Swiss International Airlines Airbus A330-300 on departure from Zurich – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS REVIEW BASICS:
Airline: Swiss International Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Departed: Zurich (ZRH)
Arrived: Chicago (ORD)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Business Class
Length: About 9.5 hours
Cheers: Mini-cabin that offers additional seclusion and privacy, connection efficiency at the Zurich hub
Jeers: No hot meal offered for second service, despite nearly 10-hour flight length, aging and clunky IFE
Overall: A leading long-haul business class product from an EU carrier, needs a few updates to make it more competitive in the future
The right cuff-links for the occasion – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com
When I moved to the USA in May of 2012, I packed up my entire life, left everything and everyone behind in Australia, and began a new life in Seattle. Pretty soon I was meeting up with all kinds of people, especially AvGeeks but even I didn’t think that less than two and a half years later I would be getting married.
It wasn’t just any wedding though, it was probably the most unique AvGeek wedding. How so? Well, my wife and I were married inside the very first 747 – the City of Everett locate at the Museum of Flight.
That’s me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com
Yeah, you read that right, the first 747. Truth be told, I couldn’t believe at first that the Museum of Flight would let us use the first 747 (also known as RA001) like that. But we were extremely excited. Right now, you are probably thinking about my wife, “She let you do that?”. Well, the truth of the situation is that it was Heidi’s idea.
After trying to find intimate venues for a small wedding at low-to-zero cost, we just couldn’t find any. Parks in Seattle all require a permit to get married. These can cost anywhere from $200-400. Pass!
We spoke with our friends at the Future of Flight in Everett about perhaps getting married there; however, Heidi’s family are all based south of Seattle, so this would be a long way to go for them (unfortunately, my family was not able to make it over for the wedding).
I knew that the Museum of Flight had just finished refurbishing RA001 so I joked that we should just get married under it. My wife, being ever the smart one in our relationship, made a good point that it rains a lot in October – what would we do if it rained that day? Her idea was we get married inside. This excited her more than me, and I’m the AvGeek!
A Lufthansa 747-8 Intercontinental inside the Boeing Factory – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter
When I first started this blog about five and a half years ago, the word “AvGeek” did not exist. The people still existed, fans of aviation, but we didn’t get the attention that we enjoy today. Now, we are seeing more and more “legacy,” media covering who we are and what makes us tick. I am honored and thrilled that Thom Patterson, who writes for CNN, not only took the time to come to Aviation Geek Fest, but he also wrote a story talking about who we are. I wanted to share his story and here is an excerpt with a link to the full story – David
Everett, Washington (CNN) — Sprawled out before us sits the exterior of the world’s biggest building by volume. They make airliners here. Big ones.
“Let’s go see some airplanes!” says our Boeing VIP tour guide.
I remind myself: This doesn’t happen very often.
Yeah yeah yeah, Boeing offers public tours of this 98.3-acre airliner factory north of Seattle every day. This ain’t that. This is special.
As part of a convention of aviation fans called Aviation Geek Fest, we’re gaining ultra-exclusive access to the factory FLOOR. The public tour is limited to the balcony. We’re about to walk knee-deep where Boeing gives birth to some of the world’s biggest and most advanced airliners, including the 747-8 Intercontinental, the 777 Worldliner and the 787 Dreamliner.
Read the rest of Thom’s story on CNN…
Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330s at the terminal in Honolulu – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
Getting to New Zealand from the United States is a very limited affair. The only way to get there directly is with Air New Zealand and at some times of the year (around Christmas, especially) capacity becomes limited due to operating only three daily flights (two from LAX, one from SFO).
More recently a new choice was offered to New Zealand; Hawaiian Airlines flying from Honolulu (HNL) to Auckland (AKL). The new flights started in March and they fly three times a week between the two cities.
Using their new Airbus A330-200 aircraft, Hawaiian’s service to the south Pacific allows one-stop service from a number of west coast cities (although all cities, apart from Seattle, require an overnight stay in Honolulu when southbound). After I had flown down to Hawaii from Seattle and spent a brief two hours in the warmth that permeates Honolulu airport, it was time to board another Hawaiian aircraft for my journey to New Zealand.
Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300 in Honolulu – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
As winter fast approaches, now is the time of year that we all think of sun, sand, and warm temperatures. Sitting by the beach, drinking a fruity cocktail at the bar, or just getting that tan you can’t normally get. When you think of these things, often one place will pop into someones head – Hawaii. Long a destination for many an American to get away from life, to escape to a different climate, a different culture, or a different way of life, Hawaii will forever be that imagination destination.
A brief six-hour flight from most west coast cities, the main destination for most is the island of Oahu, and its major hub for inbound traffic, Honolulu. A number of airlines fly from a good portion of the west coast cities but there is only one that holds the name of Hawaiian Airlines. With a long-range fleet that solely consists of widebody aircraft (there are currently orders for some single-aisle Airbus A321s) it can be the most comfortable way of flying to Hawaii (who wants to be trapped in a 737 for 6 hours?), while still embracing that vacation you’re about to experience.
Started in 1929, Hawaiian Airlines has long had service to the mainland from its Honolulu (HNL) base and continues to serve the major cities on the west coast, along with a few smaller cities and, of course, New York. Seattle has long had a connection with the Hawaiian Islands and it is no surprise that it has two services per day to Hawaii (one to Oahu, the other Maui). Both flights are currently operated by the workhorse of the Hawaiian fleet, the 767-300 (no ERs here!) though they will soon (as of December) be swapping over to the more fuel-efficient Airbus A330-200.