Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 25,266
2014: 363,407
Total: 946,866

Flying Andy Granatelli’s Indy 500 Race Cars on a TWA Boeing 707

A TWA Boeing 707 freighter on Runway 25-Right at LAX.  Notice that engines 1 and 2 are in reverse and that the spoiler fully deployed - Photo:  Jon Proctor

A TWA Boeing 707 freighter on Runway 25R at LAX – Photo: Jon Proctor

Here’s a little background about a wonderful encounter I had with racing legend Andy Granatelli in the late 1970’s.  At that time, I flew for Trans World Airlines on their Boeing 707 and 727 aircraft.

In April and May of 1978, my regular assignment (trips for the month) was to fly a 707 freighter from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. Typically, we would launch very late in the evening around midnight, and arrive in Indy at around 6:00 am local time. A day-and-a-half later, we’d fly a return flight to Los Angeles at 6 pm. That gave us a 36-hour layover in Indy.  On our first trip of the month, I got to the airport quite early, as I had been on vacation the previous month and had lots of accumulated paperwork to attend to. At about nine in the evening, I bummed a ride with a TWA mechanic from the hangar to the TWA cargo facility on the other side of the airport – probably the most harrowing part of my three-day trip.

As we arrived at the air freight terminal, I noticed two large box vans – both painted with the legendary STP logo. The TWA mechanic and I walked over to the vans and looked inside… one was filled with tires, crated engines, tool boxes, and other motor racing equipment.  The second van had two Indy 500 race cars inside!

Continue reading Flying Andy Granatelli’s Indy 500 Race Cars on a TWA Boeing 707

Classic Promotional Video on LAX

This is a classic promotional video for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) done back in 1970. Nothing like having some cheesy 1970s music while being able to look at retro airliners and LAX.

Video: All-Star Airliners at LAX

There are many great aircraft that come and go from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) everyday. This video, made from our friend SpeedbirdHD,  is a great combination of aircraft from an All Blacks 777 to a Lufthansa 747-8I.

Enjoy!

When a Good Product Gets Dinged By Misses In Customer Service

My Comfort Class seat on my Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

My Comfort Class seat on my Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER out of LAX

Introduction

When I first saw I was booked in Comfort Class on Turkish Airlines, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew it was a premium economy product, but that could mean anything from a few inches of extra leg room to having an almost-business-class experience.

Being able to check out the product during my recent flights to and from Los Angeles to Istanbul, I was impressed overall by my whole experience.  I enjoyed the comfortable seat, my amenities, the delicious food, and the access to the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. However, I felt let down by the service that I received during certain points of my trip, which left me wanting a bit more.

Turkish Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER sitting at Istanbul

Turkish Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER sitting at Istanbul

It was nothing that horrible, but just added up enough to make me disappointed overall about the experience. I think some of the things could easily be avoided or changed to make the passenger experience a bit better, and make people who feel like they shelled out some additional money for a premium product feel a bit more special.

One of the main reasons that I was flown to Istanbul was to work with Turkish to help them look into the future of their business – and part of that was related to customer service. I am grateful to work with an airline wanting to learn, and I hope that they are listening.

Continue reading When a Good Product Gets Dinged By Misses In Customer Service

VIDEO: Saudia Airlines Starts Service Between Riyadh & Los Angeles

What better way to start a new flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) than with a video from SpeedbirdHD?

On March 31st, Saudi Arabian Airlines (aka Saudia) started service between Riyadh and LAX using a Boeing 777-300ER. The aircraft, which was only five months old, is configured with 24 seats in First Class, 36 in Business, and 245 in Guest Class (aka economy).

The flight will operate three times per week on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flight will originate in Riyadh (RUH) with a stop over in Jeddah (JED) before continuing to LAX.

“Saudia’s inaugural flight to Los Angeles is a manifestation of our continued efforts to expand our global reach to better service our valued customers,” according to Chief Executive Officer and Director General Designate, Mr. Abdulaziz Alhazmi. “The services to LAX, following our launch to Toronto, Canada in October last year and the resumption of our flights to Manchester, UK, are just some of the components of this initiative to claim our rightful place among the world`s leading carriers.”

LAX is already a melting pot of different airline liveries, but it is always great to add another.