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Flight secrets: The passenger habit that leaves cabin crew disgusted | Travel News | Travel

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The staff are there to check passports and greet excited travellers as they embark, before giving safety demonstrations and helping passengers cram their luggage into the sometimes-tricky overhead storage containers. During the journey, they can be called upon from everything from sweet treats and boozy tipples to samples of the in-flight perfume brands. Such interaction with customers can span both short and long haul flights, with no two journeys ever the same. Understandably, a variety of differeing issues and scenarios therefore occur.

Now a former cabin crew has revealed the most disgusting thing a traveller can do while they are thousands of miles above sea level, and the reveal may come as somewhat of a surprise.

Linda Ferguson, flight attendant, said: “Flight attendants have seen everything from vomit to blood to spilled food hit that carpet.

“We see people walking from their seats into the bathrooms all the time barefoot and we cringe because those floors are full of germs.”

Linda, who worked as a flight attendant for 24 years, added: “Never walk barefoot into the bathroom or the galley area because sometimes we drop glasses and there could be sharp glass there, too.”

Some safe words of advice for those who like to remove their shoes for the journey.

While she is not suggesting this should not happen, passengers should perhaps be aware to slip them back on before going for a stroll to release their legs, or trip to the on-board bathroom.

Meanwhile, a secret about the interaction between cabin crew staff has also been revealed.

A pilot and former airline employee has revealed there is one specific time on the route where all talking between staff – both pilots and flight attendants – is banned.

Amanda Twine has let slip it is when the aircraft is travelling below 10,000ft – and guarantees passengers will not hear a peep from staff.

She revealed: “The flight attendants are not permitted to contact the pilots below 10,000 feet.

“The pilots are not even allowed to engage in general chit-chat between themselves during this period. Why? Short answer – for safety reasons.

“The most task intensive period for a pilot is during take-off and landing, and pretty much any time the aircraft is below 10,000 feet.

“This period in the flight requires the pilots to do complete checks, communicate with air traffic control, enter data into the flight computer and cross-check instruments.

“The last thing they need is the flight attendants calling them on the phone or their colleague asking them how their kids birthday party went on the weekend.”

She added: “There are of course procedures to follow in the event of an emergency that requires the flight attendants and crew to communicate during take-off or landing – although rare, this does happen.”

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Travel & Escape

Christmas travel rules explained: From advance train tickets to travelling abroad from Tier 3 airports

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Q: Normally trains would be packed over the busy Christmas period. Do you have to get advance train tickets to ensure you have a seat? And what happens if a train is cancelled?

A: Sir Peter Hendy has been tasked with overseeing travel during the Christmas period by the Department for Transport. By analysing bookings and searches, the Chairman of Network Rail is looking at whether the current, reduced, infrastructure is prepared for a surge in passenger numbers with reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. The DfT is advising passengers to buy advance tickets to ensure they have a seat, and some operators such as LNER, are making them mandatory. 

On GWR services between London and the West, not all standard services will be reservable, but for those that are, GWR says “we’ll automatically allocate you a space if one is available or ask you to try another service if not. We always leave space on board for those with walk-up tickets, such as season tickets, or those who may have been disrupted.” 

Avanti West Coast is advising passengers to make advance reservations and has also relaxed its Christmas peak so that demand is spread over the period. It will be operating trains at 40-45 per cent capacity. 

Disruption is guaranteed on some parts of the network, with no trains operating from London Kings Cross between 25-30 December. LNER says: “Please do not travel to London on these dates. Trains either side of these dates will likely be busy.” It also advises against travelling on Christmas Eve and between 31 December and 3 January. 

GWR’s Night Riviera service between London Paddington and Penzance will pause between 24 December and 2 January. Engineering work is scheduled to take place on Northern routes either side of Christmas, too. 

If unforeseen cancellations arise, the Rail Delivery Group is offering reassurance that space is left on each service to allow for emergencies and cancellations. Agreements can be put in place with other operators, depending on the disruption, such as cross-acceptance of tickets. A spokesperson told i:  “contingency plans are in place and they will be very strong.” For example, if the last train of the day is cancelled, onward transport by other means could be arranged.

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Delta launching contact tracing program for international travel

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Delta announced Tuesday it will debut a new contact tracing program for international travelers returning to the United States.

The company said the program is in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program, slated to start December 15, will ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an “international location to voluntarily provide five pieces of data to aid contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts,” including:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.
  • Primary phone
  • Secondary phone

Delta said that under the new process, they will work with the CDC to streamline contact-tracing efforts by “directly and securely transmitting the five requested customer data points to the CDC via U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” Delta said this move will give the CDC access to the data fast, decreasing the time it takes to notify impacted customers. According to Delta, “by connecting with customers more quickly and providing public health follow-up, health authorities can help reduce instances of potential exposure and slow the spread of the virus.”

“Independent studies have shown that the many layers of protection Delta has already put in place are effectively minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and contact tracing adds one more important layer to our efforts to ensure safety throughout travel,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer said in a statement. “We want customers to feel safe when they return to travel, and this voluntary program is another way we can provide additional reassurance to customers and employees alike.”

Delta recently announced a COVID-19 testing program that allows a quarantine-free entry into Italy for the first time. The airline also remains the only airline blocking middle seats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Delta unveils ‘quarantine-free, COVID-free’ plan to resume international travel

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International flights are currently limited at Orlando International Airport because of travel restrictions, but there is some hope on the horizon.

This week, Delta announced what it’s calling a “quarantine-free, COVID-free” plan to get people from Atlanta to Rome.

U.S. citizens who are permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons like work, health and education can take part in the innovative and experimental flight program.

Delta stated passengers will need to have a negative test result 72 hours before departure, then they will need to test negative with a rapid test at the Atlanta International Airport before takeoff, upon arriving in Rome and before returning to the U.S.

“Carefully designed COVID-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place,” Delta said in a prepared statement.

The program begins Dec. 19.

Industry experts said they’re really hoping Delta’s new plan becomes some sort of a role model, saying it could be the key to safely restarting international travel.

“As the tourism sector tries to recover, to have that additional influx of tourists from outside United States would be a welcome occurrence,” said Dr. Sean Snaith with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting.

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