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October can't come soon enough, as we've just confirmed that the TWA Flight Center at New York's JFK Airport will again be open to the public for one day: Sunday, October 13.
The reason? The 11th annual openhousenewyork festival (OHNY), a weekend event that flings open private doors to showcase typically hidden gems of the city. The weekend is October 12-13 and although the full schedule won't be released until early October, it's nice to know if the TWA Terminal is a part of the fun since many people actually travel in for the pleasure of roaming and photographing this icon of modern architecture.
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We’re not sure if this is the year of airport eats, but it’s getting pretty darn close. Gone are the days of prepackaged sandwiches and stale pizza, as airports around the globe are really creating their own restaurant scene. Here are just a few airports worth checking out on your next layover.
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
The suburban shopping mall is expanding out towards the airport, as a chain restaurant favorite is finally making an appearance within the terminal. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now home the world’s only airport edition of PF Chang’s, so feel free to get an order of those lettuce wraps between flights. Asian inspired cuisine can be found on the upper mezzanine of Concourse A—the former home of a Chili's—and they’ll even be serving breakfast.
New York's JFK Airport
At New York’s JFK the hits keep on coming over at Terminal 2, as Delta keeps pouring in the cash and new ideas to spruce and spiff things up. The plan is to bring new ideas and flavors, as well as whole bunch of iPads—after all, it’s more fun to order that way. New options that will be rolling in include Due Amici—think rustic Italian tastes with plenty of meat and cheese platters—as well as the BRKLYN Beer Garden and its 20 beers on tap. A French sandwich shop—Croque Madame—will be serving stuff up right in the terminal, as well as a Japanese spot called Shiso.
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It's been over two years since any news on the possible future of the iconic architectural landmark, designed for TWA by Eero Saarinen. The will-it-or-won't-it continues, as hotel developer André Balazs goes head-to-head with JFK Airport over his proposed design for a 150-room property.
Page Six reports that "Differing opinions over the design have become a sticking point in the negotiations." This definitely isn't the most positive endorsement of whatever blueprints Balazs has rolled out. We stick by our pronouncement from two years ago, that a hotel is a nice idea, provided the design is respected, but likely won't happen at all.
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This is just the Amuse-bouche
On any given day, there are 9-10 British Airways planes zooming up into the skies from New York's JFK Airport. Touch down may be London's Heathrow Airport, but the 7+ hours in-flight time is absolutely a destination in itself. This is especially true for First Class guests who opt to open the menu for a meal, rather than just close their eyes for a sleep.
The focus for British Airways' First Class cuisine is, to quote BA's Manager of Food & Beverage Design, Chef Gwendal Hamon, "lovely ingredients with good provenance, simply prepared." Catering is by Do & Co, who employ over 500 people just at their JFK facility, with the aim to provide the best quality foods for the best possible taste at altitude and, in this case, especially for those in the best seats on the plane.
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There’s some good news this week for those who love to over pack and feel the need to lug along one of those baggage scales. Officials just did a sweep of luggage scales in and around the airports in New York City, and it looks like the scores are worthy of hanging on the refrigerator.
The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs has been driving around checking things out, and they’ve found that 96 percent of scales are accurate. They didn’t just check one or two either, as they claim they checked out each and every scale at both JFK and LaGuardia airports.
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We’ve got some delicious news to share from the folks over at Delta, as it looks like the carrier is going to start working with the ladies and gentlemen over at Union Square Hospitality Group. In case you’re not familiar with them, that’s Danny Meyer’s group, and they’re responsible for everything from fine dining at Union Square Cafe to burgers and fries at Shake Shack. Now it looks like they’re bringing some of those creative culinary skills to the food and beverage cart.
Kitchen hotshots from the group’s Blue Smoke restaurant will create some special new BusinessElite Express Meals for Delta’s three daily flights between New York-JFK and London-Heathrow. Apparently business travelers are hungry for something quick and tasty, and hopefully these new meals will provide a yummy experience and a quicker meal service. After all, everyone wants a little more time to enjoy those lie flat sleeper seats.
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They're heeeeerrrrrrrreeeee! The "First Class" seats JetBlue has been dangling in front of transcontinental flyers were finally leaked, but there's still quite a long road ahead before the private suites with lie-flat seats (yes, lie-flat seats on a JetBlue plane!) take to the skies in fresh-off-the-factory-line Airbus A321s.
A video and some details were shared yesterday at the Global Business Travel Association convention in San Diego, but it looks as though December will the be possibly earliest passengers will have the privilege to plop down and prop up their feet.
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In case you were wondering how big an Airbus A380 really is, perhaps this picture will provide some sense of perspective: it shows the brand new British Airways A380 nose-to-nose with its smallest cousin, the teensy Airbus A318. How cute is that? You can almost hear the Disney Planes dialogue: “Move over, little one”. “I ain’t going anywhere, big guy!”
This unique photo-op happened at Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland. Why there? The Airbus A380 is on its rounds of familiarization flights before it will start flying to and from Los Angeles on September 24, and made a trip to Shannon as part of this cycle. The A318 of course makes its daily stop on the way to New York-JFK from London’s City Airport, where it refuels, and if you’re on the magic flight number BA001, you can clear US immigration.
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Like any airport project, the Airspace Lounge at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at New York-JFK had a little bit of a delay. Originally schedule to debut in May, the lounge finally did open this month and though it's still in soft-opening phase, passengers are at last welcome to enjoy a more comfortable, more private, amenity-rich place to chill before flying out.
The Airspace Lounge is open to all passengers flying from Terminal 5 (that's JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines & Aer Lingus), for a price. Entry starts from $25 and includes "complimentary espresso, cappuccino, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, soft drinks, small snacks and fruit, printing and scanning, use of house computers, Wi-Fi, use of private restrooms and shower facilities, plus a $10 credit to purchase items from Airspace’s premium menu including alcoholic beverages."
The photos aren't the best as they're from opening day, and we haven't been to check it out ourselves quite yet, but figured you'd like to know all the details right away to prep for what remains of summer travels.
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"You're on the list."
Unless they're referring to the TSA's No-Fly List, that little sentence may bring big things if you're flying Virgin Atlantic from one of the airline's seven destinations in the US or UK.
The "Guest List" program is now available (for a price) to all Virgin Atlantic travelers, sharing the perks once solely reserved for Upper Class flyers with those seated in Economy or Premium Economy. It's essentially a fast track to VIP treatment without having to pay the premium airfare of an Upper Class ticket, from only $384 per person or $544 per couple (traveling in the same car).
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Changing plans at the last minute is hard to do, but what if a little flexibility and some courage could turn your flight to Chicago into one destined for Chiang Mai, Thailand? All you had to do was press a button.
This was the challenge recently posed to travelers departing from New York's JFK International Airport Terminal 8, when beer company Heineken decided it was time to change some lives.
We won't spoil the results of the experiment (watch the video above), but we will admit that it's brilliant and hope it becomes a regular thing, even if only twice a year.
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UPDATE July 18: With one more day to go in the promotion, JetBlue ended it early citing website server errors as a result of everyone trying to grab those promo codes. As a consolation prize, they're offering 25% off any domestic flight from JFK/LGA/EWR by entering the promo code 2HOT2HANDLE for flights between 09/13 & 10/31. Book by July 19 at 4pm.
UPDATE 12:30pm: the temperature just hit 90 and the promo code today is "HOTSEATS," for flights leaving July 17 or 18 and returning July 22 or 23. We searched from JFK to Aruba and the promo worked, slashing a $520+ fare to a total of $148. That's practically paying just the taxes!
90% off airfare. Is this a dream? Nope, but it the latest promotion from JetBlue, designed to get New Yorkers sweating through these sweltering summer days some relief...by hopping last-minute flights.
The deal is called #HotSeatsNYC, and it begins today at noon EST on the dot. JetBlue will release a limited number of promo codes to take 90% off airfare on roundtrip flights departing from JFK, LGA or EWR airports on selected dates.
It's not just today, either; every day the temperatures in Central Park hit 90 degrees or above by noon (monitored by The Weather Channel), JetBlue will pull the trigger on another round of #HotSeatsNYC promo codes. Watch the temp rise and snag all the deals right on their HotSeats website.