THIS IS JUST A SMALL SELECTION OF MY BBC FUTURE ARTICLES.                                                                                                    PLEASE FIND MY COLUMN HERE: http://www.bbc.com/future/columns/journey-upgraded

How to clean an airliner

05 October 2015

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

There are potentially dangerous stowaways on every flight you will ever take. You’ll find them in the first class cabin as well as in economy, sharing your seat, your headrest, even your tray table.

The bacteria that passengers unwittingly carry with them can be a real problem for airline operators. How do they go about getting their aeroplanes truly clean again? And what can we do to avoid picking up an infection when we fly?

Our personal experiences might suggest some operators don’t pay much attention to cleanliness. I once suffered through a long-haul flight – with a stop-over in Miami – in a plane that clearly hadn’t seen a cleaning crew for many days, if not weeks. ---> Keep reading

Is the seat-back movie about to die out?

02 July 2015

Credit: Science Photo Library
Credit: Science Photo Library

In 1936, just over a decade after long-distance passenger air travel started in earnest, the Zeppelin Hindenburg sported a full-blown piano, along with a lounge, dining room, smoking room, and bar. Before that, it was common for airships to have musicians playing on smaller instruments such as accordions to help passengers while away the hours (and days). Long flights, it seems, have always needed entertainment to stop people getting bored.

After World War II and until the 1990s, the most plane passengers could expect was a movie at the front of a cabin: first using a projector, and later shown on a few sparse TV screens lowered from the ceiling. Some airlines also offered music to passengers, first through little airtubes... ---> Keep reading

The search for an effective cure for motion sickness

17 August 2015

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Motion sickness can seem like a minor ailment to those blessed with a sturdy constitution. “People don't die from motion sickness,” says Bill Yates, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. But for sufferers it can be a real problem – particularly since the modern world doles up motion sickness-inducing scenarios on an almost daily basis: planes hit turbulence; cars swerve suddenly; ships list on a rough sea.

The condition can even impact our career choices. At 15, all I wanted to be was an astronaut. Acute motion sickness stepped in and said ‘nope’: I realised I was never going to adapt to the weightless interior of a spacecraft. Recently I had the chance to confirm my hunch. Strapped to the inner ring of an aerotrim, or ‘human gyroscope,’ with all its three rings rotating around different axes... ---> Keep reading

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