Lonely Planet Writer

Top 5 airline and aviation stories from this week

This week, NASA announces plans to work on supersonic jet prototype, a study shows airplane food can be marked-up more than 2000%, a couple marries mid-flight, a $5 billion resort will be built at an airport in South Korea, and the “world’s busiest airport” tries to rebrand.

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable.
This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. Image by Lockheed Martin

NASA has announced it is trying to develop a quieter supersonic passenger jet that could break the speed of sound without creating a loud sonic boom. A supersonic passenger plane – the Concorde – has operated commercially in the past, but the noise it made when it broke the sound barrier meant it could only fly at high speeds over the ocean. Creating a quieter supersonic plane would mean faster flights over land. NASA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to begin a design of a “low boom” aircraft. According to NASA, they are trying to make flight “greener, safer and quieter – all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently”.

Airline snack.
Airline snack. Image by Ron Cogswell / CC BY 2.0

Would knowing that you’re paying a more than 2000% mark-up on airline food deter you from buying that snack? A study from travel search engine Kayak found that passengers are charged as much as 2646% more for food on board a flight as they would in a supermarket. The highest mark-up was on Cup a Soup, which costs as low as 12p in a shop, but £2.50 on a flight.

Read more here.

Kirsty and Jim exchanged vows on a packed plane.
Kirsty and Jim exchanged vows on a packed plane. Image by Chrstina Frees/ Frees it in time Photography

An American couple who met on board a flight decided to make a plane the place they’d tie the knot. Kristy Stratton, a flight attendant, married her fiancé Jim on a plane to mark their love of travel.

Read more here.

Phase I of Mohegan Sun's Project Inspire is estimated at US$1.6 billion, with a commitment total of US$5 billion over multiple phases.
Phase I of Mohegan Sun’s Project Inspire is estimated at US$1.6 billion, with a commitment total of US$5 billion over multiple phases. Image by Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

Soon travellers will be able to hit an amusement park, a rainforest and a casino without ever leaving their airport terminal. The South Korean government approved plans for a luxury hotel with an indoor-outdoor amusement park, eco-adventure park, casino and more, attached to Incheon International Airport. The development is set to be the only destination resort with an adjacent private air terminal.

Read more here.

Atlanta security line.
Atlanta security line. Image by Josh Hallett / CC BY 2.0

A US airport is hoping to shed its reputation as the world’s busiest airport is favour of being the “world’s most travelled airport”. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has long seen the most passengers per year, but now the airport is hoping to move away from the negative-sounding term ‘busy’. In 2015, the airport became the first in the world to see 100 million passengers in one year.

Read more here.