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One of the craziest things you can do—at least legally—at 35,000 feet is to strip down to your birthday suit and take an in-flight shower. We’re not talking about a quick refresh in the airplane lavatory with a first class amenity kit, but we actually mean hot water, soap, and shampoo while on an airplane. Right now it’s only available to first class flyers aboard Emirates' A380 flights, but if Emirates gets their way there might just be a few less in-flight showers moving forward.
It sounds like Emirates is considering what a lot of carriers have already done, and shifting some of their planes to just a two-class configuration. That means just business and economy, no first class. The plan is to cram more seats into the oversized airplane, and more seats means more money. We’re hardly airline industry economists, but it’s pretty clear how this new move would benefit Emirates in a good way.
When it comes to airplane news we’re usually going on and on—in a good way—about the latest and greatest offerings from the big boys like Airbus and Boeing. However, they’re not the only ones busting out the blueprints on new airplane designs, as Bombardier has been hard at work for quite a while on their next generation aircraft. We’ve mentioned their newly designed single-aisle jets before, but now it looks like they’re finally ready to take a big step forward in their plane’s timeline.
Bombardier isn’t quite ready to start flying around the test planes just yet, but they are proud to show off the very first test plane. They showed things off to members of the media earlier in the week, as this should be the first plane that will eventually take to the skies. Just like most other airplane manufacturers even this initial rollout was kind of overdue, but we say better late than never.
The Newbie Traveler / A380 / Airbus / Airplanes / Airplane News / Flight Reviews / Qantas / SYD / LAX / Andy Miles / → All Tags
What would your life be like if you hadn't yet traveled? If you'd spent years reading travel novels and fantasizing over guidebooks, but hadn't made the big leap? This is the case for Andy Miles, who in his late twenties has just embarked on trips to hit cities for the first time. He's walking us through the emotions and observations of a true Newbie Traveler.
Contrary to what I learned as a youngster growing up in Texas, everything is not bigger there. Truth be told, everything is actually bigger in FranceToulouse, France to be exact. The reason for this is because that's where Airbus completes final assembly of their massive A380 airplanes.
After years of waiting, I finally got the chance to experience one of these incredibly beautiful planes myself, on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles nonstop to Sydney, Australia.
Seeing as how I booked my first A380 flight six full months before the day of departure, I had a lot of time to tell my friends about it, i.e. brag incessantly. The thing I forgot about bragging is that in order for it to work, you have to be doing something others care about. Unfortunately for me, I did not hang out with many #avgeeks during this time, so my brags usually fell upon deaf ears and I just came off as "nerdy" for caring about something as uniquely marvelous as a two-story airplane.
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No, it's not Shark Week, but airlines are a little obsessed with sharks right now. First there was the news that Lufthansa is testing a sharkskin-like material on their wings, and now JetBlue is flaunting the first Sharklets in the USA. Not baby sharks, sadly, but Sharklets, which is just a slick term for elongated wingtips stuck onto the ends of A320 wings.
Today JetBlue became the first US airline to send an A320 out into the skies with Sharklets, but why should you care?
Well, if you've ever taken a moment to reflect on how much fuel an airplane burns on a flight (900-ish gallons an hour for an A320) and then considered the impact that has on the environment, you'll want Sharklets on your plane.
We always try to rise above and be mature adults, but sometimes we just can’t avoid reverting to our 12-year old mindset—especially when it comes to fart jokes. Usually bathroom humor isn’t something that makes its way into the travel news, but apparently scientists have been hard at work studying airplane flatulence while we’ve been writing about stuff like in-flight WiFi and airplane paint jobs. Now that the research has been completed and the data has been analyzed, it looks like letting one rip at 35,000-feet is actually encouraged—at least according to science.
Thanks to the scholarly journalists over at the New York Daily News, we learned about the findings arriving out of New Zealand. It sounds like the air pressure up in the air causes all kinds of side effects including an increase in gas; however, trying to maintain one’s best behavior keeps that gas inside most passengers. In an article entitled Flatulence on airplanes: just let it go scientists think that we should just let our bodily functions prevail, and they’re actually—at least somewhat—encouraging passengers and pilots to participate in mile-high farts.
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When it comes to the craze of premium economy seating it looks like Air Canada is up next. Fortunately, they’re not taking the usual North American approach when it comes to this section of the coach cabin, as it’s going more than just a boost in legroom.
The plan is to start off small, as Air Canada gets ready to prepare for their new seats across five of their Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. First and foremost those sitting in the forward cabin—of the rear cabin—will have their own little seating section, as there will be a dedication Premium Economy cabin. Larger seats are the big news here, as the seats are wider, offer like seven more inches of legroom, and they even recline just a little bit more.
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Soul plane lol twitter.com/mt3much4em/sta…— michael thomas (@mt3much4em) January 27, 2013
It sure wasn't a lazy Sunday yesterday for the San Francisco 49ers as the football team packed up and headed down to San Jose Airport to board their ride to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. That ride? Oh, it was just a chartered Delta Boeing 747.
This kind of technology probably isn’t coming to the Boeing 787 anytime soon, because after all they kind of have plenty of issues to work out with their current technology. All kidding aside, this stuff is more geared toward the military, but who knows if it could eventually land aboard commercial aircraft in the future. We’re talking about lasers—the ones that go "pew pew"—and they could be attached to military planes before too long.
It might be straight out of your favorite science fiction movie, but it looks like lasers on planes are chugging along to becoming a reality. We know virtually nothing about lasers, but we’ll fill you in with what the news knows. It’s the Navy and Air Force behind the new venture, as they’re going to test out some liquid-cooled, solid-state lasers in airplanes. They won’t be blasting bad guys back on the ground, but they will be used to intercept stuff shooting up into the air from bad guys on the ground. Think surface-to-air missiles and other not-so-friendly stuff like that.
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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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Have a look at these photos. Just look at them. What airline would you think that is? Surely not American Airlines, right? Well, as the title of this post gives away, it is American Airlines and it will be something you can experience relatively soon as the airline just took delivery of this brand new Boeing 777-300ER today.
American is the first US carrier with this updated aircraft, which improves on original flavor 777-300s with longer wingspan and almost 2,000 nautical miles more range (hence the "ER," which stands for "Extended Range"). It's now the largest plane in American's fleet, with 310 seats. Kind of hard to believe it's only a twinjet with two engines, but those engines happen to be among the most powerful on a commercial airliner currently plying the skies.
Boeing 777-300ERs are not exactly super brand new, since deliveries of the 777-300ERs commenced from Boeing in 2004, but the US has had to wait these past eight years to get one for ourselves.
We don't really like to delve into travel politics too much. We'll post news for you when it's suitably important or suitably weird or suitably an opportunity to score good hotel deals by taking advantage of regional unrest. But on the whole we prefer to give you travel advice on, and pictures of, very cute baby leopards.
In this case the story involves taking the deadly serious situation with Iran and adding an element of south Florida craziness. South Florida, of course, is the part of the United States where the newest very sad fad is to rent tiny alligators to miserably swim around the pool during children's birthday pool parties. Now take that kind of sensibility and combine it with one of the most unstable geopolitical situations on earth. The results aren't technically entertaining, but they're at least worth flagging as things that actually exists.
Last weekend, when we were waking up from a food coma or watching one too many football games, Qantas got the keys to a brand-spanking new aircraft. The A330s will be replacing some aging 767s to take passengers from coast to coast in comfort, but they'll also ease pilot frustration in the cockpit.
The Red Roo plans to implement the widebody services on all weekday flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Perth. All passengers will be able spend the approximately 4-hour flight immersed in their own person TV entertainment system.