Browsing Tag: 747-400

Microsoft Paint is how I do all my graphic design. It's clearly good enough for this new airline. Image - Avatar Airlines

Microsoft Paint is how I do all my graphic design. It’s clearly good enough for this new airline – Image: Avatar Airlines

Have you ever wanted to invest in an airline, but get nothing in return? I sure have.

Ever wanted to pay for a job interview to be a captain, first officer, or flight attendant? Oh, of course; you had me at the complete lack of employment guarantee!

Well, then I have an opportunity for you: Avatar Airlines. And if you act fast (like serious, because who knows how much longer they will be allowed to exist), you can buy your way into getting way over-priced trinkets at HelpAvatarFly.com!

Baltia Air Lines' Boeing 747-200. Image: Baltia.

At least they have a real plane… sort of – Photo: Baltia

You heard it here folks. Remember Family Airlines? Remember Baltia? Complete fixtures in the aviation landscape of America. Why?  Because they’re both in the 12thofnever alliance. I often fly Family Airlines to New York before flying the “golden cock” Baltia across the Atlantic. Truly amazing. Oh wait, no I don’t. Because neither of those airlines will ever exist (well, Baltia sort of — for now), except in our hearts.

But maybe Avatar Airlines will be different? At least if you invest in this airline, you are likely to get something in return (like a t-shirt). But let’s take a look at how Avatar differs from its past and non-existent competition.

I've always wanted to fly in seat 1A on a 747 - Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

I’ve always wanted to fly in seat 1A on a 747 – Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

Recently, my wife and I took a trip to Japan to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  Because we have two toddlers (who were NOT coming with us), we wanted to travel in luxury and make it something very special.

Besides being an AvGeek, I also happen to be very savvy with airline miles and hotel points.  While that’s not a topic AirlineReporter focuses on (there are lots of great sites out there that do), I booked all of our flights using United miles that I’ve collected through various means.

On the outbound, I booked us DEN-SFO-NRT, with the SFO-NRT segment operated by the 747-400 (the bulk of United’s 747s operate out of SFO to Asia, with a handful of 747 flights also based out of Chicago O’Hare).  I could have booked us on United’s direct flight from Denver, operated by a Dreamliner, but United’s 787 fleet doesn’t feature a first class cabin (which United calls “Global First”).  Also, I really wanted to check out the United Global First Lounge in San Francisco.

United Dreamliner on the ground at SFO...viewed from inside a Mercedes! - Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

United 787 at SFO…viewed from inside a Mercedes! Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter

Full disclosure: on our last big trip without the kids, we flew Lufthansa First Class and got to visit the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.  Both were so good, I think it ruined us for any future flights.  As much as I love United, I didn’t have great expectations.  Here’s the shocker/spoiler: our United experience was really good.

D-ABVS, my ride to FRA behind double-glazing. Photo- Bernie Leighton|AirlineReporter.com

D-ABVS, my ride to Frankfurt, behind double-glazing – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

As we all know, I am insane – I do stupid things, usually inspired by a picture I saw of something from years ago on the internet, fanning an intense jealous desire to have the same experience for myself. Why this is of any interest to the readership is because I consider getting there to be, at least, half the fun.

This time, I was off to UACC (IATA Code TSE, or as most people call it, Astana, Kazakhstan) to attend the third KADEX (also known as Kazakhstan’s defense expo). Originally, I was booked in Lufthansa business class for the Vancouver-Frankfurt portion of my itinerary, but after being informed by our Associate Editor that the aircraft I would be flying was not only rife with available first class seating, but that it was D-ABVS (an aircraft equipped with the new first), I felt it was my duty to exchange currencies of various forms and reasonable amounts for a soon-to-be vanishing experience.

Lufthansa, you see, is configuring these aircraft from three class (First, Business, Economy) into a different three class (Business, Premium Economy, and Economy). First class on a Lufthansa 747-400- will be gone for good soon- and I will sorely miss it.

An Antonov AN-124 parked next to the Future of Flight with a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter in the background - Photo: Future of Flight

An Antonov AN-124 parked next to the Future of Flight with a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter in the background – Photo: Future of Flight

It is hard to deny that Paine Field is freak’n awesome. Not only is this where Boeing builds all their new 747s, 767s, 777s and most of their 787s; it also houses old warbirds and often sees the Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter and sometimes an Antonov AN-124.

BONUS: Photo tour of the inside of an Antonov AN-124

It is always fun when catching some of these aircraft together. Today, an AN-124 was caught parked next to the Future of Flight (backed in) with a Dreamlifter in the background saying, “why hello.” Both are very cool cargo planes and getting them in the same picture is pretty epic.

Thanks to the Future of Flight for sharing their photo.