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We’re roughly in the middle of the summer season, and with the warmer weather comes the need to cool down. Sure air conditioning is great—and kind of a necessity—but some cool treats are also always welcome. That’s especially the case up in the air, as it’s hard to beat a little ice cream at 35,000 feet.
This season—and in seasons past—airberlin is handing out ice cream to travelers heading out on their summer holidays. The premium ice cream comes to the airline and its passengers from Sylt restaurant, Sansibar, and travelers are offered up little 120mL cups—the same serving as those getting a little dessert at the restaurant.
Taking a page out of Southwest's playbook, Delta has announced that it will begin offering free in-flight entertainment to all passengers in all classes on all its domestic and international flights longer than 1.5 hours beginning this Friday, August 1st.
On newer planes, the entertainment initiative, known as "Delta Studio" and including movies, TV shows, music, and videogames, will come through the seat-back televisions. On planes without seat-back systems, the content will stream for free via in-flight Wifi on passengers' laptops and tablets.
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When Delta yesterday announced their decision to stop flights to Tel Aviv, Israel "until further notice," they stood alone.
Within the next two hours, that move was echoed by United and US Airways, and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration themselves, who set forth a 24-hour ban on US airline flights to Israel, a ban which was extended today for a further 24 hours.
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta, stood in front of the CNBC cameras this morning to explain their early and precedent-setting action, which goes beyond the single incident of the rocket attack nearby Ben Gurion International Airport to address danger due to "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza."
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Update: 12:30pm EST, July 23: Although yesterday's FAA ban on flights to Israel was originally only for 24 hours, it has been extended to last another 24 at the least. This only applies to US airlines, so flights to Israel on El Al out of JFK are still operating normally.
Update: 1pm EST: FAA has issued a notice (NOTAM) prohibiting US airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Int’l Airport for up to 24 hours.
Update: 12pm EST: US Airways, United and American Airlines now join Delta in temporarily suspending Tel Aviv flights.
At approximately 11am EST today, Delta updated their Israel travel adivsory from a warning that flights may be disrupted, to the fact that their flights from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv will not be operating at all "until further notice."
The stoppage is a temporary hiatus necessitated by escalating violence in Israel; the final straw comes with the report of a rocket attack in the vicinity of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. Naturally the danger calls to mind last week's Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, caused by a ground-to-air missile. While airlines continue to divert their flight paths clear of Ukrainian air space, there are other war zones to consider.
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Ever heard of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line? We're guessing probably not, but the Smithsonian sure has; the seaplane carrier is classified as the world's first airline, which inaugurated commercial air service in 1914 when it took off with one paying passenger. It may have been a short journey (only 23 minutes!), but the Airboat Line's impact extends to today as commercial aviation has become a $2.2 trillion dollar industry, employing over 57 million people.
In 2014, the world celebrates 100 years of commercial air travel, but that's not all.
In this last century, airlines and airplanes have evolved into a fact of everyday life for travelers, and some of the pioneering companies will mark milestones this year. Here's who to wish "happy anniversary":
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We have been there and you probably have been too, as there’s that situation when it’s time to go and you can’t find the gate agent. Well one airline wants to ensure it’s aware of the gate agents’ location at all times, as they’re hooking them up to a little bit of a tracking device.
Japan Airlines is teaming up with Nomura Research Institute to show off what they can do with an iBeacon and a smart watch. The test run is already underway, as they’re trying things out over at Tokyo-Haneda within Domestic Terminal 1.
We’d imagine that refreshing and upgrading a cabin creates plenty of trash, rubbish, and garbage. However, it looks like the leather seating surfaces used by Southwest Airlines will find a second life after their time up in the air is complete.
The airline details things over on their blog, but we figured we would share things with you as well. It’s pretty darn neat. It’s all part of the airline’s program called LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose, as they turn old stuff into better stuff—or what they call upcycling rather than recycling.
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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.
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The people over at WestJet have been offering budget flights around Canada and beyond since 1996, but now it sounds like they’re thinking about switching up their fleet to include more airplanes for more passengers, for more routes. Right now they are pretty much only utilizing different versions and flavors of the Boeing 737, but the future may bring wide-bodies.
It sounds like they’re thinking about scooping up as many as four larger planes, as they look to boost capacity—and profit—with more seats. Right now the focus seems to be Hawaii, as the carrier plans to utilize these new planes as soon as the fall of 2015.
Those flying aboard JetBlue just might have an easier experience to look forward to, as the carrier is now in process of rolling out automatic check-in. That’s right—soon there'll be no need to line up at the airport or deal with things online in advance, as JetBlue will already have you sorted.
This update started last week, and boarding passes are now sent to passengers around 24 hours in advance of the flight. Printing them out the old fashioned way is an option, or travelers can certainly download a mobile boarding pass. This will certainly come in handy when you’re not near WiFi or a computer, or are rushing to the airport and concerned you’ll miss the deadline for check-in before your flight.
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Good news from the planes and people over at Alaska Airlines, and this time it has nothing to do with their in-flight oatmeal. The carrier is pretty darn proud of their latest airplane advancement—thanks to Boeing—and now they’re all about sharing the news about their expanded overhead bins.
These new so-called Space Bins can increase carry-on capacity by roughly 50 percent, and that’s certainly appealing to those passengers bringing plenty of personal belongings along for overhead storage.
Alaska Airlines is apparently the first carrier that will offer these up, and for those familiar with the airline’s current Boeing Sky Interior—it’s kind of a similar look but with even more capacity.
Things might soon be a little safer for Fido and Fluffy, as Uncle Sam is changing up the reporting requirements when it comes to what happens to pets on planes. The rules aren’t really changing, but at least having a better knowledge of what’s going on might benefit both animals and their owners.
The US Transportation Department just added a whole bunch of extra airlines which must report further on animals up in the air—especially the bad things like critters who were lost, hurt, or (ugh) those who died during their travels. There are now 27 airlines that have these reporting requirements, and before that it was just 14.