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.
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.
LOT Polish Airlines started service to New York in 1973 using the Ilyushin IL-62. Check out those paintings. Photo from LOT.
Hopefully the title of this story makes total sense to you already. What the heck does LOT Polish Airlines celebrating 40 years of flying from Warsaw (WAW) to New York (JFK) have to do with James Bond? Oh just wait.
It was a big step for LOT to start their Warsaw to New York flights in 1973 using the Ilyushin IL-62. “Taking into consideration Poland’s political situation at that time, the launching of airline operations to the US in 1973 should be recognized as a breakthrough in Poland’s relations with the West,” said Sebastian Mikosz, President of LOT Polish Airlines. “We are proud of such a long tradition of this flight, being the most popular among our passengers. Thanks to the well timed and plentiful connections, our North Atlantic flights also generate a big flow of traffic via our Warsaw hub.”
A whole bunch of go-arounds turned the JFK airspace into a tangled web of flight paths
Shortly after noon today at New York’s JFK airport, a powerful thunderstorm cell with cloud tops of 40,000 feet passed over the field and subsequently turned the NY airspace into a tangled mess.
Lightning struck the field a first time, taking down the airport’s runway visual range (RVR) equipment, which is used to measure exactly how far a pilot in the center of the runway is able to see the center line markings. Lightning strikes happen and equipment failures occur all the time, butmoments later, lightning struck yet again, this time taking out the ILS glide slope for runway 4R, the active runway. At that moment, several international heavies were on final approach, forcing missed approaches and go-arounds.