Category: Air

This Is What A 10 Hour Flight Looks Like Condensed Into 150 Seconds

One of the best features of many smartphones, particularly the iPhone 6s, is the time-lapse feature. Recently, on an Austrian Airlines flight from Vienna to Washington D.C., I had an unexpected opportunity to capture a very amateur time-lapse of the entire 10 hour flight.

The combination of an empty seat next to me, a fairly flat window opening, not to mention a conveniently located USB port to keep charged during the entire shoot made this a fun project for a long flight. In case you were wondering, here is what the ad-hoc setup looked like:

airplane flight time lapse

A boarding pass between the phone and the glass to prevent temperature warnings (and automatic shutoff), plus a vomit bag stuffed into the window for the cheapest tripod ever. Of course, this isn’t the ideal way to take a time-lapse video. Here’s how to take time-lapse videos and the best times to shoot them during your travels, plus a few examples of mine from the Taj Mahal, Tunisia’s Star Wars sets, and more.

Why Missing A Flight Isn’t Such A Big Deal And What To Do If It Happens

havana airport

The one event most travelers try to avoid at all costs is missing their flight. Whether you you show up at the airport 3 hours early or cut it much closer, fear of missing a flight can induce panic, terminal sprints, and philosophical debates on rush hour traffic flows. Missing a flight can brandish you a careless traveling idiot undeserving to board another aircraft again but like most things in life, stuff happens.

Fortunately I’ve been unintentionally researching for this post for years. Here’s what happens when you miss a flight and what you can do about it.

Under The Right Circumstances

Many of us who’ve ever flown on a route with a connecting flight have missed a flight due to a late connection. In those cases you’re put on the next available flight by the airline, an inconvenience but without the complications of missing your first flight from the airport altogether. This post is about the latter case, when, for whatever reason, you’ve shown up at the airport too late to check-in. The first thing to do is breathe and stay calm, in most cases it’s not the costly end-of-the-world mistake you may be thinking.

deep breath

Misconceptions

For starters, you’re not the only one. 2% of all travelers who show up two hours before a flight don’t make it and around 70,000 American Airlines fliers have missed flights in the United States alone due to excessive security line wait times alone. Given the numbers of people missing flights, the airlines have incorporated some flexibility for customers to handle such circumstances.

Know When It’s A Lost Cause

Prior to getting to the security line, your major deadline is check-in. For most flights if you’re not at the airline counter 45 minutes before departure, checked bags or not, you’re probably not making that particular flight. You should do all you can to make it on time but know when it’s time to start thinking about alternative options. Trivially stressful events like soccer matches can increase your chances of a heart attack and a missed flight isn’t worth a hospital visit.

tokyo narita airport

Once you’ve accepted the inevitable, begin politically pivoting to get on another flight and pay as little as possible for it.

Anecdotally, several airlines have policies that allow passengers to re-book flights with no penalties if they’re no later than 2 hours of the scheduled flight.

Internet Ahead

For close calls (i.e. missed flights within 2 hours) go to the check-in desk and explain your story. (Or as Spock would say, exaggerate the truth.) When you arrive at the airport, be sure to tell the staff you’re running very late for a flight so they can push you to the front of the check-in line – you might get lucky if there are any flight delays.

In cases where you’ve really screwed up the times, say A.M. with P.M., be calm, collected, and use The Art Of War to get on the desk agent’s good side but first call ahead to the airline. At worst, you’re likely to pay a re-booking penalty of $100-200, and while it’s not the best news, it’s a lot better than having to pay for a completely new ticket.

WiFox, The Map Of Current Airport Wireless Passwords Worldwide, Is Now Available On Android

wifox app

WiFox is a map of airport wifi and lounge passwords from around the world that’s updated in real-time with information verified from other travelers, pilots, and reliable sources. Last month I released WiFox for iOS, starting today it’s available for Android devices on Google Play.

wifox google play

How WiFox Works

WiFox is based on my popular map of wireless passwords from around the world, letting users around the world add password information from airports as they travel. Passwords are then verified and added to the map, which is updated in real-time when you have an Internet connection. All of the hotspots are shown on a Google map, which you can download for offline use, as well as in a searchable list view.

wifox android app

  • Hotspot Information Includes – Airport, location in the airport or lounge, network name, password, plus any other details that might help you get online (e.g. “sit next to gate 47 for the strongest signal”).

All of the information is verified before being approved to the map – plus you can submit password changes as you discover them. WiFox also has a simple feedback system that let’s you vouch for working passwords or let me know one might need updating.

Unlock Airport Time Restrictions

WiFox currently has the access information for over 80 airports worldwide. Additionally, WiFox shows you airports with free wireless so you can better plan a trip. Many free wifi connections in airport often have time limits, so not only does WiFox tell you what they are but it also has information showing you how to turn limited into unlimited Internet.

Available On Google Play Now

WiFox is available for Android on Google Play as well as Amazon for $1.99. There are no in-app purchases or ads and airport wireless updates are free, for life. As I have for the iOS version, I’ll keep adding new features to WiFox, hotspots, plus other updates regularly based on your reviews. My goal is to help you travel smarter and get online in airports you might not otherwise be able to (or in airports that want to email you a password – before they let you online, ugh).

wifox google play android     wifox ios app store    wifox app amazon
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about WiFox in the comments below and if you’re happy with the app, I would appreciate your a 5-star reviews on Google Play!

WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide

wifox app

Available on iOS, WiFox is a continuously updated map of airport and lounge passwords from around the world available to travelers offline, so you can use it without an Internet connection. WiFox is based on my popular map of wireless passwords from around the world, letting users around the world add password information from airports as they travel. Passwords are then verified and added to the map, which is updated in real-time when you have an Internet connection.

Continually Updated From Multiple Sources

WiFox is updated with information travelers, pilots, and other users send through the WiFox app, foXnoMad website, and foXnoMad Facebook and Twitter accounts. WiFox currently has wireless Internet information for over 70 airports.

WiFox also tells you if any wireless access points have time restrictions – if they do, WiFox shows you how to get around them!

The map is updated automatically upon opening the app (when you have Internet access), by clicking the ‘Update’ button on the map, or the refresh icon on the List View.

wifox app store

Other WiFox Features

  • Copy Passwords Directly – Wifi icons on the worldwide map indicate if password information is available. You can find the lounge or terminal where wireless is available and copy the password directly from WiFox into your phone’s settings.
  • Unlock Time Restrictions – Access points with time limits are also shown but WiFox shows you how to get around time-based restrictions.
  • Updated In Real-Time – Travelers can rate password information, letting me know if it might need a update or send an updated password for verification directly through WiFox.
  • Rating System Keeps Password Information Current – WiFox’s wifi icons are color coded to let you know how fresh and reliable a given access point’s password information is.

Available For iOS Now, Android Version Coming Very Soon

WiFox is available on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) for $1.99 on the App Store. An Android version is in the works (I didn’t forget about you!) and I’ll make an announcement when it’s ready for release in a few weeks. Know that your feedback is an important part of WiFox, I would love to hear any feedback or feature requests you have for future updates.

Ratings on the App Store are also important, so if you’re happy with WiFox, I would appreciate your 5-star ratings! I’m excited to announce foXnoMad’s first app, which I hope will help you travel smarter and get online for free in airports you might not be able to otherwise.

Download WiFox, Available on the App Store Here

How To Book Your Tickets And Check In At The Airport If You’re A Dual Citizen

two passports dual citizen

Although being a dual citizen isn’t common – it’s estimated only 1-2% of people worldwide [PDF] are one – questions about how to travel as a dual citizen are. Having two passports from different nations can get confusing when your planning a trip because the rules vary – and most nations don’t provide a lot of information about dual nationality other than: “when you’re using your other passport, you’re on your own.”

There are however some general guidelines you can follow when you need to travel with two passports, aren’t sure which one to use, or decide to take advantage of visa regulations.

Differentiate Between Passport Control And The Airline

This is where most people get confused because when you’re only using a single passport, you can practically think of immigration and the airlines in the same way.

When traveling with two passports, you need to remember that passport control cares (mostly) about your entry into the country you’re physically in – whereas the airlines want to make sure you can legally enter the country you’re going to. Also, remember to use the same passport to enter and exit a country, here’s why.

Airlines are fined if they allow someone who needs a visa to board a flight to a country that requires one of them, so at check-in when they ask for your passport, it’s one of the things the staff are looking for. The immigration personnel, when they ask for your passport, want to determine whether or not you can legally enter that country (either through a visa-waiver program, visa, or residency).

How To Book Your Tickets

Let’s say you want to use your “other” passport, for this example we’ll use the United States and Italy. You live in the United States, have dual Italian citizenship, and are planning a 2 week trip to Rome. In this case, you would book your flight tickets under your American passport, since U.S. citizens can stay in Italy up to 3 months without a visa. At Italian immigration, show your American passport (or Italian it really doesn’t matter in this case), then eat all the pasta you want.

slice of pizza

Now, say you’re going to a 6 month trip to Italy (lucky you!) when booking tickets, use your American information. When you show up at the airport in the U.S., the person behind the counter will ask if you have a visa to stay longer than 3 months in Italy. You’ll just tell them you’re a dual U.S.-Italian national and show both passports. In the case you would need to show a passport upon leaving America (i.e. passport control) – use your American passport. When you arrive in Italy for your 6 month stay, show your Italian passport to passport control.

Many dual nationals tend to have questions here too, such as, “what if I decide to stay in Italy for 8 months instead of 6?” It’s important to understand you’re an Italian citizen so you can stay as long as you like. It also means if Italy decides citizens have to do mandatory military service, you can’t fall back and say, “wait, I want to be American now.”

Using Two Passports To Avoid Visas

Here’s another example – again, these are just example countries and rules – let’s say you’re a dual United States-Brazilian passport holder. You want to go to Brazil to train jiu-jitsu but know that Brazil requires a pricey entry fee from Americans. Since you’re a Brazilian national, though living in America as an American citizen, if you want to get around this fee, this is how:

  1. Book The Ticket – As a Brazilian national.
  2. In The U.S. – Show the airline clerk your Brazilian passport. Show immigration (if you have to go through passport control your American passport).
  3. Upon Arrival In Brazil – Show passport control your Brazilian passport.

jiujitsu belgrade serbia

Upon your return to the United States after learning a slick rear-naked choke, you simply follow the above, but in reverse.

Handling Stopovers

A situation where one of your passports doesn’t have the right (aka. visa) to be in a country you have a layover in. Many of you in this thread have asked about it, the simple answer being, if you don’t have to go through passport control, it’s not an issue. Otherwise you’ll need to show the passport that is legally allowed to pass through; keeping in mind to check with the airline beforehand.

Some Important Caveats

All of the above countries and visa requirements were used as examples – you need to talk to the appropriate embassy if you have specific questions or to confirm any of the above. Laws change and vary between any two nations and how they view dual nationals. Also, some countries don’t allow dual nationality in which cases you ought not to play around with the rules.

Hopefully though, for those of you who’ve been wondering how to travel with two passports, this clarifies many of your major questions. If not though, feel free to ask away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help.

Immediately Take A Photo Of Boarding Passes Before Flying To Ensure Proper Mileage Credit

turkish airlines boarding pass

Airlines are making it increasingly difficult to earn frequent flyer miles and one particularly nasty way is by creating a cumbersome system to claim miles you weren’t rightfully credited. You’re often required to provide details from your boarding pass – with long waiting times before you’re allowed to do so.

It’s very important, if you want to ensure you get frequent flyer miles you’re due, to immediately take a photo of your boarding pass after it’s printed, here’s why.

You Fly But Don’t Get Miles

In my experience, this happens about 20% of the time, particularly when flying on partner airlines of these three major alliances. Some airlines (*cough Turkish Airlines*) also seem to habitually neglect crediting miles. All of the airline programs have some system where flyers can request miles not credited. The difficulties come in the long waiting periods to actually realize, then claim, then follow up on missing miles.

copenhagen kastrup airport

Airlines Keep You Waiting In Hopes You’ll Forget

Perhaps I’m being a bit cynical but in order to get miles you weren’t credited, the airlines impose long waiting periods, all the more chance you’ll forget about the missing miles in the first place.

  1. Time Airlines Have To Post Miles: Varies between around 2-15 days after a flight, meaning you can’t notice or claim missing miles until this period is over.
  2. First Claim Waiting Period: The airlines give themselves around 2-3 weeks after a claim to post (or not) miles.

cat playing with clock

So the total amount of time you have to potentially get miles back is 1 month – and that’s for the first claim. Personally, I’ve had to go back and claim miles twice for about 40% of my un-credited miles; essentially adding another two weeks to the month it already takes. Keep in mind the airlines never follow up with you – the burden of checking, claiming, and verifying is all on you.

Get In To The Habit

It used to be that many airlines would require you to physically mail in boarding pass stubs, why I recommended keeping them for at least a month after flying. Although that’s still not a bad idea, snapping a photo of the complete boarding pass with your phone as soon as it’s in your hands works just as well.

space grey iphone 6s

I even go a step further a create a special ‘boarding passes’ folder on my phone, not deleting any of them until I see miles for those flights credited to my account. Much like keeping a digital travel budget, you can even use some of these travel reminder tools to ensure lost frequent flyer miles don’t slip your mind.

Finally, it’s important to take a photo of the entire boarding pass – not just the stub. Airlines require the complete ticket number which sometimes overflows from the boarding stub on to the ticket itself; or sometimes it’s not on the stub at all. Even though claiming frequently flyer miles online is tedious, don’t let the airlines discourage you out of getting them. Uploading boarding pass stubs to claim miles (when they’re not properly credited) only take a few minutes and even the occasional flight can get you free upgrades.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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This Is What A 10 Hour Flight Looks Like Condensed Into 150 Seconds