Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 242,760
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,164,361






Updated: ANA is NOT Looking to Install Sunshades on their Boeing 787s — No Complaints Were Received

The 787 allows passengers to choose different dim levels.

The 787 allows passengers to choose different from five different levels.

Reuters reported yesterday that passengers have complained about the windows not darkening enough on the 787 and that All Nippon Airways (ANA) is working with Boeing to install sunshades on their 787 Dreamliners. It appears that both of these statements are false.

One of the well touted benefits (by me and many others) of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are the dimmable windows. Instead of your classic shade that can be pulled down over the window, the 787 allows passengers to still be connected to the flying experience, while reducing the natural light that enters the cabin.

About a week ago, ANA released a survey showing that about 88% of passengers reported that the windows dimmability was better than they expected or fully met expectations. It seems that there might have been some confusion that passengers complained about the window and the other 12% did not like them. Nao Gunji, ANA spokes person told AirlineReprter.com that they have not received any direct complaints on the darkness levels of the 787’s windows and they are not wanting shades. “We are definitely not looking to install sunshades,” Gunji explained over the phone.

One of the lavatories has a window shade in ANA's 787 Dreamliner.

One of the lavatories has a window shade in ANA’s 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Nicholas Smith / AirlineReporter.com.

Although ANA is not looking at a sunshade option, it appears it could be possible. ANA already has one window in each 787 Dreamliner with a sunshade — in their lavatory — and it also has the dimming function. Could Boeing be working with other airlines to install sunshades on the 787?

“We are always looking at ways to improve our products but don’t discuss specific efforts in development,” Scott S. Lefeber, with Boeing 787 Communications explained via email. “Additionally, the response of our customers and the flying public to the larger, dimmable windows on the 787 has been very favorable. As always, Boeing works with its customers on an ongoing basis to understand new requirements and offer solutions.”

I have had the opportunity to be on the 787 quite a few times and flew on it for a 90 minute flight. Although I have not been in it with all the windows dimmed and the lights off, I have been in it with the lights on while the windows were dim. It might not have been as dark as your standard long-haul cabin for sleeping, but it was surely dark enough to get sleep and it seems this whole situation is more about mis-communication than it is about people being unhappy about the windows.

UPDATE:
ANA reached out and explained that they previously worked with Boeing, well before delivery, on issues of the 787’s window dimming level. The airline felt that the windows did not darken enough, so an extra film was placed between the three layers of glass. It was, “Something ANA engineers and Boeing decided together in order to provide the best cabin experience to our passengers,” Gunji explained.

Who Wants to See a British Airways Boeing 777 DRIVING Around London?

I know, I know — two video posts in a row. Not something I normally do, but British Airways is doing some pretty cool stuff right now, that I want to share. It involves a Boeing 777 in places you wouldn’t expect. The video above was posted a few days ago from what I suspect is a “fake” account operated by the airline.

It is not something you would expect and made me wonder what was up — which was probably the point of the video. As expected, British Airways had a game plan.

You might know about this little event where people get together every four years and compete against each other in a number of different sporting events — you might know it as “the Olympics.” You also might have heard that the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. You also might know that British Airways is based in London. The airline is looking to build motivation and support for the Olympic and Paralympic games with this unique ad campaign.

Frank van der Post, British Airways managing director of brands and customer experience, explained to AirlineReporter.com: “We’re rallying the country to get behind Team GB and ParalympicsGB to capitalise on home advantage. Whether it’s delaying your summer holiday, finding where to get behind the country with our ‘best sports bars abroad’ guide, or cheering them on at Park Live at the Olympic Park – we are encouraging  every extra clap, cheer and whoop we can get.”

The ad below is the most recent one that comes directly from the airline and is pretty freak’n cool. Who doesn’t like seeing a Boeing 777 driving through London? Well, if it really happened, there might be a few people who wouldn’t be so thrilled, but in a video, it is quite epic.

British Airways also made a third video, highlighting why this idea of “home advantage” is so important to London and the thinking behind the ad concept (notice the British Airways Boeing 787 model in the background of some of the shots).

Classic TWA Boeing 707 Commercial Promoting Milk

This video is technically not a TWA commercial, but it does star one of their Boeing 707s. This is a classic milk commercial way before the whole “Got Milk” craze became popular. Two flight attendants banter about how they are trying to lose weight, but keep up their energy on long flights and milk is the perfect way to do that. “You know gals, like us, who have to keep our weight down and vitality up should always drink milk.”

Something like that…

24 Hours in Frankfurt: Hanging with the Airport and Lufthansa

Landing in Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Airbus A330.

Landing in Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Airbus A330.

What does an AvGeek do with only 24 hours in Frankfurt with some great aviation connections? It is all still a blur, but I think I can remember most of it.

I have now been to Frankfurt twice; yet I have spent less than 50 hours total there. My first trip was to take the inaugural Lufthansa Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Miami (MIA) and more recently, I was invited to go back for the inaugural Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental flight.

First of all, the non-stop Lufthansa flight from Seattle to Frankfurt is a challenge. It leaves at around 1pm PST and then arrives at midnight PST, which is 8am local time in Germany. This means, I need to get sleep during the flight or I go a whole day without any. It was unfortunate that I was only able to get two hours of sleep on the flight over — mostly from being excited about the trip.

The Frankfurt Airport as seen from the Sheraton Hotel.

The Frankfurt Airport as seen from the Sheraton Hotel.

After landing and having some issues with my bag (took 45minutes to get, but at least I got it), I was off to find the Sheraton at the airport. Once arriving at the hotel a bit after 9am, I had about an hour to get showered and changed before starting an airport tour that Chris Sloan, with Airchive.com, nicely set up for us.

On the tarmac -- a place I always love to be at.

On the tarmac -- a place I always love to be at.

Chris and I met up with Robert Payne and Roy Watson who are not only both spokesmen for the airport, but also all around awesome guys. Much like the rest of the trip, we had a whirlwind tour, since we only had two hours, but it was well worth it.

We quickly took a look at the airport’s classic, yet still impressive baggage system before heading out to the tarmac. If you ever need an adrenalin shot to counter lack of sleep, a trip to an airport tarmac is always a nice cure.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Lufthansa Boeing 747-400.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Lufthansa Boeing 747-400.

We were able to stop and get out of our vehicle and take photos. at multiple locations. For such a short period on the tarmac, we caught some great stuff including a Kuwait Airways Airbus A300, an ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner and being able to walk around a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400.

A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 from above.

A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 from above.

Getting off the tarmac for a few minutes, we took a tour of one of the tarmac towers that guides airliners around the gates. It provided amazing views.

By noon, we were back at the hotel to meet with our media group, who was led by Martin Riecken, Director Corporate Communications The Americas, Lufthansa Airlines. Events like these are a home coming for aviation journalists.  You can imagine there is always non-stop, great conversation going on with a group of folks who write on aviation and travel.

The Technik hangar was set up for a show!

The Technik hangar was set up for a show!

After meeting up in the hotel lobby, we loaded onto a bus and were taken to Lufthansa Technik Hangar 7, which was very different from last time I saw it. Instead of the vast open spaces that a normal maintenance hangar might have, it was set up for a party. With a bunch of tables, a large stage and a curtain made of up thousands of LEDs, which I assumed was hiding the 747-8I (spoiler: it was).

There was a Boeing 747-8I, an Airbus A380 and different things set up to teach us about Lufthansa.

There was a Boeing 747-8I, an Airbus A380 and different things set up to teach us about Lufthansa.

Some speeches were given and some videos were shown before the curtain was raised not only to unveil the Intercontinental, but also different stations where we would be able to learn about different aspects of Lufthansa, the 747-8I interior and the future. For a little bit of fun, there was also a Lufthansa Airbus A380 in the background as well.

The antennae that provides Wi-Fi on airliners is much larger than I thought it would be.

The antennae that provides Wi-Fi on airliners is much larger than I thought it would be.

After our hangar and aircraft tour, it was time to head back to the hotel. I had a two and a half hour break before we would head out to dinner and the big question was: to nap or not to nap? Well, at this point I had been awake about 24 hours and I decided to go for the nap.

Waking up was a bit difficult, but I was excited to get to downtown Frankfurt. You know, when I visit a foreign land, it is nice to try to get out of the airport at least once — but I am old fashion in that way.

Meat, meat and uh... oh yea, more meat.

Meat, meat and uh... oh yea, more meat.

Our media group went to dinner at Apfelweinwirtschaft Wagner, where I got to have my first apple wine. It tasted like apple cider, without the bubbles and hefferveisen — it might be a bit of an acquired taste. I was hungry, but no worries. A platter with a farm-load of animals on it was delivered to our table. Probably not the best call for any vegetarians out there, but it worked great for us.

After dinner, some of us took a walk down the street to take a look at downtown Frankfurt.

After dinner, some of us took a walk down the street to take a look at downtown Frankfurt.

After dinner and a short walk down the street, it was about 9:30pm. Two choices were given: go back to the hotel or check out Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal at the airport. Again, the adrenalin rush of checking out the impressive lounge kept me nicely awake and I kept on rocking.

The bar inside the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.

The bar inside the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.

When I finally returned to my hotel room after 11pm, I was more than ready to get some sleep. It wasn’t easy getting a good night’s rest with the excitement of my flight the next day, but it didn’t make getting up at 6am easy.  We all met in the lobby at 7:45am and made our way to the lounge at the gate.

About 24 hours later, I was boarding the 747-8I to head back to the US.

About 24 hours later, I was boarding the 747-8I to head back to the US.

Then we boarded the 747-8I and off I was heading back home. My second 24 hours in Frankfurt trip I have done and it was great, but next, I hope to hang out a bit more and get to know Frankfurt.

More Connected to 4 Hours in Frankfurt
* 52 Photos from the day
* Flying on the Inaugural Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Flight With Lufthansa
Lufthansa Airlines Takes Delivery of Their First Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

Airline Livery of the Week: Sky Express – Is that a man on the tail?

Sky Express Boeing 737 in the snow. Photo by Ostersund Photography.

Sky Express Boeing 737-500 in the snow. Photo by Ostersund Photography.

It is a bird. It is a plane… well, it kind of is a plane, but is that a man painted on the tail? It sure is and he is flying.

Unfortunately, the airline doesn’t technically exist and was wrapped in with Kuban Airlines. The plus is Kuban is still flying the Sky Express 737s with their old and colorful livery.

Sky Express started operations in 2007, but went out of business in 2011. It was based at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.

It was the first Russian low-cost airline and operated a fleet of Boeing 737-300, 737-500 and Airbus A319.