Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 41,837
2014: 363,407
Total: 963,437

The “Battle in Seattle” Now Involves Delta, Alaska, Football, & Planes

A Delta Aircraft getting ready to be boarded by Seattle Seahawks as they head to Phoenix for the Superbowl - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A Delta plane getting boarded by the Seahawks as they head to Phoenix for the Super Bowl

Sunday morning in Seattle, people should be drinking their morning coffee, reading a paper (or this site, obviously) or going for a morning run. But when the Seahawks are headed for the Super Bowl, the city takes on a different vibe. Streets are lined with people along the drive from the team’s offices and training facility at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) in Renton, to SeaTac for their journey to Phoenix.

The airport was surrounded by fans, family, and friends of airport staff who were plane-side to wave farewell. But their departure leads to a bigger, more important, question for AvGeeks: who, and what, were they flying?

Continue reading The “Battle in Seattle” Now Involves Delta, Alaska, Football, & Planes

Delta Air Lines Completes Second Phase of JFK Terminal 4 Expansion

A Delta pilot makes his way to one of the new gates as Delta Air Lines, unveiled the next phase of a Terminal 4 expansion at JFK - Photo: Michelle McLoughlin | Newscast Creative

Delta Air Lines unveils the next phase of a Terminal 4 expansion at JFK – Photo: Michelle McLoughlin | Newscast Creative

As part of their $1.2 billion effort at improving their space at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 4B, Delta, along with the JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) has completed the second phase of expansion of the terminal and held a media event to show off and officially open the new space (a soft opening occurred last week).

BONUS: Delta Previews JFK T4 With T4X In Lower Manhattan

In attendance, and speaking on behalf of their organizations, were Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president for New York; Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ); Gert-Jan de Graff, president and CEO of JFKIAT (the operator of Terminal 4); Kyle Kimball, president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation; Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company; and Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president.

Press entrance for the special Terminal 4 event - Photo:

Press entrance for the special Terminal 4 event – Photo: Doug Wint

The expansion adds 75,000 additional square feet and 11 new gates to Terminal 4B, and will allow 80% of Delta Connection operations to move from Terminal 2. These new gates are enclosed and climate-controlled, and can handle mainline narrow-body jets, if needed. The new addition provides access to a renovated Sky Club, iPad stations, and world-renown eateries.

The carrier has also added a third stop to its Jitney shuttle service, which carries connecting passengers between its two terminals to the new terminus on the B side. This is to help alleviate the walking for connecting travellers (65% of Delta’s JFK passengers) between opposite ends of Terminal 4B.

Continue reading Delta Air Lines Completes Second Phase of JFK Terminal 4 Expansion

Virgin America — Still Got It?

After being at LA for less than 12 hours, it was time to board my Virgin America flight and head home.

Virgin America Airbus A320 – Photo: David Parker Brown

It has been a while since I’ve flown on Virgin America, and to be honest I’ve sort of missed it. The purplely-pink mood lighting, good food, and that awesome entertainment system; it was a light cutting through the otherwise dark and dank scene of American domestic economy flying.

Thus I was rather looking forward to getting back in the air with Virgin, spurred on by its new codeshare partnership with China Airlines (which I recently sampled and detailed here). Arriving at SeaTac on November 30th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I expected mayhem but was instead met with relative calm.

Space means weight, which means money. Photo: David Parker Brown.

The economy seats in Virgin America’s Airbus A320 – Photo: David Parker Brown

Virgin provided me a ticket in its Main Cabin Express (MCE) block of seats. The benefits are slight, basically amounting to early boarding after first class, seating in the first few rows of economy as well as guaranteed overhead bin access. The service and product are otherwise identical to the rest of the economy cabin.

Boarding was a bit chaotic, mostly thanks to the gate agent never actually announcing that it was time for MCE to board. Suspecting that I’d missed something, I joined the boarding line which now included main cabin passengers, and was ushered on the plane and into seat 5A.

Continue reading Virgin America — Still Got It?

Delta Air Lines and Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound Head to the “North Pole”

Carollers greet families as they deboard the jet.

Carolers greet families as they deboard the jet at the “North Pole”

Earlier this week, Delta Air Lines offered a very special charter flight to the North Pole with VIP guests. Children and families of the Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound boarded a specially decorated Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport before being whisked away on a quick trip to a winter wonderland.

The pilots for Delta flight 1225, service from Seattle to the North Pole, check emails before the flight.

The pilots for Delta flight 1225, service from Seattle to the North Pole, check emails before the flight.

Upon arrival, the guests were treated to different games, entertainment, Blitz from the Seattle Seahawks, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and of course Santa, who took some time out of his busy schedule to interact.

We had photographer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren there to cover the event and afterwards he said, “I have to say that it was one of the heartwarming three hours I’ve had in awhile.” He was excited to share the experience via some photos.

Continue reading Delta Air Lines and Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound Head to the “North Pole”

Flight Review: Delta’s Upgraded Transcontinental Economy Comfort

Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 at JFK

Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 at JFK – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter

Delta Air Lines recently upgraded their Economy Comfort cabin for trancontiental flights from New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. I recently had a trip from JFK to SEA and decided to give the upgrade a shot.

The big changes? The addition of pillows, blankets, sleep kits, Luvo snack wraps, free adult beverages, and frozen yogurt bars.

“Delta continues to invest in Economy Comfort with upgraded amenities for customers when they fly one of our transcontinental routes from New York to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle,” said Jeff Robertson, Vice President – Product Development, Sky Clubs and Marketing Communications. “Adding pillows and blankets for comfort as well as Luvo wraps and mid-flight snack offerings improves the travel experience for our premium economy customers so they arrive at their destination rested and refreshed.”

These come with the standard upgrades that all Economy Comfort seats give passengers: up to 4″ additional legroom and ideal location for boarding/de-planing.

The big question – is $100 worth the additional extras you get with Economy Comfort? Although I was quite tired during this flight (this was the fourth and final leg of a four day, 15,000 mile journey), I was willing to find out.

Continue reading Flight Review: Delta’s Upgraded Transcontinental Economy Comfort