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This has been a week of ups and downs on social media for British Airways. After sailing on positive press for their new A380 and 787 aircraft, a hit came in the form of a single promoted tweet bashing their luggage handling. More on that later.
For now, we return to their bright and shiny planes new to the tarmac, both of which will take to the skies on their inaugural routes within 30 days of each other. In fact, the 787 already has set up and out on its route from London to Toronto, but it's the London to Newark route inaugural on October 1 that'll be the real trophy. To prepare for this and the September 24 start of the A380's service between Los Angeles and London, BA is launching a fresh ad campaign, first debuted this morning on social media channels.
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· British Airways' 787 took off to Toronto. It flies! Well, we already knew that. They were a half-hour late in arriving, but we wouldn't have wanted an inaugural on a 787 to end early, either. Check out our gallery to see more.
· British Airways adds Austin, TX to the 787 routes. While we're on the topic of the BA 787, might as well mention that this morning held the huge announcement of a new route to come in spring 2014: London to Austin, TX. The first flight will happen in March, bringing a second international destination to Austin Airport, which currently only has over-the-border flights to Mexico.
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In the grand tradition of US college hijinks, Thursday is affectionately known as "Thirsty Thursday." So what's United thirsty for today? The answer: flights to China! We're talking about Chengdu specifically, as United just announced that they'll be the first airline with nonstop flights to Chengdu from the US, beginning June 11, 2014.
The route, operating by United's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will fly from San Francisco to Chengdu-Shuangliu three times a week, a trip of nearly 14 hours one-way.
This is only the latest in a slew of headlines for Chengdu travel this year, and it's left us wondering what's so cool about Chengdu, anyway?
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After far too many months of Instagram posts that aren't very exciting, AeroMexico has begun to use the photography social media site to brag about their newest bird. In fact, the Mexican airline is not only snapping pics of a 787 Dreamliner of which they've just taken delivery, but are letting the cameras roll with some 'Instavids', and we can't be happier.
A few weeks ago, the airline began getting its followers excited with a countdown to the delivery date of the new Boeing aircraft, using the hashtag, #AMBoeing787. A week before AeroMexico took the keys to their (big) baby, their account was active with a few videos. A cool one showed off the 787 getting painted in time-lapse, while another offered a peek at it pulling out of the hangar and taking to the skies.
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What a week of ups and down in aviation, and there's one more in store as news hit earlier than an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner suffered a fire while on the ground at London-Heathrow International Airport.
Details of the circumstances are scarce as the investigating agencies look into exactly what happened, but the important preliminary questions (like 'was anyone killed?') have been answered. Here's what we know right now:
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Last week, we were one of only 50 people onboard the brand new British Airways A380 as it made its delivery flight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse to London Heathrow. We have both extensive shots of its shiny exterior and each of the four cabin classes. As a bonus, once we landed at Heathrow we parked up next to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, delivered just the week before. Read on for the inside look at part two of BA’s new plane era.
Compared to the delivery of the Airbus A380, British Airways brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived with very little fanfare in late June, winging its way from Boeing's HQ near Seattle nonstop to London. Nevertheless, there are enough reasons to be interested in what British Airways has in store for travelers, especially given the initial routes to Toronto (YYZ) and Newark (EWR). North American travelers who enjoy hopping the pond should listen up; this could be your next transatlantic ride.
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British Airways has lots in store for the #avgeek in you this year. We previously showed you how to book yourself onto its first Airbus A380, and now you can do the same for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which touched down at London's Heathrow Airport for the first time today.
The inaugural route will be London-Heathrow to Toronto (LHR-YYZ), starting from September 1. A month later, on October 1, London-Heathrow to Newark (LHR-EWR) will be added. Special fares are available on both routes, coinciding with a UK sale in World Traveller (Economy) and World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabins.
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For the first time in nearly three months, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is in the headlines for a positive reasonthey're returning to the skies! Of course, this comes after battery fires and millions upon millions lost by grounding the jets, but stillgood news.
According to Reuters, the fix required for the airplane's batteries won't be a cheap one, as the FAA "pegged the cost of repairing United's six jets at about $2.8 million." The installation of the modified lithium-ion batteries in Dreamliners should be complete by mid-May, meaning tickets are again being sold for 787 flights.
There are currently 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in service with airlines, all of which will be "fixed" and flying again as soon as the airlines can handle it. Here's the dates for when airlines expect their 787s to again fly with paying passengers:
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Its been nearly two full months since the FAA grounded Boeing's brand new 787 Dreamliners due to caution over battery issues, but last week saw the bird return to the air...over the skies of Washington State, at least. Boeing is in the process of trial flights to asses a fix to prevent future fires in its lithium-ion battery system.
Changes could be approved as early as the end of this month, and it's obvious that's exactly what a few airlines are betting on as a recent schedule update shows United's confident enough to put some 787s back on schedule, starting May 31. And those flights, between Houston and Denver, are already on sale, according to AirlineRoute.net.
We attempted to purchase a ticket on the first United flight using the 787, on May 31, and it was not only still available but reasonably priced and light in load.
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"Everyone on the bus!"
It was a nippy morning outside of Seattle and two loads of Boeing top brass and members of the press were being bussed out onto the tarmac at the airline manufacturer's Paine Field Airport. This would be the very first peek inside the shiniest airplane on the flight line before ANA/All Nippon Airways flew her away to Tokyo. The other airplanes on the tarmac, windows still blacked out and engines still unconnected, could have felt nothing but jealousy (if airplanes had feelings, that is).
This was 16 full months ago, in September 2011, when Boeing first delivered a 787 Dreamliner to a customer airline. We were there, onboard that bus, and then, later, inside that plane, running our palms over the new seat fabric and imagining the thousands of eager travelers who'd sit in each individual seat during only the first few months of service. Would they know what a special plane they were on?
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It flies! It actually flies!
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a headline hog. You can read all about it and its drama (lately more than ever) throughout major media, but there's nothing better than actually stepping onboard with a ticket to ride.
After more than a year of hanging out with the 787 on the tarmac, we finally flew the darned thing as South American airline LAN celebrated the inaugural flight of their new Los Angeles-to-Santiago, Chile 10-hour non-stop with the spiffy new bird.
So, what actually happens onboard a 787 flight? Is it really so different from any other airplane? Having just stepped off of this, our first 787 flight, we can finally answer those questions: lots of stuff and yes.
To describe a 10-hour flight is akin to boring neighbors with photo slides of a water park vacation. Instead, we're breaking it down into the hourly highlights ("the short of it") and, for those rapt with pleasure for every detail, the long of it, in first-person:
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While this week hasn't exactly been all sunshine and rainbows for airlines flying their Boeing 787 Dreamliners around the world, last week sure was. On January 2, we stepped onboard aircraft CC-BBC, the gleaming new third 787 delivered to South American airline LAN for what would be a monumental inaugural flight, non-stop from Los Angeles-LAX to Santiago, Chile-SCL.
Our ticket read seat 1L. As the first row, first window on the right, that's practically a cockpit jumpseat (though our legroom and recline would be better). This would be more than a first 787 flight from LAX; it would be our own, personal first 787 flight. To say we were psyched is a gross understatement. The energy and optimism rippled through the line of waiting passengers in all classes, holding all types of tickets, as a special party for the full flight began at the gate.