Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 93,970
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,015,570

Starbucks, Dunkin, & Lift – Oh My! Coffee Keeps Passengers Going

Delta signs Starbucks as their new Coffee provider - Image: Starbucks

Delta has partnered with Starbucks as their new coffee provider – Photo: Starbucks

I will be the first to admit (and I have) that I am a coffee addict.  So to surprise no one, I am talking about something close to my heart, and my stomach.  Coffee on-board a flight (or while waiting for one) is a big thing, not only to me, but to so many other travelers.

The Spirit of Seattle seen from the air. Image: Bernie Leighton

The Delta 737 called “The Spirit of Seattle” seen from the air – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Airlines are not known to have the world’s best coffee. Heck, some might even call it plain awful.  An airline’s choice of coffee can be an important one, not only to keep the passengers happy but also for their budgets. More and more airlines are taking their choice of coffee quite seriously and I decided to hold the cream and sugar and dive on in.

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2014 World Airline Award Winners

Emirates Airline Boeing 777-200LR with GE-90 engines. Photo by Brandon Farris.

The 2013 World Airline Award winner was Emirates; who will it be this year? Photo: Brandon Farris

The 2014 World Airline Awards were held recently, in conjunction with the Farnborough Air Show, and the winners have been announced.  In a star-studded event held at the old Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Wind Tunnels, the winners were announced by Skytrax, who manages the awards. Some of the winners this year came as a bit of a surprise.

The World Airline Awards are an independent and totally non-biased process, with nearly 19 million people voting online (between August 2013 to May 2014) to decide who has the best services, cabins, cabin crews, and even lounges.  This is not just for your big name full-service airlines; even Low Cost Carriers have their own categories!  More than 105 different nationalities participated in this year’s survey and helped to define who was going to be named “World’s Best Airline”.

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JetBlue Turns Green with the New Mint Experience

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Throughout its fifteen year history, JetBlue Airways has worked hard to be the blue-collar airline with an upscale image. With popular features such as DirecTV and SiriusXM entertainment at every seat, the most legroom in coach of any US-based airline, and, most recently FlyFi wireless onboard internet connectivity, the airline has put the passenger experience at the forefront.

Now, the airline is poised to launch the next generation of its onboard product. Dubbed “Mint”, the service will initially be offered exclusively on its route between New York and Los Angeles, with flights to San Fransisco set to follow later this year. I recently had the chance to preview the new product at JFK and wanted to share what I discorvered.

The new Mint Experience is a wholesale, multi-faceted upgrade of the traditional JetBlue product. Offered exclusively on a subfleet of the carrier’s Airbus A321 aircraft, Mint provides a true premium product to compete with the other four carriers flying in the transcontinental market. The most noticeable change onboard is to the seat.

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Airline Livery of the Week: JetBlue Goes Firefighter Red

The special FDNY JetBlue livery debuted in New York. Image: JetBlue / Flickr

The special FDNY JetBlue livery debuted in New York. Image: JetBlue / Flickr

JetBlue is known for having a favorite color: blue (duh). But last week, the airline showed off a special livery that is dedicated to the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) and it was very red.
Although there is plenty of  red in this livery, the name is still true-blue: Blue Bravest.

Photo Tour of the JetBlue Maintenance Hangar at JFK

The JetBlue maintinance hangar at JFK. Image: Jason Rabinowitz

The JetBlue maintenance hangar at JFK airport – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

In 2005, a giant blue building appeared in the middle of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens. JetBlue, still growing larger and larger at the time, decided it was time to have a place of their own, at their home airport, to do some aircraft maintenance. The 140,000-square-foot hangar and maintenance (MX) facility, or “Technical Operations Center” (simply called “Hangar 81″ by employees), finally provided JetBlue with a proper facility for on-site offices, part storage, and light maintenance.

The hangar was actually opened before JetBlue took delivery of their first Embraer E190, and long before the Airbus A321 was even in the cards. Over the years, the hangar has been adapted to accommodate such aircraft without a hitch, and what goes on behind the scenes is pretty amazing. Last month, Timothy Russo, JetBlue manager of MX and Material Planning, Technical Operations, walked me around the sprawling facility, which might actually be better compared to a maze than an office.

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