Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 243,450
2013: 330,818

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Flight Review: United Airlines 747 – Global First

I've always wanted to fly in seat 1A on a 747 - Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

I’ve always wanted to fly in seat 1A on a 747 – Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

Recently, my wife and I took a trip to Japan to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  Because we have two toddlers (who were NOT coming with us), we wanted to travel in luxury and make it something very special.

Besides being an AvGeek, I also happen to be very savvy with airline miles and hotel points.  While that’s not a topic AirlineReporter focuses on (there are lots of great sites out there that do), I booked all of our flights using United miles that I’ve collected through various means.

On the outbound, I booked us DEN-SFO-NRT, with the SFO-NRT segment operated by the 747-400 (the bulk of United’s 747s operate out of SFO to Asia, with a handful of 747 flights also based out of Chicago O’Hare).  I could have booked us on United’s direct flight from Denver, operated by a Dreamliner, but United’s 787 fleet doesn’t feature a first class cabin (which United calls “Global First”).  Also, I really wanted to check out the United Global First Lounge in San Francisco.

United Dreamliner on the ground at SFO...viewed from inside a Mercedes! - Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

United 787 at SFO…viewed from inside a Mercedes! Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

Full disclosure: on our last big trip without the kids, we flew Lufthansa First Class and got to visit the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.  Both were so good, I think it ruined us for any future flights.  As much as I love United, I didn’t have great expectations.  Here’s the shocker/spoiler: our United experience was really good.

Continue reading Flight Review: United Airlines 747 – Global First

Is Etihad Airways Planning a New Livery?

Etihad's Airbus A380 with new livery showing on the tail - Photo: Clément Alloing / Flickr CC

Etihad’s Airbus A380 with new livery showing on the tail – Photo: Clément Alloing / Flickr CC

It appears that Etihad Airways might be working on a new livery — but they are keeping pretty quiet about their future plans.

We have seen the new tail design on an Airbus A380 and also a Boeing 787-9, but there haven’t been any hints if this will be a fleet-wide livery update or just a special livery for their new aircraft. There also isn’t anything out there about what the fuselage might look like. We reached out to Etihad for details, but they are keeping them secret — for now.

Close up on the new tail design on the A380 - Photo: Clément Alloing / Flickr CC

Close up on the new tail design on the A380 – Photo: Clément Alloing / Flickr CC

Continue reading Is Etihad Airways Planning a New Livery?

Photo Interior Tour of Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380

The premium cabin of Qatar's Airbus A380 is quite impressive - Photo: David Flynn | Australian Business Traveller

The premium cabin of Qatar’s Airbus A380 is quite impressive – Photo: David Flynn | Australian Business Traveller

Our friend David Flynn with Australian Business Traveller recently had the opportunity to check out Qatar’s impressive Airbus A380 product. Here is an snippet with a link to the full story on ABT. 

Step inside Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380 for a look at the Gulf carrier’s new first class and business class cabin, the inflight bar and even the bathrooms.

Qatar’s first A380 will begin flights to London and Paris in October, but Australian Business Traveller enjoyed a first-hand look of the Gulf carrier’s superjumbo during its official delivery from Airbus.

The premium lounge on the upper deck of the Qatar Airbus A380 - Photo: David Flynn - Australian Business Traveller

The premium lounge on the upper deck of the Qatar Airbus A380 – Photo: David Flynn – Australian Business Traveller

The configuration is relatively standard: first class, business class and a lounge/bar on the top deck, along with a small economy cabin to the very rear, while the entire lower deck is given over to economy.

Read More and See MANY More Photos of the Qatar Airlines’ Airbus A380 on Australian Business Traveller

Spirit Airlines Shows Off Bold and Very Yellow New Livery

There is no missing Spirit's new bold yellow livery - Photo: Spirit Airlines

There is no missing Spirit’s new bold yellow livery – Photo: Spirit Airlines

It seems that every airline in the US is in the process in getting a new livery. We had Southwest and Frontier last week and this week we have probably the most bold of a change with Spirit Airlines. Not to mention the horrid look of the new China Eastern livery spotted at Paine Field.

If you thought the new Southwest livery was bold and radical, it has nothing on this taxi-like black and yellow design of the new Spirit look. You should have no problem spotting these Airbus aircraft from a distance.

Notice the "Bare Fare" on the engine nacel - Photo: Spirit Airlines

Notice the “Bare Fare” on the engine nacel – Photo: Spirit Airlines

The first aircraft, in new livery, started services today from Atlantic City (ACY) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The airline plans to introduce six more aircraft in the new livery over the next few months. Any new planes delivered will sport the yellow livery, but the rest of the fleet will be updated during their regularly scheduled painting timeframe.

“This new livery perfectly matches Spirit Airlines,” said Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s President and CEO. “It’s radically  different from other airlines, and it’s fun, just like we are. When you see this plane in the air – or on the ground – there will be no question that this is a Spirit plane.”

The airline is really hoping to market their rock-bottom fares with the ability to only pay for what you need. They have a whole section of their website dedicated to educating passengers how to fly them and how their fees work.

Continue reading Spirit Airlines Shows Off Bold and Very Yellow New Livery

An Inside Look at TAM Airlines’ Uniform Shop

The different uniform choices in the TAM uniform shop

The different uniform choices in the TAM uniform shop

One large task of an airline is to make sure that all their employees are dressed properly. Typically, each position within an airline will have a different dress code. From the fancy outfits that flight attendants often wear to the more mundane look of those who work behind the scenes and away from passengers. They each have their purpose and it is quite the feat to make sure that every employee has a proper uniform.

The uniform shop is a three-story facility with employee lounge on the first floor

The uniform shop is a three-story facility with an employee lounge on the first floor

TAM Airlines has a specialty uniform shop, located in Sao Paulo, where all 22,000 employees can go and pick up their uniforms.  The process is quite the task.

The facility is unique in that not only do employees come in person, but the airline wants the uniform process to be a part of their culture. I was excited to see what it was all about — I had never seen a shop quite like it.

Continue reading An Inside Look at TAM Airlines’ Uniform Shop