The entrance to the Club to SJC - Photo: SJC

The entrance to the Club to SJC – Photo: SJC

This past December, The Club at SJC, at San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC) received the Priority Pass North America “Lounge of the Year” by Airport Lounge Development. This is a lounge of the people… well mostly. You don’t need to have a first class ticket or “Double Platinum, Wrapped in Diamonds” status with an airline (that might not be a real thing). If you have a few extra bucks, some time to burn, and a want to live a bit of the high-life, The Club at SJC might be for you.

The Club at SJC

AirlineReporter was invited to visit the lounge to learn more about common use lounges, and of course see this award-winning staff in action (spoiler alert – it is no surprise at all to see why this lounge won).

An Air India Boeing 747 - Photo: JB | FlickrCC

An Air India Boeing 747 – Photo: JB | FlickrCC

As a six-year-old kid growing in a tier-2 city in India back in the 90s, the only modes of transportation I was familiar with were trains and buses. Flying was a distant dream, primarily because we had no airport and because flying back then was an expensive luxury only a few could afford.

Fast forward twenty years and there are at least a dozen international airports in India with virtually every important city connected by a domestic airline route. Flights are affordable, perhaps even equivalent to the A/C sleeper coaches on trains. Thanks to the emerging low-cost airlines, the likes of Indigo, Go Air, Air Asia, Spicejet, and more, flying today in India is no more seen as a mark of status that it once was. It has become more of a way for the masses to travel within and out of the world’s second-most-populous country. But will the young folks flying for the first time today be able to fall in love with aviation as I did in my childhood? Or will they just see it as a basic form of transportation?

This An-30 belongs to Aviakompany Grodno. They’re based in Grodno. Creative name… – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Antonov An-24 is one versatile aircraft. That aircraft lead to the An-26, which then lead to  the An-32. Heck, the Saudis gave the Ukrainian government money to design the An-132. Reasons were given for the latter, I am sure.

There’s the view! – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

All of those just haul people or cargo, though. BORING! What if you needed to observe something? What if you needed airborne survey? What if you wanted to do better cartography? Enter the rarest An-24 variant: the An-30 — only 123 were ever made.

It’s distinct from all the other An-24s in the world because, well… just look at it. The glazed nose for the navigator really sticks out and illustrates the fact that this is a rare breed of Antonov. It does more than look cool, though.

Peaceful protestors at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after the executive order – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia

Capping off a tumultuous first week in office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday that — without warning — closed America’s gates to immigrants, refugees, and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order invited swift reactions across the U.S. and around the world. It also threw the aviation world into disarray. Individuals were held at airports without access to legal counsel, and airlines struggled to understand the executive order’s harsh ramifications. Airline crews even had to be adjusted in some cases.

AirlineReporter usually doesn’t venture too far into the world of politics, but given that this executive order has huge implications for air travelers around the world, we wanted to share some thoughts. Read on for an overview of the new policy, its impact on travelers over the weekend and beyond, and what we think it means for the spirit of air travel. (Spoiler alert: it’s not looking good)