Coinciding with the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Alaska Airlines has unveiled its newest special livery, a patriotic-themed scheme titled “Honoring Those Who Serve.”

The Oct. 26 event had all the seriousness and dignity of a military function, and attention was called to the airline’s Fallen Soldier Program, which is designed to ensure that a fallen soldier’s remains are treated with respect and dignity while being transported on Alaska’s aircraft. The livery includes a special crest near the rear cargo door that represents the program.

The event was held inside Alaska's huge maintenance hangar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

The event was held inside Alaska’s huge maintenance hangar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

The brand-new 737-900ER (registration number N265AK) entered revenue service the following day, and will be used across Alaska’s network.

Welcome to the KLM Pop-Up – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Welcome to the KLM Pop-Up – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

KLM: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … radio station, maybe? Actually you were right the second time. But despite its proud 97-year history in aviation, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines still isn’t a recognizable brand name for a lot of Americans (AvGeeks excluded, of course).

To fix that issue, the folks at KLM were excited to spread the word about their airline’s onboard product and customer service ethic. The result – a “pop-up” that just made an appearance in downtown San Francisco – featured seat demos, interactive displays, a chance to win flight tickets, and even a dose of virtual reality. What more could any aviation enthusiast ask for?

Join AirlineReporter as we count down our top five favorite parts of the KLM San Francisco Pop-Up.

Don't forget to grab a Dutch stroopwafel on the way in – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Don’t forget to grab a Dutch stroopwafel on the way in – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

An airport worker opens a cargo door on Hainan Airlines' Kung Fu Panda 787-9 as it arrives on its first visit to the U.S.

An airport worker opens a cargo door on Hainan Airlines’ Kung Fu Panda 787-9

A group of 97 students from Lincoln High School, in Tacoma, Wash., recently traveled to China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is pretty awesome.

What’s even more awesome for AvGeeks was the aircraft that Hainan Airlines selected for the students’ return flight to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): a shiny new 787-9 decked out in a new Kung Fu Panda livery.

Flight deck looks so realistic! - Photo: Jason Rabinowitz | AirlineReporter

Flight deck looks so realistic! – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz | AirlineReporter

There are few things out there that given the chance to try for myself, I’ll jump at the opportunity. An hour in a level D Boeing 787 simulator is one of those things. In November 2015, Aeromexico cut the ribbon on its brand new 787 simulator, and last week it invited me down to Mexico City to experience it firsthand.

Level D means the simulator is as complex and realistic as it gets. Pilots are able to transition from other aircraft types such as the 737 over to the 787 and earn their type rating on these machines. Before I had my time in the right seat of the simulator, I’d have to sit in row 25 of a 737 to get down to Mexico City.

Between the extremely limited simulator availability and my little remaining vacation time (I used two of my three weeks for the year in March on a trip to Japan and regret nothing), I had to make the trip as short as possible. After much debate, I settled on taking a 9am flight out of New York JFK down to Mexico City, hit the sim, and then take the 1:20am flight back home the next day to get back to work.