Skyscanner users have voted hidden charges to be t

first_imgSkyscanner users have voted hidden charges to be the most annoying aspect of air travel in a recent poll. Hidden fees charged for things such as checking-in hold baggage, fuel surcharges and booking with a credit card, received 24% of the vote.Close behind with 23% of the vote, was queuing for security and boarding, followed by lack of seat space (15%), irritating fellow passengers (11%), having to check in so early (8%), bad staff attitude and poor customer service (6%), sitting on the runway waiting to take-off or disembark (4%), having to bus to and from the plane (4%) and waiting for your luggage at the other end (4%).Skyscanner users also commented on other aspects of air travel they disliked, including: “awful airport food”, “draconian rules of baggage allowances that are only enforced rigidly at UK airports”, the “100ml rule for liquids” and that “flying gives no real sense of scale to your travels”.Rob Innes, head of marketing for Skyscanner commented:“It’s incredibly annoying when you see a great flight deal, only to find the actual price is considerably higher once you’ve added all the extras. A transparent pricing system would win more favour with air travellers and avoid them feeling ripped off when they arrive at the checkout page. The good news is that if you study the small print and learn how to avoid the extras, you can still get great deals on flights”.The result comes shortly after Michael O’Leary confirmed that Ryanair were examining the possibility of charging passengers to use onboard toilets. The press furore that followed the announcement has now led Ryanair to launch a competition inviting customers to suggest new ways it can cash in on ‘ancillary revenues’.Skyscanner’s suggestions on what airlines could charge extra for:• Charge a successful landing fee – to be paid upon disembarking the aircraft following a safe touchdown• Coin operated overhead lockers, window blinds and seat lights• Charge a premium disembarking fee – pay to get off the plane first• Fee for releasing oxygen mask, then extra charge per minute of oxygen consumed• Extra charge for emergency exit seats• New charge for hand luggage based on weight• Passenger weigh-in: surcharge of £1 per lb.• Surcharge for children as they generate less revenue from onboard sales (they can’t buy alcohol)• Life jacket optional – extra fee if you want one• Extra charge for newer planes• Standing room only – extra charge for use of seat• Extra charge for bookings made through non-English site (to supplement translation costs)• Charge for using electronic devices onboard• Charge extra for the captain’s weather forecast at the destination• Extra charge for having a co-pilot• Pay pilot minimum wage, but allow them to make money on tips; pass their hat around upon successful landing (see also: successful landing fee)• Order planes without windows, as they will be cheaper and lighterSee also:A Taxing Problem: the real cost of your flightsLugguage Costs Weighing You Down? ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related76% vote ‘Yes’ to airline ‘Fat Tax’ says Skyscanner76% of people believe that airlines should charge ‘Fat Tax’, according to the latest poll on Skyscanner.Brazilians voted world’s most beautiful people by Skyscanner usersBrazilians voted world’s most beautiful people by Skyscanner usersBad Breath and BO: most annoying passengersFellow passengers with bad breath and BO have been voted the worst people to sit next to in Skyscanner’s most recent poll.last_img read more



Tagged with
Comment

Has a new mutation in the Ebola virus made it deadlier

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Working with a team led by Jeremy Luban from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Sabeti and co-workers sequenced samples from 1489 West African patients and analyzed them. By March 2014—about the time the epidemic was detected, but some 3 months after the first case actually occurred—the sequences had split into two distinct lineages, one of which was characterized by a single amino acid change in a region of the virus’s surface protein and allows it to bind to cells. The mutant, Luban says, “completely supplanted the ancestral virus.”The big question, of course, is whether the mutation could help the virus spread. The researchers did not have access to a biosafety level (BSL) 4 laboratory necessary to test that with the real Ebola virus, so they engineered harmless “pseudotyped” viruses that contained the gene for the surface protein in both its ancestral and mutated form. The mutant far more easily infected human immune cells than did the ancestral pseudotype, the team reports today in Cell. The researchers also showed that the mutant more easily infects primate cells than cells from rodents or carnivores.The second paper, published today in Cell by a team led by Jonathan Ball at the United Kingdom’s University of Nottingham and Etienne Simon-Loriere of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, independently arrived at a similar conclusion. The team analyzed its own 1610 sequences from the epidemic and also found that they separated into two lineages based on the single mutation in the glycoprotein. The researchers also compared pseudotyped Ebola viruses that matched the ancestor with ones with the same mutation, and found they preferentially infected cells from humans as opposed to the fruit bat species Hypsignathus monstrosus. They also found this mutant’s infectivity was increased by other mutations, which suggests that the virus didn’t undergo just one, but several adaptations allowing it to jump more easily from human to human. That could have complicated attempts to bring the epidemic to an end.But Ball, Simon-Loriere, and colleagues approach this conclusion most cautiously, stressing that epidemiologic factors, such as “increased circulation in urban areas that in turn led to larger chains of transmission,” likely were the most important driver. “Despite the experimental data provided here, it is impossible to clearly establish whether the adaptive mutations observed were in part responsible for the extended duration of the 2013–16 epidemic,” they write in their paper.A study published by Science in March of last year did not find any evidence that the virus evolved to become more transmissible or more virulent. But the first author of that paper, virologist Thomas Hoenen of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Riems, Germany, says the two new papers make a powerful case that the glycoprotein mutation benefited the virus. “The question now is, what does this really mean in terms of biological consequences?”Luban stresses that Hoenen’s analysis and others that reached similar conclusions weren’t wrong. But the researchers were analyzing viral sequences to address different questions—such as the viral mutation rate—or only looked at samples isolated in the early days of the outbreak. “You have to do wet experiments sometimes,” Luban says. “All of the algorithm crunching suggested Ebola is Ebola is Ebola. These two experiments say it doesn’t matter what the computers say. The virus is more infectious.”The authors of the new studies agree that to clarify the impact the mutation has on transmissibility and virulence, scientists must do experiments with the real virus and engineered mutants of it, both in cell cultures and animals. But they have had difficulty finding a BSL-4 lab that’s willing to collaborate and funding is a challenge, too. “We need to pay attention to this,” Sabeti says. The rapid adaptation to humans underscores the need to respond quickly to animal to human transmissions of Ebola and other viruses, she adds. “Anytime you see one of these sparks ignite it could turn into full on forest fire.” The sheer size of the Ebola epidemic that began in 2013 and engulfed West Africa is still a bit of a riddle for scientists. Previous Ebola outbreaks had never sickened more than 600 people. But the outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea infected more than 28,000 before it was finally brought under control. Part of the explanation was that the virus had suddenly surfaced in major cities, making it harder to stamp out than in the isolated rural locales where it had struck before. The countries’ poor public health infrastructure and other environmental factors played roles as well.But two papers raise another intriguing possibility. They show that some 3 months after the outbreak took off and became a full-blown epidemic, the virus underwent a mutation that made it better suited for humans than for its presumed natural host, a fruit bat species. “The virus has never had this many human-to-human transmissions before, and there are a lot of mutations happening,” says Harvard University’s Pardis Sabeti, an evolutionary geneticist who co-authored one of the papers.Sabeti stresses that her team only has a “circumstantial” case about the timing of the mutation and the epidemic’s explosion, but her group and an independent team that published the second study have amassed what she calls “compelling evidence” that for the first time links a mutation in the virus to a preference for human cells. The findings “raise the possibility that this mutation contributed directly to greater transmission and thus to the severity of the outbreak,” the team writes. And they found an “association” with increased mortality. “We should neither be alarmist nor complacent,” Sabeti says. “Any possibility that one of the mutations can have a serious impact should be interrogated.” Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more



Tagged with
Comment