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When it comes right down to it, all aircraft are works of art. One particular masterpiece of recent is the super-jumbo A380, with its double-decker curves and four-engine strength. British Airways is particularly enthralled with their sparkling new A380s and thus created a piece of video art in homage to it.
The British carrier has swapped canvas for fuselage to celebrate their newest non-stop route between London-Heathrow and Singapore with a stunning video that's right out of the cool 4D trend of late. You knowwhen a projection on a building gives the illusion of it coming alive right before your very eyes.
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We have seen some weird stuff at airports, but even the oddest things seem to have a purpose—like those sleeping pod things. Now we’re not sure about this latest addition to London-Heathrow, as officials have wheeled in some kind of globe that shares the smells of the world.
The entertainment—if you can call it that—is now set up in Terminal 2, as the scent globe shares different aromas, smells, and fragrances from around the world. Spots like China, Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil are just a few of the featured offerings. Apparently those spots smell nice, and they’re of particular interest to those heading out of Great Britain on holiday.
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This isn't just any 787, either. Virgin Atlantic is the first European airline to welcome the longer, cooler 787-9 to their fleet, and they do so on their own 30th birthday as an airline, hence the aircraft's name, "Birthday Girl" G-VNEW.
Inside are 198 Economy, 35 Premium Economy, and 31 Upper Class seats, plus a new "Wander Wall" concept in Premium Economy. This is essentially a snack-and-chat station, since the bar is reserved for Upper Class only. Speaking of that barit's been redesigned to fit within the 787-9, but you'll still be able to pop on a barstool and order a Virgin Redhead somewhere 38,000' above the Atlantic Ocean. Instagram it instantly, thanks to long-haul in-flight WiFi onboard.
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Well, it was lovely while it lasted. After 1.5 years of flying, Virgin Atlantic's regional subsidiary Little Red is calling it quits. The goodbye will be a long one, however; the airline won't send its last A320 into the UK skies until September of 2015, making its total lifespanfrom launch in April 2013 to close in September 201529 months.
Issues contributing to the demise include too much point-to-point travel versus connecting to Virgin Atlantic long-hauls from London, and too few slots to truly compete with British Airways on the routes. Both of these reasons go against the whole goal of starting Little Red, which was to offer travelers connecting flight service from other UK town into the Virgin Atlantic long-haul jets in London, and to offer "consumer choice on key domestic services after British Airways' takeover of bmi gifted them a monopoly on these routes."
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We know that we’re in the minority when it comes to loving everything and anything when it comes to airports. For most the airport is often just a means to an end—like "when are we getting to our final destination?!"
Now one airport is helping those who hate the typical waiting room atmosphere of airports, as they’re introducing a way to virtually escape the confines in favor of a more idyllic location.
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Making the "beef or chicken?" choice on is hardly a highlight of the trip. But could we tempt you to get a little more excited over Gordon Ramsay's roasted Hereford rump of beef with green salad and mustard or perhaps slow spit-roasted chicken with fries, salad, bread sauce and roasting juices from Heston Blumenthal? Yeah, we thought so.
London-Heathrow likes to push the envelop when it comes to innovation and has a great idea for doing away with the typical in-flight fare. The airport will deliver full menu items from any one of the terminal's 118 restaurants right to your gate, all wrapped up in a cool bag for chilled items, or a thermal bag for hot items. Each meal is completely prepared and ready to be noshed at any time after take-off.
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Virgin Atlantic used the occasion of its 30th birthday a few days ago (the airline flew its inaugural flight on June 22, 1984) to announce where it will be sending its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner when it joins the fleet this fall: Boston. Appropriately enough, the airplane will be called “Birthday Girl."
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The chances of any of us that didn’t fly Concorde back in the day to experience what it was like to fly Mach 2 on the iconic plane are slim to none. Supersonic travel shows no signs of resurgence, and even if it were coming back, we doubt the original Concorde would be part of it.
While you can see a stationery Concorde in a number of places, there is one airport plenty of travelers pass through where you can still sit in a Concorde seat, even if it is before you get on a plane and take off. We're referring to London’s Heathrow Airport or, more specifically, British Airways' appropriately named Terminal 5 flagship lounge, the Concorde Room.
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Earlier this month, we were spending a few early morning hours at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport in the (pretty fabulous) Qantas First Class Lounge, which aside from rather swank surroundings comes with great views of the apron and city.
Sitting in one of the window-facing seats, watching aircraft taxiing here and there, we spotted an Airbus A340-600 being towed away with the Sydney skyline in the distance. At first, we didn’t think much of it among the rest of the aircraft movements, only realizing when we focused on the branding that we were in fact watching something a little more significant; this was one of the very last Virgin Atlantic aircraft to touch Australian soil, as the service from London discontinued just a few days later.
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Since it won't be any time soon that travelers will walk the halls of Berlin's new airport (ah hem national embarrassment ah hem), it's time to throw full focus on the nearly complete Terminal 2 at London-Heathrow Airport.
Formally named "The Queen's Terminal," the $2.5 billion GBP ($3.9 billion USD) structure is nearly set to open, but it needs your help.
Heathrow is looking for hundreds and thousands of volunteers willing to play passenger and put the terminal through the paces before the official opening. This is called a "proving period," and we can say from firsthand experience (as a volunteer during T5 at JFK's proving period that it's generally great fun running around a fresh-built airport.
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After all the hype (and drama) with the introduction of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, this summer should see the arrival of another 787 sibling to the family, the 787-9. Like the long-wheelbase version to the existing 787-8, Air New Zealand will be the first to fly it, but Virgin Atlantic is hoping to get their hands on the first few of their order list too.
While the airline hasn’t formally announced launch routes yet, it did brainstorm possible destinations way back when the aircraft order was placed, before being hit with its years of production delays.
So what will it be? In addition to replacing older aircraft for routes in its existing network (we wouldn’t be surprised if it goes head to head with some of the choices British Airways has made), Virgin mentioned routes of London to cities like Bangkok, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.
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Yet another exciting destination is being added to the routes the latest British Airways aircraft are flying: the Airbus A380, which premiered at LAX in September, will be starting services from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi (SIN) on October 28.
Initially operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (with the return to London the following day), the route will go daily A380 from February 9 next year. Why Singapore? Heathrow to Changi is an important route for both corporate and leisure traffic and competition is intense, with the original A380 flyer - Singapore Airlines - offering several double-decker services a day between the two cities.