What could be the story of the decade came out in Aviation Week and Space Technology last week, and nobody noticed. Lockheed-Martin's "Skunk Works," renowned for breakthrough airplane designs from the pioneering P-38 to the Mach 3 SR-71 and the stealthy F-117, announced it was developing a nuclear fusion reactor that would be small enough to power an airplane. The Aviation Week story wasn't even the first public report on the Skunk Works fusion project: As early as February 2013, a top spokesperson described the concept. But as far as I know, no important media outlet picked up on the story, then or now. And the story is potentially huge.
Fusion power holds the potential to solve the world's energy problem for the indefinite future. The basic power for the sun, fusion converts four hydrogen atoms into one slightly lighter helium atom, with the mass difference converted to energy. (The exact mechanism is a bit more complicated, but that's the basic idea.) ... read more»
Icelandic airline Wow is kicking off new routes from the U.S. to Europe with some pretty incredible introductory fares. These are the kind of airfare deals that make you stop the important things you're doing and fumble around in your purse for your credit card.
The ultra-low-cost carrier, which operates all-coach Airbus A321 and A320 planes, will begin service from Boston to Europe in late March, with five flights a week. Thrice-weekly flights out of BWI will begin in June. The carrier already flies around Europe, but these routes mark Wow's first-ever service to the United States. ... read more»
If you were to extrapolate from travelers' complaints about air service, you'd be tempted to assume that their primary concerns when choosing airlines were legroom (more not less), nuisance fees (fewer not more), and frequent-flyer miles (more not fewer).
A new survey just released by YouGov.com paints a very different picture. An overwhelming 86 percent of the 1,145 U.S. adults polled placed price as their highest priority when shopping for flights. Checked-bag fees -- another determinant of price -- were next, at 55 percent, followed by direct flight routes, at 48 percent. ... read more»
Guest blogger Nate McFadden is the cohost of the Alpine Strangers podcast.
While waiting on a rental car at the Cabo airport, someone mentioned it might rain. I didn't think much of it at the time, as it was about then that my wife returned with our rental car and we started our vacation. But it did rain that weekend—Hurricane Odile dumped 15 inches of rain on us.
We were very fortunate that the hotel where we stayed had water, food, and limited generator power. Even so, being trapped in a disaster zone has its challenges. We had to wait four days before we could be evacuated. The days after the storm were not as scary as the storm itself, but were more trying.
Riding out a hurricane in a hotel room—and being stranded for days afterward in a severely damaged tourist destination—gave me a lot of time to consider what I wish I had known in advance, what we did right, and what I'd do differently next time. Here's what to know if you find yourself vacationing in a hurricane. ... read more»
A new members-only hotel-booking site has plenty of perks, but is it worth the price? ... read more»
Today, members of United's MileagePlus program can earn miles when renting cars with eight rental-car companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Thrifty.
Beginning on November 1, that list will be pared to three: Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty. (Dollar and Thrifty are both owned by the Hertz Corporation.) ... read more»