Concorde G-BOAA prepares for the first commercial flight from LHR to BAH on January 21, 1976 – Photo: British Airways
Today is the 40th anniversary of Concorde’s first commercial flight. On January 21, 1976, Concorde successfully completed its first supersonic flight by British Airways, from Heathrow to Bahrain, while Air France flew to Rio de Janeiro via Dakar.
Concorde is one of the most iconic airliners ever built and was created with huge dreams; dreams that sadly never became a reality.
Visiting Boston – Photo: BA
Four flying in formation – Photo: BA
One beautiful aircraft – Photo: BA
To celebrate this milestone, British Airways shared information about the historic aircraft and some thoughts from one of its former pilots. What better place to chat with a former pilot than next to one of the aircraft? Captain Leslie Scott recently spent some time, along with others associated with the plane, at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to share his memories.
One of the British Airways Airbus A318s at JFK – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer Lindgren | JDLMultimedia
When it comes to long-haul flying, typically the bigger the aircraft the better. Whether it’s the Boeing 747 or Airbus A380, these are the aircraft typically associated with extreme luxury – private suites, on-board showers, and maybe even a fully stocked bar. Sometimes, though, smaller might actually be better. British Airways operates a pair of tiny Airbus A318s between New York JFK and London City Airport (LCY) with a business class-only configuration featuring only 32 seats (by comparison, Air France carries 131 passengers on their A318s). It sure is a strange (but great) way to fly. To give you a sense of just how small the A318 is, here are some numbers to help size it up: The Airbus A380 sports a total length of 238 feet with a 261-foot wingspan. The A318 is just 103 feet long with a wingspan of just under 112 feet.
The British Airways A318 cabin only has 32 seats – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz
I was recently able to fly from JFK to LCY and experience what it’s like flying into London on the A318. Spoiler: It’s wonderful and actually quite a different experience. While the London to New York flight involves a stop in Shannon, Ireland for fuel, the reverse flight is non-stop.
My British Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in London – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz
International first class is something special. It’s something that very few people will ever be able to pay for, but for those putting down the cash, they expect an experience beyond anything else available.
British Airways skipped a first class option on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner deliveries, but with the 787-9, it decided to give their well-liked first product a bit of a refresh. The global first class market is quite competitive. Many airlines have totally given up on it, while others keep trying to offer the biggest, best, and most expensive options. In a world of apartment-like products, showers, bars, and full private suites, I wondered how British Airways now stacks up. The end result is one of the nicest seats that I have ever had the pleasure of flying in.
The British Airways first class product on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – Photo: British Airways
My experience began at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) with a visit to the Concorde Room. British Airways has multiple lounges at Heathrow, but the Concorde Room is something more exclusive. It is reserved only for passengers flying intercontinental first class on the airline, and affords passengers extra niceties and amenities. One of the most interesting perks is what it calls a Cabana. The Cabanas are little private rooms within the lounge, where passengers can shower, take a nap, or simply watch television. While airports can be super stressful, this was the exact opposite. We were already off to a great first class start!
British Airways flight 2276 at Vegas – Photo: McCarran Airport
Today, we at AirlineReporter share two different opinions on passenger evacuations of an airliner during an emergency. In recent incidents, we have seen passengers taking their bags and people reacting. This story shares the opinion that it is not that big of a deal to take your bag and is written by an anonymous writer (that has been verified), who is a frequent flier, no stranger to the airline business, and is a writer. Be sure to read the opposite opinion and share your thoughts in the comments.
First off, I agree that probably it is best to leave your bag on a crashed/burning airliner. However, the attention that I have seen given to passengers who end up taking their bags with them during an emergency sickens me.
These people just went through a major incident, where many likely felt that they were going to die. Could you imagine going through something like that and then instead of having people asking you if you are okay, they harass you? I wouldn’t want that either. It now seems to be the popular thing to do.
If some of you will take the time to get off your high horse and read this, maybe you won’t be so quick to judge. I argue that people shouldn’t automatically be ostracized for grabbing their bag in the middle of a potentially deadly evacuation.