger facilities, which would demand an additional £200 million (US$264 million).

Without an owner, Global Dream II sits in a shipyard in Wismar, awaiting a possible demise. It’s here with its twin, Global Dream, which currently isn’t destined to be scrapped yet. Both liners will soon be chased out, however; the shipyard will be used to build military vessels by the end of next year, so the cruise ships will have to go.

Global Dream II, as it turns out, is experiencing a nightmare, having never had the chance to go on its maiden voyage.

But it still has the opportunity to lucid-dream its way into keeping afloat, as industry expert TradeWinds says it might eventually land a buyer in China, where the cruise industry is going swimmingly.



[via Jalopnik and Greek Reporter, video screenshots via Dream Cruises]


Japan Takes Travelers On A Sake-Filled Trip Through The Countryside

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via JR East


Nothing pairs better with sake than a beautiful view, and Japan’s JR line understands that perfectly. Sake fans are being invited onto a boozy mini trip through the countryside where fans can sip on the famous rice wine as the views pass by. 


The Shu*Kura train will take passengers through Japan’s “snow country” and weave through the valleys and past mountainsides as travelers kick back and sip on some premium sake.


Image via JR East


The journey will also be accompanied by local music and food from various prefectures to pair perfectly with the beverage.


Shu*Kura is split into three cars, each of which was made from recycled series 40 and 48 diesel cars. 


Image via JR East


The first car will present stunning views of the countryside and seating for the performances. The second will house standing tables modeled after sake crates where commuters can congregate around as they would in a real-life izakaya—a Japanese traditional pub. And within the third car, there will be the main bar and dining areas. 


The train will only be in service in the spring and fall and will take a total of three hours to make the round trip. The sake train will run between Joetsu Myoko, Tōkamachi, Niigata, and Echigo Yuzawa.


Japan is slowly opening its borders as the pandemic wanes. Different initiatives are being taken up by the country to promote travel among its citizens and to stimulate the economy. Last month, the government made a bold move to encourage youngsters to drink more. 





[via Robb Report and Travel and Leisure, images via various sites] 


Five-Star London Hotel Tailors Package To Give Guests The Ideal Slumber

Image via Rocco Forte Hotels


There’s something about luscious hotel beds and sheets that make for the best sleep ever. And knowing that, this five-star hotel in London wants to offer guests just that with its special ‘Forte Winks’ offering.

“Arising from a dreamy, undisturbed sleep feeling totally refreshed is the perfect way to begin your day,” Brown’s Hotel said. 


Image via Rocco Forte Hotels


During the two-night stay, the hotel has partnered with luxury sleepwear and accessory brands YOLKE and Masters of Mayfair to provide a curated sleeping kit for guests. This includes a set of luxurious pajamas, a lavender-infused sleep mask, and a night cream to complete the set. 


During the day, you’ll be treated to a Bunoa Notte facial at the establishment’s onsite spa, followed by an exclusive turndown service that offers a range of calming teas—from chamomile to herbal blends—so you can wind down and get ready for bed. 

Even better, there’s no need to rush for the buffet line in the morning, as a home-cooked, delicious breakfast will be delivered right to your room for you to sip on your coffee in comfort. 


Image via Rocco Forte Hotels


“After that, all that’s left for you to do is use your newfound energy and optimism to explore Mayfair and beyond,” the hotel remarked. 

The special experience is available from October 2022 through 2023, starting from US$1,700 for two people.




[via Robb Report and Rocco Forte Hotels, cover image via Rocco Forte Hotels]


Spotify Recommends Your Next Travel Destination Based On Your Music Choices

Photo 191610240 © Alina Rosanova | Dreamstime.com


Your Spotify playlists may no longer just be something to get you through your workday or workouts. They could even determine your next European vacation.


In tandem with easyJet, Spotify is releasing a new experience called ‘Listen & Book’ where you scan your favorite playlists on a dedicated microsite, and a thrilling travel destination will be recommended based on the songs you listen to. 


If you prefer wild and adventurous music, you may dance the night away in Barcelona or ski down the slopes of Sicily. Iceland’s northern lights and Lisbon’s stunning scenery, on the other hand, can be the right destinations for you if you enjoy ethereal, wistful music. 


Along with your new holiday destination, easyJet is also providing easy access to book your vacation right on the site itself.  


Image via Spotify


Now, as music has brought you to this new destination it can also be a big part of the trip. After finding out where your next potential vacation could be in, you will also receive a list of all the local concerts and events happening in the area, so you can discover each country’s live music scene.  


So what happens if you’re not ready to fly away just yet? Well, you can instead generate a curated playlist that ties in the travel destination chosen for you and your music. You can listen to the playlist to tide you over as you wait to jet off on your next adventure.  


Music is so much more than just a mental escape; it can now also be a physical escape as well. You can also immerse in a new culture by getting stuck in its music scene. And what better way to decide where to go than to base it on the songs you already love? 


[via Travel Tomorrow and Spotify, images via various sources]


France Will Pay People To Ditch Their Cars And Ride E-Bikes Instead

Photo 150098982 © Vitpho | Dreamstime.com


As stresses on climate change escalate, France is introducing a new scheme to drive people away from gas-chugging cars. 


The French government is providing €4,000 (US$3,969) to citizens who trade in their cars to help them pay for new electric bicycles. The amount will be awarded to every family member. 


However, the full lump sum will only be given to lower-income households and will be prorated against each family’s income. 


According to The Times, the incentive is one of the more generous provisions given by the government in order to reduce carbon emissions in the country.   


Individuals or families who are not ready to give up on their cars just yet but are looking to test out e-bikes will be provided with €400 (US$396) to help subsidize the cost. 


Cities such as Paris are offering €500 (US$596) instead under The Socialist-Green council. 


France is one of the fastest countries in Europe to adapt to bikes in 2018, with many of its major cities and towns being more accessible via two wheels than by car.


The nation has also adopted several other programs to reduce its carbon emissions, from instilling a law stating that shops with air conditioning will have to keep their doors closed. 


Europe in general is taking major strides towards reducing its car population. Many countries are also offering incentives to get people to walk or cycle to work instead of driving. According to the Light Electric Vehicle Association, Belgium pays its citizens US$0.45 for every mile that someone rides to work by bicycle. The Netherlands and the UK also have similar schemes.


[via Electrek and The Times, Photo 150098982 © Vitpho | Dreamstime.com]


Airliner Completes First Successful All-Electric Point-To-Point Test Flight

Image via Harbour Air


In a giant leap towards the promise of all-electric commercial flights, Canadian firm Harbour Air successfully completed its first point-to-point test flight using a retrofitted electric engine.

The historic flight took place on August 17, 2022, with the aircraft covering 45 miles in just 24 minutes, landing safely with “ample reserve power” left and marking a major milestone for the company.

“I am excited to report that this historic flight on the ePlane went exactly as planned,” reported Kory Paul, Harbour Air’s Vice President of Flight Operations.

“Our team as well as the team at magniX and Transport Canada are always closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance and today’s flight further proved the safety and reliability of what we have built,” he added.

This success is one step forward in the firm’s ambitious plan of becoming the world’s first all-electric airline. At the moment, as per Simple Flying, it runs seaplane transits, and could first adapt its all-electric model for this service.

MagniX, the electric motor manufacturer that partnered with Harbour Air on the project, also commented on the flight, saying it was “proud and honored to be a part of the innovators in the Electric Aviation industry changing the world for the better.”


Yesterday, Harbour Air’s ePlane completed it’s first ever point to point flight with the support of magniX! Congrats to everyone making history yet again! We are proud and honored to be a part of the innovators in the Electric Aviation industry changing the world for the better. pic.twitter.com/HjS2oVdfZO

— magniX (@magniX) August 18, 2022




[via Simple Flying and Harbour Air, cover image via Harbour Air]


Airline Criticized For Serving Bottle Of Water As ‘Vegan Meal’

Photo 197631268 © Ukrainian photographer Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com


One airline passenger was disappointed to find that her vegan inflight meal was unseasoned and watered-down—to the point that it was literally 100% H2O.

As Insider reports, travel writer Miriam Porter had been heading home from Frankfurt to Toronto aboard Air Canada, which promised two hot meals over the 10-hour flight. Porter says she pre-ordered vegan meals a month ahead, and that the airline acknowledged it.

Instead of a warm, comforting meal like everyone else was served, though, the traveler got a bottle of water. Though, to be fair, there are no animal byproducts in drinking water.

At least there were plants in her second “meal,” which was a napkin. Napkins are made from paper, and paper comes from trees, which are plants.



shout out to the kind flight attendant that got me fruit & dinner rolls from business class ❣️ #aircanada #vegan #plantbased #veganfortheanimals #airplanefood #aircanadafail #toronto #frankfurt #hungry #airplanemode #keepsmiling

♬ original sound – SweeetTails


Insider details that the airline had confirmed Porter’s vegan meals three times prior to the flight. However, when the crew brought the bad news that the special option was not available, they apparently added that “this sort of thing happens.”

Luckily, there was a flight attendant who sympathized with the passenger on this long-haul trip and brought her fruit, dinner rolls, and a granola bar.

On Air Canada’s website, it notes that special requests for meals can only be guaranteed if customers place their orders at least 24 hours before the flight. The passenger, however, booked hers way in advance.




[via Boing Boing and Insider, cover photo 197631268 © Ukrainian photographer Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com]


American Airlines To Add Supersonic Jets To Its Commercial Fleet

Image via American Airlines


Trailing in the flight path of United Airlines, American Airlines has now agreed to purchase 20 supersonic jets from Boom, becoming the country’s second airliner to add supersonic speed to its fleet. 

This partnership with Boom is likely to give American Airlines’ aircraft a much-needed speed boost, which the press release already claims is the country’s “simple, youngest, and most efficient.” 

“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers. We are excited about how Boom will shape the future both for our company and our customers,” remarks Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer. 

The supersonic aircraft—dubbed Overture—will be able to carry 65 to 80 passengers at a speed of Mach 1.7, or twice that of the fastest commercial plane today. 

The aircraft can hit the miles too, designed to fly over 600 routes around the world in what would take as little as half the time of a typical flight.


For example, the company expects the trip from Miami to London to be under five hours, and Los Angeles to Honolulu is just three.

The Overtures are scheduled to start ferrying passengers by 2029, so stay tuned.




[via CNN and American Airlines, cover image via American Airlines]


Tickets For Studio Ghibli Theme Park Go On Sale… But There’s A Catch

Image via Aichi Tourism Bureau


Earlier this year, the Studio Ghibli theme park in Aichi, Japan released a sneak peek of the forthcoming “world of Hayao Miyazaki,” which will open its doors to the public come November 1, 2022.

Now, tickets for the location’s imminent grand opening have gone on sale, though it won’t be as easy to get your hands on the much sought-after entry as you’d think. 

Instead of the usual book-and-pay system most sites employ, the tickets are only being sold online via a lottery system, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the tickets even if you’re willing to fork out the cash. 

According to Japan Times, a second phase of ticket sales will commence on September 10, where fans can line up to get tickets on a first-come, first-served basis, though competition is expected to be stiff. 

Furthermore, if you were thinking of planning a trip down to the theme park as part of a vacation, here’s some bad news: tickets will not be sold to people living outside of Japan. 

As per Sora News 24, all of these measures are to ensure visitors experience the best atmosphere, with attendance capped at a mere 4,000 guests on weekends, and staggered entry times implemented to prevent over-crowding. 

At the opening, fans will be able to tour the first three sections of the park, including Ghibli no Daisoko (Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse), featuring the garden seen in Castle In the Sky; Seishun no Oka (Hill of Youth) from Howl’s Moving Castle; and Dondoko More (Dondoko Forest)—a café inside a life-sized model of the house from My Neighbor Totoro

The entire project is estimated to have cost ¥34 billion (US$249 million) and was sponsored by the Aichi Prefectural Government. 




[via Japan Times and Sora News 24, cover image via Aichi Tourism Bureau]


Japanese Airline Adds Insects To Inflight Menu As Eco-Friendly Meal Options

Image via Zipair


Will you have chicken, fish, or cricket?

Japanese low-cost airline Zipair has started serving inflight meals made with ground-up bugs as environmentally-friendly options that are also rich in protein.

The airline sources its edible insect powder, ground from two-spotted crickets (or gryllus bimaculatus), from local cricket producer Gryllus. The ingredient is mixed into two new dishes to not only boost their protein content but also encourage travelers to live more sustainably, the South China Morning Post reports.

The first menu item, the Chili Burger Topped with Tomato, sees the edible cricket powder incorporated into the burger buns, patty, and spicy tomato sauce.


The other option to set hearts aflutter is Pasta Pescatore, which comprises soft-shell shrimp, octopus, squid, and clams cooked into a cricket-powder tomato sauce.


Image via Zipair


The unusual ingredient, first cooked into the airline’s food in July, give meals “a shrimpy taste and nutty aroma” and extra umami flavor, says inflight catering chef Keita Masuda (via Mainichi), who developed the two meals. Both dishes contain 4.5 grams of crickets.

Gryllus justifies that edible crickets are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and that they are great, nutritious alternatives for food shortages. They also grow faster than livestock, and require less food.

A spokesperson for the airline purports that there have been more than 60 orders for the meals since their debut.

The cricket-based meals are available on Zipair’s flights between Tokyo Narita and Bangkok, Singapore, Honolulu, and Los Angeles.

As part of a wider commitment to reduce food waste, the airline will also serve the insect-infused meals—as with all items on Zipair’s menu—to passengers who have reserved inflight meals in advance.


Would you trade buffalo wings for these wings?



[via SCMP and Mainichi, images via Zipair]


Zip From NYC To London In Just 3.5 Hours With Eco Supersonic Jet

Image via Boom Supersonic


Boom Supersonic is fulfilling passengers’ dreams of getting to new destinations at the drop of a hat.


Alright, it won’t be that fast just yet, but it will still be pretty speedy nevertheless. The airline, which previously only released the prospects of its jetliner, the ‘Overture’, which could get you over the Atlantic in half the time a normal aircraft could, is now becoming a reality.


Image via Boom Supersonic


An update from the company has given an estimated date of the arrival of these superspeed planes by 2029 as it is confirmed that the air carriers are going into production in 2024.


The airplane is able to travel at Mach 1.7, which is two times the speed of today’s fastest aircraft.  It also has a nonstop range of 4,250 nautical miles and a cruising altitude of 60,000 feet.


Image via Boom Supersonic


This allows it to zoom between New York City and London in 3.5 hours, in comparison to its current 5.5-hour flight. Alternatively, it could get between Seattle and Tokyo in 4.5 hours instead of eight-and-a-half hours.


This is all impressive, considering that the Overture only uses 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Its aerodynamic design of a tapered front that spans out towards its rear allows it to reduce drag and fuel consumption.


Image via Boom Supersonic


The plane is also being made from carbon-composite materials that are stronger, lighter, and provide more insulation in the cabin as compared to the typical metal used today.


The improved version of the Overture sees it incorporate four wing-mounted engines that will essentially drastically reduce noise for passengers onboard flights. It also helps reduce costs for future airline carriers.


Its gull wings provide the jet with stability at any speed it travels at.


Outside of United Airlines, which has already shown previous interest in investing in the aircraft, Japan Airlines has also now placed an order for the supersonic planes.


Test flights will begin in 2026.




[via Robb Report and Luxebook, cover image via Boom Supersonic]


China’s Newest ‘Sky Train’ Appears To Float 32 Feet Above The Ground

Image via Xingguo Government


In an incredible feat of innovation, China has recently unveiled the world’s first suspended maglev railway line, using the power of permanent magnets that are said to be able to keep this “sky train” floating 32 feet above the ground forever. 

The country is so confident of the 2,600-foot Red Rail, which runs through Xingguo county in Jiangxi province, that it believes the astonishing magnets—comprising of rare earth elements, which is said to significantly increase its lifespan—will continue working in the event the power supply’s switched off. 


Image via Xingguo Government


According to China Central Television, the state’s news outlet, the repelling force used to move the railway is strong enough to “float” a train filled with 88 passengers in the air. This isn’t China’s first maglev train, with the nation launching the “fastest ground vehicle in the world” last year.

South China Morning Post, which first broke the story, noted that the latest train, which is operated by artificial intelligence, never comes into physical contact with the rail, even as it chugs along at a respectable speed of 50 mph. 

Interestingly, because of the lack of friction and “floating” mechanism, the Red Rail has proven to be an energy-efficient alternative to the usual railway, requiring only a small amount of electricity to operate it, as per researchers at Jingaxi University of Science and Technology. 


Image via Xingguo Government


Plus, the scientists praised the maglev technology for generating minimal electromagnetic radiation, with its construction cost reportedly only 10% of what it typically costs to build a subway line. 

Following more test runs, transport authorities are planning to expand the line to cover 4.7 miles of ground, and will increase its top speed to a much quicker 120 km/h (74 mph).

Could this quieter, more futuristic railway be the gateway to better public transport in crowded cosmopolitan cities?


Image via Xingguo Government




[via Interesting Engineering and South China Morning Post, images via Xingguo Government]


Interrail Turns Rides Into Your Personal Montage With Adaptive ‘SoundTracks’

Image via Interrail


Train rides provide the perfect opportunity to kick back and watch as the countryside and cityscapes pass you by. And nothing beats a killer playlist to accompany you on your journey.


Europe’s Interrail Pass—which has opened Europe up to youths aged 21 and under to over 33 different locations across the continent—is now creating playlists for each individual passenger that adapt in real-time to the listener’s surroundings.  


The initiative, called ‘SoundTracks’, was created to help the ticketing company celebrate its 50th anniversary with some great tunes. 


Image via Interrail


So, how does an adaptive playlist work? Well, the SoundTrack responds to the listener’s location, weather, and time of day. So whether you’re watching the rolling hills of Switzerland pass by you or zooming through Prague, the playlist will adapt to your environment and play music to compliment it.   


Weather and time of day are also taken into account. Whether it’s snowing or sunny outside, night or day, each different combination of your environment will present a unique mix of music. 


Passengers just need to scan a QR code located on the window of each seat to access SoundTracks.fm. With permission, it will then track the user via GPS. Interrail has created a software that has the map of Europe integrated into it, so it knows just where the train is and through what terrain it is traveling through. 


Image via Interrail


The project was brought together by advertising agency Fitzroy and installation designers Circus Family


While you won’t need a train ticket to listen to the playlists, they are still best listened to against the backdrop of Europe’s majestic scenery. 




[via Creative Boom and LBB Online, cover image via Interrail]


Finland To Experiment With Digital Passports That Save Time At Immigration

Image via olezzo/Adobe Stock


Tired of ransacking your bag for your passport at the airport? Well, better times are in sight as digital versions look set to take off for cross-border travel—with Finland being the first EU country to get on board. 
The plan calls for replacing the paper booklets with smartphone apps that store all of a person’s information, with a trial set to launch for travelers traveling from Finland to Croatia in the spring of 2023.

According to Euronews, Finnish Border Guard inspector Mikko Väisänen said that the nation is presently preparing to develop a prototype app for the European Commission to assess before the plan can take place. 


So, how will this new digital passport operate? Before even boarding, passengers will transfer their data to their destination, doing away with the wait at immigration checkpoints. The data will then be erased for safety reasons after they arrive. 
Travelers will still need to carry their physical passports with them when traveling during the trial period, though, just in case. However, if the initiative is successful, physical paper versions could be abolished. 


The program’s objective is to make traveling easier by reducing the need to wait in immigration lines. Once implemented, the transition could prove to be timesaving because identification could simply be authenticated through an app and photo—no more page-flipping and stamping!


The concept of digital passports is not new: Ukraine was actually the first country to legalize it back in 2021. However, they can only be used within the country as identification at places like banks and are not allowed for cross-border travel.


Since then, other countries such as South Korea have embarked on the digital documentation flight path, with the US further experimenting with a system that allows travelers to pass immigration using only face recognition technology without having to fish out your well-traveled paperback. 




[via Travel Tomorrow and Euronews, cover image via olezzo/Adobe Stock]


French Mayor Asks Mountain Climbers To Pay €15K Ahead For Their Own Funerals

Image via Calin Tatu / Adobe Stock


Avid climbers who wish to conquer Mont Blanc may not only be physically exhausted by the end of the journey but also financially exhausted at the front leg of the journey.


Mayor Jean-Marc Peillex of Saint-Gervais is insisting that mountaineers put in a €15,000 (US$15,277) deposit to pay for their own rescue mission and funeral. The statement was announced via a tweet on his account. 


#saintgervais #montblanc pic.twitter.com/dBOTZcdNG1

— Jean-Marc PEILLEX (@PEILLEX) August 3, 2022


The hefty fee is due to the worsening conditions of the mountain from global warming, which is currently making it hard for even the most experienced climbers to make it to the summit.


As per the BBC, on Mont Blanc’s official website, it was even noted that mountain guides are now refusing to bring climbers up the famous Goûter Route from Saint-Germaine or from the Alpine resort of Chamonix. 


Climate change has caused the Alps to see unprecedented amounts of snow being lost, resulting in perilous rockfalls, some of which were deemed dangerous enough to kill people in their path. 


Peillex justified with the BBC that the deposit is put out there mainly to scare people away from climbing the mountain. According to him, the caution of landslides has not been enough to deter amateur climbers from the route.


More than 70 people tried to climb the mountain just this past Thursday, and the number keeps rising with each day. On average, only a dozen to 20 of the most skilled mountaineers are able to get to the summit nowadays, as compared to almost 120 in the past.


And so, if some advice wasn’t good enough to stop them, he thought he might as well tack on an enormous price involving their own funeral preparations to curtail even the most valiant of travelers. 


While it currently isn’t a law, he has the power to make it one if people do not abide by his call for safety. Mayor Peillex, however, does not have the right to close the Goûter Route to the public.




[via BBC and Independent UK, cover image via Calin Tatu / Adobe Stock]


Walmart Is Opening Tiny, Homey ‘General Stores’ Off The Grid

Image via Getaway


The next time you’re out camping and forget to carry a skillet for s’mores, just pop by your closest Walmart location. And that probably won’t take a two-hour drive back to the city—mini Walmarts are about to spring up in nature so you can pick up essentials you may have forgotten to pack. 

The big-box retailer is opening convenience stores on wheels, called ‘General Stores’, in areas off beaten paths, in partnership with Getaway, a popular tiny cabin rental service whose houses are tucked some distance off major cities and do not carry Wi-Fi or mobile service. 

Walmart wants to wedge itself into the minds of consumers even when they’re away from home by trying its hand at making “meaningful experiences” in the hospitality sector, Brock Manheim, an associate director at Walmart US, tells Insider.

The General Stores add to the chain’s mission to “help people live better no matter where they are,” says Walmart US brand marketing vice president Casey Schlaybaugh in a separate statement. The stores away from home will “[empower people] to spend more quality time with those who matter most.”


Image via Walmart

The charming mobile shops, bearing the exterior of Getaway’s quintessential black wooden cabins, will offer seasonal travel essentials sourced by Walmart and handpicked by Getaway. These include snacks, hiking gear, cooking utensils, film cameras, and toiletries.

The first location will open this month at Getaway Hill Country in Wimberley, Texas, on the outskirts of Austin and San Antonio.

Since there’ll be no cell coverage, guests will be able to make their purchases from the dedicated Getaway shopping page in advance so they can pack less for their vacations. Getaway Outpost guests will also receive a free one-year Walmart+ trial, along with Welcome Kits to make s’mores in the next six months.


Other General Stores rolling out this year will be based in Machimoodus in Moodus, Connecticut; Getaway Big Bear in Running Springs, California; Getaway Western Catskills in Roscoe, New York; and Getaway Ozark Highlands in Osceola, Missouri.







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A post shared by GETAWAY (@getawayhouse)



[via Insider and Retail Dive, images via various sources]


Walmart Is Opening Tiny, Homely ‘General Stores’ Off The Grid

Image via Getaway


The next time you’re out camping and forget to carry a skillet for s’mores, just pop by your closest Walmart location. And that probably won’t take a two-hour drive back to the city—mini Walmarts are about to spring up in nature so you can pick up essentials you may have forgotten to pack. 

The big-box retailer is opening convenience stores on wheels, called ‘General Stores’, in areas off beaten paths, in partnership with Getaway, a popular tiny cabin rental service whose houses are tucked some distance off major cities and do not carry Wi-Fi or mobile service. 

Walmart wants to wedge itself into the minds of consumers even when they’re away from home by trying its hand at making “meaningful experiences” in the hospitality sector, Brock Manheim, an associate director at Walmart US, tells Insider.

The General Stores add to the chain’s mission to “help people live better no matter where they are,” says Walmart US brand marketing vice president Casey Schlaybaugh in a separate statement. The stores away from home will “[empower people] to spend more quality time with those who matter most.”


Image via Walmart

The charming mobile shops, bearing the exterior of Getaway’s quintessential black wooden cabins, will offer seasonal travel essentials sourced by Walmart and handpicked by Getaway. These include snacks, hiking gear, cooking utensils, film cameras, and toiletries.

The first location will open this month at Getaway Hill Country in Wimberley, Texas, on the outskirts of Austin and San Antonio.

Since there’ll be no cell coverage, guests will be able to make their purchases from the dedicated Getaway shopping page in advance so they can pack less for their vacations. Getaway Outpost guests will also receive a free one-year Walmart+ trial, along with Welcome Kits to make s’mores in the next six months.


Other General Stores rolling out this year will be based in Machimoodus in Moodus, Connecticut; Getaway Big Bear in Running Springs, California; Getaway Western Catskills in Roscoe, New York; and Getaway Ozark Highlands in Osceola, Missouri.







View this post on Instagram












A post shared by GETAWAY (@getawayhouse)



[via Insider and Retail Dive, images via various sources]


Uber Swaps Roads For Tracks With Train Bookings From UK To Europe

Image via Emil02050 / Pixabay (CC0)


Uber rides are heading to tracks. The car-riding platform is expanding its service to incorporate trains, as part of a new partnership with travel search and ticketing service Omio


The Berlin-based company is lending its API to Uber to bring intercountry travel around Europe to users in the UK. Through this Uber Travel platform, users will be able to book trains, including the Eurostar, to destinations like Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels.


This will come in handy with the global surge in vacations as the travel industry returns to its pre-COVID days. Added to that are the aggravations in climate change that are pushing people to find greener ways to travel.


The UK remains Uber’s second-largest market, solidifying the decision to begin its new venture in the country.


Omio, on the other hand, has previously created its own app services for its customers. However, its true prowess lies in creating APIs for B2B customers. The co-founder of Omio, Nareen Shaam, told TechCrunch that Uber was the first company to gain full access to its ground transport inventory.


Omio covers over 1,000 different transport providers in 37 countries at present. This includes actual transport providers as well, such as LNER from the UK.


According to TechCrunch, the partnership looks hopeful about bringing the venture into the US in the future and is using the UK as a way to set its wheels in motion.




[via TechCrunch and Travel Tomorrow, cover image via Emil02050/Pixabay (CC0)]


Pelosi’s Flight ‘Most Tracked’ Of All Time, With People Worldwide Watching

Image via 12019 / 10257 images/Pixabay (CC0)


As Nancy Pelosi made the journey to Taiwan, her plane became the most tracked flight in Flightradar24’s history.


The SPAR19 flight that carried Pelosi and her team took off from Kuala Lumpur and began its momentous trek to Taiwan. People from around the world took to the tracking site to watch as she made her way to Taiwan, marking the first visit for a US House speaker there in 25 years.


The flight tracker site issued a blog post updating that the traffic on the page got so heavy it almost crashed its entire service. In order to stop that from happening, Flightradar24 limited access to only those who were subscribed and even opened a waiting room.


A total of 708,000 users followed her entire journey through the site, and a grand total of 2.9 million people checked in on her flight status at one point during the trip, seemingly out of uncertainty that she would stay true to her word to visit the island. 


After Taiwan claimed independence from China, the nation refused to acknowledge its independence. Strains between China and Taiwan have been rife over the last two decades.


Pelosi’s move to meet Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen in person was an act of defiance against the Joe Biden administration, which warned her of China’s potential reaction to this decision. Still, she kept her promise and made an unplanned stop.


In a letter via The Washington Post, she stated that her intentions were to make it known to the democratic island that the US would not abandon it. President Tsai publicly met with her on television, where she thanked Pelosi for her commitment to the relationship and gave her Taiwan’s highest civil honor.




[via Bloomberg and CNN, cover image via 12019 / 10257 images/Pixabay (CC0)]


Say Bon Voyage To Re-Bookings As Airline Refunds Could Soon Be Law In US

Photo 16022587 © Outline205 | Dreamstime.com


The pandemic has thrown the flight industry into a tailspin, with borders shutting and plans getting canceled at the last minute. With that came the storm of flight cancellations, which left people stranded in foreign countries and without compensation.   


As we move forward into an uncertain future of aviation, the US government is seeking ways to mitigate any further losses incurred by passengers. 


The proposed law called ‘Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations’ states all flyers who have had their flights canceled must be returned the money they forked out. This will potentially apply to flights that have been delayed or postponed indefinitely with less than a 48-hour window of notice given. 


The call to action was suggested by the lawmakers after almost 100,000 flights were canceled throughout airports in America this year alone. 


Flights that have been canceled since March 1, 2020, could also be refundable.


In the press release from the Senate, senior fellow for Aviation at the American Economic Liberties Project, William McGee, said that airlines have been holding over US$10 billion worth of refunds from customers due to the pandemic. 


So far, airlines have only given customers the chance to rebook their flights or vouchers, making it incredibly difficult for flyers to get their hands on a refund. The act will be an enforceable law that grants consumers the right to pursue reimbursements. 


Vouchers are still acceptable to be given once the law is passed. However, a clear note must also be provided stating that cash refunds are also available. 


While passing a law can take a long time, this bill has support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, giving it a higher chance of being passed. 




[via Gizmodo and Simple Flying, Photo 16022587 © Outline205 | Dreamstime.com]