Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 228,152
2013: 330,818

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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

Reviewing Cathay Pacific’s First Class – The Best Trans-Con Ever?

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER preparing for a Test flight at Boeing's Everett Factory - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER preparing for a Test flight at Boeing’s Everett Factory. Image: Mal Muir.

If you need to travel between New York and the Canadian west coast, there are just a few choices.  Your main options are Air Canada or WestJet, which both operate direct flights between New York and Vancouver.  Another option is flying a US-based airline (like United or American) via one of their hub cities.  But what if you have a nice chunk of points to burn and want to get the best bang for your buck? Sure, you could redeem for Air Canada business, but that would just be like flying any other US airline in the front cabin.  What if you could get a truly unique experience for the same amount of points as any other redemption? Well you can, with an unexpected airline.

Cathay Pacific Airlines (CX), based in Hong Kong, operates four daily flights between New York’s JFK Airport and Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport.  However, one of those flights has a layover in Vancouver.  The last flight of the day (CX889) makes a stop along the way and Cathay Pacific has “Fifth Freedom” rights between New York and Vancouver.

What is a Fifth Freedom flight?  It’s where an airline is allowed to sell tickets on a flight between two foreign countries as part of a service connecting their own country.  Confusing, right?  In layman’s terms it means that if, for instance, the airline needs to make a fuel stop mid-route or something similar, then it can sell a ticket from that stopping point to the end destination.

Cathay Pacific’s flight from New York to Vancouver is unique in that those in premium cabins get all the standard international service items, despite the fact that it’s only a five-hour flight.  So even though I was flying a transcontinental flight JFK-YVR, I still got the multiple-course meal, amenity kit, and even pajamas.  All the standard items you would get as though you were flying Cathay Pacific for a 14-hour flight.

Continue reading Reviewing Cathay Pacific’s First Class – The Best Trans-Con Ever?

The Next Generation Cabin Product by BMW for Singapore Airlines

This new Business Class product will soon be soon on Singapore Airlines. Image from Singapore.

This new Business Class product will soon be soon on Singapore Airlines. Image from Singapore.

Singapore Airlines history can be traced back to May of 1947 and since then, they have been an airline that represents leadership and many firsts. They were the first airline to launch satellite-based inflight telephones  & the first to take delivery of the Airbus A380 — just to name a few.

Sixty-Six years later, Singapore Airlines (SQ) is proud to introduce their Next Generation of First, Business and Economy Cabin Products. They currently operate a fleet of 102 aircraft which have an average age of less than 7 years — one of the youngest and most fuel efficient fleets in the industry, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep innovating.

This September, the new cabin products will be launched on select flights on the airline’s Singapore (SIN) to London (LHR) itinerary. The new seats and in-flight entertainment (IFE) will be rolled out to other routes as additional new aircraft enter service. Let’s take a closer look at what the new product will look like.

Continue reading The Next Generation Cabin Product by BMW for Singapore Airlines