Economics/Class Relations

Why flying sucks

February 20, 2023
Hello, Insiders.

I’m James Dean, deputy executive editor for business in the UK, filling in for Nicholas Carlson as the US observes Presidents Day.

I’m old enough to have paid for a subscription to London’s Evening Standard before it dropped its cover price. Like many newspapers, the Standard was struggling to compete with free online news being delivered by the likes of Facebook and Google.

We’ve since gotten used to a world where we pay nothing (at least, in terms of money) for news and other ad-funded digital services. But Meta just said it’d start selling subscriptions offering various perks — and if that sounds similar to what Twitter just started doing, it’s because it is.

Big Tech is getting crushed by the decline and fragmentation of the digital ad market, and subscriptions offer stability. Do Meta’s and Twitter’s moves into subscriptions signal the dawn of a new era that’s a bit like the old one? Let us know what you think:

— James Dean

In today’s edition: Insider looks at what happened to 70 police officers involved in notorious killings, an ousted Tesla cofounder sounds off, and a doctor says he reduced his biological age. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.

Biden’s Ukraine visit, “Borg,” & more

  • Joe Biden made a daring, unannounced visit to Ukraine in a show of support the White House once considered too risky to attempt. More here.
  • Experts warn about the college drinking fad “Borg” going viral on TikTok. It stands for “black out rage gallon.” Read more.
  • Archeologists in China “burst into laughter” after unearthing a “deceptively advanced” 2,200-year-old flush toilet. Get the full story.

Flying is a mess

Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider
This past year has been a nightmare for air travelers, featuring epic flight meltdowns, over a million mishandled bags, and a US-wide ground stop caused by outdated equipment at the Federal Aviation Administration.

It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when air travel was pleasant, much less enjoyable.

Aviation experts and industry groups say the story of air travel’s service decline is one of priorities. Decades’ worth of shortsighted decisions that prioritized efficiency and price cuts over quality and comfort came to a head during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving millions trapped in a headache-inducing, feet-numbing flying purgatory with no signs of a long-term fix.



Police killings, African safaris, & more

iStock; Anadolu Agency/Getty; Insider
  • Jailed, disgraced, retired, promoted: Insider looked at 70 cops behind some of the highest-profile police killings of the past 20 years. While some ended up behind bars, others have received promotions and honors. Read the full story.
  • “After driving 22 electric cars, these are the three I’d steer clear of.” Insider’s reporter said that while he’d been behind the wheel of some true gems, there were three EVs he’d avoid. Find them here.
  • Ousted Tesla cofounder Martin Eberhard sounds off on Elon Musk. The pair have long butted heads, with Musk describing Eberhard as the worst person he’s ever worked with. Insider spoke with the cofounder about his perspectives on Tesla, EVs, and Musk. Read the story.
  • “Lucky-girl syndrome.” The buzzy new TikTok trend centers on willing good luck into your life. “Lucky girls” say they manifest financial and professional success via positivity and affirmations. Insider spoke with three of them — here are their stories.
  • 11 mistakes tourists make on African safaris. Wendy Watta is a travel writer who has been on more than 100 safaris. She said she’d seen tourists make the same mistakes time and again, from sleeping in to ignoring birds. Find them all here.
  • A doctor says his biological age is 20 years younger than his actual age. Dr. Mark Hyman, 63, said he’s as healthy as a 43-year-old thanks to habits like exercise and good nutrition. Here’s his morning routine.
  • Five things a dermatologist avoids to maintain clear skin. Dr. Aamna Adel shared five habits that she avoids to keep her skin clear without damaging it, including trying cosmetic procedures at home and mindlessly following social-media skin routines. See the full list here.


Inside the Royal Navy

Emli Bendixen for Insider
“I got a rare look inside a Royal Navy training base.” Our reporter visited HMS Raleigh in the English county of Cornwall to observe sailors’ grueling basic training where she said recruits worked out so hard they vomited. “They break you then they make you.” Go inside the Royal Navy.

Domino’s domination

Domino’s is the world’s largest pizza chain. To keep ahead of competition and a labor shortage, the chain has introduced robots and machines to make pizza dough. Watch for more.

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This edition was curated by James Dean and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Nathan Rennolds, and Kevin Kaplan. Get in touch:

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