Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

A Different Kind of Jet Fuel: Airborne Coffee Services

An Asiana Airlines senior purser makes hand dripped coffee during an onboard service. Photo:  Korea Times/Asiana Airlines

An Asiana Airlines senior purser makes hand dripped coffee during an onboard service Photo: Korea Times/Asiana Airlines

Like most people I know, I started my morning off with a good cup of coffee.  I am not a fancy latte man; just a nice cup of black coffee does me well.  While reading with my coffee the other day, I came across an article on Asiana from the Korea Times.  The article talked about a new Hand-Drip Coffee service that is only on offer onboard Asiana Airlines in first class.  You might be thinking “so what? Other airlines have espresso, why go for hand-drip?”  Well, for someone like me, hand-drip coffee is pretty damn great.

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Freshly Painted Qatar Airways Airbus A350

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory lines in Toulouse, France. Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory floor in Toulouse, France – Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways and Airbus have released photos of their newly-painted Airbus A350-900XWB.   The aircraft has just been released from the paint hangar in Toulouse and is the first to feature the full Qatar Airways livery.  Unlike other aircraft, which had a hybrid Airbus & Qatar livery, this one in the airline’s standard grey livery with signature Oryx on the tail – it certainly does look sleek.

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More Qatar Airways A380 Info Revealed

Qatar Airways’ first A380 took off from Toulouse on its maiden flight to Hamburg where the aircraft will be fitted with its cabin before being painted. Image: Airbus.

Qatar Airways’ first A380 took off on its maiden flight to Hamburg, where the aircraft is being readied for delivery to QR.

Qatar Airways has now set the date for their inaugural service for the newest aircraft in the fleet, the Airbus A380.  Qatar has previously been very tight-lipped about their newest aircraft, giving just small glimpses of the on-board environment or a tease of their intended destinations (London & Paris).  When they released information on the first class seats at the ITB event in Berlin in March, this was our first glimpse into the gulf carrier’s plans for the whale jet.

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Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore

One of Qatar's two Oneworld 777s taken through the window of a QR A320 photo by Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

One of Qatar’s two 0neworld 777s viewed from the window of a QR A320 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A few days before departing for Warsaw, I had a stark realization – I actually had no reason to be in Poland other than a milage run. Polish Christmas is not what we are familiar with here in North America. Indeed, the idea of potentially-radioactive Belorussian carp as my main feast for such a joyous occasion caused me some dismay. I admit, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Poland (including two great military and aviation museums) – just not on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Both days, the entire country – including the trains – more or less grinds to a halt.

Now, I could have spent a couple of days in a hotel in downtown Warsaw, and maybe gone shopping before my return home. But practicality is not, and never will be, how I solve problems. My original goal was to fly on Biman’s DC-10 from Kuala Lumpur back to Dacca, but I couldn’t make the times work.  After a call with my usual travel agent (who has come to understand that I have a flare for the weird), I discovered that I could, within the window of my original British Airways fare to and from Poland go on a day trip to Singapore! I also had another goal – could I do it for a similar cost to a week of peak rate hotel time at a luxury hotel in Warsaw? Thanks to Polish currency (3 Zloty =1 USD) I could, and what an itinerary I booked!

We at AirlineReporter have always been fans of Qatar Airways; it was high time I found out what the fuss was about, starting with their Airbus narrow-body fleet. To say the least, I was excited. I had heard nothing but great things about Qatar’s business class from our other staff members. I am, probably, the harshest and most pedantic critic on the AirlineReporter staff. If you are already bored of the article, I can summarize my experience with QR in one word. AMAZING! If you are interested in why, please do continue.

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Airline Pajamas, No Longer Just for First Class

The writer sporting the ANA Business Class pyjamas which unfortunately you have to give back at the end of the flight.  They are super comfy! - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Me sporting ANA Business Class pajamas, which unfortunately you have to give back at the end of the flight. They are super comfy! – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Recently you’ve heard often from airlines that they are cutting first class products and services from their aircraft, but that still leaves many with a competitive business class cabin.  When people say that “business class is the new first class,” the statement is becoming more truthful each day.  Lie-flat seats, designer amenity kits, and multi-course meals are now as common in business class as they are (or were) in first.  But one small item is slowly making an emergence in business class, one that has always been thought of solely as a first class staple: airline pajamas.

Airline pajamas have, up until now, been given out to those flying first class on international airlines like Singapore, Lufthansa, Thai, or Emirates.  They’re provided to the passenger so that they can relax while onboard without having to wrinkle their own clothes, or to allow them to get that full night’s sleep more comfortably.

But times are changing; as airlines roll back those first class cabins, passengers who fly in business class expect the same level of service and amenities.  So airlines like Qatar Airways, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, and All Nippon Airways (ANA) are now providing pajamas to passengers in the business class cabin.  But are these pajamas as good as the first class offerings out there?

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