Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 137,829
2013: 330,818

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Airline Livery of the Week: Allegiant, err I mean Jet2holidays

The livery on this Jet2holidays Boeing 737-800 (G-GDFD) looks mighty similar to Allegiant Air's livery.

The livery on this Jet2holidays Boeing 737-800 (G-GDFD) looks mighty similar to Allegiant Air's livery.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it has to be a duck right? Not always. The image above is for a Jet2holidays Boeing 737, but that livery looks mighty familiar doesn’t it? It seems to have a lot in common with Allegiant Air’s livery, but for good reason.

Allegiant Air has leased two of their Boeing 757s (current registered as G-LSAL and G-LSAM) to Jet2holidays and they are flying them with a modified Allegiant livery. It appears they have now painted their 737 in a similar, but not exact same livery — which has become their new livery.

It is not bad looking, but I think Allegiant’s looks better. It does give you an idea what Allegiant’s livery would look like on a Boeing 737.

I tried to emails Jet2holidays to get some more information on the livery update, but to date, I have not received a reply.

Image: Ben Allsup

What’s Out the Window?

Have you ever looked out the window and wondered "what's that?" There are some helpful apps to inform you.

Have you ever looked out the window and wondered "what's that?" There are some helpful apps to inform you.

Have you ever been flying and looked out the window and wonder where the heck you are and what is that object? You might just ask your seat neighbor, but I think half the time they are just making up the answer.

Mark Vanhoenacker, on a NYTimes Travel Blog, has some ideas on how to make your flight more educational.

Vanhoenacker looks at two apps that can help you ID those mountain peaks or bodies of water you aren’t sure about. First there is WindowSeat, that does not require an internet connection and it does not even use GPS. You tell the app where and when you take off and it makes a good guess on your location and flight plan. If it guesses wrong, you can adjust its location, so it might take a little finessing.

If you are on a flight with internet access, Vanhoenacker suggests looking at MondoWindow which gives you an interactive map of your flight, providing live information. I haven’t tried either of these yet, but I am excited to see how they work. Of course, they become less useful when you are flying above clouds.

Are there other apps that help you figure where you are at? Or do any of you carry an old fashion paper map?

Blog Lite This Week: Hanging with Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKJ.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKJ.

I am off on travel this week with Singapore Airlines to celebrate their new (as of July 1st) Airbus A380 flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo (Narita) and then finally to Singapore.

LAX is the eighth destination to receive the Airbus A380 flown by Singapore Airlines. The airline is already operating 12 of the aircraft, with another seven on order.

I am not sure how much extra time I will have to write up complete blogs, but I will continue to produce some sort of content to keep your aviation hunger at bay.

Image: swiss_a320

Want a Ride on a BAC-111? You can!

Want to catch a ride in this BAC-111 (N999BW)? You can!

Want to catch a ride in this BAC-111 (N999BW)? You can!

Ah, the good ‘ol days of flying. With loud aircraft that sucked one heck a lot of fuel. For the true airline geek, who cares about either of those? If you are looking for a unique opportunity that doesn’t come along often and you have $880.00 burning a hole in your pocket, do I have some information for you. I caught on Brett Snyder’s Cranky Flier blog that one young gentleman is not just talking the talk, but he is also walking the walk of bringing a classic airliner experience to fruition.

Recently, Classic Jet Tours was created to give aviation fans a chance to get a ride on classic, but FAA-certified aircraft. From their Facebook page, they explain the tours, “consist not only of the flights themselves, but also allow our customers to walk around the aircraft on the ramp, visit the cockpit, talk with the pilots, and socialize with like-minded aviation buffs.”

In August 27th, they are offering a flight on a BAC-111. The tour will start at 9:30am from Dallas Love Field and the flight will last two hours. There are only eight BAC One-Elevens that remain in service around the world, so there won’t be too many opportunities left. The aircraft in question, N999BW, is in executive configuration and ready to give a true VIP experience. The cost might be a little steep for most (including myself), but it has to be worth it to a true BAC-111 fan.

You can find more information, see photos and register for the flight at their website. I wish them the best of luck and hope to see more opportunities like this in the future.

Image: Liembo

My Review: Flying a Lufthansa Airbus A330 to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).

Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).

Recently I had the opportunity to fly from Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) on a Lufthansa Airbus A330 in Business Class. This was my first Lufthansa A330 flight and figured it is time to do a review. I was flown to Germany by the airline to experience the first Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami, but getting there is half the fun.

I felt a lot of pressure to get some rest on the flight over to FRA since I was only spending 24hrs there before heading back to the US. Flying in a premium seat better prepares a passenger to arrive well rested and ready to go — something I needed, but never got. The down side of flying in a premium seat, at least for me, is I want to enjoy the experience and I fight sleeping through it.

On the day of the flight, I decided to leave home early to get to the airport. Although Lufthansa does not have their own lounge at SEA, they share one with British Airways in the S-Terminal. I was able to hang out in the lounge for about three hours with free drinks and snacks until my flight was ready to board — never a bad way to spend an afternoon.

What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot. There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.

What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot?There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.

Lufthansa flies from Seattle to Frankfurt daily and is the only flight they operate out of Seattle. The great thing about only operating one flight per day is the aircraft was already sitting at the airport and we boarded and departed right on time. I remember the days when an Airbus A340 flew the route (not exactly sure of the dates) but today they have the A330. Luckily for us aviation nerds you can still catch the Air France A340 that flies to Seattle.

Once you get to cruising altitude on a wide bodied airliner, it is easy to forget you are flying. Most people shut their window (even me, I know, I know) to better view your in-flight entertainment screens . A flight on a wide body airliner is just a different experience, even in economy, allowing less of a closed-in feeling. Half way across the ocean, I couldn’t help but stop and realize how amazing it was traveling from Seattle to Frankfurt in just under ten hours. To think what that trip would have entailed just 100 years ago to accomplish the same task makes me happy that airlines offer a much better solution.

The seats provided quite a bit of room and there was a pretty good selection of entertainment, but I wished there was a bit more privacy between me and the person next to me. I have no problem sleeping in economy in standard seats, but when I am lying flat, I feel a bit more exposed and would enjoy more privacy. I also wish the TV screen was closer, since, when lounging back, the screen got  smaller. I ran out of movies I wanted to watch on the flight over there, but luckily my flight back was on the A380, which had additional options for me to enjoy.

Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.

Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.

Up in Business Class, one has ample choices for food during your long trip. There is an appetizer, entree and desert and for each category, you have three choices. I decided on the, “chilled honey roasted Chicken Breast with water crest salad and cranberries, then Zinfandel braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots and finally finished it up with sage derby, gruyere and cambozola cheese.” The food quality is what would be expected from an international business class experience. I only wish there were more offerings of German in nature. If possible, I prefer to have the cuisine of the airline’s home country versus standard fare. Back in economy, they didn’t have it too shabby either. They didn’t have all the choices, but at least they were still getting meals that looked pretty decent for airline food and it was all free (well included in the price of the ticket).

I know this is silly and really not a reason to choose an airline, but Lufthansa’s warm wash cloths that are handed out at the beginning of the flight and before the meal, smelled amazing. I can’t even tell you what the smell was like, but if they made that into an air freshener I would definitely get it.

After meal service almost everyone in the front of the plane went to sleep. I tried, but it just wasn’t happening. I even took part of a sleeping pill (something I do not usually do while flying), but I never got tired. This was bad news because when we landed it was midnight my time, but 9am local time and I had a full day of events to participate in. I welcomed jet-lag with open arms.

One reason I think I couldn’t sleep was it never got dark outside. The concept was pretty cool, but not getting any sleep wasn’t so cool. Yea, sure, the shades were all down, but mentally, I knew the light was there. Even the eye mask can’t stop the mental sunlight getting in.

When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.

When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.

Once we landed I was confused when we started taxiing away from the airport. I had forgotten that Frankfurt has many airline parking spaces where buses take people to and from the terminal. This was a bonus for me, being able to de-plane on the tarmac, then taking a five minute bus ride through the airport, but I could see how that would be a huge annoyance for people who are not into planes. I really wouldn’t want to ride an airplane for 10 hours, then get stuck on an even more crowded bus. You better believe the first class passengers are not riding the bus; many get a private Mercedes or Porsche to take them to the terminal.

Lufthansa also has an arrival lounge at FRA, but I was tired and in need of a shower, so I headed out of the airport and to my hotel. The flight went quick and was a great combination of comfort, high-end service and entertainment. I can’t wait until the next international flight.

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