Around the World

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

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SAS to Operate Business Class-Only 737 to Houston

A standard SAS Boeing 737-700 without a fancy interior.

A standard SAS Boeing 737-700 without a fancy interior – Photo: Aero Icarus | Flickr CC

For many, taking a ride on the 737 is nothing to write home about. How about flying on a 737-700 with only 44 seats in it? That spark your interest? Typically you will see the 700 with 128-140 seats, so that is a big change.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced that they plan to start operating a business class-only 737-700 from Houston (IAH) to Stavanger (SVG) starting on August 20th of this year. The 737 will be wet-leased from PrivatAir and it will wear the SAS livery. According to their press release, the inside of the plane will offer, “SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board… along with modern in-flight entertainment system and full-service meals and service.”

Continue reading SAS to Operate Business Class-Only 737 to Houston

Flying a Czech Airlines A330-300 With a Korean Air Business Class Product

The one and only Czech Airlines A330. Photo - Jacob Pfleger.

The one and only Czech Airlines A330 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

In May of last year Czech Airlines (CSA) took delivery of their first (leased) Airbus A330-300 aircraft from Korean Airlines. The sole purpose of this aircraft delivery was for Czech Airlines to re-enter the long-haul market on the Prague-Seoul route. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be booked on this aircraft from Prague to Seoul in Business Class and wanted to share my flight experience.

CZECH AIRLINES PRE-DEPARTURE

Being a non-schengen flight, the departure was from Terminal 1 at Prague Airport. I arrived about three hours early; it was interesting to see that Czech Airlines had dedicated check-in for the Seoul flight, with two dedicated business counters. My bag was priority-tagged and I was on my way to passport control within five minutes of arriving at the airport.  The security check takes place at the gate for all flights originating from Terminal 1.

After clearing immigration, I made my way to the lounge. The lounge itself was quite modern and well planned out, with numerous phone/device charging stations. It would be nice to see the addition of some hot meals/refreshments, as only cold sandwiches and salads were offered.

Boarding commenced 30 minutes prior to departure. The load today was completely full in economy (majority of travellers were Korean tourists returning home) and only 3/18 in business class. There were two jetways available for boarding.

The empty Business Class cabin on my flight to Seoul. Photo - Jacob Pfleger.

The empty Business Class cabin on my flight to Seoul. Photo – Jacob Pfleger.

ONBOARD THE CZECH A330-300

Once onboard the aircraft, I was greeted by the purser and escorted to my seat. As the aircraft is an ex-Korean Air bird, the interior and layout is identical to their A330-300’s; the only difference with this one being the paint scheme on the outside is that of Czech Airlines.

Continue reading Flying a Czech Airlines A330-300 With a Korean Air Business Class Product

Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore

One of Qatar's two Oneworld 777s taken through the window of a QR A320 photo by Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

One of Qatar’s two 0neworld 777s viewed from the window of a QR A320 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A few days before departing for Warsaw, I had a stark realization – I actually had no reason to be in Poland other than a milage run. Polish Christmas is not what we are familiar with here in North America. Indeed, the idea of potentially-radioactive Belorussian carp as my main feast for such a joyous occasion caused me some dismay. I admit, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Poland (including two great military and aviation museums) – just not on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Both days, the entire country – including the trains – more or less grinds to a halt.

Now, I could have spent a couple of days in a hotel in downtown Warsaw, and maybe gone shopping before my return home. But practicality is not, and never will be, how I solve problems. My original goal was to fly on Biman’s DC-10 from Kuala Lumpur back to Dacca, but I couldn’t make the times work.  After a call with my usual travel agent (who has come to understand that I have a flare for the weird), I discovered that I could, within the window of my original British Airways fare to and from Poland go on a day trip to Singapore! I also had another goal – could I do it for a similar cost to a week of peak rate hotel time at a luxury hotel in Warsaw? Thanks to Polish currency (3 Zloty =1 USD) I could, and what an itinerary I booked!

We at AirlineReporter have always been fans of Qatar Airways; it was high time I found out what the fuss was about, starting with their Airbus narrow-body fleet. To say the least, I was excited. I had heard nothing but great things about Qatar’s business class from our other staff members. I am, probably, the harshest and most pedantic critic on the AirlineReporter staff. If you are already bored of the article, I can summarize my experience with QR in one word. AMAZING! If you are interested in why, please do continue.

Continue reading Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore

PHOTO TOUR: Inside American Airlines’ Trans-Con Airbus A321

American Airlines' Airbus A321 sitting at JFK. Image: Eric

American Airlines’ Airbus A321 sitting at JFK – Photo: Eric Dunetz

This story was written for AirlineReporter.com by Eric Dunetz (@southpawcapture)

Out with the old and in with the new.

American Airlines showed off their brand-new Airbus A321 at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Tuesday and upped the game in the ever-competitive transcontinental market.  I was invited to take a tour.

The A321 with be replacing American’s aging Boeing 767-200 on the JFK/LAX route starting January 7th, and the JFK/SFO shortly thereafter, and will offer a welcomed upgrade for passengers.

Premium seat on the American Airbus A321. Image: Eric

A First Class seat on the American Airbus A321 – Photo: Eric Dunetz

American will be the only carrier to offer a three-class cabin, featuring fully lie-flat seats in both First and Business Class, on a narrow-body aircraft. The First Class cabin will be outfitted with 10 fully lie-flat seats in a 1-1 configuration, giving each seat direct aisle access.

Business class will have 20 fully lie-flat seats in a 2-2 configuration. Each premium class seat features a 15.4-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor offering a selection of in-flight entertainment including movies, TV programs, audio selections, and games.

In Main Cabin (economy) every seat will have an 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor with an assortment of movies, TV programs, games and audio selections.  Only a portion of the content is free.

Continue reading PHOTO TOUR: Inside American Airlines’ Trans-Con Airbus A321

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