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We have a theory when it comes to enjoying seatback in-flight entertainment. You're either an Airshow person or not. By Airshow, we mean that channel that constantly rotates between the moving map and stats of your flight, like outside air temperature, speed and time to destination. Those passengers who are Airshow people could easily leave the seemingly boring channel on through the entire flight and be sufficiently entertained, whereas a non-Airshow person flips from movie to 30 Rock rerun, to playing Bejeweled.
This post goes out to all you Airshow people. The Airbus A380 is totally the plane for you. You see, it goes above and beyond the Airshow channel to offer three additional channels, each with a livestream from a camera on the exterior of the plane. One looks down to the ground below, one looks out fronta pilot's view, and the third looks over the entire plane from the rear.
Photo Gallery / Virgin America / Virgin / Airplanes / Flight Simulators / Airlines / Airline News / SFO / A320 / Airbus / Pilots / Videos / → All Tags
What began as one floor is now an entire building, and their original two coast-to-coast flights are now a respectable route network. We're speaking of Virgin America, whose headquarters outside SFO in Burlingame, California we recently visited for a look at the cogs turning behind the scenes.
Virgin America celebrated their fifth anniversary this year. That makes them the baby of the bunch, for both US airlines and Virgin. Heck, Virgin Atlantic has been flying since 1984 and Virgin Australia since 2000. Indeed Virgin America isn't shy about their newbieness; they take pride in it. Google them and the first words you'll see below the link to their official site are "A brand new airline dedicated to making flying good again."
You know what else is new? Their cabin trainer and A320 flight simulator still have that "new plane smell," since they were introduced as recently as October 2011 and May 2012, respectively. Home to many photo shoots (and in-flight service training, duh), the cabin is outfitted with everything from the deep mood lighting to working overhead bins and those massage chairs in First Class. Before a flight attendant can ask if you'd like another in-flight absinthe, she or he must first pass muster here.
Airline News / British Airways / Boeing / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787 / Airbus / A380 / Seat plans / → All Tags
After much speculation, and a few glimpses in video clips the airline surreptitiously pulled from the internet, British Airways finally published seat plans for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380, due to join its fleet next year.
So what can we expect on BA’s Dreamliner and Double Decker? We’ll start with the facts on both:
Airbus / A350 / A350 XWB / Airplanes / Airplane News / → All Tags
We’ll be the first to admit that we have a little bit of Boeing 787 fever, as we’re pretty much interested in everything the plane has to offer; from passenger seats to toilet seats we want to know about it. That being said, we want to remain fair and balanced—especially during election season—so we thought it was worth sharing a little news about Airbus and what they’ve been working on.
The Airbus A350 XWB is the next new plane scheduled to roll out of Airbus headquarters, and this bird will be the first Airbus plane fitted with carbon fiber and other composite bits and pieces in both the fuselage and the wings. The current schedule has a first flight at some point in 2013 with a delivery in 2014. We'll see about that.
Airline News / United / Airbus / Airlines / In-Flight Comfort / Recaro / Seats / → All Tags
It seems like United passengers just can’t catch a break. Quite a bit of time has passed since the wedding day with Continental, and there still seems to be continued reports of delays, drama, and other shenanigans both on the ground and in the sky. Even if everything shakes out and settles down it looks like there’s even more trouble ahead for passengers, and that’s especially going to be the case for their knees.
In order to make some more cash the airline has been chatting with Recaro—they’re good at making seats—about adding some slimmer seating surfaces to their planes. Specifically United is looking to change up the seats on both their Airbus A320s and A319s with a thinner design, as this will allow them to cram another row of seats into their cabins. More seats means more passengers, and of course that means more revenue—so we kind of understand what they’re doing here.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll be taking supersonic flights again anytime soon, but Airbus does have some new ideas about how its airplanes will be taking to the skies. This new travel technology is a long way off—if it ever takes off—but at least they’re starting to think a little bit outside of the box.
Airbus just released a few different ideas regarding where air travel could be heading in the future, and one of the most interesting ones kind of steals techniques used by aircraft carriers sailing around the globe. They’re calling this new idea “Eco-Climb,” and basically it’s a plan to launch airplanes into the air through propelled acceleration. Not only would this be quite the experience for those on board, but it would mean steeper climbs after takeoff and a minimization of noise while allowing planes to reach their cruising altitudes even quicker.
Essentially, it's a high tech airplane catapult.
Delivery flights are magical things. A brand-spanking-new airplane rolls off the line and is ready to take its rightful place as a vehicle for transporting travelers around the world. The manufacturer hands the keys over to the purchasing airline, and the airline takes her home for keeps. It's that transferfrom the manufacturer to the airlinethat defines a delivery flight.
Up 'til now, delivery flights have been reserved for those employed by the airline or manufacturer, or journalists within the aviation industry. Singapore Airlines is about to change all that, however; they're hosting a contest to give away two seats on the upcoming delivery flight of their 19th Airbus A380 on September 6.
You've got until August 28 to get your name in to win, and here's how to do so:
Airplanes / American Airlines / Airplane News / First Class Travel / Airbus / In-Flight Comfort / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
For years it seemed like American Airlines was behind its legacy carrier breathern when it came to cutting edge upgrades and other in-flight niceties. Well despite their bankruptcy, they’re certainly starting to catch up, and this is especially the case if you consider their latest improvement—lie-flat beds for transcontinental flights.
Of course the pleasure of catching a few ZZZs between JFK and LAX or SFO will not much in the average traveler's price range , but we’re sure there are plenty of business hotshots and celebrities that will be paying to do so.
This latest announcement from American Airlines reveals their plans for some of their new Airbus A321 aircraft. These planes are scheduled to arrive in the hands of pilots by November of 2013, so start planning your holiday travel for next year with this in mind. Basically the A321s will replace some older Boeing 767s currently operating back and forth between both costs.
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Hey there traveler! Seen all the news recently about airlines ordering Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo planes, and wondering what that means for you on your flight, apart from getting to look at even more winglets?
Here's the skinny. Both the 737 and A320 are getting long in the tooth — 50 years old in the case of the 737, and nearly 30 for the A320. And since the planemakers decided that it's not yet time for the next generation of planes shaped like flying saucers or something, they're updating their venerable workhorses.
So what's new for when they start flying in three to five years?
Photo Gallery / Qantas / A380 / Airbus / Airplanes / Business Class Travel / Onboard the Qantas A380 / Airline Meals / Flight Reviews / → All Tags
To round out our coverage from onboard the Qantas A380, it's time to take a look at Business Class.
Business is one of the biggest, well, businesses for Qantas, and most of the upper deck on the A380 is dedicated to Business Class Seats. Behind this is the small Premium Economy section.
The cabin seems lighter and roomier, and there is a new Business Lounge located toward the front of the plane, where passengers can spend some time out of their seats and stretch their legs, read, snack or perhaps chat to their fellow travelers.
Our photo gallery will show you around the seat and amenities offered in Business and we can tell you that the infamous Qantas service was, thankfully, exceptional on our leg from Sydney to Los Angeles.
Airfare Deals / Singapore Travel / Singapore Airlines / A380 / Airbus / Airplanes / Travel Deals / → All Tags
Hey, who wants to fly to Frankfurt onboard an Airbus A380? Trick question! Who doesn't?
If you followed along with our incredible journey on none other than the Singapore Airlines A380 earlier this year, then we've got super awesome news: the mega flight deal from New York-JFK to Frankfurt and has returned, for an 11-day sale. Wait wait waitthe deal gets sweeter as Singapore isn't just discounting roundtrip economy class tickets to Europe, but also on to Singapore and Southeast Asia.
The prices (including taxes, fees & fuel surcharges):
Photo Gallery / Qantas / A380 / Airbus / Airplanes / First Class Travel / Luxury Travel / Onboard the Qantas A380 / → All Tags
You'll have to excuse our poor iPhone photos of the First Class cabinwe did a quick tour of the plane before boarding, and had some technical issues with our other camera. (The blurriness, we blame on the soft lighting and, well, awe.)
Since we didn't fly First Class, we've also added some professional PR images from Qantas to illustrate how the First Class Suite works as a recliner, a dining table for two and a comfy bed.