This holiday, we’re thankful for you, dear readers. At least, we try to be as we struggle through airports in an effort to celebrate with our loved ones. In honor of Thanksgiving, and the busiest travel day of the year, we’re taking a look back at the airport-related stuff we’ve explored in 2019. Facial recognition, miraculously landed planes, big airport construction projects—if you’d like to spend your interminable flight or flight delay reading about the big systems, innovators, and legitimate heroes who keep this global aviation system running, we’ve got you covered.
Air travel-related stories you might have missed from WIRED this year
Hopefully it’s not too late to pick up these 16 essential products for frequent travelers.
Actually, take it back: Hopefully it’s not too late to pick up these 12 essential products for traveling with kids.
The tips and tricks you need to save money and skip lines at the airport.
It’s getting cold out there again, which is a good time to review why extreme chilliness can force airlines to cancel flights.
Researchers are still scrambling to understand how excruciating flight delays actually work.
How ride-hail apps have totally changed the flying experience—and messed with airports’ mojo.
The Germans are considerate neighbors: An agency in that country is trying to teach pilots how to land more quietly.
Our contributor attempted to opt-out of airport facial recognition. It was hard—and the tech is far from proven.
How Rolls-Royce turned a Boeing 747 into a gigantic flying engine test lab.
How a Russian airliner crash landed in a corn field without killing a single human being.
How to make the middle seat tolerable.
What happens when a major airport closes one of its four runways for almost three weeks?
The world’s biggest airplane—and all 385 feet of its wingspan—takes flight.
Flying Dumb-Dumb of the Week
TSA agents in—where else?—Florida this month uncovered two high-capacity magazines hidden in a colorful, soft tummy-time baby toy during a routine security screening. The packaging had been arranged to look like the toy had never been opened. I’ll just quote TSA here: “Not to talk to you like a baby, but ‘Magazines go in your checked bag. Not in the bag you carry-on. I got your nose!’”
Stat of the Week
The jump in the number of Americans flying this year over the Thanksgiving holiday compared with last, according to a forecast from the industry group Airlines for America, bringing the total travelers to 31.6 million. The busiest day of air travel should be Sunday, when 3.1 million take to the skies, which could set a single-day travel record. If you are one of those millions: We love you. We’re here for you. Head to the nearest newsstand or pony up for that in-flight WiFi and stay WIRED.
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