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Ever heard of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line? We're guessing probably not, but the Smithsonian sure has; the seaplane carrier is classified as the world's first airline, which inaugurated commercial air service in 1914 when it took off with one paying passenger. It may have been a short journey (only 23 minutes!), but the Airboat Line's impact extends to today as commercial aviation has become a $2.2 trillion dollar industry, employing over 57 million people.
In 2014, the world celebrates 100 years of commercial air travel, but that's not all.
In this last century, airlines and airplanes have evolved into a fact of everyday life for travelers, and some of the pioneering companies will mark milestones this year. Here's who to wish "happy anniversary":
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Very important cat news! Venus, the two-tone face cat and social media darling flew to the Big Apple for some TV appearances this week, including a cute cameo on Good Morning America.
Venus, who was adopted off a dairy farm where she was living as a feral stray, turned 5 this year. Her owner uses Venus' exposure on social media to promote the adoption of pets who need good homes. We became aware of her while idly browsing Instagram's #catsofinstagram hashtag one day over a year ago, and have followed this chimera cutie's adventures since.
Venus' travels aren't frequent, but she did post the photo above of her and her owner enjoying a photo op in the cockpit of a Delta plane today.
Free WiFi / Airports / Airport News / ATL / Delta / Travel Tech / Tech Travel / Atlanta Travel / → All Tags
The first thing we thought of was finally, and we hope that you’re thinking the same. It’s been a long time coming, but just the other day the gods of complimentary connectivity paid a visit to the terminals and concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Free WiFi is now a thing for one and all at the world’s busiest airport, and that means you can quickly and easily complain about your Delta delays without wasting your monthly data allotment.
Delta really wants your attention, please. Their newest in-flight safety video seeks to grab and hold your eyeballs through the important informational aspects of the flight, while giving your imagination enough candy to delight.
They've been changing it up so often recently that it's almost as if Delta is a safety video production company with a flying habit, versus the other way around. Delta's 1980s-theme safety video hasn't even been in use for six months yet, and the airline is promising yet another video to follow next week.
Mark the date on your iCal: the Delta Flight Museum at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reopens after major renovations on June 17. The buildings and Delta's historic 1940s maintenance hangars have been updated with fresh exhibits, new displays and cases, improved public spaces, an expanded store, and three more aircraft for the collection.
Furthermore, the museum boasts the US' only full-motion, official flight simulator open to the public (a 737-200). Actual aircraft on display include a DC-3, Waco 125 bi-plane (last in existence), Travel Air 6B Sedan, Stinson SR-8E Reliant, an L-1011 prototype section, and the Boeing 767 "Spirit of Delta," which was the airline's first 767 delivered after Delta's own employees banded together in the 1980s' tough times to raise money and fund the purchase.
Thanks to the renovation, three more aircraft are coming to join the fun: a DC-9, a Huff-Daland Duster, and a Boeing 757-200.
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
Planes are people are heading south of the border later this year, as Delta is getting ready to launch some new nonstop flights to Mexico. The plan is to link Los Angeles with Mazatlan just in time for Santa's big day, as things are scheduled to hit the skies on December 20. Boeing 737-800s will be responsible for the flying fun each and every day of the week. Things seem to be a seasonal flight at first, but it does sound like Delta will keep things flying if the demand is there. If Los Angeles isn’t really convenient to where you call home—no problem—Delta also does the nonstop thing to Mazatlan from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
It’s never too early to start planning your trip home for the holidays, and thankfully JetBlue is already doing exactly that. They have a new nonstop option scheduled to start up on November 12, as they’ll be sending their blue planes and blue chips between Orlando and Salt Lake City. JetBlue does plenty of takeoffs and landings from Orlando, and this flight to Utah is destination number 24 departing from the theme park capital of the world. To celebrate the new flights JetBlue is even offering up one-way fares for as low as $89 on certain days between November 12 and December 16, but just note that you need to book by May 15 to take advantage of the offer.
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Good news for those who travel to or through Detroit Metropolitan Airport, as the airport has just added a place for service animals to make a little pit stop during their layovers.
Over in the McNamara Terminal—the one with all the Delta traffic—airport officials have set up what they’re calling Central Bark Animal Relief Area. Basically it’s a restroom for service dogs complete with a couple patches of grass, as well as a fire hydrant to set the mood.
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Treat yourself during your next flight, as airlines are adding better beers and beverages suitable for an in-flight toast. Here’s a few of the carriers doing the microbrew thing at 35,000-feet, and their newest additions to the up in the air menu:
Delta & SweetWater Brewing Company
No offense to the Budweiser and Coors Light crew, but there’s better things brewing in Delta’s beverage cart. Last month the carrier introduced a little local flavor to their in-flight menu, as they’re offering up something from Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company. Thanks to some new canning techniques sky-high distribution is now available, and you can enjoy some 420 Extra Pale Ale on select Delta flights. These will set you back $6, but for now are limited to flights between Atlanta and New York-LaGuardia.
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Think fastBusiness Class to Europe is on sale right now, but for how much longer, who knows?
Airfares are hovering around $1,500-$1,700 for scattered dates during this summer; this is half off (at least!) the usual price of Business Class and what you'd easily pay for Economy seats during peak summer travel. United initiated the sale, but it hasn't been publicized. Reading between the lines, this means act fast. The lowest airfares come from non-hub cities, so search for departures from places like San Jose versus San Francisco, or Boston or White Plains versus New York.
We recommend paying close attention to the itinerary before booking, and trying for a routing that includes Lufthansa from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt on the new Boeing 747-8i. It showed up for us while searching Dayton to Malta!
2014 has thus far been quite the year for Delta, what with the detrimental changes to their SkyMiles frequent flyer program and an emergency landing or two, but this week has been something of a bounce back with a slew of positive news. Among the good news is the announcement that Delta is ready to give something to and not take something from economy class travelers.
Introducing Delta's sleep kits, specifically for the comfort of economy on long-haul international flights. Everyone gets an individual pack containing eyeshades and earplugs. It's very similar to JetBlue's Snooze Packs, which are handed out on red-eye transcontinental flights.
Delta / WiFi / Airlines / Airline News / In-Flight WiFi / In-Flight Comfort / In-Flight Entertainment / Tech Travel / → All Tags
When Delta merged with, gobbled up, or joined forces with Northwest Airlines, the carrier acquired a whole bunch of Boeing 747s. Slowly but surely things have been upgraded and updated to incorporate new levels of flying fun, and recently one of the final pieces was put into place—in-flight WiFi.
This isn’t just an option in and around the lower 48, as the in-flight WiFi on these 747s in Delta’s fleet are able to stream, download, and surf across continents and oceans. The very first flights were those heading over to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, as flights from both Los Angeles and Atlanta were able to flip the switch to this kind of up in the air connectivity.
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Next week brings good news to 35,000-feet for those looking for better beer options in the cabin, as Delta is set to bring a little Atlanta flavor right into the beverage cart.
SweetWater Brewing Company distribution has been limited to the Southeast, but now things are going sky high. One of the brewery’s best offerings—the 420 Extra Pale Ale—will be come an option up in the air aboard some Delta flights.