Sexist Airways boss in ‘heartfelt apology’ for sexist remark

Asked at a news conference on Tuesday about female employment among Middle East airlines and whether his job could be done by a woman, Mr al Baker said: “Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position”.

…In 2017, he apologised after calling US flight attendants “grandmothers” during a trade row with US airlines, prompting an airline union to accuse him of sexism and age discrimination.

…In a statement on Wednesday, Mr al-Baker said Qatar  [Sexist] Airways fully supported [giving lipservice to] gender equality.

Qatar Airways boss in ‘heartfelt apology’ for sexist remark – BBC News



United passenger David Dao says he ‘just cried’ after he saw video of himself being dragged off a plane

Dao, speaking publicly for the first time about the encounter that left him bloodied, said that he woke up in a hospital with no memory of being taken off the plane.

Cell phone footage showed security officers dragging Dao by his arms and legs down an aisle before takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on April 9, 2017, after he refused to surrender his seat on the packed plane for commuting crew members.

The incident left him with a concussion, two lost teeth and a broken nose. It ultimately led to a financial settlement with United and the firing of two Chicago aviation security officers, and spurred airlines to change some ways they do business.

…United had offered compensation to anyone willing to give up their seats; Dao apparently was chosen when not enough people volunteered. Four Chicago aviation officers arrived when he declined to leave.

In a video shot by two passengers sitting behind Dao, he repeatedly refused to get off the flight, telling officers he was a physician and had to work in the morning.

…Joya and Forest Cummings told CNN that Dao was not belligerent and got only mildly upset when a second officer arrived and demanded he leave the plane, they said.

An initial letter sent to United employees appeared to blame Dao, referring to him as “disruptive and belligerent,” and praised employees for following “established protocols.” But United came under fire for how it responded as the footage went viral.

…The dust-up had national repercussions.

United made several policy changes or clarifications. Among them: The airline won’t remove boarded passengers involuntarily — or call authorities — unless there’s a safety or security issue.

Though United said the 2017 flight was simply full, and not overbooked, Southwest Airlines announced it would no longer overbook flights in an attempt to ensure ticket-holding customers would not be booted. Delta Air Lines and United said they would, if space is needed, offer volunteers up to $10,000 to give up their seats voluntarily.

United passenger David Dao says he ‘just cried’ after he saw video of himself being dragged off a plane – CNN


American Airlines sorry after ‘telling woman to cover up’ – BBC News

She alleged a flight attendant first asked her to step off the plane, then described her outfit as “inappropriate” to fly and asked if she had a jacket to “cover up” with.

…After attempts to defend her outfit apparently failed and her son become upset, Dr Rowe said she felt forced to wrap a blanket around her waist and return to her seat feeling “humiliated”.

…”Our bodies are over sexualized as women and we [are forced to] ADJUST to make everyone around us comfortable.”

“I’ve seen white women with much shorter shorts board a plane without a blink of an eye.”

On Tuesday the airline said they had apologised to Dr Rowe and her son and refunded their travel.

American Airlines sorry after ‘telling woman to cover up’ – BBC News

Screw the apology. Why does that flight attendant still have a job???

Jury awards $17M to 3 plaintiffs in deadly Amtrak derailment

On Dec. 18, 2017, Amtrak’s first paid passenger run on a new route from Tacoma to Portland, Oregon, plunged onto Interstate 5 near DuPont, killing three people and injuring more than 60 others. Amtrak admitted liability before trial.

…In June, the National Transportation Safety Board published its final report on the crash, with the agency’s vice chairman blasting what he described as a “Titanic-like complacency” among those charged with ensuring safe train operations.

Jury awards $17M to 3 plaintiffs in deadly Amtrak derailment – ABC News


Sweden Wants to Revive Europe’s Overnight Trains

While changes in the travel industry have tended to pressure night trains off the market, it’s clear that there is still some appetite for them among travelers. When Germany’s Deutsche Bahn halted its night services in 2017, Austrian Federal Railways took over some of the key routes. The takeover has proved to be a success, with passenger numbers on the services …rising from 1.4 million to 1.6 million between 2017 and 2018, a rise in profits, and talk of expansion. Meanwhile, well-established leisure services such as the London-to-Scotland Caledonian Sleeper continue to thrive.

The overnight train services remain popular because many people actually like them. The duration of travel, of course, is usually far longer than by plane, even when layovers and security are factored in, but there are other compensations. Generally scheduled to leave late evening and arrive before the working day begins, night trains offer the possibility of sleep and more leisurely travel compared to an early-morning rush to the airport. They can also be reasonably priced: On the Vienna-to-Berlin night service, for example, a one-way ticket with a reclining sleeper seat starts at €29 ($32.50), a couchette (a four- or six-person compartment whose bunks fold down into comfortable seating during the day) at €49 ($55), and a single-berth sleeper with private toilet and shower at €139 ($159). If the trip saves you the cost of a hotel room, many people seem to be noting, that’s not a bad deal.

So while the outlook seemed bleak just a few years ago, Sweden’s plan arrives at a time when the sector’s fortunes seem to be brightening once more.

…Getting more people on the rails can only have a positive effect in reducing the carbon footprint of international mobility.

Sweden Wants to Revive Europe’s Overnight Trains – CityLab


Andrew Yang is out to save the American mall

 At one time the US was home to  …2,000 [malls:] climate-controlled, multi-level, windowless and flanked on each end by well-lit department stores. There are just over 1,000 indoor American malls alive today, with analysts putting the number of mall closures within the next five years at between 20 and 25 percent.

,,,Yang’s policy would fund struggling malls with matching grants and tax incentives to the tune of $6 billion. Investing in and revitalizing dead malls doesn’t just mean bringing retail back; he’s also a big believer in transforming and repurposing malls into “[o]ffices, churches, indoor recreation spaces, anything we can do to keep these spaces vital and positive is an enormous win for the surrounding community,” reads his campaign site. Mall closures, Yang tweeted last month, “have a disastrous effect on local property values.”

…Abandoned malls are what the Congress for the New Urbanism coined “greyfields,” as reported by CityLab, for the seas of parking lots that surround them. Yang’s campaign pledge to transform vacant malls into multi-purpose spaces is right in line with New Urbanism’s architectural and urban planning movement to create mixed-use, “live, work, shop, play” centers, …(ICSC) found that 78 percent of US adults would consider living in such a center.

Democratic debates 2020: Andrew Yang on universal basic income and saving malls – Vox

A more flexible version of this plan, one that doesn’t necessarily envision “high-end” mixed use, would be very interesting.