When Queen Elizabeth sat down earlier this month to record her annual Christmas message to be broadcast on TV, she did so sitting beside a number of the carefully-placed family portraits.

The photos aren’t just family mementos — they help to capture some of the themes of her yearly broadcast. And as such, no detail is missed by Queen or her staff as they look back on the year. This year, the assortment included photos of the monarch with Prince Philip in the year of their 70th anniversary, as well as great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte and her newly engaged grandson Prince Harry and fiancé Meghan Markle on another table.

But a few years ago, there was a last-minute scramble to find the right picture, PEOPLE understands.


​In 2013, the Queen was set to talk about Prince George’s arrival and Christening (her annual address even included behind-the-scenes footage from that special day in October 2013) when an eagle-eyed courtier realized something was amiss: They had no picture of said moment to display.


​So, the quick-thinking aide took advantage of Buckingham Palace’s built-in resources. They raced down to the shop on the public side of the palace and snapped up a print of one of the official images from George’s christening, featuring the little prince being held by dad Prince William, alongside his grandfather Prince Charles and the Queen.

It was put in a simple frame and placed between a black and white image of the Queen and a similar one of Prince Philip — and no one was any the wiser.

You Can Get the World's Hottest Peppers Mailed to You Every Month

Boeing Has $13.8 Billion Order from Singapore Airlines

This article originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.

Sitting all day is terrible for you. So terrible, studies have found, that regular exercise isn't enough to counteract the many harms of sedentary routine.

So what's someone with an office job to do?

A new study suggests a standing desk could help. Being on your feet all day at work, the researchers found, would burn more calories than sitting.

But if you're looking to lose weight and improve your overall health, a standing desk may not be the answer. Instead, regularly moving around — at least a couple of minutes every hour — is the better option. Only this practice, as opposed to simply standing all day, has been linked with a lower risk of premature death and a significant calorie burn. Walking around is best, but simply getting up to stretch every so often is helpful, too.


Standing all day burns fewer calories than half a slice of bread

Several studies show what many of us may have already assumed: We burn far fewer calories standing than we do walking.

The latest paper, a review of nearly 50 studies on standing desks, was published this week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Standing for roughly six hours a day instead of sitting, the researchers found, resulted in burning about 54 extra calories — roughly the equivalent of half a piece of bread.

"When you put all the available scientific evidence together, standing accounts for more calories burned than sitting," Farzane Saeidifard, the lead author on the paper and a cardiology fellow at the Mayo Clinic, said in a press release.


​Saeidifard's paper isn't the first to calculate the total caloric burn of a day of standing. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh came to the same conclusion, even down to the number of calories burned each hour. Compared with sitting, standing burned roughly nine additional calories an hour, the researchers concluded, or 54 extra calories in a six-hour work day.

The new paper reinforces this finding: overall, standing desks' benefits are minimal, but they can add up over time. The calories in half a piece of toast doesn't sound like a lot, but if you use a standing desk all the time — and don't change your diet — you could end up losing 5 1/2 pounds over the course of a year.


Regular movement is the best weapon against the harms of sitting

If you're looking to make a healthy change to your daily sedentary regimen, there are a handful of studies that suggest that moving around regularly is your best bet.

Walking is ideal, but simply getting up and stretching every hour is helpful as well.

To come to this conclusion, researchers in Utah and Colorado looked at more than 3,600 adults to get a better sense of how movement affected people's risk of dying prematurely. The participants agreed to wear movement trackers all day for at least four days. Three years later, the researchers checked records to see how many of the participants had died.


The results were published in 2015 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Compared with the people who sat all day, those who moved around for two minutes — just two! — every hour had a roughly 33% lower risk of dying prematurely than the people who stayed seated the whole time.

Standing all day was not linked with these benefits.


Still, the study was observational, which means that while moving around is strongly linked with a reduced risk of dying, it can't be said for sure that movement caused that reduction.

The 2016 study mentioned earlier, in which researchers calculated the number of extra calories burned standing versus sitting, found that walking burned far more calories than either sitting or standing. Participants in that study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, burned three times as many calories walking as standing, even when they ambled around at a leisurely pace.


The overall takeaway here is that it's a good idea to move around more and break up periods of sitting with something — anything — else.

That advice is echoed by a consensus statement published in 2015 by a group of physicians and sports medicine specialists in the British Journal of Sports Medicine: Spend a total of two hours out of your seat each day, they said, and move around as much as you can.

Advertisement

When Accidents Are Most Likely to Happen During a Flight

The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health If You Have a Desk Job

Delta Continues Expansion to Popular Destinations

Smuggling $71 Million Worth of Cocaine is Never A Good Idea

State Department Confirms Mexican Tourism Safety

Pilot Suspended For Allegedly Being Drunk Before Flight

Jennifer Lawrence Took Over the Loudspeaker on a Delta Flight

Mexico's most popular tourist destinations remain safe to visit under the U.S. State Department's new travel advisory classification system, which recommends Americans "exercise increased caution" when traveling to Mexico.

"The U.S. Department of State today confirmed that major international tourism destinations in Mexico are safe," the Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement issued Wednesday.

"According to the updated travel advisory for Mexico and specific mentions for Mexican states and major cities, Mexico’s major international tourist destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions or they exist in states where there are no special travel advisories for tourists."


Mexico's most popular tourist destinations remain safe to visit under the U.S. State Department's new travel advisory classification system, which recommends Americans "exercise increased caution" when traveling to Mexico.

"The U.S. Department of State today confirmed that major international tourism destinations in Mexico are safe," the Mexico Tourism Board said in a statement issued Wednesday.

"According to the updated travel advisory for Mexico and specific mentions for Mexican states and major cities, Mexico’s major international tourist destinations have been explicitly listed as having no travel restrictions or they exist in states where there are no special travel advisories for tourists."


The board expressed concern that the crime statistics used to justify the advisory—which has been in place for years—are related to the country overall rather than the number of incidents impacting foreign visitors.

"As it pertains to this updated travel advisory for Mexico, the U.S. Department of State advises to 'Reconsider Travel' to select Mexican states, but then exempts the tourist destinations within those states. This exception to tourism destinations highlights the fact that the vast majority of crimes in Mexico do not occur in areas frequented by international tourists," the board added.


"And even in the rare cases of crime within tourist areas, incidents involving international tourists are incredibly rare."

Mexico's Tourism Secretary, Enrique de la Madrid also acknowledged the new travel alert and vowed to make enhanced security a top priority.

According to El Universal, Madrid confirmed that an agreement will be signed between the Ministries of the Interior, Tourism, the government of Baja California Sur, the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos and local businesses Friday to further ensure visitor safety.


​While the State Department may have some concerns over security in Mexico as a whole, the message doesn’t seem to be affecting travel to the nation.

From January through September of last year, Mexico welcomed 28.6 million visitors, an increase of 12.3 percent over the same period during 2016. Outbound travel to the United States from Mexico hasn’t fared nearly as well, however. Just 11.1 million Mexicans visited the U.S. from January through August of 2017, representing a 7.6 percent decline over the previous year.

While visitor numbers are growing, individual destinations are taking security concerns seriously. Numerous cities and regions throughout Mexico, including Mexico City, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos, are taking aggressive steps to beef up their security infrastructure. In the case of Los Cabos, for example, the region has invested $47 million to implement a new “five-point action plan to ensure the safety of all tourists and citizens.”

Advertisement

And you thought your family gatherings were stressful.


​Sure, dodging questions from relatives about when you’re going to get married and give your parents a grandchild is rough, but it could be worse. At least there aren’t any sharks in your aunt’s living room.

An Australian family was literally stuck navigating treacherous waters together over the holiday break.


​Travelers who fly with British Airways will be happy to find out the airline is launching Wi-Fi on its newest long-haul flights.

According to The Express, the Wi-Fi service will initially be available on three of British Airways’ long-haul planes, but is expected to be added to rest of the airline’s 118 plane fleet over the next two years.

To celebrate, the carrier will offer the first hour of Wi-Fi service free for a limited time.


​Once the free trial period ends, passengers will have to buy internet packages which start at £4.99 and will increase based on how much data is used. The packages can be purchased by the hour or for an entire flight.

“Staying connected is important to our customers who want to be able to work, browse and stream in the air,” British Airways brand and customer service director Carolina Martinoli told The Express. “They can now look forward to enjoying the latest generation Wi-Fi across our long-haul fleet over the next two years.”


​The new Wi-Fi service will be available to passengers once the plane reaches an elevation of 10,000 feet, approximately ten minutes into the flight.

The airline has also made other major changes in recent months. In December, the United Kingdom carrier joined many other airlines in the United States when it introduced boarding passengers based on their fare class.

The World is a (Surprisingly) Safe Place to Travel

On Friday, a pilot for SriLankan Airlines has been suspended for allegedly being drunk as he prepared to captain a flight from Germany to Sri Lanka.


​According to the Agence France-Presse, the SriLankan Airlines pilot arrived at Frankfurt Airport to fly 270 passengers and four crew members to Colombo, Sri Lanka, when other members of the cabin crew noticed that the man was allegedly drunk.

The crew was forced to block the pilot from taking control of the plane, and he was reported to the authorities. As a result of the pilot being taken off the flight, the passengers were forced to endure a 15-hour delay while SriLankan Airlines sent another pilot to Frankfurt Airport.

The pilot has been suspended while the incident is being fully investigated.

The airline apologized on its official website. In a statement, SriLankan Airlines said,” Due to unavailability of a flight crew member, the aircraft was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon.”

SriLankan Airlines is expected to discontinue service to many European destinations in October, including the Frankfurt airport where the incident too place.



Five men were arrested at an English airport after it was discovered they had smuggled over 1,100 pounds of cocaine with a street value of around $71 million from Colombia.

According to The Independent, a private plane which landed at Farnborough Airport in England Monday was met by Border Force officers. The agents questioned the passengers onboard the aircraft and became suspicious.


The United Kingdom Border Force officers were authorized to search the plane and discovered the cocaine hidden in 15 suitcases. Every piece of luggage contained between 34 and 37 packages of cocaine weighing approximately one kilogram each.

“This is a major seizure of cocaine, one of the largest flown into the UK by plane in many years, and this seizure by Border Force represents a major blow to organized crime,” National Crime Agency operations manager Siobhan Micklethwaite told the Independent. “We estimate that once cut and sold on the streets in the U.K. it would have had a potential value in excess of £50 million (about $71 million).”


Border Force deputy chief operating officer Mike Stepney revealed that the packages were tested and turned up positive for cocaine. While the crew flying the airplane was released without being charged, a pair of brothers from Britain, two men from Spain and an Italian man were arrested.

NCA authorities also searched three properties in Bournemouth as part of the investigation, confiscating computers and phones. Officials from Farnborough Airport said the matter was being handled by the proper agency and there would be no further comment.

In a deal struck at the White House Monday, Singapore Airlines agreed to purchase $13.8 billion worth of Boeing airplanes.

According to Fox Business, Singapore officials announced the carrier will purchase 20 Boeing 777-9 aircraft and 19 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner planes to bolster the airline’s long-haul fleet.

The new order comes after Singapore purchased 30 of Boeing’s new Dreamliners, making the airline the first customer to buy the planes. The first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner rolled out of the manufacturer’s assembly facility in South Carolina earlier this month.


​In a meeting with Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong and Boeing executive vice president Kevin McCalister, United States President Donald Trump revealed the new order would help employ 70,000 people.

In addition, the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, said last week in a meeting at the White House with President Trump that the European ally is also looking into purchasing additional planes from Boeing.


The new deal with Singapore comes at a time when Boeing is in a trade dispute with Canadian planemaker Bombardier. The Seattle-based Boeing accused the Canadian manufacturer of selling its new C Series single-aisle planes at significantly lower prices in the U.S. market.

The U.S. Commerce Department has stepped in and placed a 300 percent tax on Bombardier, which will produce the new aircraft at its plant in Alabama. In addition, Boeing’s largest competitor, Airbus, has announced it will take a majority stake in the C Series program.

Advertisement

It's never a good idea to drink before you fly. Especially if you're the pilot.

According to Sky News, the 49-year-old pilot boarded a British Airways flight from Gatwick Airport in England to Mauritius when crew members reportedly smelled alcohol on his breath.

The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, but Sussex Police delayed the plane at the gate and boarded the flight to remove the pilot. Authorities arrested the pilot on “suspicion of performing an aviation function while his alcohol level was over the prescribed limit.”


The pilot was released early Friday morning as police continue their investigation. As a result of the incident, the flight's departure time was delayed by more than two hours.

Officials from British Airways said in a statement they are taking the incident very seriously and will be helping the police in any way they can throughout the investigation.


​“We are sorry for the delay to our customers,” a British Airways spokesperson told Sky News. “The aircraft remained at the gate until an alternative third pilot joined the crew. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”

In December, a pilot was arrested in Canada for allegedly being drunk after he was found passed out in the cockpit of a Sunwing Airlines plane.

If your spice obsession can no longer be satisfied by just putting Sriracha on every edible surface, but you're not quite ready to commit the time and mental energy to becoming a full-on spice aficionado, the Make 100 Chili Pepper Harvest Box is here for you. It's a subscription service that will send you three shipments of hot peppers, one each month for the duration of the harvest season (September, October, and November).


You'll get six different types of pepper each month, for a total of eighteen different kinds of chili peppers. The peppers come in all different levels of spice, so you're sure to find at least one that's exactly the right spice level for your palate.


The project comes from Robyn Jasko, who you might remember from her previous Homesweet Homegrown Kickstarter hot pepper subscription. This time, it's a limited release as part of Kickstarter's make/100 initiative. The tagline is "This year, bring 100 _____ into the world," and the idea is to offer just 100 of whatever you're making. Accordingly, they're only offering 100 CSA Harvest Box shares (the subscription service) and 100 Harvest Box Sampler boxes (single boxes featuring six different varieties of peppers).


​The hundred CSA Harvest Box shares are divided into a number of different options: 50 of the 100 shares available are for the "Quarter Share," which costs $175. 25 of the remaining 50 are for the "Half Share," which is basically the same except double the amount for $250. 15 of the remaining 25 are for the "Full Share, " which is four times the Quarter Share for $325. Finally, the remaining 10 of the 100 shares are for the XXXXX share, which is not a super pornographic pepper subscription service. It's eight times as many peppers as the Quarter Share, for $475, which is great if you plan to have three spicy food dinner parties a month for three months, but otherwise might be a bit excessive.

Don't have $475 to drop on peppers? $60 will get you one of the 86 remaining sampler boxes, which includes six half pints of each different pepper. $25 will get you a copy of Homesweet Homegrown, a book about growing, preparing, and storing your own food, as well as a packet of pepper seeds of your choice.

Advertisement

A multi-course dinner for two — with wine — is likely to cost upwards of $180 on Valentine’s Day. What’s worse is that the experience will likely only last a couple hours and you are your beloved will be smushed between other couples in a bustling and hectic restaurant.

Why go through all that hassle when, for the same price as dinner, you could have a one-night staycation?


For those considering a hotel stay instead, HotelTonight has selected several options from around the country that cost less than a dinner for two.

In Los Angeles, The Garland hotel is available from $158 per night. Located in North Hollywood, the retro hotel is in close proximity to movie studios and even offers a free shuttle to Universal Studios.


​Travelers looking for a getaway in New York City can opt for the newly-opened James New York NoMad (at $140 per night) or hop across the bridge to Brooklyn and The Williamsburg Hotel (from $165 per night).

Boston folk can book a night at The Verb for $110. The boutique hotel has a music theme for those who wish to sing love songs through the night.

Reasonably priced, stylish hotel options abound in Chicago, like the sleek Thompson Chicago (available at $134) or trendy Freehand Chicago (at $74).


​The luxurious, four-star San Francisco hotel The Marker is available for $183 on Valentine’s Day.

Book a night at Seattle’s Pan Pacific Hotel for $142 for a view to rival that from “Frasier.” Or escape to warmth at the Hotel Republic in San Diego for $153.

No matter where you go, a private hotel room is endlessly more romantic than a rushed dinner. Choose wisely.

Dr. Osvaldo A. Perez, at your service!

Advertisement

Advertisement

The Queen's Swans May Have Been Killed by Bird Flu Outbreak at Harry and Meghan's Wedding Site

Advertisement

travel usa, travel news, US Travel Magazine travel articles

Food companies are always attempting to innovate and update their snacks, creating ever-weirder Frankenstein products (remember Burger King’s “Whoperrito?) and introducing novelty flavors (hello, “firework” Oreos). And then there are the products catering directly to specific consumer segments. Today’s example: new chips from Doritos meant just for ladies.

In an interview with Freakonomics, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi commented on the ways that consumer insights about gender differences are driving product development in the world of Doritos. Women, Nooyi suggested, “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”


​The company’s answer? The brand has been working on developing chips that are “low-crunch” with the same “taste profile,” but with less of the flavor sticking to fingers. “And how can you put it in a purse?” Nooyi mused; apparently the current chip bags aren’t cutting it for the handbag wielders of the world. “Because,” she said, “women love to carry a snack in their purse.”


​“It’s not a male and female as much as ‘are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?’” Nooyi further explained. They won’t be the first to have tried it; there were those BIC pens for women, too. Doritos is preparing to launch its line of tailored-to-purse-carrying chips shortly. And the internet had feelings about this particular gendered innovation.

British Airways Adding Wi-Fi to Fleet

Thousands of Boeing employees recently helped celebrate the debut of the first 737 MAX 7 at the company's Renton, Washington factory.

The new Boeing 737 MAX 7 will carry up to 172 passengers and have a maximum range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the third and newest member, as well as the longest range, of the MAX airplane family.


​While the new plane will be able to fly 1,000 nautical miles farther than its predecessor, it will have 18 percent lower fuel costs per seat. The MAX 7 will also be able to carry 12 more passengers 400 nautical miles farther than the Airbus A319neo.

“For our airline customers serving airports at high altitudes or remote locations, the MAX 7 is the ideal complement to their fleet. We look forward to demonstrating the incredible flexibility and range of this airplane,” Boeing vice president Keith Leverkuhn said in a statement. “This is the third 737 MAX family member our team has successfully introduced in just three years. That's a phenomenal accomplishment and a testament to the dedication of the entire 737 team.”


​Before it is put into service, the first MAX 7 will undergo system checks and will be entered into a flight testing program during the coming weeks. The plane will enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines.

Advertisement

More than 20 of Queen Elizabeth’s swans from her Windsor flock have died amid fears that they succumbed to a bird flu outbreak sweeping the area.

Scientists from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are currently investigating the suspected case of H5N6 avian influenza, according to reports.

David Barber, the Queen’s official Swan Marker, who is responsible for the 800-year tradition of carrying out an annual census of Thames swans, said in a statement: “Over 20 swans have died now and there’s a lot which are seriously ill which will die — well over 20 more.”

Defra confirmed that seven of the swans that died were currently being tested for bird flu. 


​“We are deeply saddened by the loss of these swans,” Barber continued. “We’re waiting to hear from Defra, but yes it is bird flu. I’m sure the Queen would be concerned. You cannot do anything about it. It will burn itself out. They’re wild birds and it is spread by wild birds and we’ve been very unlucky.”


​According to the official British Monarchy website: “The swans are also given a health check and ringed with individual identification numbers by The Queen’s Swan Warden. The swans are then set free again.”

After the Swan Upping has been completed every July, the Queen’s Swan Marker releases a report that provides data about the number of all swans that were accounted for. *


Pilot Arrested Before International Flight

Boeing Celebrates Debut of First 737 MAX 7

If your spice obsession can no longer be satisfied by just putting Sriracha on every edible surface, but you're not quite ready to commit the time and mental energy to becoming a full-on spice aficionado, the Make 100 Chili Pepper Harvest Box is here for you. It's a subscription service that will send you three shipments of hot peppers, one each month for the duration of the harvest season (September, October, and November). You'll get six different types of pepper each month, for a total of eighteen different kinds of chili peppers. The peppers come in all different levels of spice, so you're sure to find at least one that's exactly the right spice level for your palate.

Advertisement

Pilot Suspended For Allegedly Being Drunk Before Flight

US Passport 'Execution Fees' to Increase in April

Doritos Is Launching a ‘Lady-friendly’ Line, and People Are Upset

Advertisement

Where the Queen's Fast-thinking Aide Found a Photo of Prince George in Time for Her Christmas Address

ustravelonline.net

U.S travelers who will need a new passport in 2018 can potentially save themselves a few dollars if they avoid waiting until the last minute to apply.

According to the U.S. Department of State, passport “execution fees” will increase from $25 to $35 starting April 2, 2018. The fee change will bump the total cost of a U.S. passport to $145 for adults and $115 for children 16 and younger.

The execution fee, however, is only charged to people who apply in person at an official passport agency, such as the U.S. post office or other consular offices. The $10 fee increase will not apply to individuals who renew their passports by mail.


According to the Department of State, passport execution fees are set at a rate that will allow for the “recovery of the costs to the U.S. government of providing the consular service.” But two recent studies, one conducted by the Department of State and another by the U.S. Postal Service, determined that actual processing costs are now higher than the $25 fee, prompting the increase.

Interestingly, the State Department notes that while the great majority of in-person applications occur at U.S. post office facilities across the nation, about 10 percent of in-person applications are executed in the presence of a Department of State Official. A lesser amount are also executed in the presence of federal and local officials.


The passport execution fee change, which was first published in the Federal Registry in 2016, was submitted to Congress for approval. The new rule will go into effect April 2, 2018.

Now could be a good time to obtain an American passport, as confusion continues over which U.S. drivers’ licenses passengers can use to board a domestic flight this year. What’s more, a recent study found that American passport holders tend to be more happy with their life than non-passport holders. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, courtesy of Brexit, travelers will soon stop being issued the burgundy E.U. passport, and instead will receive one with a classic blue and gold color scheme.


For more information on passport renewals in the United States, visit travel.state.gov.

Delta Air Lines is expanding travel options for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky customers with new service to Austin and Phoenix in 2018. With these additions, Delta will serve all top 20 domestic markets and 36 destinations in total, including Delta's popular nonstop service to Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

"We are proud to be Cincinnati's No. 1 global airline," said Eric Phillips, senior vice president— pricing & revenue management and Delta's Cincinnati market executive. "With these additions, customers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will have more choices to go to the top business and leisure destinations that are important to them and we look forward to continuing this growth."

During the past two years, Delta has increased capacity by 12 percent via new markets, added frequencies and introduced product improvements. With 82 peak-day departures, Delta offers a first class cabin on 78 percent of all Cincinnati flights. Additionally, mainline departures have increased more than 30 percent while departures on single-class 50-seat regional jets have declined by more than 25 percent.

It’s barely a week old, but the new, four-level travel advisory system unveiled by the U.S. Department of State is already causing confusion and taking a beating on some social media outlets.

The concept behind the new travel advisories is pretty basic: Each country is now classified into one of four levels:

1. Exercise normal precaution

2. Exercise increased precaution

3. Reconsider travel

4. Do not travel.

The four-tier categories were designed to replace a system that consisted of Travel Alerts (generally issued for short-term or temporary events) and Travel Warnings (stronger-worded messages encouraging visitors to reconsider travel due to scenarios such as crime or terrorism.)

But the old system was confusing to travelers, who either didn’t know the difference between an alert or warning (or just assumed that they were one and the same thing).

While many countries in the old system had neither an alert nor a warning, now the State Department is forced to wrench each one into one of four categories, leaving little room for nuance. For many, the new system is as confusing as the one it replaces.

People aren’t exactly clear on what the actionable difference is between “exercise normal precautions” and “exercise increased precautions.”


In an appearance on CBS This Morning, Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor also questioned these definitions and likened “exercise regular precaution” to “don’t trip” and “exercise increased precaution” to “don’t trip and fall.”

Further adding to the confusion, many major nations are categorized at a certain level but have sub-regions that are categorized into “less safe” levels than that of the nationwide average.

Antigua & Barbuda, for example, is classified at the “safest” level. But within the advisory, the Island of Barbuda has been classified at the least-safe “do not travel” level due to “the aftermath of a natural disaster."

A similar scenario is in effect for countries like Brazil, Jamaica and Mexico.

“Putting Mazatlan in the same department as Syria and Yemen is not really helping people,” noted Greenberg.


​Numerous countries around the world are also questioning their categorizations, especially as to how they compare with other nations in the same classification.

In the United Kingdom, The Independent questions equating the United Kingdom (Level 2) with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which earned a #13 ranking on the Global Terrorism Index last year.

In Russia, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that Russia’s Level 3 rank was a “scare tactic” according to The Moscow Times.

Leonid Ragozin, a Lonely Planet author, further denounced Russia’s travel advisory as “paranoid,” and said, “it misleads US citizens by giving a grossly inaccurate picture of a country that is generally safe to travel.”

Jennifer Lawrence took over the loudspeaker on a Delta flight from New Orleans to Los Angeles on Sunday.

“Everybody, this is not the pilot speaking. This is Jennifer Lawrence,” the star said over the loudspeaker. She continued, asking the entire plane to chant “Fly Eagles Fly,” in support of the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the Super Bowl.


​Although Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky, she is evidently an Eagles fan, after having spent time in Philadelphia for the 2012 movie “Silver Linings Playbook.”


​Some loyal fans joined Lawrence in the chant although, according to video from the flight, not all passengers in the cabin were amused.

She then proceeded to quote the infamous airplane scene from “Bridesmaids,” saying, “There is a colonial woman on the plane. She is churning butter.” The video cuts as a flight attendant continues the re-enactment, saying “Ma’am, ma’am.”


​“It was just like a fun, spontaneous chant by Jennifer Lawrence that we definitely appreciated,” a passenger on the plane told People. “I think everyone just went along with it, since flights are so boring.”


​The short stunt may have just been a coping mechanism for Lawrence, who has spoken at length about her intense fear of flying. Last year, a plane she was on had to make an emergency landing because of double engine failure. And in one incident, Lawrence attempted to jump out of an Air France plane because she started feeling extreme claustrophobia.

Lawrence was in New Orleans to give a speech at the Unrig the System Summit at Tulane University on Saturday evening.

Accidents are simply a part of life, and while uncommon, it's true that they can occur even while flying. Statistically speaking, air travel is perhaps the safest way to travel — you have only a 1, in 9,821 (or .01 percent) chance of dying in an air or space transport incident.

But according to a new in-depth analysis by Boeing, if an accident does occur, it's far more likely to happen during certain parts of a flight than others.

Boeing analyzed worldwide commercial flights from 2007 to 2016, and determined that 48 percent of all fatal accidents occurred during a flight’s final descent and landing. Those airplane accidents were responsible for 46 percent of all onboard fatalities. 

It’s a rather high number when you consider that the final approach and landing account for just 4 percent of an aircraft's total journey.


​After all, only 11 percent of major accidents occurred while cruising from 2007 to 2016, despite this stage taking up 57 percent of flight time.


​Takeoff and the initial climb are the second-most critical parts of a flight, accounting for a combined 13 percent of fatal incidents. (Of those accidents, however, only 6 percent resulted in onboard fatalities.) So really, it’s those first and last few minutes of a flight that are the most dangerous.

In fact, these stages of flight — takeoff, initial climb, final approach, and landing — are known as the “plus three minus eight” rule. Echoing Boeing’s findings, Ben Sherwood, author of The Survivors Club — The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life, estimated that 80 percent of all plane crashes happen within the first three minutes of a flight or in the last eight minutes before landing.


​And even if you’re in a crash (which, as we said, is exceedingly unlikely), there are ways to protect yourself.

Cheryl Schwartz, a retired United Airlines flight attendant said that it’s always crucial to know where the emergency exits are. The moment you're seated, she explained, count the number of rows to the nearest exit.

How to Book a Valentine’s Day Hotel Room for Less Than the Cost of Dinner

Advertisement

It's never a good idea to drink before you fly. Especially if you're the pilot.

According to Sky News, the 49-year-old pilot boarded a British Airways flight from Gatwick Airport in England to Mauritius when crew members reportedly smelled alcohol on his breath.

The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, but Sussex Police delayed the plane at the gate and boarded the flight to remove the pilot. Authorities arrested the pilot on “suspicion of performing an aviation function while his alcohol level was over the prescribed limit.”


The pilot was released early Friday morning as police continue their investigation. As a result of the incident, the flight's departure time was delayed by more than two hours.

Officials from British Airways said in a statement they are taking the incident very seriously and will be helping the police in any way they can throughout the investigation.


​“We are sorry for the delay to our customers,” a British Airways spokesperson told Sky News. “The aircraft remained at the gate until an alternative third pilot joined the crew. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”

In December, a pilot was arrested in Canada for allegedly being drunk after he was found passed out in the cockpit of a Sunwing Airlines plane.