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What a week for Southwest Airlines! Yesterday, the only other airline than Southwest who doesn't charge a fee for your first checked bagJetBlueannounced that they would indeed begin charging fees on checked bags.
Bummer for JetBlue, as the change will be introduced at some point in 2015 along with new airfare tiers of service, but a boon for Southwest, who now claims the title of "the only airline where bags fly free."
Still, JetBlue flyers have no need to panic just yet. The baggage fees haven't yet been detailed with pricing (although industry standard is $25 for the first bag), the new fare tiers haven't been announced, and none of these changes will happen until some point in 2015.
In-Flight Meals / Economy Class Travel / TAM / Qantas / British Airways / ANA / Air France / KLM / Czech Airlines / Air Berlin / Food Travel / Airline Meals / → All Tags
Last week some great news for Economy passengers arrived from Down Under, as Qantas' introduced new meals for those flying in the back of the plane.
The Red Roo's overhauled menu includes more choices for in-flight grub via their Select on Q pre-order system, now with 50% larger meals and even special treats like ice cream snacks and a welcome drink. Meals not only do away with trays and feature more destination-based items (like BBQ beef sliders to North America and and full English breakfast to the UK), but they'll even surprise with items like a bread roll already infused with butter to eliminate buttery finger fumbling.
“This isn’t rocket science,” said just about everyone who has ever waited an interminably long time to board a plane.
It’s not. Astrophysics on the other hand, might help.
At least if you trust Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University, who thinks that he has come up with the #flawless, fastest way to get airplane passengers boarded. “Wired” magazine just detailed Steffen’s system, which he developed several years ago — though it continues to fall on deaf ears. Steffen says that while the traditional back-to-front order of operations makes sense on its face, it fails to account for the fact that bottlenecks will still occur as passengers try to hoist their bags into overheads at the same time.
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"OMG, you're going to have such a great time" isn't the typical response to someone saying they're about to spend over 14 hours on a plane...in Economy.
Alack and alas, we find ourselves reacting in this way when said travel involves flying Cathay Pacific.
Since Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong, a "Special Administrative Region" under China and only 426 square miles in size, it has no domestic flights. Every flight from Hong Kong International Airport is truly international, and thus Cathay is an airline completely equipped for long-haul travel, with a fleet of all wide-body aircraft. On top of that, Cathay only introduced their new Economy seats in 2012, so the interiors aren't as tired as you may have come to expect from long-haul aircraft.
While other airlines may offer some of these perks, it's Cathay's particular ratio of comfort to friendliness that may help travelers be least anxious about spending a 14-16 hour nonstop in coach.
How Cathay Pacific makes Economy Class special:
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The folks over at Air New Zealand are pretty darn excited to offer up some cool seats on their newest non-stop 777-300 service between Auckland and San Francisco, and they're about to brag all over the Bay City.
Service between the cities isn't actually new, but the airline used to fly Boeing 747s on it. Now that those big birds have been retired from their fleet, the 777 is doing the heavy lifting. With this aircraft switch comes a new and improved cabin for the 12-hour flight, finally including those futuristic SpaceSeats in premium economy and the comfy SkyCouch in economy.
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Not gonna lie, Singapore Airlines deserves their reputation (and many awards) as one of the world's best airlines.
From the fluffy pillows with shams (even in Economy Class!) to the flight attendants who've been trained in both etiquette and oenology, Singapore is top-notch, a fact recently underscored by a review of their Suites Class. It's only too bad that much of that review was plagiarized. Also, the title is misleading; the $23,000 refers to the ticket's cost in Singapore Dollars. Priced in USD, it is closer to $18,000, but October flights in Suites are ringing up lower, around $7,000 each way/$14,000 roundtrip. Business Class is half that, with many of the same perks.
Regardless, the personalized service and thoughtful details are a hallmark of Singapore Airlines across all classes. Here's several semi-secret specialties you'll find on every Singapore Airlines flight:
The legroom debate is hardly new; did you know, for example, that it's already been a whole four years since Spirit Airlines did away with reclining seats altogether?
It's true and it's sad, but reducing legroom and recline is a route being taken by more airlines as passengers seek lower fares in times of higher fuel prices, and airline still want to make a buck at the end of the day. Cue arguments around the use of Knee Defenders and a need for informational websites like RouteHappy.
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[Also check out Part 1, Business Class]
Premium Economy is so hot right now.
Or, rather, the class between Economy and Business has been a popular addition to aircraft for many years now, every since Virgin Atlantic introduced it way, way back in 1992(!!), but some airlines have held off and, in turn, benefitted from the wait by introducing Premium Economy classes with all the latest bells and whistles.
Flying AC00611 hours back from Tokyo-Haneda to Toronto-Pearsonwe settled into a window seat and experienced what this new class for Air Canada was all about.
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It's been a long flight; as you step out into the aisle for a quick trip to the lavatory and a stretch, you spot a glowing blue cabinet up ahead. Other passengers have been taking something from there all flight long, and now you're curious to see what all the fuss is about. The answer? A nook of free snacks!
This in-flight delight is brand new to JetBlue's Mint-equipped Airbus A321s. Why not a second Diet Coke while you're up there? It's all good, because these convenient treats are still part of JetBlue's generous complimentary snacks for customers in Economy.
The position of the cabinet at the front of the cabin is an extra perk for passengers purchasing the "Even More Space" seats; it's a far shorter trip up the aisle for another bag of Blue Chips or Popcorners, without the impatience of waiting for the flight attendants to pass them out.
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We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.
"We'll have the kids meal."
Never before have we uttered these words on a flight, until flying with easyJet this last week, early enough in the morning that we'd eat pretty much anything. While perusing the airline's surprisingly extensive menu (they dedicate 25 pages of the duty-free catalog to onboard food choices!), we spotted a $5 snack box we just had to have.
This was a cheap flight in the first placewe paid $150 total for a one-way flight from London-Luton to Reykjavik-Keflavik Airportand we don't board cheap flights expecting very much. This snack box was, on top of the impressive menu, a huge positive surprise. It's designed specifically for kids! What other airlines offer such a thoughtful buy-onboard food pack for picky children? Off hand, we can't name another.
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The annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a competition that strives for excellence in futuristic aircraft interior innovation and design, took place this week in Hamburg, Germany. There were seven categories in total: Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment; Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts; Material & Components; Passenger Comfort Hardware; Passenger Comfort Systems; Premium Class & VIP; and University.
The full list of winners is still trickling out, but we're zoning in on the concepts that are aimed at directly benefiting the future passenger - aka, us. Below, we take a look at a few of the winning ideas. None are guaranteed to appear in the consumer realm anytime soon, but they serve as reasonable prototypes for what we might see down the road. Which are you most excited about?
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This week in Hamburg, Germany, airlines and media are happily schmoozing during the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo, and you know what happens when airline executives mix with international journalists? Hands are shaked, cocktails are quaffed, and big announcements are made.
American Airlines was nearly first out of the gate with a doozy of a news drop, that they'll be retrofitting their entire 777 fleet to new Business Class and Main Cabin seats. Previously, only AA's brand new Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A321Ts boasted these best seats in the fleet, but this news means the bulk of AA's international service on 777-200s will soon join the fun.