Top 20 Safest Airlines in 2019

Let’s be honest, 2018 wasn’t the best year for aviation, but it doesn’t mean that you should stop flying. You will just need to make sure that you are flying on one of these safest airlines ranked by AirlineRatings.com.

AirlineRatings.com compiled an annual list of the safest airlines based on specific criteria that include: “audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives, and fleet age”.

With no surprise, Qantas leads the way with another straight appearance as the Safest Airlines for 2019. Since 2013, Qantas continues to demonstrate an amazing record of innovative designs and process to improve overall operations and safety. As the world’s oldest air carrier, Qantas continues to lead the way with innovations such as the automatic landings using Global Navigation Satellite System, and real-time monitoring of its engines using satellite communications.

 

THE TOP SAFEST 10 AIRLINES 2019

  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Emirates
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • Scandinavian Airline System
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin group of airlines (Atlantic and Australia)

 

THE TOP 10 SAFEST LOW-COST AIRLINES IN 2019

  • Flybe
  • Frontier
  • HK Express
  • Jetblue
  • Jetstar Australia / Asia
  • Thomas Cook
  • Volaris,
  • Vueling
  • Westjet
  • Wizz

AirlineRatings.com rates the safety and operation of 405 airlines using their seven-star rating system. Today, it continues to be used as a pillar for recognizing industry standard for safety and product rating in aviation. The AirlineRatings.com team is one of the most experienced and well respected editorial teams with over 50 international and national awards.

Tips For A Fit Flight

When flying it is important that you maintain healthy habits to avoid catching any unwanted disease or bacteria. Here are a few tips to alleviate the stress of flying.

DRESS COMFORTABLY

Make sure you wear comfy clothing that does not constrict blood flow. Try using stretchy or loose pants. Wear clothes that can be layered in case of temperature changes from aircraft to airport. Invest in compression socks to battle deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

STAY HYDRATED

Drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated. Avoid alcoholic drinks when flying. Lower oxygen levels and increased pressure can cause accelerated effects like light headedness, dysphoria and aggressive behavior. For every hour you are flying, drink at least 250ml of water. Cabin pressure and dry, recirculated air can drain moisture from your skin, but drinking plenty of water will help you look fresh and alive once deplaning.

 TIP: Chop up some carrots, celery, cucumbers and beets and store them in a zip-lock bag for quick snacks. Dried fruit, energy bars and unsalted nuts are great for traveling.

SANITIZE YOUR AREA

The number of people who travel on a plane can reach the hundreds in a short period of time and lots of bacteria can be passed on. Ensuring that your personal area is clean can greatly reduce your risk. Always carry sanitizer or portable wipes to disinfect your tray table, armrests, seat belt and seat.

GET YOUR SLEEP

Flying takes a toll on your body and it is very important that you get enough rest before traveling. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system and can make you more prone for diseases. Make sure to pack early and prepare all of your belongings to avoid late night free-for-all.

If your flying through multiple time zones, start readjusting your clock a few days prior to your flight. Slowly incorporating changes in your schedule will help you adjust quicker on arrival.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Blankets
Airlines have made huge improvements to there inflight service by providing free text messaging or access to media platforms to watch movies, tv shows and stream music, however in terms of comfort you’ll need to prepare. Air temperatures can fluctuate from take-off to cruising and it is recommended to bring a blanket to keep yourself comfortable throughout. Avoid bulky and heavy fabrics which can be overbearing. Try a Cocoon CoolMax Blanket for a portable yet warm design.

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT DVT

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that develops in a deep vein, usually in a leg. Sometimes these clots can break away and travel through the bloodstream to vital organs and can cause severe injury or death. Possible risk factors include prolonged physical immobility, blood-clotting disorders, family history, cancer, obesity, heart disease, pregnancy, recent major surgery, smoking or age. Many DVTs do not produce any symptoms. But symptoms could include pain or swelling and redness of the affected area.

While preventive measures are still uncertain, passengers can wear loose clothing, regularly change leg positions, occasionally walk the cleared aisle of the plane when allowed by the flight staff, avoid crossing their legs at the ankles or knees, or wear graduated-compression stockings to help reduce risk. Keeping hydrated and performing the exercises below can also help.

How to Prepare for Your Summer Vacation

The sun is out and it’s that time of the year when we all can’t wait to leave the house and stay out all summer. Day trips, outdoor adventures or even an oversea vacation – we all have been pent up through the winter and just can’t wait to be free.

As you make your plans it is important to be prepared to avoid any health and safety risks. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for those long-awaited trips and to keep you and your family safe.

BEING PROACTIVE

Find out details about your destination – Do some research about the places you plan to visit and acquaint yourself with new and important health risks. If you are traveling abroad, make sure to check travel.state.gov or https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel, for vital information about required vaccinations, travel advisories and possible diseases.

Get a check-up– It is always recommended that you pay a visit to your health provider and get a routine check-up before you travel. Make sure you are in tip-top shape and that you are up to date on vaccinations like measles and influenza.

 Prepare a first aid kit – Make sure to pack an emergency travel kit that holds important prescriptions and medicines that you may need while traveling. Pack basic supplies like bandages, alcohol, hot/cold compresses and gauze. Don’t forget to pack a copy of your health insurance card as well.

Be SMART – If you are planning a trip oversees, make sure to register with the US Embassy or Consulate through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to get the latest updates and alerts before and during your trip. This also helps the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency.

Prepare for the unexpected – Make copies of your travel plans and documents with a family member and/or upload them to a cloud-based storage system in case you lose them while traveling. Verify that your health insurance covers medical care abroad – most plans don’t, so be sure to get travel insurance. Travel insurance covers health and medical expenses while offering a wide variety of additional services like travel delay, lost baggage and lost passport service.

 

WHILE TRAVELING

Be careful what you eat and drink – Always make sure you know how your food is handled. Contaminated food or drinks are the easiest way to spread diseases which can cause traveler’s diarrhea.

  1. Always eat food that is cooked through and served hot.
  2. Always drink bottled water, sodas and drinks that are sealed.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables that are washed with safe water and that you have peeled yourself.
  4. Avoid ice that is made with tap water.

Protect yourself from the sun – Double check that your sunscreen is at least SPF 30 to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. I always recommend Blue Lizard, which is a mineral based sunscreen that uses natural ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Read the label and reapply as needed.

Prevent insect bites – Always use insect repellents especially in developing countries to prevent you from serious diseases. Use an EPA-registered insect repellant with one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

Always buckle up and choose safe transportation– Nearly half of medical evacuations back to the United States are the result of a car crash, and a medical evacuation can cost upward of $100,000.

  1. Don’t ride motorcycles. If you must, make sure to wear a helmet.
  2. Avoid overcrowded, overweight, or top-heavy buses or vans
  3. Be alert when crossing the street. Know local traffic laws to avoid collisions.
  4. Always wear a seat belt and lock your doors.

 

AFTER YOU RETURN

 Keep a close eye on your health – Symptoms can arise after you return home, so make sure to watch yourself closely. If you begin to feel ill, see a doctor immediately and inform your doctor where you have been and what you did during your trip. This will help your doctor when giving you a diagnosis of possible infections from other countries.

A Weekend in Hong Kong

Whether you are fortunate to have an extended layover in Hong Kong or are embarking a cruise from its ship port, with its delectable cuisine and massive number of skyscrapers, intertwined with the ancient and modern China, you can cover much of the city in a short period of time and stay within whatever budget you might have. The great thing is that Hong Kong allows visa-free entry from over 150 countries from 7 days to 3 months; check with your local embassy to see if your country is one of these and how long of stay you are allowed. Also, even though the first language is Chinese (Cantonese to be exact), the second official language is English, which makes it very easy to communicate and explore the city. The street signs and directions are also translated to English as well as Chinese character. Unlike mainland China, the internet is not censored so you can stay in touch via social media as you will and use other commonly used applications such as Google Maps to help you get around.

The most important decisions to make when traveling to Hong Kong is hotel accommodations. You can choose from the downtown area (also known as Hong Kong Island) or stay across the Victoria Harbour on the landlocked portion called Kowloon. Staying on the island can be pricey, but you will be in the heart of the city. Hong Kong Island is known for being the historic and economic center of the city.

If you are looking for a more authentic experience, try staying in Kowloon. You will have the best view of the iconic skyline and enjoy the nightly Symphony of Lights show. Kowloon is also known for luxury shopping, parks and hip new neighborhoods. If you are on a budget or in transit to a cruise ship, Kowloon is must!

Getting around Hong Kong is fairly easy with alternate options by taxi, railways, and trams. Regardless of where you stay, Hong Kong’s vast railway system can get you practically anywhere, you can get from the airport to downtown in 30 minutes. You can find discounted tickets online to save some time and money, and send them to your smartphone for boarding. Taxis are readily available, which are all metered, clean, and fairly affordable. NOTE: Hong Kong drivers tend to all drive fast to get you to your destination (which isn’t always a bad thing)! Be careful not to confuse the tram and subway routes because they have similar routes in certain parts of the city.

variety of dim sum in bamboo steam containersAfter you have made your way downtown and worked up an appetite, when in Hong Kong, you dim sum. Not only is it part of ancient Chinese tradition and a great way to excite your palette, it is also fun and an affordable experience. Dim sum restaurants are located throughout the city and will set you back on a few dollars per order (most orders contain 3-5 pieces). Another must have treat can be found on many street corners – fish balls. Small, deep fried or boiled bites of deliciousness, covered usually in a curry sauce. Quick and cheap, this option for on-the-go eating can easily satisfy your hunger while exploring. They are served throughout the day, so you can start your day or end a late night with them. Another staple in Hong Kong cuisine is barbecue. Roasted goose, chicken and pork can be found everywhere from the small local street shops to fancy sit down restaurants. Combined with rice or noodle and some vegetables, it is a complete meal that won’t leave you hungry.

One of the most visited areas is Victoria’s Peak which overlooks Hong Kong from `Peak Tram` in Hong Kongatop a mountain side. Located on Hong Kong Island, you must conquer the 45-degree tram along the mountain side to see spectacular views from above. Check out Tian Tan Buddha (or big Buddha) statue located on Lantau Island, which is easily accessible by train or by ferry. TIP: Opt to take a 25-minute gondola ride to reach the statue aboard the Ngong Ping 360. Touted as one of the top ten amazing cable car rides in the world, you’ll enjoy scenic landscapes on your journey to the town of Tung Chung.

If time permits, you can make your way to Stanley Market, where you can find anything from little hand-made trinkets to top-shelf electronics. A must-see attraction for souvenirs as well as anything else you might be in the market to buy. Finish your day by enjoying a nightly light show on the city’s skyscrapers glamorously lit up at night. Since 2004, the Symphony of Light has become the signature icon for Hong Kong, showcasing the vibrancy and glamour of this international city.

There is never enough time to see all that a city has to offer however if you are tight on time a lot can be accomplished during a quick trip to Hong Kong. Purchase a day tour or half day tour to see some of the city’s iconic sites to maximize your time. If you are flexible and willing to venture out on your own, it is very easy to plan your own itinerary, but keep in mind some of the places are not as close as you think. Save yourself some time and money by booking things in advance but leave some room for spontaneity.

Cathay Pacific Announces Non-Stop Service from Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. has added a new airline to Southeast Asia. Starting September 16, 2018 – Cathay Pacific will begin non-stop service four times a week from Washington Dulles to Hong Kong. This route would be the longest in Cathay Pacific’s network and originating from the Washington Dulles airport.

With the addition of this IAD-HKG route, Filipinos will now have several options to choose from. Options include nonstop from IAD to Seoul (ICN) operated by Korean Airlines; Tokyo (NRT) operated by ANA and United; and Beijing (PEK), operated by Air China.

“Cathay Pacific’s new service between Washington DC and Hong Kong continues to improve the diversity of choice [and] worldwide connectivity at Dulles International Airport,” says Mike Stewart, manager of Dulles airport at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

This flight will be operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s brand-new Airbus A350-1000s which will feature a three-class cabin comprising of a revamped Business class, a Premium Economy and Economy class seating. The wide body, twin-aisle Airbus A350-1000 delivers a feeling of spaciousness wherever you look, with wider seats, high ceilings and alluring ambient lighting.

Cathay Pacific has created the perfect environment to enjoy flying your long-haul flight to Hong Kong with the highest possible air quality with optimized cabin altitude (6000 ft), temperature and humidity, with the air being renewed every two to three minutes. Passengers can relax knowing that they will arrive feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

The redesigned cabin will feature next level sleeping experiences, the best entertainment and even more controls for passengers to enjoy their flight. Every class will benefit from more space and comfort, panoramic windows and mood lighting contributing to overall experience.

The award-winning Business Class seats will highlight an ergonomic design and generous legroom to maximize comfort while converting into a fully lie flat bed. Premium Economy and Economy class seats will allow passengers to charge their electronics with exclusive power outlets and USB ports. Every passenger will enjoy state of the art entertainment system which is equipped with a larger widescreen monitor and with a more comprehensive user interface. For a nominal fee, passengers will be able to connect to browse the internet, send and receive emails and connect via social media.cx2.jpg

CX861 will depart Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings at 1:15 a.m., arriving in Hong Kong the following day at 5:10 a.m. Arriving early in the morning allows passengers to connect with flights to Manila and Cebu as well as every Cathay Pacific flight across Asia without sacrificing time with a long layover. The return flight, CX860, will depart Hong Kong at 6:35 p.m. (local time) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Washington, D.C. at 10:20 p.m. (same day).

“Dulles International is an ideal destination for our next US gateway,” says Philippe Lacamp, senior vice-president of the Americas at Cathay Pacific, in a statement. “Cathay Pacific is pleased to be the first air carrier offering nonstop flights from Washington DC to Hong Kong.”

How to Judge a Great Travel Bargain

Being a savvy shopper is important to get the best value for your money. But with every “great” deal it is important that you understand what exactly you are buying. There are tons of retailers like Groupon and LivingSocial apps which offer super discounted travel packages for unbelievable prices, but avoid these common pitfalls to avoid being scammed or disappointed.

If you have been offered a great bargain on a cruise or a resort vacation, but you cannot seem to get all the details unless you pay the company first, you may be dealing with a travel scam. Typically, a scam operator won’t give you full and complete information in writing until after you’ve given them a credit card number, certified check or money order. Once you do get further information, there will be restrictions and conditions which make it more expensive, or even impossible, to take your trip.

While getting a refund is sometimes possible, it’s better to avoid paying anything in the first place. While there is the remote chance that you might miss a legitimate deal, chances are you will save yourself some time and money in the long run.

To help you avoid becoming a victim of a travel scam, here are some suggestions when evaluating travel offers:

  • Stay away from travel offers that sound “too good to be true”, particularly if you have been solicited by phone or have received a postcard or certificate in the mail.
  • Never give your credit card number or any information about your bank accounts over the phone to a solicitor unless you initiate the transaction or call. You should feel confident about the company with which you are doing business with.
  • Get the complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total cost (including taxes, port charges, service fees, and surcharges), terms and conditions, restrictions, cancellation penalties, if any, and specific information about all components of the package.
  • Walk away from high-pressure sales presentations which don’t allow you time to evaluate the offer or which require that you disclose your income.
  • Be cautious with companies which require that you wait at least 60 days to take you trip or require that you select several dates of departure for your trip.


Most Common Travel Scams

Scammers will find ways to contact you through direct mail, social media or enticing emails luring you for an “unbelievable” promotion. In reality, these types of vacations often end up with poorly disclosed fees or fake. Here are the most common travel scams that we hear about.

You just won a “free vacation”, but must pay a fee first

If you can’t remember how you were able to win a prize, most likely this is a scam. Make sure you understand all charges and fees associated with the prize. Often these awards are attached to a variety of fees, participation in a tour/ vacation club or seminars with pressure filled presentations. Find out all the details before you commit.

When the caller wants your credit card number

Scammers will always try to lead the conversation and pressure you to hand over your credit card. Make sure to receive paperwork before you do. TIP: Most scams require you to make rash decisions quickly. Grab their phone number and say you feel comfortable if you can call them back. Most scam artists prefer not to give any information about themselves.

They entice you with general descriptive words — but can’t — give you specifics

They promise a stay at a “five-star” resort or a cruise on a “luxury” ship, however they cannot tell you exactly which property or cruise line. Make sure that you know all the details before anything else happens. Make sure to always get it in writing to protect yourself. TIP: Find out the hotel’s address and check out their website for reviews and photos.

You’re pressured to sign up for a travel club that requires you to sell their memberships

As soon as you hear that you must sign up with monthly dues – run out the door. Travel clubs often have high membership fees and limited choice of destinations or travel dates.

You get an automated call

Automated calls from companies trying to sell you something is a big red flag. Sign up for the national Do Not Call Registry (https://www.donotcall.gov/) to avoid future solicitation.