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What a difference a year makes! Last January, we profiled the longest and shortest regularly scheduled commercial flights, with Singapore Airlines taking the cake for traveling from Singapore to Newark in 19 hours. SIA has since ceased these flights, making room for a new top dog.
As of November 23rd 2013, Qantas flight 7 now claims the title for longest flight, hauling passengers from Sydney to Dallas aboard a Boeing 747-400. From block to block, the flight takes about 15 hours, 25 minutes to fly from down under to the Lone Star State. The total distance traveled spans 8,578 miles, edging out the second longest flight by a mere 139 miles.
Jaunted Travel Awards 2013 / The Jauntys / Delta / Airline Lounges / ATL / JFK / Airports / → All Tags
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2013 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready to get going into 2014, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
We’re all about airline lounges and the little joys that they bring to our experience at the airport. Free drinks, comfy seats, and sometimes even decent snacks or a light meal are all reasons to get to the airport a little bit early; however, in 2013 there was one new addition to the airline lounge concept that took things to a different level.
Sure these new clubs don’t have the amenities as some of the first-class and business-class lounges from the international carriers—no complimentary massages here—but there is something extra from what we’re awarding the best travel newcomer of 2013.
Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / MSP / ATL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / Airport Restaurants / Airport Bakeries / → All Tags
If you’re already on your way to visit the family for Thanksgiving we understand if you forgot to bring a pie or some dessert. Unfortunately, your Great Aunt Mildred won’t understand, so you might as well pick something up at the airport. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find the world’s best pumpkin pie, but at least there’s a few options at the airport.
For those connecting through–or heading to—Minneapolis-St. Paul there’s a solid option within Terminal 1, as French Meadow Bakery Café calls Concourse F home in its location near Gate 3. They’ve got cookies, pastries, and other organic bakery goodies, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they had something special just for the Thanksgiving. If you’re only looking for yourself it appears that they’re cooking up a warm seasonal fruit crisp, so go for that if you’re looking to sneak in an early dessert before Thursday.
Airport Restaurants / Airport Dining / SAN / ATL / JFK / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
We’re not sure if this is the year of airport eats, but it’s getting pretty darn close. Gone are the days of prepackaged sandwiches and stale pizza, as airports around the globe are really creating their own restaurant scene. Here are just a few airports worth checking out on your next layover.
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
The suburban shopping mall is expanding out towards the airport, as a chain restaurant favorite is finally making an appearance within the terminal. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now home the world’s only airport edition of PF Chang’s, so feel free to get an order of those lettuce wraps between flights. Asian inspired cuisine can be found on the upper mezzanine of Concourse A—the former home of a Chili's—and they’ll even be serving breakfast.
New York's JFK Airport
At New York’s JFK the hits keep on coming over at Terminal 2, as Delta keeps pouring in the cash and new ideas to spruce and spiff things up. The plan is to bring new ideas and flavors, as well as whole bunch of iPads—after all, it’s more fun to order that way. New options that will be rolling in include Due Amici—think rustic Italian tastes with plenty of meat and cheese platters—as well as the BRKLYN Beer Garden and its 20 beers on tap. A French sandwich shop—Croque Madame—will be serving stuff up right in the terminal, as well as a Japanese spot called Shiso.
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New restaurants seem to be popping up at airports across the country faster than we can keep track of them, so we took some time to check out some of the newest options. Here’s just a few of the latest establishments competing with Sbarro for your airport restaurant dollars:
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
There’s a new less than healthy option for you to enjoy down in Atlanta, and it’s full of Southern flavor. Bojangles'—famous for fried chicken and plenty of other stuff—got its start in North Carolina, but is now busy expanding elsewhere. The latest stop is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as the place should be open this month over in Concourse T. We’d recommend sitting down to enjoy their hand-breaded chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and sandwiches, as the aromas might not be quite as enjoyable once aboard the airplane. If you need to something to take with you get some of their super sweet iced tea—delicious.
Dayton International Airport
Unless it’s your final destination there’s probably a good chance you’re flying to—rather than through—Dayton, Ohio. So if you’re headed into town or departing be sure to leave some time to enjoy a couple of new airport restaurants later this year. A brand new Starbucks will be bringing the caffeine fun to Concourse B, and over at the airport’s Main Concourse the airport will welcome a Chick-fil-A. In addition to the new options it sounds like they’ll also be upgrading and updating the Max & Erma’s location over in the Main Concourse. All the construction should be done before the end of the year, as the new spots will be open this fall.
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Everything about an airport screams, "I'm making you fatter!" There's the overpriced, over-fatty fast foods, the sitting around, and any running for a flight is easily outweighed (pun intended) by stress. For two US airports, however, new boutiques seek to temporarily thin out travelers by offering Spanx shapewear for last-minute pre-flight purchase.
The first Spanx shop in an airport is already up and running in Spanx's hometown of Atlanta, at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and recently we noticed the construction of a second, at Detroit-Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal. Both ATL and DTW are home to major Delta hubsis Spanx calling Delta flyers fat?!
Sigh.This happened two weeks ago, broke earlier this week, and is now winding its way through the usual blogs and forums run by the usual mix of well-meaning libertarians and conspiracy theory nutjobs.
An Italian woman was making her way through Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport and was standing in the baggage claim area. The airport's bomb-sniffing dog apparently decided that the woman needed to be bitten, so it bit her.
How hard the dog actually bit her has been a subject of open debate. EMS personnel on the scene said it "looked like a scratch." She says that there was bleeding and the bruise afterward was the size of her hand. You can judge for yourself who's telling the truth by looking at the picture here. Try not to be eating food when you look at it though, because it's actually kind of horrific.
Delays / Travel News / Travel Snapshot / ATL / Airports / Delta / Sequester / → All Tags
Passengers crowd a gate desk with questions about connecting flights during a sequester-imposed delay
$85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts is bound to cause more than a few frowny faces, but though the furlough of federal workers began gradually in March, it's just these last couple weeks that've seen the cuts slash more than just the government workforce. With an estimated 10% of the US' air traffic controllers furloughed each day, airports can't handle the volume of flights they're used to and, thus, the flight delays and cancellations have begun.
We were stuck in one ourselves, luckily only a two-hour delay of a Delta mainline flight between two of the busiest airports in the countryAtlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Newark-Liberty. It's not the airline's fault in the least; the weather was excellent, the plane was at the gate ready to fly, and yet passengers sat in confusion as the delay was announced as "due to the federal sequester."
With so many planes and people heading around the globe it’s more than likely that you’ll end up on a Delta flight sooner than later. With that comes a pretty safe assumption that you might find yourself down in Georgia, as you make your way between the different concourses of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. All that walking around might just make you hungry, but of course the airport has you more than covered. Thankfully they’re even getting ready to add a few more dining options.
Chick-fil-A and One Flew South are a couple of our airport favorites, but that doesn’t mean that the airport dining fun ends there. Local establishment Ecco has just arrived at the airport, and they’re taking up some valuable real estate over in the new international terminal—Concourse F. The place also does its thing in midtown Atlanta, and we’d expect much of the same from this new location with their “seasonally inspired cuisine with European influences." Think wood fired pizzas, plenty of pasta, and cured meats and cheeses. Let’s just hope the cocktail menu translates well to the airport, as the one with the Strega, Aperol and hopped grapefruit bitters sounds pretty darn tasty.
Crimes / Travel News / Bad Ideas / Delta / ATL / Politics Travel / Travel Politics / Traveling with Children / → All Tags
For some reason there are a lot of travel politics stories floating around today, not a few of them about the tourism industry. But as much as we'd like to spend a few paragraphs unpacking the recent industry-related discoveries made in Yemen and India and Bangkokthat persistent crime and open violence tend to dampen tourism revenuewe've got to talk about this moron who allegedly slapped a crying toddler as the Delta plane they were aboard was descending into Atlanta. Not his toddler, incidentally.
The facts as reported are pretty straightforward. Joe Rickey Hundley was on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. He was sharing a row with Jessica Bennett and her 2-year-old toddler. As the plane dropped altitude Bennett's toddler started crying and wouldn't stop. Heated words were exchangedBennett claims Hundley used a racial slur, a charge he denies but that a witness confirmsand eventually Hundley slapped the kid.
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No surprise here: the world's busiest/worst airport is now also the world's busiest Foursquare location. That's rightaccording to the Foursquare Blog, trusty, dusty Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International just became the first venue in the entire world to reach the milestone of 1,000,000 check-ins.
One million. Dang. it seems like only yesterday ATL was inching up on 500,000 checkin-ins; oh wait, that was in November 2011 when we measured the most popular airports on Foursquare, when LAX was in the lead. These days, LAX is still doing well and should break the million mark before spring is over (they're at 918,000 now), but it's clearly no Atlanta.
Airline Lounges / Awesome Stuff / Delta / Delta SkyMiles / JFK / ATL / Airport News / Airports / Airport Construction / → All Tags
Picture this: you've just ordered a cocktail and, while a bartender shakes it up, you catch a glimpse of a tail of a Delta 747 gliding by on its way to the runway to take off for Tokyo. The sun is shining on your face as you sip your drink and watch another Delta jet gracefully lift its wings. It's almost time for your turn.
Such a relaxing scene is the stuff of frequent traveler dreams, or was, since Delta is making this a reality with the introduction of open-air Sky Decks at two of their Sky Club locations. Under construction as we type, the first-ever outdoor terraces in the Delta system will be found at New York-JFK and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson as soon as four months from now.