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Amenity Kits / In-Flight Comfort / United / Airlines / Airline News / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
If you’re hunting for a new airline amenity kit you’re in luck, as now there’s yet another carrier debuting some new goodies within the premium cabin. We’ve recently seen enhanced kits from the folks at Delta and Hawaiian Airlines; now it’s United’s turn to upgrade and update.
In August the airline's new amenity kits will feature exclusively Soho House's Cowshed skin-care products, landing in the hands of most premium-cabin customers on intercontinental flights.
A year ago, Air France debuted nifty new business class seats for its Boeing 777s as part of a $500 million investment in new products and services. And now we've been able to see this pricey investment up close.
We recently flew in the new business class cabin on a 777-300ER plane from Paris Charles de Gaulle to JFK. The configuration of seats was shrunk from the normal 2-3-2 layout to a 1-2-1 layout (up in La Premiere there were just four seats).
The best features of the new seats are not just the lie-flat beds which extend to nearly 6.5 feet and come with full-sized pillows and soft duvets, but also the little things that surround it. Like the 16-inch touch screen TV. The screen swivels out to face you and can be adjusted for your height level. Once you're lying flat in the bed, you can control the screen via a remote control. You can choose from a variety of movies and French TV shows as well as music and games.
If you're not lying flat, your seat can recline to other comfortable positions and there's a foot rest in front of you to keep your back in good support.
It’s been five years since this editor last flew JetBlue. So when faced with needing a one-way flight from JFK to LAX, it was with great pain that I made what felt like a Sophie’s Choice, and turned my back on my beloved Virgin America (and the opportunity to pile on Elevate points to my already hefty pile), to try out JetBlue’s first class offering, JetBlue Mint.
Jaunted test-piloted JetBlue Mint on the ground when it launched in 2014 and the photos from that session are very true to what we found on board. I'm using my own photos for this review but if you need further detail on the items onboard, go here.
The day before my flight, I received many emails from JetBlue about the flight but one immediately caught my eye. The email announced they were testing a dedicated check-in for anyone flying JetBlue Mint from JFK to LAX or SFO or be a member of the airline’s Mosaic program. You can read all about that experience here. Essentially, Mint flyers have a private check-in and private security lane to go through.
Rose Wine / Air France / Business Class Travel / Wines / Travel News / Conde Nast Traveler / Jet Blue Mint / Airline Fees / Brazil Travel / In-Flight WiFi / Train Travel / Rick Steves / → All Tags
With summer officially in swing, we no longer feel the need to hide our rosé
drinking problem obsession. (Even though it's possible to drink rosé all year long, the blush pink wine is typically meant for summertime.)
While rosé is popular at restaurants and bars all over right now, we were quite surprised when we found a Cotes de Provence Rosé on the business class wine list aboard Air France, as usually airlines just offer white or red, but never in between. Paired with the rich butter cookies, it made for an excellent pre-meal treat. (However, if you're looking for rosé champagne, you'll have to fly Qatar business class for that.)
We'll have more on the rest of business class meal, and the flight, later this week but for now, sip on these travel news tidbits compiled by Conde Nast Traveler:
Business Class Travel / JetBlue / United / JFK / New York Travel / New York City / A321 / SFO / LAX / United ps / JetBlue Mint / EWR / Airline News / → All Tags
While loyal United flyers may still be reeling from the airline's recent announcement that they'd be completely withdrawing from New York's JFK Airportmoving their "p.s." all-business-class transcontinental flights over to their Newark hubanother airline has quickly stepped up to fill the hole.
This morning, JetBlue stated that they'd be increasing their number of daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK to both Los Angeles-LAX and San Francisco-SFO, beginning October 25. That same date is, conveniently, the day United is scheduled to pull their six daily JFK flights to LAX and seven to SFO. And it's not just like JetBlue is throwing some extra flights onto the schedule; the boost will be exclusively Airbus A321s with JetBlue's premium "Mint" class onboard. Have a look around.
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It's hard to believe that it was only last month we declared the LAN Airlines lounge at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport the "best in South America." That may have been true at the time but, as of this week, the tides have changed and LAN's home airport in Santiago, Chile now not only claims the best lounge in South America, but the largest.
The brand new Salon VIP opened at SCL yesterday, and it borrows much of the look and South American design influence of that Buenos Aires lounge, albeit on a grander scale.
As the largest lounge in South America, it naturally boasts some impressive numbers, like the facts that it's 23,000 square feet, with 28 restrooms, 10 showers, a 180-foot-long buffet, 46 employees, and the capacity for 460 travelers. It's nearly 24 hours, with operating hours from 3am to 1am daily.
Amenity Kits / In-Flight Comfort / Airlines / Airline News / Hawaiian Airlines / Hawaii Travel / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
Accidentally abandon your toiletries on the nightstand while you were scrambling to pack? Worry not. Traveling to Hawaii just got even better, as Hawaiian Airlines is boosting their in-flight offerings with some snazzy new locally inspired amenity kits. The airline is partnering up with one of Hawaii’s most popular clothing designers—Manuheali‘i—to create a new pattern that reflects the scenery of the Hawaiian Islands. Think teals, light greys, and a banana leaf look.
Those heading back and forth between other states will unfortunately be out of luck. With a couple exceptions, these new amenity kits will only be available to those flying internationally with the carrier.
But it doesn't matter where you sit. Thankfully, things are rolling out to both those seated up front and those in the back. Passengers in the main cabin will receive a pillow box, eyeshades, headphones, and some earplugs—not too shabby.
Those in the business class cabin get a few more goodies, as they can expect socks, a bamboo comb, Lōli‘i skincare products, and a pen—perfect for those landing cards.
[Photo: Hawaiian Airlines via The Design Air]
Travel Etiquette / Australia Travel / Airline Lounges / Qantas / Tigerair / Virgin Australia / Business Class Travel / First Class Travel / Fashion Travel / → All Tags
This is no April Fool's joke.
On April 1, Qantas begin enforcing long-standing dress codes at the many Qantas Clubs, Business Class lounges, and First Class lounges in their Australian lounge network. Passengers who were turned away due to the tightened door policy include those wearing hi-ves workwear, T-shirts, shorts, and/or flip-flop sandals.
The policy, which requests/demands "smart casual" attire in the lounges, has left passengers confused, not to mention angry, when, at hot weather and vacation-popular airport like Brisbane, they've been turned away for wearing sandals. Qantas takes issue with what Aussies call "thongs," the casual beach footwear that bares most of the foot. Women's dressier sandals and, as far as we can tell, men's Birkenstock or Teva-style sandals do pass muster.
Photo Gallery / Airline Lounges / LAN / Oneworld / EZE / Buenos Aires Travel / South America Travel / Argentina Travel / Business Class Travel / LATAM / → All Tags
There's a sweet secret within the otherwise unremarkable terminal of Buenos Aires- Ezeiza International Airport. You see, EZE is somehow home to the nicest airline lounge in South America, the LAN Airlines VIP room.
The lounge is relatively new, having quietly opened in early 2013. Dark woods and soft lighting welcome travelers, tickets are checked at reception, and then guests walk a short hallway of periodicals and departure screens to enter the lounge proper. The first sight is a wall of wine, followed by separate areas for relaxing, dining, and working. Several Mac desktops are available, and a large communal work table is ideal for spreading out with a laptop and last-minute work. Bookshelves and dividers are the only walls, allowing the space to be cozy and semi-private at the same time as open and welcoming.
Amtrak / Railway Reviews / Amtrak Cascades / Pacific Northwest Travel / Portland Travel / Seattle Travel / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
The Cascades trains go from Vancouver, B.C. to Eugene, Oregon. The Seattle-Portland leg of the trip takes roughly 3.5 hours. We had originally booked a coach ticket, but as assignments stacked up that would require en route attention, we reconsidered our purchase. Roundtrip tickets set us back $52; an upgrade to Business Class doubled the price. It seemed like a wise investment.
By some miracle of the travel gods, we managed to snag a single seat on the west side of the train. Our spacious seat had two power outlets, so we were able to take care of all our tech needs along the way.
The drop down table fit our full-size laptop perfectly. Free WiFi worked during most of our trip – there were a few spots where it dropped for a few minutes, but it didn’t really affect anything. The best part of the Business Class car though was the single seating configuration. (The other side of the car had two-seat and four-seat face-to-face configurations.) We’re all about making friends on the road, but when there are pressing deadlines, there’s no time for small talk. Besides, there’s not much anyone could say to distract from the views.
Flight Reviews / SWISS / Business Class Travel / YUL / ZRH / Seats / In-Flight Entertainment / In-Flight Meals / Zurich Travel / Montreal Travel / → All Tags
We had the chance to fly with SWISS Airlines from Zurich to Montreal in Business Class not so long ago and all we can say is that we wanna do it again.
Aside from the tasty food and good service, their new international biz class seat has it all going on. Done in a stylish grey tartan and light wood, it’s a generous size for generous hips, becomes a 6’7” lie-flat bed and has a spot to plug in your electronic gadgets. We liked the fact that each seat has a large side table that not only gives you separation from your neighbor, but can hold all of your books, mags, water, wine, headphones and No Jet-Lag tablets (we do like to spread out!). If you’re traveling solo, have a good look at the seating chart when you’re selecting your seat: Some of the single window ones have not one, but two tables per seat. You’ll feel like you’re King (or Queen) of the Universe.
Besides the expected array of movies and music that is part of the in-flight entertainment system is the unexpected ability to use the screen to view your own stuff from your cell or iPad. The system is controlled by a convenient handset that you can, as well, leave handy on that large side table.
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If you've visited the official American Airlines Facebook page or actually opened your AAdvantage statement email anytime in the last month, you may have noticed a hashtag popping up here and there. It's #goingforgreat, and it represents the airline's plan to spend $2 billion towards improving the passenger experience.
Today arrived one of the more fun bits of news surrounding #goingforgreat; American is re-designing and re-packing their amenity kits!