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American Airlines has revealed that it accidentally let too many of its pilots take time off during the week of Christmas. Now, the airline faces a manpower crisis that could leave around 15,000 of its flights without a pilot to sit in the cockpit.
The airline blames this blunder on some sort of a computer glitch. It seems as if the scheduling system it uses to assign pilots for various flights had indicated that there were enough captains and first officers to go around on flights. Separately, another system, which is used to assign holiday leave based on seniority of the staff, got a little carried away with the festive spirit of Christmas and gave too many pilots time off.
To get their pilots back to work and to avoid the mass cancellations of tickets, the airline is offering extra pay to pilots who pick up flights. In a released statement, it said that it has enough reserve pilots to cover the flying time during December, and it’s still working with the pilot’s union to smooth out the situation. Representatives of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents more than 60,000 pilots in US & Canada, says that the airline should have consulted with them before announcing the extra pay. However, with approaching peak travel times, it’s easy to find an acceptable solution.
Most of the time, airlines have to deal with bad weather that can ground planes, leaving the crew in wrong location, or when someone misses his luggage. But a glitch in the software that can affect planes, pilots, or passengers is very harder to handle.
In September this year, European budget operator Ryanair had the same problem. It had booked too many crew members for vacation. It had to cancel more than 2,100 flights, and had to deal with some 315,000 customers who were trying to get to home or going from home on summer vacations.

 

-Archit

Tech

Future is here, for Uber

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Uber believes it has a solution to the ever present problem of traffic. This solution goes beyond hiring someone to do the driving for you. Instead of driving your car or riding in someone else’s, you can just take out your phone and select UberAIR in the app. You can then head to the roof of a nearby tall building and hop into a gleaming white helicopter-drone hybrid  that can lift you up and you can reach your destination flying at a speed of over 200mph.

Uber has presented this idea. And this week, it has announced that, by 2020, it wants to launch this service Los Angeles as a test. And, a few years later, a real commercial service.

Uber has even released a video showcasing such a journey. After finding an elevator or in other cases, stairs, passengers will reach the roof. It is presumed that they are verified, because there’s no security visible in the video. A helper in an orange vest will then take a group of no more than four passengers out to the waiting craft. Then the pilot will take off and a small LED display will show to the passengers, the estimated arrival time.

If this is to be made possible, then Uber will need to solve all the other problems that come with launching this sort of transportation service. That means cooperating with air traffic control, finding the appropriate flying routes, addressing the noise concerns, and developing or acquiring high-tech flying cars. But Uber certainly has the guts and resources to do all this.

Uber has insisted that it only wants to help build an environment that makes such a service possible. In the same way as it doesn’t build cars, it doesn’t plan to have to design its own aircraft or hire its own pilots or air traffic controllers. It only wants to be a catalyst or a helper, to help others who can solve the problems. The company only wants to motivate them in this milestone in transportation.

Acquiring a fleet of aircrafts and merging them into an existing traffic of a city is a very complicated job. This service will not look like Uber’s ground service. The first flights will likely be on agreed-upon routes, just like roads in the sky. Those routes would have to run above freeway corridors also, to help with noise concerns.

The vehicles aren’t yet procured, but Uber is working with aerospace partners like Pipistrel, Embraer, Aurora Flight Sciences, Bell Helicopter and Mooney Aviation. The technical challenges of creating a drone which is capable of carrying passengers are notorious.

There’s still a very long way to go between such demonstration flights, which can at maximum efficiency move not more than 20 people an hour from one part of a city to another, and a real commercial service, which will literally have to transport thousands to be cost effective.

Uber at present has proposed point-to-point transport from airpads. This will be a problem in the future when it has to deal with aerial traffic from aircrafts waiting to land.

This all may sound like the talk of the future. But the path of advanced transport passes through the struggle of a well-developed local aerial transport available to the citizens.

 

-Archit

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Lifestyle

Travelling alone? Keep these things in mind.

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Being a girl, I think it would be quite rare for you to travel alone anywhere to distant places, for instance- “traveling outside the country”. So, have you ever seen the outside world alone? Has it been possible ever for you to roam around outside of the country with no company? Travelling alone can be the best thing that can happen to a female in her life. You can go to any place without the judgment or restrictions from any side.  Well, yes, undoubtedly the trip belongs to you and only you. Make it the best you can.

Well, ladies! get ready for this one. No need to be afraid of the world. Yes, you can travel alone. We have brought the list of various necessary stuff that you need to carry with yourself while you are on a Solo trip.

Things to do before you are leaving for the trip:

  1. Be sure and well acknowledged about the place you are going to. Websites like makemytrip.com or tripadvisor.com can be of a great help. Just check out all the necessary information for yourself about that place, the hotels, and the neighborhood.
  2. Food? Yes, of course, it should be the best. Check out for the food providers in that area where you are going to travel and choose the best one based on the reviews they got for their services and other variants.
  3. In order to deal in case of the emergency, just give the complete information to someone you know so that you can contact him/her in case of need.
  4. Carry the necessary documents with you or put their images saved in the Google Drives so that you can access them with any device.
  5. Be clever! No need of you to keep the money all at a single place. Keep some in your pocket, some in the cash card and the remaining in the hotel back in case of an emergency.

Things to do when you have finally reached your dream place:

  1. Communicate with the employees of the hotel where you are residing or make friends there and ask them about the place. Where to go and where not to go?
  2. Know your limits. In case you are consuming Alcohol or liquor, you need to know this- “drink moderately”.
  3. Be equipped with the safety mechanism where ever you will be or are traveling. If you are going to the bathroom carry your bag with you. Stay safe!
  4. No need for you to start checking your phone and maps for navigation in the middle of the road. Just check in to a nearby shop or cafe and then see where to go and where you presently are.
  5. Carry a whistle with or any other safety stuff for your safety as you are alone there.

So, you are ready for the trip now! Keep the above-listed points in mind and start traveling. Have a great trip. 

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Delhi

Rides in AC not so cheap now

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If you are travelling beyond 5 km by the Delhi Metro from Tuesday, Oct. 10th be prepared to pay ₹10 extra with the recent fare hike coming into effect. The hike comes within five months of the last one. It will affect every passenger of the Delhi Metro who travels beyond 5 km. While journeys falling in the 2 to 5 km distance slab will only cost ₹5 more.

The Delhi Metro had started operations on December 25, 2002, the minimum fare at that time was ₹ 4 and maximum was ₹ 8.

The revised fare structure now on is: up to 2 km ₹10, 2 to 5 km ₹20, 5 to 12 km ₹30, 12 to 21 km ₹40, 21 to 32 km ₹50 and for journeys beyond 32 km ₹60. Smart card users, who happen to be 70 per cent of the metro’s total commuters, will continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride. They will get an additional discount worth 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours. Off-peaks hours are from beginning of services till 8 am, between 12 pm to 5 pm and from 9 pm to end of the services.

The price hike came late on Monday night in the face of stiff opposition mounted by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against the fare hike. The Delhi Assembly passed a resolution against the hike earlier in the day. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia termed the decision as a “conspiracy” which benefits private cab services. The DMRC had been batting for a hike for quite a time, citing “losses” in view of loans and rise in input costs of operation, such as power tariff among others.

The new fares would be applicable on five corridors — Blue, Yellow, Green, Red and Violet — of the metro routes that crisscross the Delhi region, with the total network length of 213 km. It is announced that there shall be no change in the fares of the Airport Express Line (Orange Line).

 

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