PLUS: Luxury travel is booming
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August 29, 2022 | View OnlineSign Up

I find it a bit odd that we still can’t take liquids over the size of 3.4 ounces in our carry-ons but a bald eagle can pass through TSA with no problem. I hope he remembered to take his shoes off and place them in the bin.

In today's edition:

  • Germany tests a new way to pay for flights

  • Luxury travel is the hot new trend

  • Moderna sues Pfizer

  • 130 companies fall victim to a phishing scam 

Happy flying,


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Germany is working on a β€œpay as you fly” travel model

In the wake of a year filled with flight cancellations and delays, Germany is trying out a β€œpay as you fly” (PAYF) approach as a solution.

The PAYF model would let travelers book a flight and not be charged for the payment until they go through check-in. The system would help travelers avoid the often tedious process of getting a refund on canceled flights. Now, if a flight is canceled, they simply wouldn’t be charged. 

While there is no word yet on when an official rollout will take place, Lufthansa has been piloting the program for its corporate customers since March of 2021. 

The PAYF model is not the only creative solution airlines have thought up lately. Sounds Air in New Zealand and Alaska Airlines have both been piloting subscription-based flying services that offer customers unlimited flying in a given period. 

Though it’s uncertain that these models will become an industry standard, it would be a welcome change for travelers by giving them increased flexibility and better customer service.


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Luxury travelers are leading the way

In an unexpected twist, luxury travel is booming and growing at an unprecedented rate.

A study by Research Dive found that luxury travel is expected to grow from $461,741.6 million in 2020 to $1369.1 billion in the 2021-2028 timeframe. The study pointed to the popularity of travel on social media being largely responsible for the huge boost. The study also found that travelers from Asia-Pacific are spending the most on luxury travel and that adventure and safari trips are the most popular luxury tour type.

Also fueling the luxury travel boom is all the revenge travel in the post-pandemic world. Luxury Travel Magazine found that people are more focused on creating the dream travel experience than on price and the amount people are willing to spend went up by 34%.

Airlines are also aware of the uptick in travelers seeking out lavish experiences. Airlines like Emirate have doled out nearly $2 billion to renovate their airplane cabins and add new and enticing food offerings like unlimited caviar

Finnair is also following suit with a new line of premium economy cabins. Air France also upgraded their long-haul business seating and even included sliding dividers. Even Delta has seen demand for higher-priced booking options, which were typically only selected by wealthy corporate travelers, have become increasingly popular with people traveling for leisure.

Whether or not luxury travel will stick around after the lure of revenge travel has faded, it’s unclear. For now, however, it seems that people are more willing to spend more money to satiate their wanderlust.


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Danish designed herb accessories 

Introducing HØJ. Danish products designed with discreet smell-proof cork cases to take you on a journey of a lifetime. Their sustainable technologies give you a better smoking experience for your mind, body and planet.

HØJ's KLIP slices the herb instead of grinding it to preserve 300% more flavor and potency - it's better for you and your flower.

Their KØL pipe is devised with a microchannel cooling system that filters and cleans your smoke for a cleaner, smoother and healthier smoking experience.

Thoughtful designs inspired by nature and an obsessively detailed execution forge products with an unrelenting dedication to quality.

HØJ means high in Danish - Come fly high with us.


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Moderna sues Pfizer for Covid patent infringement

Moderna is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement over the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The company alleges that Pfizer copied the technology they developed years before the pandemic. β€œWe are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Moderna’s Chief Executive Stephane Bancel.

At the onset of the pandemic, Moderna said they would not enforce their Covid-19 patents in order to help others develop their own vaccines. Now, they are backtracking on that stance by bringing legal action against Pfizer and their German partner BioNTech.

In response to the legal action, Pfizer and BioNTech say they are "surprised by the litigation given the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer."

Patent litigation is not uncommon in the healthcare or tech arena. In fact, Moderna has also been sued for patent infringement in the US.


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130 companies targeted in a phishing scam

More than 130 companies have been targeted in a widespread phishing attack. 

The attack, which has been dubbed β€œ0ktapus” by security researchers, was a months-long campaign that targeted the likes of T-Mobile, AT&T, Slack, Twitter, Microsoft, and DoorDash

Though Group-IB, the security team researching the breach, says that their analysis points to the attackers being inexperienced, the scale of the attack is massive. They suspect that the attack began back in March and that nearly 10,000 login credentials have been stolen. 

The attackers imitated Okta, a popular single sign-on service in order to target accounts. The hackers sent text messages that prompted users with a fake authentication page. Once users entered their username, password, and two-factor authentication code, the information was sent to the attackers. 

If you are worried that your login details have been compromised, Group-IB suggests not clicking any links that lead you directly to a login page. They also suggest using β€œunphishable” two-factor security keys like those from YubiKey.


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