One group of AvGeeks enjoy the American 727 - Photo: Francis Zera

One group of AvGeeks enjoy the American 727 – Photo: Francis Zera

At the end of September we got to enjoy another amazing Aviation Geek Fest. If you follow the site, the name probably sounds familiar. It is a VIP-access event that allows AvGeeks to get together and experience some pretty cool things not typically open to the general public. This year we had people converge from around the world (guests from Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, & USA) to Seattle, WA to partake in this three-day aviation-themed event. How cool is that?

As it has been the last in previous years, the events and activities are amazing, but you cannot beat hanging around a bunch of other like-minded folks for a few days! Everyone gets to tell their airplane stories and everyone actually wants to listen!

A Northrop F-5E Tiger II of the Patrouille Suisse shows off some sexy paint.

A Northrop F-5E Tiger II of the Patrouille Suisse shows off some sexy paint

Axalp is, in my humble opinion, very likely the best air show on earth, although the Swiss Air Force will be quick to tell you that it’s not really an airshow, rather, it’s a live-fire training exercise to which the public is invited. It’s officially named Fliegerschiessen Axalp, which translates to Air Force Live Fire Axalp.

At precisely 2 p.m. (this is Switzerland after all), a pair of F/A-18s rocketed up the valley spitting flares, signifying that the demo had begun.

At precisely 2 p.m. (this is Switzerland after all), a pair of F/A-18s rocketed up the valley spitting flares, signifying that the demo had begun

It’s an exercise that’s held on top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps, uphill from the ski town of Axalp. Attendance requires getting to Switzerland, a long drive, a bus ride that’s almost as exciting as the show itself, a chairlift ride, then a hike up the last 1,000 vertical feet.

Fresh mini pretzels await packaging.

Fresh mini pretzels await packaging

AR Rewind: This story originally published in March 2015 and is being re-shared.

King Nut and Summer Harvest: If you’ve ever enjoyed an airline snack at 35,000 feet and inspected the wrapper, chances are you are familiar with one, or both, of these name brands. They, alongside Peterson Nut Co., make up the King Nut Companies family. As a fan of the airline industry, and the companies that support it, I’ve long been familiar with King Nut, and have spotted their products on numerous airlines. Plus, here at AirlineReporter, we love telling the behind-the-scenes stories of the airline world.

A few years back, I was excited to learn that they sometimes sell direct to the public the same airline-branded snacks I’ve come to know, love, and expect up in the air. I’ve made it a habit to occasionally place orders with them online in order to bring AvGeek-themed snacks to various gatherings; we even had their product at my son’s airline-themed birthday party.

A sack of honey roasted peanuts passes through an X-ray

A sack of honey roasted peanuts passes through an X-ray machine

I guess you could say I’m nuts for King Nut (you knew at some point I had to make that joke – figured I should get it out of the way). And while I’m a fan of their products, I never took the time to really learn about what it takes to get these snacks into the hands (and bellies) of passengers.

That opportunity presented itself recently, when I was in the Cleveland area on business. It just so happens that the King Nut facilities are less than a mile from one of my company’s offices in Solon, Ohio. I reached out to Mr. Martin Kanan, President and Chief Executive Officer, to see about a tour and for a chance to learn about their company – he was happy to do so. Sit back, relax, grab some snacks, and prepare to drool over some seriously tasty snackage photos and facts…

Welcome to Club World – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

British Airways’ business class — branded “Club World” — has been flying for a long time. It was unveiled back in 1999 as one of the very first fully-flat business class seats. It’s undergone a few updates and refinements in the years since, but the design fundamentals are still the same. I’ve wanted to fly Club World for a long time, because of its unique layout and because of the aviation blogosphere’s mixed opinions on the product. I finally got my chance — on the majestic A380, no less. While there’s no denying that the seat isn’t the best out there, I found plenty to like about my experience.

Read on for the full scoop on my flight in Club World and the future of BA’s business class.

Our ride to London Heathrow – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter