Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 201,532
2013: 330,818

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2014 World Airline Award Winners

Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR with GE-90 engines. Photo by Brandon Farris.

The 2013 World Airline Award winner was Emirates; who will it be this year? Photo: Brandon Farris

The 2014 World Airline Awards were held recently, in conjunction with the Farnborough Air Show, and the winners have been announced.  In a star-studded event held at the old Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Wind Tunnels, the winners were announced by Skytrax, who manages the awards. Some of the winners this year came as a bit of a surprise.

The World Airline Awards are an independent and totally non-biased process, with nearly 19 million people voting online (between August 2013 to May 2014) to decide who has the best services, cabins, cabin crews, and even lounges.  This is not just for your big name full-service airlines; even Low Cost Carriers have their own categories!  More than 105 different nationalities participated in this year’s survey and helped to define who was going to be named “World’s Best Airline”.

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Booking a Weekend Away to San Diego… On the Fly

Flying Non Rev on an Alaska 737-900ER..... hopefully

Flying non-rev on an Alaska 737-900ER….. hopefully

My real day job is a travel agent, and I have performed this job (with different companies) for the last 10 years.  I have spent those 10 years planning and organizing other people’s vacations.  When I make a booking for a client, it means that when they go on vacation and there is no stress for them. From the moment that they wake up on the day they leave, until the day they return, all their bookings are handled.

Being an AvGeek helps with this job, so much so that I thoroughly enjoy finding the best routing and deals for people, and I have to admit, while I spend all that time doing other people’s vacations, I can spend as much time planning my own.  This planning phase to me is as much fun as going on vacation (sad, I know).  So how is it that I found myself, the ultimate vacation planner, going on a weekend away with no plans?

Well, a friend of mine had access to some buddy passes and there were due to expire before the end of June. What does one do with expiring non-rev buddy passes? You use them, of course!

I had never flown on a standby ticket before.  Sure, I have tried to stand by for a flight change or something similar, but never have I entered an airport for a flight without at least some form of seat for my journey.  My friend told me that rather than commit to any plans for the weekend, we would pick a general destination and then as soon as we knew we had a seat on the flight, we would only then book a hotel, car, etc.  I was about to become the person I dreaded the most in life — an on the fly kind of guy!

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Paine Field Aviation Day 2014 Recap

Flying Heritage Collections P-47 Thunderbolt "Tallahassee Lassie" doing a very low pass at Paine Field Aviation Day

Flying Heritage Collection’s P-47 Thunderbolt “Tallahassee Lassie” doing a very low pass at Paine Field Aviation Day

2014 marked my third Paine Field Aviation Day (PFAD) and it signaled a great start to what is rumored to be a very extensive flying season.  Both Historic Flight Foundation (HFF) and Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) put in some effort to make this one of the best days yet.

Sadly, the clouds and rain loomed in the morning, which kept away a lot of the crowds.  Great for photos, not so great for attendance.  From the HFF side of the airport, it did seem very quiet compared to previous years.  But this year I joined the crowds on the berm for some amazing photos.

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Qantas to Take Back a Few World Records by Changing to an A380

VH-OQA, a Qantas A380-841 on the ramp at Avalon Airport, Victoria five years ago. Photo - Bernie Leighton : AirlineReporter.com

VH-OQA, a Qantas A380-841 on the ramp at Avalon Airport, Victoria five years ago – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

On the 3rd of December, 2013, Emirates took the crown with having the longest Airbus A380 route in the world — from Dubai to Los Angeles. The  route is only 418 miles longer than the longest Qantas A380 route from the Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Qantas is fighting back with their recent announcement that they are going to take back the longest A380 flight crown, maintain the status of the longest commercial flight, and one-up Emirates.

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Are the ALPA & US-Based Airlines Playing a Game That They Can’t Win?

The test pilots exit the 787-9. Image: Bernie Leighton - AirlineReporter.com

Two U.S. pilots stepping off the first 787-9 at Boeing Field – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

With the Emirates Milan saga, where US & Italian airlines are backing a play to force the Gulf carrier off the Fifth Freedom New York route, it led me to look into similar instances that have happened over the last few months that perhaps lead to a deeper situation.

It seems that US-based airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are trying their hand at stopping outsider airlines from getting to the United States rather than just expanding themselves.

Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Are the ALPA & US-Based Airlines Playing a Game That They Can’t Win?