London Travel Guide
The train to plane options over at London-Gatwick are about to get much improved, as officials are spending big bucks to make the transition from rail to air that much better.
Work will be ongoing for quite some time, as the plan is get things done in time for 2020. The investment will upgrade and improve the airport’s train station, and that means way better public transportation options to and from the terminals and concourses.
Airport News / Weird Stuff / Airports / LHR / London Travel / → All Tags
We have seen some weird stuff at airports, but even the oddest things seem to have a purpose—like those sleeping pod things. Now we’re not sure about this latest addition to London-Heathrow, as officials have wheeled in some kind of globe that shares the smells of the world.
The entertainment—if you can call it that—is now set up in Terminal 2, as the scent globe shares different aromas, smells, and fragrances from around the world. Spots like China, Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil are just a few of the featured offerings. Apparently those spots smell nice, and they’re of particular interest to those heading out of Great Britain on holiday.
Football Travel / Fall Travel / Football Rivalry Travel / London Travel / NFL Travel / Sports Travel / → All Tags
Over the last few years the National Football League has sent its players and propaganda overseas, as they have kicked off a few games over in London. This year is no different, and in fact they’ve held more games than in past years. We’re not quite ready for the London Silly Nannies just yet, but there is one more overseas game during the 2014 season—just in case you want to check it out.
The final game of the league’s international series takes place during Week 10, as one of the premier franchises—the Dallas Cowboys—face one of football’s less than premier franchises—the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s November 9 at Wembley Stadium if you need to mark your calendar, and kickoff is set for 6pm local time—that’s around 1pm ET for those back at home.
In-Flight Meals / British Airways / In-Flight Entertainment / Food Travel / Travel Tech / → All Tags
British Airways is on a roll with tweaking entertainment for their flights. First, there was the 7-hour train trip through Norway that occupies some space in the in-flight entertainment channel line-up, which was soon joined by the cute animal-focused Paws & Relax channel.
And who can forget the mood blanket thing? (We kid--it was actually totally forgettable).
This month, the news from BA announces the launch of the "Sound Bite" menu, which pairs audio entertainment with what's on your meal tray:
Airport News / Airports / LHR / London Travel / → All Tags
We know that we’re in the minority when it comes to loving everything and anything when it comes to airports. For most the airport is often just a means to an end—like "when are we getting to our final destination?!"
Now one airport is helping those who hate the typical waiting room atmosphere of airports, as they’re introducing a way to virtually escape the confines in favor of a more idyllic location.
The latest travel video to go viral concerns those oh-so-serious Buckingham Palace Guards - you know, the ones tourists try their hardest to break on a daily basis.
Apparently, a tourist caught the guard on tape making faces and sticking out his tongue, a big no-no when it comes to British tradition. Indeed, a slight slip of the tongue can put a Palace Guard in hot water faster than a tea bag on a chilly London afternoon.
Travelers to the United Kingdom will be in for a surprise next Monday, August 4, when the country suddenly turns off the lights.
The Telegraph explains:
The Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Illuminations and Tower Bridge will go dark on August 4 to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.
They are among hundreds of sites taking part in Lights Out, a Government-backed project aiming to achieve a nationwide switch-off from 10-11pm – the hour in which Britain declared itself at war with Germany 100 years ago.
The Foreign Office will leave a single lamp burning in a room overlooking the Cenotaph, and another in a room overlooking St James’s Park. The inspiration for the event is the remark made by Sir Edward Grey, foreign secretary, on August 3 1914.
Knowing that war was imminent, he gazed out at gas lamps being lit in St James’s Park and said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
Beauty Travel / Flight Attendants / Virgin / Virgin Atlantic / Airline Uniforms / Vivienne Westwood / Fashion Travel / Carry-on Luggage / Luggage / Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic / → All Tags
This year's 30th Anniversary of Virgin Atlantic combined with the launch of the airline's snazzy new Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms means more than just partytime in the skies on VS; these milestones will also bring about a revamped beauty and grooming guide for the already fresh and polished Virgin crew.
You see, when a new hire receives their uniform, they're also handed a Virgin-produced book titled Runway. It's essentially a guide to the "Virgin Atlantic look" regarding how to wear the uniform, suggested hair styles, and the like. It's meant for maintenance employees, gate agents and Clubhouse staff just as much as for cabin and flight crew, but the pages dedicated to the minutiae of a flight attendant's jet setting lifestyle are among the most enlightening.
Runway is right now in the process of being updated, but there are some choice sections worth preserving for all.
Drinking Travel / Business Class Travel / Virgin Atlantic / Airlines / In-Flight Meals / In-Flight Cocktails / The Little Things / → All Tags
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: A dedication to serving Lanson Black Label champagne in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic.
You've just settled back in the leather seat, put your smartphone on "airplane mode," and flipped open the Upper Class in-flight menu. Before you can turn to the extensive list of options "from the bar" on this Virgin Atlantic flight (and yes, there is a real bar), a flight attendant sashays your way with a tray of bubbly.
It's a scene now so signature to Virgin Atlantic service, this stylish pour of Lanson Black Label Brut accompanied by a scarlet smile, but it hasn't always been that way.
The coupe-shape glass was first introduced onboard Virgin Atlantic flights with the revamp of the A330 bar in 2012, but the glass is now part of all Upper Class services regardless of aircraft type. The long, thin stem topped with a sultry bowl evokes the glamor of old Hollywood, and champagne bubbles look damned fine in it.
Photo Gallery / Fashion Travel / Flight Attendants / Pilots / Virgin Atlantic / Virgin / Airline Uniforms / Vivienne Westwood / Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic / Richard Branson / Travel News / London Travel / Britain Travel / Beauty Travel / → All Tags
The Virgin Atlantic look is sharp, iconic, sizzling; there’s no denying the head-turning appeal of a crisp white blouse tucked into a scorching red pencil skirt, topped off with red heels. But, with the celebration of the airline’s 30th Anniversary this year, it’s about that time for a snazzy refresh so as to continue “flying in the face of ordinary,” as the airline’s slogan goes. For this, Virgin Atlantic paired with UK designer and punk powerhouse Vivienne Westwood. The new uniforms were just unveiled July 1 in London, and will roll out for all Virgin Atlantic staff, from cabin crew to flight crew, and desk agents to Clubhouse hospitality.
Alas, a flash of the new uniform as it swishes down the airplane aisle isn't enough to appreciate the detail. Aside from the fact that it’s now easier to care for with a new tech “nano finish" (the earlier uniform was dry clean only) and yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, there are small secrets hidden in every dart and under each lapel, telling the story of the collaboration between England’s flag-carrying airline and one of the country's most iconic fashion influences.
Although the uniforms don’t officially take flight for the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet until September 1, keep an eye out for a preview on your next VS flight; crew have been heading to the airline’s Base near Gatwick Airport to pick up their full looks since this past weekend. Here's what to look for:
Inside the Amenity Kit / Amenity Kits / Business Class Travel / Virgin Atlantic / First Class Travel / Airline Pajamas / In-Flight Comfort / → All Tags
We come across some downright awesome airline amenity kits in our travels, and the surprises of each zippered pouch can often make or break comfort on a premium flight. With this in mind, here's to our new series: Inside the Amenity Kit, wherein we unzip, unwrap, and expose the loot inside:
It's crazy to think that a passenger flying Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class could be in for more treats after experiencing the delights of the airline's airport Clubhouses, but it's true. Following a spa treatment, cocktails, and a full hot dinner (all complimentary) at the JFK Clubhouse, for example, Upper Class flyers then settle into the full-flat seats onboard and are handed an amenity kit (plus a small, appetizer snack bowl of Tyrrell's crisps).
The grey felt pouch has a looped leather-like strap and an interior lined in Virgin's signature scarlet. It's made of recycled materials, plus it's unisex, chic, and easy to reuse for purposes beyond stashing your in-flight amenities. In plainer terms, it's just right.
Royal Travel / London Travel / Events / Palaces / Tours / Historical Travel / Britain Travel / Summer Travel / → All Tags
A little riddle for you: What costs $35 per person, doesn't allow you to take photographs, and is gold all over? Ding ding dingthe State Rooms at London's Buckingham Palace, which opens very soon for their annual round of public tours. To be specific, the Queen's address will accept visitors from July 26 - September 28, 2014.
As we've experienced in past years, travelers to London will be clamoring to get in, not only to tread on the Queen's lush carpets and gawk at heirlooms, but to view this year's exhibition on "The Royal Childhood" and what it's like to grow up living in a palace.
Tickets for walk-ups will be rare to nonexistent, so going online for guaranteed tix is the best route. Here's how to do it: