Around the World

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

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VIDEO: Saudia Airlines Starts Service Between Riyadh & Los Angeles

What better way to start a new flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) than with a video from SpeedbirdHD?

On March 31st, Saudi Arabian Airlines (aka Saudia) started service between Riyadh and LAX using a Boeing 777-300ER. The aircraft, which was only five months old, is configured with 24 seats in First Class, 36 in Business, and 245 in Guest Class (aka economy).

The flight will operate three times per week on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flight will originate in Riyadh (RUH) with a stop over in Jeddah (JED) before continuing to LAX.

“Saudia’s inaugural flight to Los Angeles is a manifestation of our continued efforts to expand our global reach to better service our valued customers,” according to Chief Executive Officer and Director General Designate, Mr. Abdulaziz Alhazmi. “The services to LAX, following our launch to Toronto, Canada in October last year and the resumption of our flights to Manchester, UK, are just some of the components of this initiative to claim our rightful place among the world`s leading carriers.”

LAX is already a melting pot of different airline liveries, but it is always great to add another.

Touring the New Interior of Singapore Airlines + Win a 777 Model

Singapore's new Business Class will be tough to beat.

Singapore’s new Business Class will be tough to beat.

I have been lucky enough to fly quite a few different Business Class products on a variety of airlines over the years.  Often, those airlines will directly ask me what I thought about their product and question which was my favorite.  Each and every time, I find a few nice things to say about their product, but ultimately then have to admit that Singapore Airlines’ Business Class product on the Airbus A380 has been my favorite.  None of the airlines have been insulted – at least I don’t think – because Singapore really does have a top-notch product.

When I learned that Singapore was updating their already impressive product, I was intrigued.  Recently I was invited, along with Bernie Leighton (a Managing Correspondent for the site, who also holds elite status on all the airline alliances) to check out their first Boeing 777-300ER to feature Singapore’s new interior.  Our tour took place at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center just hours before the plane was delivered to Singapore Airlines and took off, and I wanted to share both of our thoughts.

We also want to be able to share a bit more than thoughts and photos.  You have the chance to WIN A SINGAPORE AIRLINES BOEING 777-300ER MODEL.  Keep on reading to find out how…

Continue reading Touring the New Interior of Singapore Airlines + Win a 777 Model

Flight Review: Flying on a ANA Boeing 777 From Narita to Seattle

Saying good bye Narita.

Saying good bye Narita.

This is the final installment of a multi-part series covering my trip from Seattle to San Jose to Narita to Hong Kong and back as an ANA Ambassador. My flight was provided by ANA, but all opinions are my own. Part1: San Jose to Tokyo on the 787 Dreamliner - Part2: Connecting in Tokyo’s Narita Airport - Part3: Tokyo to Hong Kong & Back Again - Part4: A Helicopter Flightseeing Tour of Hong Kong - Part 5: Two AvGeeks Visit Hong Kong.

After another short connection in Narita (made shorter by hunting for Japanese Kit Kats), I was heading home to Seattle onboard an ANA Boeing 777-300ER.  This route originated last year on July 25th, and on the 1st of October it changed over to a 787 until the grounding.  On the 1st of June, the same day we flew out of San Jose, the route resumed with the 777-300ER.  What it meant for me was a nine hour flight home, with the gentle strum of GE-90s.

ANA operates their older model-777s on this route, so unfortunately there was no “Inspiration of Japan” service.  Sold as a 2-class flight but operated by a 3-class aircraft, ANA reserves the first class seats for their top-tier frequent fliers.  How do I know?  I tried to get into those seats after picking it on the seat map.  I failed, but it was worth a try, right?

Continue reading Flight Review: Flying on a ANA Boeing 777 From Narita to Seattle

VIP Tour of TAM Airlines’ New First Class on a Boeing 777-300ER

Time to take a VIP tour of one of TAM's Boeing 777-300ERs at Paine Field. Image: David Parker Brown.

Time to take a VIP tour of one of TAM’s Boeing 777-300ERs at Paine Field. Photo: David Parker Brown

Recently, I was invited to take a special tour of one of TAM Airlines’ brand-spanking new Boeing 777s that was parked at Paine Field. The plane was so new that Boeing was still prepping it for delivery. How could I refuse?

The aircraft I toured (PT-MUJ) and was TAM’s fourth 777-300ER, which was delivered on August 29th, 2013. The airline has ordered a total of nine of the type.

The 777 is the first aircraft that TAM has equipped with their new First Class product, and I was excited to check it out.

Continue reading VIP Tour of TAM Airlines’ New First Class on a Boeing 777-300ER

Nanny Service on Etihad Airways

Etihad's new Flying Nanny Program - Photo: Etihad

Etihad’s new Flying Nanny Program – Photo: Etihad

As the only AirlineReporter.com staffer with small children, I’m fascinated by the the newly-announced Flying Nanny program from Etihad Airways.

While I love traveling, particularly internationally, having two kids under the age of four dictates that I either fly solo (as with my 77-hour trip to Singapore) or with my wife, while grandma takes the kids.

Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, currently serves four destinations in the U.S. and Canada as part of their worldwide network. As a fast-growing airline, Etihad is looking to differentiate themselves in the competitive overseas market.

While most long-haul carriers offer bassinets or other physical accommodations for small children, and some offer kiddy amenity kits (like Ethiopian), Etihad’s program goes way beyond that.

Continue reading Nanny Service on Etihad Airways