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We’ve been squished, squeezed, and smooshed into all kinds of economy seats during our long haul travels, so when a new business class product comes along we get pretty darn excited. It’s not just because it makes flying for long periods of time that much better, but it gives us something to dream about when we’re crammed into the coach cabin.
This week it’s KLM revealing some big news, as they’re planning a revamp of their World Business Class seating options. These days it seems like everybody and their moms want lie-flat seats, so KLM has decided to get in on the fun as well.
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"It really isn't smelly!"
That's the assertion given by KLM to press and passengers on Friday, as the first-ever series of biofuel-powered intercontinental flights was inaugurated.
All is normal inside the aircraft, and indeed passengers may have no idea they are flying on a history-making jet, unless they see the proud "we fly on biofuels" statement painted on the side. Outside, two fueling trucks pump the plane's tanks full of a mix of regular kerosene and biofuel manufactured from used cooking oil. According to the AP, the process to make this magic fuel goes a little something like this: "the waste oil from frying up crawfish, cracklins and other Cajun specialties is refined at a Louisiana plant, then trucked to JFK." Sounds simple, huh?
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Yes, you read that right. American Airlines is continuing the spread of their #newAmerican agenda and embracing the newest of new social mediaVine, the Twitter-owned 6-second video sharing app. We're a little shocked, in a good way, and you will be too when you find out that not only is this contest open to those 18 and over living in the contiguous 48 states, but also to entrants from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Have a look at the new AA 777-300ER to see why they're so excited.
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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.
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"Becoming a new American."
These are the first words you'll see over at American Airlines' flashy new website detailing their just-announced rebranding. But happens when one becomes a "new American?" For a person, it involves lots of study, a citizenship test and an official swearing-in ceremony with an oath of loyalty. For an airline, it's as simple as updating a logo. Or not so simple.
This rebranding for American represents the stride of a multi-million dollar effort to give the airline a new life via a fresh look, new onboard products, new airplanes, and new hope following the bankruptcy of 2011 and the shadow that cast over all of 2012. In this case, today's unveiling is more a re-christening than a swearing-in.
In American's own words, this massive move to rebrand and the new look "symbolizes our passion for progress and the spirit that is uniquely American."
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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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Remember way back when Alaska Airlines was looking for a little help to repaint one of their planes? Well it looks like they now have a winner, and one of the Boeing beauties will be heading into the hangar for a fresh coat of paint sooner than later.
Kiddos from Hawaii were asked to pick a design that celebrated creativity, education, and the fun that is exploring new places. The spirit of the islands definitely came through loud and clear with some of the winning entries, and as you can see above the final choice is going to look pretty darn awesome plastered on the outside of a Boeing 737.
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It flies! It actually flies!
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a headline hog. You can read all about it and its drama (lately more than ever) throughout major media, but there's nothing better than actually stepping onboard with a ticket to ride.
After more than a year of hanging out with the 787 on the tarmac, we finally flew the darned thing as South American airline LAN celebrated the inaugural flight of their new Los Angeles-to-Santiago, Chile 10-hour non-stop with the spiffy new bird.
So, what actually happens onboard a 787 flight? Is it really so different from any other airplane? Having just stepped off of this, our first 787 flight, we can finally answer those questions: lots of stuff and yes.
To describe a 10-hour flight is akin to boring neighbors with photo slides of a water park vacation. Instead, we're breaking it down into the hourly highlights ("the short of it") and, for those rapt with pleasure for every detail, the long of it, in first-person:
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While this week hasn't exactly been all sunshine and rainbows for airlines flying their Boeing 787 Dreamliners around the world, last week sure was. On January 2, we stepped onboard aircraft CC-BBC, the gleaming new third 787 delivered to South American airline LAN for what would be a monumental inaugural flight, non-stop from Los Angeles-LAX to Santiago, Chile-SCL.
Our ticket read seat 1L. As the first row, first window on the right, that's practically a cockpit jumpseat (though our legroom and recline would be better). This would be more than a first 787 flight from LAX; it would be our own, personal first 787 flight. To say we were psyched is a gross understatement. The energy and optimism rippled through the line of waiting passengers in all classes, holding all types of tickets, as a special party for the full flight began at the gate.
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How do you say "787?" Seven-eight-seven or seven-eighty-seven? Though technically both are perfectly acceptable, the language may vary depending on the country to/from which you're flying the new airplane. And, since United is the only US operator of the airlines with Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the international names for the bird are more prevalent.
Before we set off on last week's LAN inaugural flight from LAX-SCL on their newest Dreamliner, @PointstoPointB tweeted us to ask: "how do they call the plane in Spanish onboard? Siete Ocho Siete? Siete Ochenta y Siete? El Sueñoliner?"
Well, dearest @PointstoPointB and future flyers of the LAN Dreamliner, we cleared up the issue firsthand with LAN's flight attendants. Their answer:
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This is the future.
There may be no personal jetpacks or hoverboards or even cheesecake in pill form, but at least we have advanced enough as a civilization to install self-closing toilet lids in airplane lavatories.
Onboard the inaugural flight of the LAN 787 from LAX non-stop to Santiago, Chile earlier this week, we had 10 hours to explore the 787 in-flight, in both Economy and Premium Business class, and made the question of the lavatory a priority. Check back Tuesday for our full review and photo galleries of the flight, but let's resolve this important issue right here and now.