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6 Flight Attendants On How Their Jobs Have Changed Since Coronavirus



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United has reduced its flights in April and May by 90 percent. Delta has cut 80 percent of international flights, and 70 percent of its network overall. As for the third of the Big Three, American—which was already on wobblier financial ground than its rivals—has removed 75 percent of international flights from its network though early May. And on Sunday JetBlue joined them in drastically slashing services, telling employees that it will only operate essential flights, which includes less than half its usual network this week.

Of course, the employees providing service to fliers on those essential flights are the flight attendants. “It’s been tough, on a personal [and] psychological level,” says Mathew, 40, a New York-based flight attendant who’s been with one of the major airlines for 12 years. “Folks keep asking ‘How are you doing? How are you feeling?’ They mean well, but it’s traumatizing.” It’s a reminder, he says, of the challenges he currently faces simply by turning up for work.

Paul Bowles, 24, has been flying for just two years, and is based out of Minneapolis. “It’s depressing. I worked a trip last weekend, and my friend was trying to fight back tears as we did the beverage service on an almost empty flight,” he says. “I am keeping my bags in the garage when I get home, and washing my uniform after the trip.”

Another New York-based flight attendant, who is in her late 30s and asked to be referred to as LJ, also works for a major carrier continuing to fly; under current guidelines, if she does not work as rostered, her income will be impacted. “I feel like a walking Petri dish. We are exposed to so much and we live all over the country, so we are carting back whatever we have been exposed to back to our homes,” she says. “I would rather be home and self-quarantined for everyone’s safety.” Onboard, she’s resorted to ad hoc remedies which she hopes will ward off sickness: lining her nose with Vick’s vaporub and taking Airborne regularly. “Hand sanitizer is the daily norm for me, all day every day, so my hands look like the crypt keeper.”

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While the largest union representing flight attendants, AFA-CWA, issued a press release earlier this month outlining its demands to protect cabin crew in flight, it did not call for mandatory self-isolation. For Dana, a three-decade veteran of the skies based out of LAX, the issue is broader than perceived cleanliness of aircraft right now. “Many flight attendants don’t understand how they can be allowed to work on planes with more than 50 people when cities, states, and nations are calling for ‘social distancing’ and to avoid large groups,” she says, noting that on international routes, many countries now require self-quarantine for travelers on arrival. Flight crews, however, are usually exempt.

Airlines official policies on how to implement social distancing at 30,000 feet differ. According to a United spokesperson, the airline now follows the directives of CDC when seating fliers. “We would like to give customers the opportunity to do so when flight loads permit. Therefore when possible, United is trying to seat customers in such a way that there is an acceptable distance between them, in accordance with CDC recommendations, unless they are traveling together. We believe this will help to lessen traveler anxiety.” A Delta spokesperson says that the airline has updated its operational weight and balance policy so that customers can distance themselves on board, and gate agents will also be primed to help with seat reallocation.

There have been other changes made, too. Onboard service standards have adjusted to address the health of both staff and travelers: no more glassware or hot towel service in many premium cabins, and no self-serve snack stations. The rules against wearing plastic gloves while conducting food service have been relaxed, and cleaning of the aircraft intensified: Delta, for example, published details on its various social channels showing how it is fogging interiors. (The process essentially coats every surface with an EPA-approved disinfectant, which can be then cleaned before customers board.) The airline has also co-opted its own museum into a reservation center so that reps can continue handling the enormous volumes of calls from passengers while maintaining social distance for their safety.

GALLERY: The world’s most beautiful libraries

Slide 1 of 23: While we all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, this is one case in which evaluating something based on its appearance is not only accepted, but encouraged. From Seattle to Tokyo, these beautiful libraries are known for noteworthy exteriors—think soaring architecture and bountiful gardens—and interiors featuring designs like frescoed ceilings or walls made entirely of glass. And that's nothing compared to the millions of books housed within their walls. So whether you're a bookworm or an architecture lover, start adding these 22 libraries to your must-visit list. This article was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated.
Slide 2 of 23: Easily one of the most beautiful libraries in the U.S., the George Peabody Library (part of Johns Hopkins University) contains over 300,000 volumes stacked in five decorative tiers. The books are impressive, sure, but the cathedral like-atrium, marble floors, and wrought-iron details are the main draw here. Is it any wonder the library has become one of the most popular wedding venues in Baltimore?
Slide 3 of 23: Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the Seattle Public Library's central branch building juts out of the downtown skyline. The glass-and-steel edifice stands 11 stories tall, and due to its location on a hill you can enter and exit on different floors. The inside pops thanks to a vivid green color used as a decorative touch on walls and in the elevator—fitting, since Seattle’s nickname is “the Emerald City.” Head to the 10th-floor reading room to take in views of the city, including Elliott Bay.
Slide 4 of 23: If the Vancouver Central Public Library looks familiar to you, that’s because it was modeled after another famous building: Rome’s iconic Colosseum. The nine-floor library complex takes up an entire city block, and includes office space, coffee shops, and retail on the ground floor. One of its most striking features is a rooftop garden designed by Safdie Architects.

Slide 5 of 23: Not only is this Spanish library a work of art, it’s also part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Originally commissioned by King Philip II in the 16th century, the library’s most dazzling feature is a series of seven frescoes that depict the liberal arts (music, rhetoric, astronomy, and so on). The town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which is about 45 minutes outside of Madrid, has long been a favorite of Spanish royals, and there’s plenty more to see here beyond the library, including a monastery, gardens, and the pantheons of former princes and kings.
Slide 6 of 23: Completed in 2007, Tokyo's Tama Art University Library may be modern in design—think concrete arches, glass walls, minimalist furniture, and tidy rows of computers—but it still manages to have a classic, almost ancient feel. Perhaps the 100,000 books add a touch of archaism, or perhaps it's because the sleek structure sort of resembles a vaulted wine cellar. Either way, this complex structure certainly belongs on every architecture lover's bucket list.
Slide 7 of 23: This particular temple to books was originally built in 1648, but was renovated to its current state in 1999. It's colloquially known as the “black diamond” thanks to the shiny black metal segments on either side of the clear glass middle section. Inside, you'll find a veritable treasure trove of European works with a special focus on Denmark (of course), with all of philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s original manuscripts and the original copy of the first-known Danish book. The building is also home to the national photography museum, a café, a performance hall, and a large abstract fresco by renowned Danish artist Per Kirkeby on the inside of the ceiling.
Slide 8 of 23: The Strahov monastery in Prague was originally founded in 1143. Despite wars, fires, and other disasters, the order endured and built its library in 1679. The library's best-known features are its remarkable ceiling, which is covered in Biblical frescoes, and the "compilation wheel" that turns to rotate shelves in order to make books easier to find without knocking any of them over.
Slide 9 of 23: Yes, this is a library, but really, it's more like a palace devoted to books. Its limestone exterior was inspired by the famous Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, where it was built before being shipped to Rio de Janeiro. And the interior is just as stunning: There’s a red, white, and blue stained glass window letting natural light in through the ceiling, while a silver, marble, and ivory altar welcomes visitors into the building.

Slide 10 of 23: If China's Tianjin Binhai Library looks familiar, it's probably because photos of the building's futuristic design went viral when the building opened its door in 2017. (It received over 10,000 visitors per day back then, and continues to be Tianjin's top tourist attraction.) Designed by Dutch firm MVRDV, the library features a huge luminous sphere (called 'The Eye') in the middle of an auditorium, cathedral-like vaulted arches, and undulating floor-to-ceiling shelves. There's just one catch: The highest, inaccessible shelves don't actually have books on them—instead, they hold aluminum plates printed with book images. But hey, smoke and mirrors can be beautiful too.
Slide 11 of 23: Stockholm's public library was designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, who is also known for his work on the Skandia cinema and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Woodland Cemetery. The round main hall has books in every Nordic language and a white, textured roof that was designed to look like clouds.
Slide 12 of 23: The next time you're in London, set aside some time to take a day trip to Oxford—specifically the Bodleian Library. The library has been in use since the 1300s (that's practically a thousand years), and its 12 million printed items continue to attract researchers and travelers from around the world. Aside from housing museum-worthy tomes (like the first editions of Jane Austen’s Emma and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species), the library's many buildings are as beautiful as they come—make sure to stop by the 15th-century Divinity School and Old Bodleian Library.
Slide 13 of 23: Located next to Senate Square and the Helsinki Cathedral, the National Library of Finland is easily one of the most stunning buildings in the country. The main building was designed in the early 19th century, with architect C.L. Engel pulling inspiration from Classicism with Corinthian columns, central rotunda, and halls coated with coated with stucco marble. Renovations in the 2010s restored the building's wooden floors and ceiling murals to their former glory and added an underground kirjaluola (Finnish for “book cave”) to store some of the library's three million books.
Slide 14 of 23: If you've ever wondered what a multimillionaire's personal library looks like, look no further than the Morgan Library & Museum. Spread among three buildings once owned by financier J.P. Morgan, this Madison Avenue landmark includes galleries, libraries, a performance hall, and, of course, Morgan's private book collection. Trust us, the library is worth the hype, with gold decorations, fresco-covered ceilings, and three floors of bookshelves—some connected by secret passageways.

Slide 15 of 23: Situated in a concrete cube in the heart of southern Germany, this isn't your average library. The main attraction—a five-story reading room shaped like an upside-down pyramid—looks more like an M.C. Escher drawing than a library, until you notice the hundreds of thousands of neatly stacked books, that is. Cozy? Not really. Beautiful? You bet.
Slide 16 of 23: The Welsh capital has a long history of supporting libraries: Its first one was built in 1861, mostly with public money. The latest incarnation, completed in 2009, is patterned with tall, thin panels of blue, black, and green glass designed to resemble the spines of books. A steel sculpture called Alliance, which represents Cardiff’s journey from past to present, sits in front of the library. At night, the sculpture glows as words in Welsh and English are projected on it.
Slide 17 of 23: Dublin's Trinity College houses the Book of Kells, a ninth-century manuscript penned by monks in amazingly intricate fonts and illustrations. Each page is like its own work of art. When you’re done perusing the famous tome, pay a visit to the library’s Long Room; staring down the 200-foot-long hallway stacked with 200,000 old books might just give you chills.
Slide 18 of 23: As much as we love them, printed books may not be the most eco-friendly things in the world. But everything else about the Beitou Public Library in Taipei, Taiwan, is ultra-green, thanks to a design meant to keep energy and water consumption at a minimum. The two-story wooden building's slanted roof almost makes the library look like it’s winking at you. There are balconies along the sides, too, complete with rocking chairs where you can curl up with your favorite novel.
Slide 19 of 23: Located near the southernmost tip of Norway, Vennesla's library is more than a collection of books—it's a city cultural center and meeting place. The building hosts a coffee shop, open meeting spaces, classrooms for adult education courses, and a cinema. The long, thin wooden beams on the library's interior were designed to look like the inside of a whale.
Slide 20 of 23: Biblioteca Vasconcelos is truly something to behold. Inside, you'll find more than 470,000 books stacked in hanging shelves, with curious details like see-through floors and a white whale skeleton on display. Outside, the 820-foot building (made of concrete, steel, and glass) sits in the middle of a lush botanical garden containing flora native to Mexico. So if you're looking for a little nature with your culture, you know where to go.
Slide 21 of 23: Alexandria was once home to the most famous library in the world. Now, Egypt pays homage to its biblio-heritage with this sleek granite building. The circular structure, designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, is covered in carvings done by local artists and sits next to a large reflecting pool. Although there are plenty of books in three languages (Arabic, French, and English), there are also museums, a planetarium, and a lab dedicated to restoring and preserving ancient manuscripts.
Slide 22 of 23: This library is a study in contrasts. On the outside, it’s an ultramodern glass box, but the inside of the building looks like it could have been a set on a Harry Potter movie. Located in Adelaide, this library places particular emphasis on Australian history, works by indigenous authors, and maps. For modernists, the library maintains a Flickr account where people can submit their own images of South Australian life.
Slide 23 of 23: The Central Library is one of downtown Los Angeles's most significant buildings. On the outside, it's a prominent example of Art Deco design, but on the inside, there's an elegant rotunda whose centerpiece is a bronze chandelier, a sweeping staircase that used to lead to the card catalogues (everything's digitized now, of course), and decorative stencils depicting important moments in California history.

While we all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, this is one case in which evaluating something based on its appearance is not only accepted, but encouraged. From Seattle to Tokyo, these beautiful libraries are known for noteworthy exteriors—think soaring architecture and bountiful gardens—and interiors featuring designs like frescoed ceilings or walls made entirely of glass. And that’s nothing compared to the millions of books housed within their walls. 

This article was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated.

George Peabody Library, Baltimore

Central Public Library Branch, Seattle

Central Public Library, Vancouver

The Library of El Escorial, Spain

Tama Art University Library, Tokyo

Royal Library of Denmark, Copenhagen

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague

Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro

Tianjin Binhai Library, China

Stockholm Public Library, Sweden

Bodleian Library, Oxford, England

National Library of Finland, Helsinki

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York City

Stuttgart City Library, Germany

Cardiff Central Library, Wales

Trinity College Library, Dublin

Beitou Public Library, Taiwan

Vennesla Library and Culture House, Norway

Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Richard J. Riordan Central Library, Los Angeles

And as airlines—and the airports that service them—are looking for major bailouts from the government, flight attendants are as concerned for their financial wellbeing as their health. There are persistent rumors that restrictions on flying might extend to an outright ban on domestic service, and much like after 9/11 or during the 2008 recession, many expect furloughs—effectively unpaid, extended leave until economic conditions improve. According to Bowles, his colleagues are already prepping for such a scenario. “I’ve seen threads on Facebook where we’re sharing our side hustles so we can support one another, as some take a personal leave of absence,” he says. “I’m offering to review and revamp resumes for those who take that leave and are looking for work.” Bowles is concerned for his own future as well. He and his husband, also a flight attendant, have a rental property they use to generate extra income—unfortunately, the tenants are cabin crew, too.

“It’s extremely tense, as people are worried about their jobs. Think of it like a reality television show where you are waiting to be eliminated,” says Joe Thomas, 47, who has been cabin crew for 12 years and runs the blog Flight Attendant Joe. “It’s not only tough for airline employees, but for the families they have to leave behind. I have a hard time explaining to my husband that I have to go to work, because he wants me to be home and safe.” Thomas says that many crews are posting more goofy videos than ever about life working on a plane. “Humor in a time like this is helpful.”

There is, however, hope in a return to normalcy. “Our customers have been so very supportive, and they’re grateful to get where they’re going because now they have to, not just want to,” Mathew says. “We’ll be on this carousel for a few months and come July or so, we’ll be back to talking about how expensive tickets are and calming down someone who was forced to check their bag.”

In the interim, however long that may turn out to be, most attendants are taking it day by day. “There is a certain level of grief that comes with this virus. I actually miss people and the beauty behind traveling,” says Jennifer Jaki Johnson, 36, who has been working for a major carrier for six years, while running the travel and style site Jetsetter Chic. But she also notes that many of the flights still operating serve vital purposes: transporting soldiers home to loved ones, rescue animals to new homes, and even donated organs in cargo to key hospitals. “The flights may not be filled—there might only be 10 people—but we’re saving lives. On the bright side, that’s a beautiful thing.”

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Meghan Markle: Inside $75k-a-night New York hotel room where Duchess had her baby shower

Located in the prestigious Upper East Side of Manhattan, The Mark Hotel is a stunning, star-studded location that has seen its fair share of celebrities. But the best room in the entire place is not a room at all but a stunning 12,000-square-foot penthouse with views of New York’s skyline. Priced at a mouthwatering $75,000 (£63,000) per night, the suite is not only New York’s most expensive hotel room but it has hosted the likes of ex-Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, actress Katie Holmes and The Duchess of Sussex herself. Meghan’s extravagant baby shower was planned by no other than tennis champion Serena Williams and included a night in the top notch suite.

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So, what does $75,000-a-night get you on the corner of Madison Avenue?

The Mark Hotel calls the suite an “oasis in the sky” which has its own private lift that takes guests up to the 16th floor to access the famous penthouse suite.

The lift leads to the foyer which has for doors leading to different parts of the 12,000-square-foot penthouse.

Just before entering the lounge area, there is a seating room with a grand piano which leads to one of the most incredible aspects of the suite.

The lounge is an airy room with a plethora of windows, a billiard table, multiple seating areas and a 26-foot-tall cathedral ceiling.

The penthouse suite also includes a library which has a cozy seating area that is perfect for taking some timeout away from the busy city.

Opposite the bookshelves is one of the suite’s four fireplaces which were designed to make the space feel more homely than hotel-like.

The owner of The Mark Hotel Izak Senbahar told Fortune: “Our guests live truly global lives and also truly understand and expect rarified luxury and real comfort so we wanted to create a majestic space within the hotel that is the pinnacle of luxury in terms of design and amenities but also feels more like a majestic residence than a hotel suite.”

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Through the library, there is a a formal dining room that seats up to 24 people at a time.

Each room and most the furniture in the luxury penthouse was designed by French interior designer Jacques Grange who also designed the dining table.

The kitchen in the suite is surprisingly quite basic but there’s a reason for that.

Guests who stay in the penthouse also have access to in-room dining which includes caviar and can either book a private mixologist for $3,000 (£2526) to $5,000 (£4211) or book a 10-course dining experience with Michelin-star chef Jean-Georges for upwards of $10,000 (£8423).

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Up the stairs, is a beautiful conservatory which offers an exclusive view of the New York City skyline.

The room has sofas, armchairs, a fireplace, a wet bar and access to a 2,500 square-foot terrace with views that overlook Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During the winter months, guests can also enjoy the ice rink which is installed especially for guests.

The whole suite has a muted, neutral colour scheme and consists of five bedrooms which can house 15 guests.

The master bedroom has a floating fire place, an office area and a huge king size bed.

But one of the most amazing aspects of the suite is the master bathroom which has a large, walk-in shower on the left as you walk in, two sinks, a bidet and a deep soaking bath tub that has a window so you can look out onto New York while you relax.

The Mark also sells a bathrobe for $3,400 (£2863) if you want to dry off and relax in complete luxury.

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No industry-wide bailout for airlines and airports, says UK government

Airlines and airports in the UK have been told there won’t be an industry-wide government bailout amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak wrote to aviation executives on Tuesday to say that he would only consider discussing measures to shore-up individual businesses as a “last resort”, and that this would be done on a case-by-case basis rather than applied across the board.

He repeated the package of measures announced on Friday that will be available to all British industries: postponing some rates and tax payments and paying the majority of employed staff members’ wages.

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Sunak added that “taxpayer support would only be possible if all commercial avenues have been fully explored, including raising further capital from existing investors”. It comes after easyJet, among other airlines, continued to pay out dividends to shareholders, to the tune of £171m. The airline’s founder and largest shareholder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, received £60m.

The lack of government bailout was met by shock and concern from some corners of the industry.

Chief executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), Karen Dee, said: “After having publicly announced a support package for airports and airlines, we’re surprised by where we find ourselves today. Our industry will now have to fight on its own to protect its workforce and its future.

“With passenger numbers approaching close to zero, UK airports have seen a major drop in revenue. They are taking unprecedented steps to safeguard airport staff and operations through this crisis, which could include in some cases considering shutting down for a period of time. This could have major impacts for UK communities and businesses.”

She added: “While countries across Europe have recognised the vital role airports play and are stepping into the breach, the UK Government’s decision to take a case-by-case approach with dozens of UK airports is simply not feasible to provide the support necessary in the coming days.”

The AOA is calling on the government to “urgently reconsider” and set up an industry-wide package of measures.

Meanwhile, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is demanding that the European Commission, member states and their governments “act to provide the financial support needed to secure the very survival of our industry and Europe’s future economic growth and connectivity.”

Montserrat Barriga, ERA director general, said: “We need to ensure a comprehensive basket of relief measures are made available to the aviation industry, and that best practices are implemented across countries.”

IATA, the international trade association for airlines, has praised some governments for stepping into the breach and introducing a package of measures for the aviation industry, while calling on others to do more. 

“My message to governments that have taken up this cause is to say thank you for leading,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. “And keep watching the situation as it develops because we may need you to do more.

“My message to governments that are considering doing something is to hurry-up. Every day matters.

“For all the others, the potential for a $252bn fall in revenues is an alarm bell. This is apocalypse now and you must act fast.”

According to IATA’s latest analysis, released on 24 March, annual passenger revenues will fall by $252bn (£210bn) if severe travel restrictions remain in place for three months. 

This represents a 44 per cent drop year-on-year, more than double IATA’s previous analysis of a $113bn (£91bn) revenue hit, which was predicted before countries around the world introduced strict travel bans. 

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Japan’s tourist loss is these creatures’ gain as deer roam Nara

Tours are canceled. Restaurants are empty. And centuries-old temples are quieter than usual in the ancient capital city of Japan, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

All of Nara is suffering with its UNESCO World Heritage Site listed temples shuttered as Japan fights the virus.

All except the deer. The daily life of the town’s ‘treasured animal remains virtually unchanged.

While most deer stay within the boundaries of their grassy park, some wander off to gift shops and restaurants across the street from the park. The deer have the right of way, and drivers honor it.

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Royal travel: Kate Middleton’s bold choice on tour that made her a ‘sensation’ in Canada

The Duchess of Cambridge travels the world frequently alongside her husband Prince William, and occasionally their three children, as part of her royal duty. Though she has been on a royal tour many times since their wedding in 2019, it was their initial royal tour to Canada that saw Kate win over the hearts of the nation in a very bold way.

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Kate Middleton is renowned for her tour wardrobe, something she often aesthetically aligns with the cultures and practises of the nation she is visiting.

Indeed, this may have been a tradition she founded on the couple’s initial 2011 tour to Canada.

In a recent Channel 4 documentary, The Windsors: Secrets of the Royal Tour, the show’s narrator explains: “The week-long visit to Canada allowed the duchess of Cambridge to have a gentle intro to life on tour.”

However, it was her bold outfit choice that held symbolic meaning which touched Canadians and sparked “Kate mania”.

A news report featured in the documentary says: “For the occasion, Kate was wearing a hat adorned with a Canadian maple leaf. She has become an instant media sensation here.

“Kate mania has been added to the vocabulary.”

The hat was symbolic for Canadians, as she took the red colour from their flag, as well as their national leaf, and incorporated them into this small but incredibly meaningful fashion detail.

It is small, thoughtful details like this that Royal Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams says makes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge such important foreign ambassadors.

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He said: “There’s no question that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are much sought after as ambassadors abroad.

“They promote softer power and goodwill in Europe, but their first official tour to Canada was especially significant.”

In recent times, Kate has continued this type of fashion forward-thinking, taking into account traditions of the region she and Prince William are visiting, when planning her travel ensembles.

Recently in Ireland, the Duchess stepped out in a classic all-green ensemble to represent the country.

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She wore a mid-length green gown which appeared to have a floral print.

The mother of three coupled it with an emerald dress coat and pointed heel shoes.

Towards the end of 2019, when she and William visited Pakistan, the Duchess similarly opted for a traditional outfit.

The Duchess was pictured wearing traditional royal-blue kurta, trousers and matching scarf as the couple visited the Model College for Girls in Pakistan’s capital.

The outfit is also believed to be from local designer Maheen Khan.

She was also photographed later at a mosque wearing a traditional teal and gold outfit with a headscarf as a mark of respect.

Royal family biographer Marcia Moody says that often this type of cultural dress is a specific requirement for the family.

In a piece for Town & Country she wrote: “Adhering to dress codes means that for some countries hemlines, sleeve-lengths, and necklines need to be considered.

“Men may need tie pins, medals, sashes, and handkerchiefs.

“Women often pay respect to the country with a national flower or symbol incorporated into their clothing. Symbolic colours are chosen, significant jewellery decided upon.”

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Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Still Flying Every Day Despite COVID-19


The latest data released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shows a significant fall in passengers using flights in the U.S. since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over coronavirus on March 13—but also that hundreds of thousands of people are still flying.

a group of people standing next to luggage: This file photo shows travelers at the international terminal of the O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on March 15, 2020.

Daily passenger numbers collated by the TSA show that the number of travelers dropped by more than 80 percent—in excess of 1.3 million people—between March 13, when the emergency was declared, and March 23.

The numbers are striking when compared with the same dates last year. From March 13 to March 23 this year, the number of fliers is 63 percent lower than in the same period in 2019.

On every day but one since March 13, the number of airborne travelers has decreased—in some cases by as much as 275,000 people day-on-day. The daily number of travelers has not risen above 2 million since March 8, while last year the number did not fall below 2 million on any March day detailed in the available TSA figures.


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Can you guess the city from these vintage photos? Fewer than 5% get full marks

As the deadly sweeps the globe, many have been left with a lot more time on their hands. While some people take up new hobbies such as knitting or learning a new language, others have decided to give quizzes a go. And this quiz is likely to give even the biggest quiz master a run for their money.

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The tricky quiz has left 95 percent of Britons baffled.

Luxury tour provider Scenic Cruises put together the quiz in a bid to challenge readers to guess the iconic European city based on vintage photographs.

The images are sourced from public domain archives such as the British Library and Wellcome Collection.

Given how much Europe has changed over the centuries, the quiz has proven to be quite the challenge.

Over 1,000 Britons have so far taken a crack at the quiz but fewer than five percent have managed to get full marks.

The quiz includes handy hints for those who may know a bit about European architecture or gastronomy.

Some of the hints include “the most iconic skyline in the world” and the “gastronomical capital of the world”.

Each photo is in black and white and depicts either an iconic building or street scene.

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But be warned – the further you make it through the quiz, the harder it gets.

The first question should be easy for anyone who has a little bit of travel knowledge.

But the last question depicts only the most basic black and white street scene that, unless you know your European cities, looks like it could be anywhere.

Some of the cities in the quiz include Paris, Vienna, St Petersburg, Avignon, Madrid, Lisbon, Monte Carlo and Berlin.

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Berlin is known for having a rough time in the 20th century.

World War Two took an enormous toll on the city and its people.

The civilian population had borne the brunt of the bombings during this era.

At least 125,000 Berliners had lost their lives with a further one million women and children evacuated, only 2.4million people were left in the city in May 1945.

Germany was later divided into two states – east and west Germany – and was divided by a wall.

In November 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed as East German spokesman Günter Schabowski announced that East Germans would be free to travel into West Germany.

Berlin is now the most populated city in the European Union with a population of 3.7million people.

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Government warns against all holidays and non-essential travel within the UK

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel industry.

Many have had to cancel their holidays abroad as countries have tightened their borders in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

And those planning staycations will have to re-think their plans too.

This week, the government cracked down on movement within the UK.

Brits have been warned to avoid all travel that isn’t essential, which means that seaside breaks and caravan trips are a no-go.

Following the announcement, several beaches and holiday parks have shut down temporarily.

The new guidelines state: “Following on from the government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to COVID-19, people should avoid travelling unless it is essential.

“This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence.

“Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.”

While the guidelines may seem strict, they could be the only way to stop tourists who piled onto beaches and parks in recent days.

Brits were pictured drinking shoulder-to-shoulder outside pubs, enjoying ice creams and fish and chips at the coast and shopping in tightly-packed markets.

It comes after Boris Johnson asked for pubs, restaurants and cafes to close on Friday night and urged people to stay indoors and "work from home where possible".

The disregard for his social distancing advice is likely to be why tighter guidelines have now been put in place.

  • Coronavirus
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Covid 19 coronavirus: Lithuania unites to hack to the crisis

In the first week of quarantine in Lithuania, thousands of volunteers in the capital of Vilnius stepped up.

Entrepreneurs went online to raise funds for medical equipment. Telecommunications companies provided resources to coordinate the joint effort. Volunteers offered to walk the dogs of overworked doctors and nurses who couldn’t get home.

Distilleries and chemical plants began using their lines to produce disinfectants. Popular restaurants decided to provide free food for medical staff, servicemen, volunteers and isolated people.

Others started a plan to help the elderly by doing their shopping for them, and making sure they got official messages by using posters, flyers and even drones.

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Holidays: Lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world thanks to amazing VR travel

The UK has gone into an unprecedented lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus and lessen the strain on global healthcare systems. This has meant, for the first time in modern life, airlines have been grounded on a nationwide level and the passion for exploration and travel we once had as a world is being forcibly placed on hold. Yet, even in these times of lockdown and isolation, technology offers a new way to discover far off lands, and provide a dreamy escape from reality.

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“For those longing for culture and entertainment in a world where you can’t explore outside your home, and when you can’t quite commit to ANOTHER series, virtual travel could be the answer,” says Nicky Kelvin, Content Editor at The Points Guy UK.

“The increasing lockdown of people around the world is likely to fuel the popularity of such experiences, but this should also spur on advancements in the quality of VR beyond the pandemic so that more and more people will be able to enjoy these improved experiences.”

Here are some of the coolest virtual exploration opportunities available right now.

Get up close and personal with wildlife

Though zoos across the globe are closing their doors to the public, the animals are still living on behind the gates and eager animal-lovers can still get an insight into what daily life looks like for these magnificent creatures. In Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is streaming live cameras of its Giraffes herd, which includes a brand new member baby Viv who was born in June last year.

The camera will be broadcast for eight hours every day so that giraffe-fans can watch the animals graze and relax.

San Diego zoo is also offering a similar setup, offering the chance to get a sneak peek into the life of over some of its liveliest residents. Choose from baboons, penguins, polar bears and koalas.

Meanwhile, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has ten live cams spread throughout its exhibits. Be delighted by the antics of sea otters, take in the mysterious beauty of jellyfish, or watch the sharks swim through the deep waters.

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Soak up the culture of an art gallery

Art galleries in cities across the world allow enthusiasts to take in some of their finest works from the comfort of their homes by using their websites. Paris’ Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie, and Musée d’Orsay all offer plenty of their paintings and artworks online, including a 360-degree virtual visit to Water Lilies by Claude Monet.

Similarly, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Uffizi Gallery, Florence and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam show plenty of their beautiful pieces on their websites, which virtual visitors can click through and learn the back story of, too.

The Art Institute of Chicago allows art lovers to get up close and personal with Van Gogh’s self-portrait, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC has several online exhibits ideal for browsing from the comfort of your couch.

Alternatively, put Google Street View to good use and “stroll” around the Guggenheim in Los Angeles, where you can take in Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art exhibits.

In Pittsburg, the Andy Warhol Museum is offering interactive art lessons on its website, giving creatives an insight into how to create pop art style self-portraits using collage.

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Take a 360-degree tour of vacation havens

Whether you’re dreaming of the sand between your toes or wishing you were on an urban exploration, modern technology brings the gift of adventure to your living room. Head to Japan and embark on VR 360° tour of Japan using japan.travel/en/ Whether you want to see the streets of Tokyo,

Whether you want to take in the streets of Tokyo, watch a sumo wrestling match or even see the majestic deer in Nara champ on a snack, the virtual reality cameras are on hand to make magic happen.

Head over to Tahiti 360 (tahititourisme.uk/en-gb/) and experience an exclusive virtual reality tour that takes intrepid travellers onboard an award-winning Paul Gaugin cruises ship, boasting a unique look into the heart of French Polynesia. Be amazed by aerial views of stunning private beach Motu Mahana, or look through locally sourced produce and goods at Papeete marketplace. What’s more, travellers can even gain an insight into the island’s nature, setting their sights on stingrays and shark encounters.

Thrill-seekers can virtually explore the wonders of Yosemite Mariposa County from the comfort of their own home using yosemite.com and the Xplorit program.

The interactive tour will take viewers above the granite giants, through the rushing waterfalls and across verdant valleys, giving a one-of-a-kind 360-degree view of the whole country. Friendly park rangers are even on hand to give information about the natural landscape.

If you are dreaming of sunnier times, why not log onto one of Santa Cruz’s beach cams, bringing the calming waves and glistening shoreline to your home.

Santacruz.org boasts nine beach cameras dotted around the beach town, offering scenic views of Aptos, Moss Landing, and Capitola via beach pier and surf cam. Or take an aerial tour of the boardwalk.

Alternatively, a four-part series called Wander List gives viewers an insight into the attractions of the desert oasis via a four-part series. Wander List will explore scenic hikes, the shoes of the Salton Sea and the towering windmills of San Gorgonio Pass.

Chill Chaser looks at local farmers’ markets, Sunday polo matches, and rock climbing. DineDPS highlights a few local restaurateurs transforming the desert dining scene and the latest series, craftGPS explores the cocktail scene through the eyes of the locals. Simply log onto visitgreaterpalmsprings.com to find out more.

Learn something new at a museum

Museums are the perfect opportunity to spend some time whilst also learning something you didn’t know before.

In Sacramento, California, The California Capitol Museum is offering virtual tours of its blended architectural neo-classical and Renaissance Revival styles, allowing users to roam its halls and take in the 40-acre surrounding park all while learning about the city’s historic background. The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, has also opened its doors – online – to flight enthusiasts. Access the cockpits and interiors of the aircraft houses in the museum from the comfort of your own living room.

These 3D self-guided virtual tours include Concorde, the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, and the first-ever presidential jet plane, aka the “Air Force One”.

Closer to home, The British Museum website offers an interactive look around the Museum. Simply select which period you want to look at from which part of the world and then learn interesting facts about the piece.

Being on lockdown can feel like a sad, long prospect, however, embracing the opportunities the online world has to offer means travel lovers can still explore the world and gain an insight into far off lands.

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