Today’s news in brief:
Indian government relaxes ban on in-flight photos
The Indian government has clarified its policy on the use of in-flight photography after threatening to ground airlines who allow passengers to break the rules.
In the wake of a media scrum on an IndiGo flight taken by actress Kangana Ranaut, India’s Directorate of Civil Aviation said on Saturday that it would order two-week route suspensions for airlines permitting passengers to click pictures on board.
The country’s Aircraft Rules 1937 state that ‘no person shall take at a Government aerodrome, or from any aircraft in flight, any photograph’ without official permission, but a clarification was issued on Sunday to reassure passengers.
Sunday’s clarification reads: ‘A bonafide passenger travelling in an aircraft engaged in scheduled air transport services may do still and video photography from inside such an aircraft while in flight, take off and landing….
The update reiterates that this permission ‘does not include use of any recording equipment which imperils or compromises air safety; violates prevalent norms; creates chaos or disruption during operation of flight or expressly prohibited by crew’.
Avgeeks can now be at ease, knowing they are allowed to click their pictures in peace…
Great rates at Taj properties, including Mumbai Palace
There are currently some exceptional deals on stays at select Taj properties, including the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai.
Until the end of the month, it’s possible to book a one-night stay at the Palace (not the cheaper Tower adjoining the Palace) for around INR 13,500 (USD 180) – the cheapest rate we’ve ever seen.
Even better, Taj is throwing in a range of other perks, including a complimentary upgrade to an executive suite (subject to availability on arrival, but this shouldn’t be a problem at present).
Also included is breakfast, dinner, a 20% discount on food and soft beverages, early check in and late check out.
When we checked with the hotel at the weekend, they advised that the hotel’s restaurants and bars remain closed, so keep in mind that you may be taking your meals in your room.
The last date available to stay for this great rate appears to be Wednesday, September 30 – so you’ll need to be quick.
For more information, and to book, visit the Taj website.
Covid testing facility opens at Delhi airport
A new covid test centre and lounge has opened at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The 24-7 facility, a collaboration between Premium Plaza Lounge and Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, is initially available for passengers arriving from international destinations with an onward domestic connection.
Passengers can pre-book the service (or just turn up) for INR 5,000 (USD 70) and proceed to the ‘Covid Test Centre and Lounge’ on arrival. After taking a test for coronavirus, passengers can relax in the lounge before taking their domestic flight.
A gap of 8-10 hours between arrival and the onward domestic flight is advised, though the covid test result will be available in 4-6 hours.
Those testing negative can continue their journeys, while those with a positive result ‘will be processed in line with applicable Indian Council of Medical Research protocols by the State authorities’ – whatever that means…
Full details are available on the Delhi airport website.