Flying out of Tampa… a nice view inÂ November!
For Thanksgiving I flew from Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) to Tampa (TPA) to visit my dad. Since he was letting me use some of his Southwest Airlines miles (thanks dad!) I ended up flying them to visit. Although I am a big fan of the company and people of Southwest, when it comes to flying them â€” they arenâ€™t my first choice. The big reason is that there arenâ€™t many places they fly to non-stop from Seattle (also no seat assignments, no power plugs, and no buy-on-board food). With my trip to Tampa I was lucky to only have only one stop – at Chicagoâ€™s Midway (MDW) – both times. I say lucky since I have had to do that trip multiples times with two stops, which is not fun at all.
File photo of the new interior – Photo: Southwest
Since this was a personal trip, I had no plan to do a story, but the last leg did me in. My final flight from MDW to SEA was on a Boeing 737-800. I was excited because this would be my first Southwest 737-800 flight — it also had the new Meridian seats from B/E Aerospace. However, I wasnâ€™t quite sure if that was a bonus or a downfall. I have read (even here on AR) about the seats and have heard mostly bad things. But after four hours flying back home, I have come to a few conclusions.
An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX; the 787-9 is a stretched version of the -8
This story has been updatedÂ to include new information about the availability of premium economy and anticipated dates for domestic operations.
American Airlines today announced new details and routes for its newest addition to the fleet, theÂ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (789), which isÂ set toÂ arriveÂ in the lastÂ quarter of this year. While American already operates 17 BoeingÂ 787-8s (788s), four of the stretchedÂ -9s, with new business class seats and a cabin configuration to include a new Premium Economy section, will be delivered by the end of December 2016, with a total of 22 on order.
The 789s will initially be based out of American’s home base, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW), and on November 4 will commence service to Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) and Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).
AirlineReporter has received exclusive details on the inauguralÂ route the 789 will actually fly…
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced last weekÂ that its newly-revampedÂ Boeing 777-200ERs (772s) dubbed “JAL SKY SUITE 777” or “SS2” will debut on June 18 fromÂ Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Bangkok (BKK). Designated for regional flying, the SS2 will feature now-industry standard lie-flat seating in business class, a roomy premium economy section, and best-in-class nine-abreast seating in economy, going against the grain during a time when virtually every new refurbishment of 777s calls for ten-abreast seating.
An illustration of the new economy seating configuration on JAL’s “SS2” Boeing 777-200ER – Image: Japan Airlines
What’s even more eye catchingÂ is JAL’s choice to go with an asymmetric 3-4-2 arrangement, while every other carrier uses 3-3-3 (well, when they do have nine across on their older planes). Where new premiumÂ seating is all the rage nowadays, JAL manages to remember the little people, and the economy cabin steals the spotlight…
London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
I recently had the opportunity to fly both British Airways and Iberia in short-haul economy, and talk about a 180-degree difference, especially strikingÂ when both are owned by the same parent company. While short flights don’t generally get much consideration, when one carrier offers so much more than another on the exact same route (namely between London and Madrid) for the exact same price, it’s probably better to go with the airline that will offer more and avoid the one that (spoiler alert) won’t even give you water.