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"And the award goes to..."
Sadly, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler weren't in attendance. But there were some seriously celeb-ready cabin accommodations recognized at this year's Crystal Cabin Awards, the Aircraft Interiors Expo's annual honors for excellence in aircraft interior innovation. (Read: Cool cabins.) The awards are given out by an international panel comprised of 20 academics, engineers, aircraft manufacturers, and industry journalists.
This year's winner of the "Premium Class & VIP" category was Etihad and its new A380, which has an "upper deck" that features three distinct passenger experiences: The Residence, a private three-room cabin with a living room, bedroom, and bathroom (cue the MTV "Cribs" theme); First Apartments in First Class, which are much larger than First Class Suites and have a separate bed and armchair; and lightly furnished Business Studios in Business Class that offer 20% more space than typical Business Class. (This year's Crystal Cabin Awards were also doled out for categories like "Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment," "Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts," and "Passenger Comfort Systems," among others. Check out all the winners here. )
As for the A380: Want to see what all the hype is about? We previewed this aircraft when it was launched and released at the end of last year (alongside a look at the airline's spiffy new uniforms). But here again is a glimpse inside the now award-winning cabin. Click on the photo groups and follow the links for larger versions of each image.
Economy Class Travel / Airbus / A380 / Seats / AIX / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
We've got good news and bad news to share from the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) this week, in Hamburg, Germany.
First, let's get the bad news out of the way. Airbus showed off a new seating option for airlines to try in their A380s: 11-across in economy class. That means 11 seats in one aisle, arranged 3-5-3, with so many middle seats it'll make your head spin.
The good news is that no airline has ordered the 11-across layout (yet), so it's safe to say this isn't something you need to worry about encountering when trying to chose a seat on your next superjumbo flight.
The real issue the general press is failing to understand with this configuration isn't the how-horrible factor of being faced with more middle seats, but how nasty all of a sudden the window seats become.
Airline News / Seats / Premium Economy Class Travel / Singapore Airlines / Singapore Travel / A380 / A350 / 777 / → All Tags
So you may have heard that Singapore Airlines is all set to finally introduce a Premium Economy Class to their planes, but did you know that airfare to travel in the new seats is already on sale?
Set to fly as soon as August 9, 2015 on the Singapore-Sydney A380 SQ route first, Premium Economy is an $80 million investment by the airline. It will be considerably less expensive than that for travelers to enjoy, of course. K
Kicking back in one of the fresh, leather seats situated between Economy and the premium classes on Singapore's A380s, 777-300ERs, and brand-spanking-new A350s begins at $2,100 roundtrip on the Los Angeles - Singapore direct flight, and $2,230 on the New York-JFK - Singapore direct.
Travel Technology / In-Flight Entertainment / Qantas / Australia Travel / SYD / MEL / A380 / First Class Travel / → All Tags
Isn't it a little too early for April Fools?
Qantas is banking on the fact that international first class passengers paying beaucoup bucks for the comfy seats won't mind looking silly with a virtual reality headset loaded up with Hollywood blockbusters, destination tours and highlights of new services from the Aussie airline. (Looks like we spoke too soon last week.)
Partnering with Samsung, the red roo is offering high-rolling flyers, both in-flight and on the ground, an option to be transported to a new dimension with the headsets. Whether you're waiting for your plane in the First Class Lounge in Sydney or Melbourne or flying in first on selected A380 flights to and from Los Angeles, passengers can strap on and experience the trial service for three months starting in March.
New Airplanes / Airline News / Etihad / A380 / 787 / 787-9 / Etihad A380 / Etihad 787-9 / Airline Uniforms / John Walton / Abu Dhabi Travel / Airlines / AUH / United Arab Emirates Travel / → All Tags
The rule of three is a writing concept that suggests things are more satisfying when presented in groups of three. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad must have taken this to heart when planning their big reveal today, as they've not only gone ahead and welcomed their first superjumbo Airbus A380, but also thrown in a new Boeing 787-9, and a complete revamp of the crew uniforms.
The big advancements here are Economy seats with fixed headrests (supposedly covered in locally sourced camel leather) for easier napping for both airplanes, and brand new premium classes. The A380 is the show-stopper, with the "Business Studio" and "First Apartment" seats adopting a residential elegance that has a good chance of making passengers forget they're even on a plane. And there's no ignoring the Etihad Residence, a private jet cabin within a superjumbo, for a First Class above First.
Emergency Landings / Twitter / Social Media / A380 / Qantas / → All Tags
When Andy Warhol uttered that famous statement about everyone having five minutes of fame, we're pretty sure he didn't foresee those five minutes being dedicated to the live-tweeting of an emergency landing. Since the advent of social media, however, that's exactly what's happened. Every event, especially involving air travel, becomes possible fodder for headlines. This week's big story wouldn't actually be a story at all, if it weren't for a man named Nigel Richardson live-tweeting his flight.
It all began after Richardson tweeted a photo of the Burj Dubai rendered in chocolate at Dubai's Airport, and he then boarded Qantas flight 2, an Airbus A380 that would take 13 hours to travel the distance from Dubai to Sydney, Australia. Well into the flight, the aircraft's air conditioning system malfunctioned and the flight crew performed an emergency descent from 38,000 feet to 9,000 feet.
Videos / Airlines / British Airways / LHR / SIN / Airbus / A380 / Airplanes / BA A380 / Airline Routes / → All Tags
When it comes right down to it, all aircraft are works of art. One particular masterpiece of recent is the super-jumbo A380, with its double-decker curves and four-engine strength. British Airways is particularly enthralled with their sparkling new A380s and thus created a piece of video art in homage to it.
The British carrier has swapped canvas for fuselage to celebrate their newest non-stop route between London-Heathrow and Singapore with a stunning video that's right out of the cool 4D trend of late. You knowwhen a projection on a building gives the illusion of it coming alive right before your very eyes.
Airports / ORD / Airplanes / A380 / Airport Renovations / Airbus / → All Tags
ORD would be the last of the top 5 busiest U.S. airports to upgrade facilities for the double-decker airplane, and this is great news not only for travelers, but for a few airlines who have already pinned Chicago on their route map.
The massive airplane will head on over to Terminal 5, and the 34 airlines who call it home in Chicago have agreed to open up their wallets and cough up the $1 million for the preliminary designs for the airport upgrades. This comes after O'Hare's newest runway, (10C and 28C) along with nearby taxi route, was rated to accommodate the heavy aircraft.
First Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Economy Class Travel / Singapore Airlines / Singapore Travel / A380 / SIN / → All Tags
Not gonna lie, Singapore Airlines deserves their reputation (and many awards) as one of the world's best airlines.
From the fluffy pillows with shams (even in Economy Class!) to the flight attendants who've been trained in both etiquette and oenology, Singapore is top-notch, a fact recently underscored by a review of their Suites Class. It's only too bad that much of that review was plagiarized. Also, the title is misleading; the $23,000 refers to the ticket's cost in Singapore Dollars. Priced in USD, it is closer to $18,000, but October flights in Suites are ringing up lower, around $7,000 each way/$14,000 roundtrip. Business Class is half that, with many of the same perks.
Regardless, the personalized service and thoughtful details are a hallmark of Singapore Airlines across all classes. Here's several semi-secret specialties you'll find on every Singapore Airlines flight:
Photo Gallery / Qantas / Airlines / John Travolta / Dallas Travel / Sydney Travel / A380 / DFW / SYD / → All Tags
The Flying Cowboy Roo arrived in Texas!
As we mentioned yesterday, Qantas Airlines landed their Airbus A380 in Dallas yesterday from Sydney. The inaugural flight took about 15 hours, making it the world's longest route. It was also the first official arrival of the double-decker plane for the DFW airport.
Naturally, that's cause for celebration but since everything is bigger in Texas, Qantas really went all out in Terminal D for the plane's arrival, including a special appearance from Qantas Goodwill Ambassador, John Travolta.
Airline News / Airlines / Qantas / DFW / SYD / Longest Routes / Australia Travel / A380 / → All Tags
This week, the world's longest commercial flight route scores a few more points in the world of aviation. Today marks the inaugural arrival of Qantas' Airbus A380, traveling from Sydney to Dallas as Qantas 7, a route previously operated with a Boeing 747-400ER. The jumbo days are over now, in favor of a superjumbo future.
The inaugural flight, the duration of which rings in around 15.5 hours, is scheduled to land at DFW at 1.45pm local time.
Not only will this be the first time Qantas uses an A380 for the route, but it marks the first official arrival of the double-decker plane for DFW Airport. In order to welcome the beast, the airport underwent some minor construction for updates to the international terminal (Terminal D). No doubt the ground crew at DFW are readying the water cannons right now.
Skymark Airlines / Airlines / Airline News / Airbus / Japan Travel / A380 / → All Tags
We don’t talk too much about Skymark Airlines, but you may recognize the name—or at least the look of the airline—from recent news that they'd be outfitting their flight attendants in miniskirts. This week’s news has nothing to do with the carrier’s up in the air uniforms, but it has everything to do with their plans for some planes.
The airline was all hot and heavy over an order for a few new airplanes from the folks over at Airbus, and these included some of those super jumbo jets known as the A380. Well it looks like the Skymark checking account is a little short, and now Skymark Airlines is taking back their promise to order these Airbus A380s, which may mean their facing a penalty from the airplane manufacturer.