Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

Airline Special Liveries of the Week – Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines New Mexcio One on approach to Los Angeles Airport

Southwest Airlines New Mexcio One on approach to LAX

With so many new liveries being released by Spirit, FrontierSouthwest, China Eastern and Etihad, it’s time for a Livery of the Week.  But why look at just one livery – lets look at many.

When I lived in Australia, there were not many choices in the way of special liveries.  With only a handful of airlines and maybe one or two planes in a fleet with the occasional sticker on the side, there wasn’t diversity.  But here in the US, you have many, many different options — which is exciting for a spotter like myself.

The one airline that astounded me as to how many special offerings they have was Southwest.

Southwest's Florida One shows the states seal on the front of the plane - Photo: JL Johnson

Southwest’s Florida One shows the states seal on the front of the plane – Photo: JL Johnson | AirlineReporter

Southwest has many different special liveries, but the most entertaining ones to me are the state liveries.  The state liveries are based upon some of the airline’s more prominent destinations.  Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Maryland, Florida… even Illinois.  They are all named in the same pattern as well.  Generally, the aircraft wears the name of the state and then One.  For instance New Mexico’s aircraft is “New Mexico One.”  California would be California One, but of course everyone knows there is an exception to the rule and that is, of course, Texas.  They call their plane “Lone Star One.”  The good news with Southwest’s recent fleet-wide livery change is that these special aircraft will not be disappearing!

Continue reading Airline Special Liveries of the Week – Southwest Airlines

China Eastern Takes Delivery of First 777-300ER – In New (Bland) Livery

China Eastern's first Boeing 777-300ER seen next to the Future of Flight - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer Lindgren / NYCAviation.com

China Eastern’s first Boeing 777-300ER seen next to the Future of Flight – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer Lindgren / NYCAviation.com

Covering a story for AirlineReporter can be a dangerous business. Originally we had our Lee Zerrilla heading to the reveal of China Eastern’s first Boeing 777-300ER, when BAM he got in a minor accident. Lee is okay, but sad he was not able to make it to the event.

Have no fear, our good friends at NYCAviation (and photographer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren) were nice enough to share their photos and information about the aircraft (thanks guys!).

Although, the photos end up showing what, I think, is a pretty ugly livery, it is what is on the inside that counts with this bird.

This is not the first time we have seen China Eastern’s new livery on the 777. We saw it when it came out of the paint booth and I have to say that I wasn’t a fan. Heck, I might have even called it the worst livery ever. Maybe a tad bit harsh, but I am just not a fan of these bland designs.

Okay. The livery doesn't look half bad in the sunset - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | NYCAviation.com

Okay. The livery doesn’t look half bad in the sunset – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | NYCAviation.com

Some wondered if this was a temporary livery, but no, this is China Eastern’s new official livery.

The new logo on the tail is not so bad. It is a swallow consisting of the letters C and E, which represents the airline’s name. Sure, that is fine and dandy, but why so boring for the rest of the aircraft?

The airline was more excited to show off the new interior of the aircraft, which is probably the part that most passengers will care most about.

Continue reading China Eastern Takes Delivery of First 777-300ER – In New (Bland) Livery

Taking the Inaugural United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Flight

United’s 787-9 parked at the gate as a 787-8 taxis in next door

United’s 787-9 parked at the gate as a 787-8 taxis in next door

This story was originally published on Airways News by Seth Miller.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner entered service with United Airlines Monday, making the Chicago-based carrier the third airline in the world to offer service on the type. The first flight operated from Houston to Los Angeles, a route the carrier has used for 787 training and proving runs since taking delivery of its first 787-8 two years ago. After a short period of domestic flights, the aircraft will enter international service this fall. The first route the 787-9 will serve is Los Angeles – Melbourne, which will be the longest 787 route in the world when it launches in late October. Airways News was a guest of United’s on the inaugural flight.

The forward BusinessFirst cabin of the 787-9

The forward BusinessFirst cabin of the 787-9

For most passengers (and the airline) this was business as usual; just another flight from Houston to Los Angeles. There was no special reception at either end, no balloons and nary a cupcake to be seen. Yet there was still a bit of excitement in the air. For some passengers it was just about flying on a Dreamliner. For others being on the inaugural was a specific goal. Neil Gamrod was up at 4am Eastern to make his way down to Houston for the inaugural flight.

Like others he studied the airline schedules and adjusted his plans a few times, just to make it on board. And by the time we wrapped up the day with a celebratory dinner at the In-n-Out adjacent to LAX he was absolutely convinced it was a worthwhile trip, even if he was exhausted. Like many other 787 passengers Gamrod noted the more comfortable cabin comfort and the quieter ride as just a couple of the advantages the Dreamliner brings to the skies.

Continue reading Taking the Inaugural United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Flight on Airways News

A Very Special Southwest Deck Party

The Southwest Airlines Deck Bar Dedicated to its original founder.

The Southwest Airlines Deck Bar dedicated to its original founder

It is a Monday, your first day on the job with Southwest Airlines. You are nervous and want to make a good impression.  You know that whatever you do on your first day, you want to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself, ensuring a second day.  That sounds like something that would be going through a new hire’s head right?

ell, the thing is, every Monday all new hires at Southwest Airlines have the best first day introduction to the airline – the Southwest Deck Party.

View of Love Field from the Southwest HQ Deck

View of Love Field from the Southwest HQ deck

Every Monday, Southwest Airlines has a “Deck Party” at their Dallas Love Field Headquarters.  Located on the 3rd Floor, the deck overlooks the runways and the terminal at the airport and is a large open area that is ideal for a bit of a party.

To introduce new hires to the company’s culture, and more than likely to help all company employees relax, Southwest hosts this party with drinks and snacks provided.  Not just things to eat or drink either; their are sometimes themed events, but there is always some kind of music.

Continue reading A Very Special Southwest Deck Party

Airline Love: I Left My Wallet on a Plane in Beijing & a Flight Attendant Saved the Day

A United Boeing 777 - Photo: Al@fh | Flickr CC

A United Boeing 777 – Photo: Al@fh | Flickr CC

It finally happened  – one of my greatest traveling fears – I lost my wallet in a foreign country.

Maybe it was the sleep deprivation after more than 20 hours en route, maybe it was the chaos of wrestling with my squirmy 15-month-old, or maybe I’m just that absentminded, but I somehow managed to leave my wallet on the plane after a 14-hour flight from Washington Dulles to Beijing.

I realized it when we were at the baggage claim – far too late to turn around and go back to the gate.   Before we left the airport, I contacted United’s baggage services, which had someone check around my seat on the plane for the wallet, without success.  I also filed a claim with the airport’s lost and found.  But I left the airport that day thinking it was gone forever. What a pain.

Continue reading Airline Love: I Left My Wallet on a Plane in Beijing & a Flight Attendant Saved the Day