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.
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
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.
Continue reading Photo Tour of the JetBlue Maintenance Hangar at JFK
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?
Air travel is expensive, that is a well known fact of life. While the cost has indeed dropped dramatically over time, flying is still fairly expensive once you add up the taxes, miscellaneous fees, and everything else that goes along with flying. Last week, however, JetBlue offered a deal that was simply too good to pass up. 90% off any flight out of New York City? Sign me up!
After three frustrating days of trying to book a trip to literally anywhere JetBlue flies, I was finally able to book a round trip flight to West Palm Beach, FL for a whopping $66.99, $24.95 of which was taxes. That fare, booked the day before travel, was already incredible. At over $400 off the normal price, I was extremely happy. What came next, however, brought the fare down to less than the cost of a Big Mac.
Continue reading How I Flew Round-Trip To Florida on JetBlue For Only $1.99
Delta Sky Club at JFK.
When Delta opened their new T4 at New York’s JFK Airport on the 24th of May they also opened their new flagship Sky Club. The newest and largest Sky Club in the Delta network is a revolution to both AvGeeks and the traveling public.
Located just past gate B30 in Terminal 4, this 24,000 square foot facility is the new home to those with Sky Club access. Delta has created a number of new technologies based on traveler’s wishes and turned this into one amazing lounge. The entrance to the club has the same nondescript doorway that you might find at other lounges what is found inside is quite unique.
Continue reading Delta’s new Flagship Lounge is Not in Atlanta — It’s in New York