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From: TimF1/3/2018 6:12:51 PM
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A Pilot and Flight Attendant Got Married on Delta’s Final 747 Flight
by Emily McNutt

Delta’s Boeing 747 farewell tour has been drawn out for what seems like an eternity. But on Wednesday, on its actual final flight to Pinal Airpark (MZJ) near Tucson, Arizona, those on board are witnessed a special occasion in addition to the already special last 747 flight — a couple said “I do” while on the flight.
According to social media reports from those on board, the couple that got hitched have a very special connection to the 747. The two — Gene P., a pilot, and Holly R., a flight attendant — met on board a Boeing 747 nine years ago on a military charter flight to Kuwait.

“Since then we’ve spent years flying this airplane together around the world,” Gene said. “In a lot of ways we really grew up on the 747, so it’s a fitting salute to say goodbye with this milestone. For us, it’s really a way of showing that as one life ends, another one begins.”

We’re also going to have a wedding on board today. The couple – a pilot and flight attendant – met in 2009 on a 747 flight. #atlmzj #dl9971

— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) January 3, 2018

The couple wed while in-flight on the aircraft’s trip to its forever home in the desert. The cabin was outfitted with traditional wedding decorations — rose petals down the aisle, white decor and bows wrapped around the seats.

And that’s a wrap on the @delta inflight wedding on the airline’s final 747 flight. The altar: Row 24

— Dawn Gilbertson (@DawnGilbertson) January 3, 2018

“I love this plane – it truly feels like home to me,” Holly said. “I feel very fortunate that the 747 was based in Detroit. I was able to fly with the same crews and we really became a family. It’s always been my favorite plane, and it’s absolutely a love of Gene’s – he loves it like he loves me. We’re so fortunate to able to give her a farewell with the memory of a lifetime. It was meant to be.”

For any AvGeek — especially for these two who have a very special connection to the aircraft — getting married on the Queen of the Skies surely means the most. The ceremony even featured a 747-themed wedding cake.

Airplane wedding calls for airplane wedding cake. 1:400 scale of course. #dl9971 #atlmzj

— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) January 3, 2018

Delta is the final US carrier to operate 747s — that is, until N674US lands in MZJ for the final time. Read more from TPG Managing Editor Alberta Riva’s experience on the last passenger Delta 747 flight, and from TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig’s experience on six things he’ll never forget from Delta’s 747 farewell flight to Boeing’s facility at Paine Field. And, if you still have your eyes set on checking out a 747 before they’re totally a thing of the past, several international carriers still fly the aircraft to North America.

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From: TimF1/19/2018 11:41:51 AM
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Your Amazon Order Might Lock You Out of Trusted Traveler Programs

You wouldn’t think online shopping could get you in trouble with customs, but if you accidentally order counterfeit merchandise on Amazon it just might. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, you probably want to double check your orders from now on.

Last year, Harper Reed, an engineer at Paypal, ordered a suitcase on Amazon. It was a Rimowa, which is a high-end luggage brand that usually costs several hundred dollars. On Twitter (see below), Reed explained that he paid full price for the suitcase and that the listing looked like any other item being sold on Amazon—except it wasn’t. Reed never received the suitcase, was quickly refunded his payment of $700, and then went to Neiman Marcus to purchase it there instead. No explanation from Amazon was given and, while he was a bit perturbed, he carried on with his life.

Then, come November, Reed applied for renewal of his Global Entry status, a Trusted Traveler program for “pre-approved, low risk travelers” offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It speeds up the airport security process for approved travelers, saving you a lot of time and grief. But to Reed’s surprise, he was denied. Unbeknownst to him, customs had flagged him for importing some counterfeit goods. Guess what it was? That’s right, the Rimowa suitcase he never actually received. According to Hilary George-Parkin at Racked, a spokesperson for CBP confirmed that having past violation of customs laws or regulations on your record can make you ineligible for Trusted Traveler programs. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, you’re screwed. You can appeal the denial, but the process can take months, making every trip you take during that time a frustrating experience.

So what happened? It’s impossible to say for sure (CBP doesn’t release specifics), but U.S Customs probably intercepted the shipment of the counterfeit bag as soon as it arrived, then Rimowa was sent a seizure notice with the names of the importer and exporter who are breaking the law. Meanwhile, Reed was refunded for the bag and carried on none the wiser. From there, Rimowa likely had an opportunity to take some kind of action, but since going after the exporter is a costly pain in the butt (as is the middle-man, Amazon), they chose the easier target: Reed. He got flagged for importing counterfeits, and was thus denied Global Entry.

Counterfeits and scams from fraudulent third-party sellers is a growing issue on the Amazon marketplace, so it’s more important than ever for you to pay close attention to the items you’re buying—especially if they’re being shipped to you from overseas. Watch out for massive discounts, learn how to spot fake reviews, double check who you’re buying from, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Amazon customer service if something seems amiss. When in doubt, buy luxury and big brand name items directly from their stores and websites. Cases like Reed’s are rare (this may even be the first case like this), but it’s a stark reminder that buyers truly do need to beware.

Message 31442892

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From: TimF3/26/2018 11:36:19 AM
   of 1494
Passengers Stranded After Drunk Pilot Removed from Cockpit Just Before Takeoff

... According to The Local Germany, the 40-year-old co-pilot was meant to be working on a Portugalia flight from Stuttgart to Lisbon on the evening of Friday, March 23, but he allegedly had way too much to drink before getting behind the controls of a plane. Police came to investigate the situation after another airport employee reported seeing the pilot “reeking of alcohol,” stumbling, and looking unsteady on his way to the flight.

Police reportedly entered the cockpit just before the plane was scheduled to take off, and they allegedly detained the pilot after finding him in an extremely intoxicated state. The co-pilot’s flying license was reportedly suspended immediately, and his bail was set at 10,000 euros, or $12,000.

The passengers were unable to fly to Lisbon that night after their flight was canceled, and the next available flight from Stuttgart to Lisbon was not until the next Monday. The passengers were put up in hotels for the weekend. TAP Air Portugal, Portugalia’s parent organization, apologized for the inconvenience to its passengers and said it would be looking into the incident, which definitely rivals some of the wildest airplane stories of 2017. ...

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From: TimF3/26/2018 6:48:22 PM
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It's Incredibly Easy to Tamper with Someone's Flight Plan, Anywhere on the Globe
Hackers can gain access to and manipulate flight information because of aging legacy systems.

It's easier than many people realize to modify someone else's flight booking, or cancel their flight altogether, because airlines rely on old, unsecured systems for processing customers' travel plans, researchers will explain at the Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival on Tuesday. The issues predominantly center around the lack of any meaningful authentication for customers requesting their flight information.

The issues highlight how a decades-old system is still in constant, heavy use, despite being susceptible to fairly simple attacks and with no clear means for a solution.

"Whenever you take a trip, you are in one or more of these systems," security researcher Karsten Nohl told Motherboard in a phone call ahead of his and co-researcher Nemanja Nikodijevic's talk.

Specifically, the pair have researched so-called Global Distribution Systems (GDS). These are essentially the back-end used by travel agents and airlines to handle the allocation of tickets.

When someone pays for a flight, the airline or travel agent probably gives them a six digit code. Punching this and their last name into different websites, such as that of the airline, allows flyers to then see their flight information, and in turn they can change their trip or otherwise rearrange their booking.

But one issue is that these codes are incredibly easy for a computer to quickly churn out, meaning a bot could simply cycle through various options until it lands on a legitimate code for a corresponding surname. Several of the GDSs don't use any sort of rate limiting system—only allowing a certain number of requests per minute or second—so the researchers were able to swiftly process millions of possible combinations automatically.

The codes don't contain ones or zeros to avoid confusion with I or O, Nohl says—they only use upper case letters and no special characters too. On top of that, in two out of the three larger GDSs, the numbers increase sequentially, Nohl explained. This means a hacker can predict when a particular set of numbers are more likely to be used at a certain time of day, or day of the week, in turn making it much more likely that they will successfully match a six digit code with the correct last name, and gain access to flight information.

The codes themselves can also be easily found on people's' luggage tags or potentially on a boarding pass, as others have previously found.

Armed with these techniques, a hacker might be able to track someone, finding out where they're flying to and from. Working with the German TV station ARD, the researchers were able to change the flight booking of a reporter, putting him on the same flight as, and in an adjacent seat to, a German politician.

"We were able to try a couple million for a given last name, and that was enough to find this German senator," Nohl told Motherboard.

There is also the potential for financially-driven fraud too. Hackers could add a frequent flyer account to expensive long haul flights, or perhaps cancel a trip, receive a coupon from the airline, and then use that to book another flight, Nohl claimed.

Nohl told Motherboard that specific companies have said they will employ measures such as rate limiting to curb just how easy it is to discover flyer's six digit codes. But that still leaves a wealth of interconnected systems that were never really designed with the internet in mind, and the threat that it would pose.

"Despite responsible disclosure, which we are doing right now, there doesn't seem to be a clear path to a really better system yet," Nohl said.

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From: TimF6/13/2018 10:03:51 PM
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Gatwick drone incident - 2 July

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From: TimF7/6/2018 1:13:44 PM
   of 1494
The Economics of Airline Class

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From: cruisingtime7/16/2018 6:43:34 AM
   of 1494
Hi community!
I'm looking for tips!
In September I'll go cruising in Croatia, starting my trip from Sibenik, and I've booked an amazing sailboat with Filovent, an online rental boat agency.
I was thinking about cruise along Kornati Islands, and then sail southward along Split, Brac Island, Korcula and Makarska.
Do you know some alternative tours?
Many thanks!

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From: TimF7/17/2018 8:55:40 AM
   of 1494
10 Beautiful Places in the World That Actually Kinda Suck

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From: Neeka7/30/2018 2:21:53 PM
   of 1494
My husband and I are going to Boston next Spring and we have decided to use Air BnB for lodging. Neither one of us have a clue about that city, but we want to stay near the downtown area so we can do the Freedom Trail etc. (also want to go to Bunker Hill and realize we'll need transportation for that.)

Air bnb has these 4 neighborhoods avail, and we were wondering if someone can tell us which one is closest to the downtown corridor and the Freedom Trail?

These are the areas listed on the Air BnB website.


South End

West Roxbury


Hyde Park

Theater District

Chestnut Hill



South Boston

Financial District

Coolidge Corner


East Boston

Downtown Crossing


Leather District


Government Center



Back Bay




West End

Beacon Hill


North End




Jamaica Plain

Harvard Square




Mission Hill



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From: TimF8/12/2018 7:14:36 PM
   of 1494
Why are the Jumbo-jets disappearing?

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