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Ben Sandilands


Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.


Anti-Christ update; Ryanair launches home printed boarding pass fee plus a hefty fine

Ben SandilandsMay 14, 20093 Comments

Ryanair has found new ways to shake down its customers with a £5 fee for printing their own tickets at home, and which is unavoidable, as it is also shutting down all of its check-in d

Memo Airbus: 'No' to windowless jets, 'Yes' to see through cabins

Ben SandilandsMay 13, 20093 Comments

One of the innovations Airbus is contemplating among a short list of bright ideas in a world wide 'concepts' contest is a windowless airliner. Great. We already have legless airliner

Hotelicopter hoaxers unmasked by Wired

Hotelicopter hoaxers unmasked by Wired

Ben SandilandsMay 13, 2009

It began as an April Fool's Day hoax, and was exposed as such by Wired's Autopia blog, but like

Angry Flyers Lounge-CASA and REX under fire

Ben SandilandsMay 13, 20092 Comments

The managing director of REX, Jim Davis, now says that the emergency descent made by one of its SAAB 340s on its way from Sydney to Wagga Wagga on 7 May was 'just a maintenance error a

Non-stop flights between Australia and London creep back into the background briefings

Ben SandilandsMay 13, 20092 Comments

The Airbus A380 seems to be closing in on a future capability to fly non-stop between Australia and London by stealth rather than to a fanfare. This seems a pretty smart thing to do

Angry Flyers Lounge-Palm Islanders get palmed off by CASA

Ben SandilandsMay 12, 20091 Comment

It's almost two weeks since a visitor to the lounge drew attention to an apparent illegality in the carriage of air travellers to Palm Island. In the aftermath of a damning

Undertrained, underfunded & out of touch, the ICAO audit of Australian air safety oversight

Ben SandilandsMay 10, 20091 Comment

The myth of Australian leadership in air safety is ripped apart in the final and 'agreed' report of the ICAO audit of air safety oversight in this country. The findings reveal that C

How to read the ICAO audit of air safety oversight in Australia

Ben SandilandsMay 10, 20092 Comments

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit of safety oversight in Australia isn't a pretty read. There are a number of findings about the regulator, the Civil Aviati

A Soviet pre-war giant flying boat 'fakement'.

A Soviet pre-war giant flying boat 'fakement'.

Ben SandilandsMay 10, 2009

On the Crikey website on Saturday, in response to an item about internet hoaxes in the 'online media' section, Dallas Taylor sought more information about one involving giant Soviet Uni

Flying as penance rather than a privilege

Ben SandilandsMay 7, 2009

It is obvious from the Tiger moves on Sydney services that inter city flying in Australia is from one point of view going to become more a penance than a privilege. Take the historic

Tiger makes Adelaide the second spoke in a Sydney hub

Ben SandilandsMay 7, 20091 Comment

Tiger Airways is adding a Sydney-Adelaide daily from 31 July, four weeks after it is due to start Melbourne-Sydney flights. Much more is expected to be added soon after as the Singap

Riding a corporate 'Dreamliner' the Hawker Beechcraft 4000

Riding a corporate 'Dreamliner' the Hawker Beechcraft 4000

Ben SandilandsMay 6, 20092 Comments

You talk about places like Toowoomba, Port Lincoln, Mt Hotham and the little known and tough outback mining industry strips that no pilot of a jet airliner in Australia would even

The geopolitics of pandemics, some light reading for those in the departure lounges

Ben SandilandsMay 5, 2009

This analysis of the rise and retreat of the swine 'flu fears by the US based global intelligence service Stratfor.com might calm those about to fly, even to Mexico. At least until y

Angry Flyers Lounge-The fog thickens and thins over QF74

Ben SandilandsMay 5, 20091 Comment

Qantas has an explanation for the QF74 'fog, what fog' diversion to Brisbane which recently

Angry Flyers Lounge-Tiger discovers customer service!

Ben SandilandsMay 5, 20094 Comments

Angry Flyers have  won something Ryanair customers can only dream about. Tiger Airways is recruiting customer services officers--after listening to the uproar in our lounge. At last

The truth about swine 'flu and air travel

The truth about swine 'flu and air travel

Ben SandilandsMay 2, 20091 Comment

A Qantas spokesperson said "We did not to set ourselves up as having some authoritative knowledge of the medical situation in favour of encouraging passengers to use the Australian

Angry Flyers Lounge-United's Star dims

Ben SandilandsMay 2, 20092 Comments

United Airlines is supposed to be one of the brightest stars in the Star Alliance constellation of airlines. But Michael Durrant's experiences suggest that it is fast fading, and he's n

How Jetstar plans to skin Tiger in Sydney

Ben SandilandsMay 1, 2009

This is no way near finalised, but Jetstar is understood to have a plan to stalk every Tiger flight between Melbourne and Sydney in July when the Singaporean owned carrier launches on t

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