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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.
Food Travel / Airports / LHR / London Travel / Airport Food / Airport Restaurants / Airline Food / In-Flight Meals / Om Nom Nom / → All Tags
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.
Virgin Atlantic / Boston Travel / London Travel / Airline News / Boeing / BOS / LHR / 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787-9 / Dreamliner / Boeing 787 / 787 Dreamliner / 787-9 Dreamliner / Boeing 787-9 / Virgin Atlantic 787-9 / → All Tags
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.
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Getting to the Middle East might seem like a fuss with only a few handfuls of non-stop flights from the U.S. and plenty of hours in a plane, so a welcome addition is Qatar Airways' launch of all-business-class flights from Doha, Qatar to London-Heathrow. This marks the first time for such a service between the two regions.
In all, flights from Qatar to the UK take just about 7 hours. So, for that amount of time, passengers will be able to eat, sleep, and catch up on work with the in-flight SMS and GPRS technology. The Airbus A319 will seat a mere 40 passengers in a 2-2 configuration of lie-flat seats, so the sense of a small domestic flight will be as pervasive as the free-flowing bubbles.
So, a couple months ago while walking down Oxford Street in Sydney, our attention was momentarily grabbed by a store sporting nothing but onesies in the window. Surely there had to be more to their retail concept? But no, it was, in fact, "One Piece," a brand and entire worldwide chain of stores dedicated to bundling up the adult population like nappy-wearing infants. We only hoped we'd never witness onesies supplant Juicy Couture track pants as a trend in airplane attire.
Turns out we're hoping against hope, since a girl of questionable fame was recently caught by the paparazzi at London-Heathrow emerging from baggage claim in what is simultaneously the world's most comfortable and least appropriate travel outfit. And it's not the first time; shePerrie Edwards of UK girl group "Little Mix" and fiancé of one of the One Direction boyspulled a similar look at Glasgow Airport.
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In 2010, the TSA was actually putting up signs at security checkpoints promising that "future advances" in x-ray technology would let them play around with the restrictions on the amount of liquid travelers can carry on board planes.
Fast forward to 2013 and we still have liquids restrictions on U.S. flights. Meanwhile the EU regulations which were set to expire in 2013 are - wait for it - actually expiring. We don't know if the decision is deliberate or the result of laziness, but either way European airports will now let you carry shampoos onboard airplanes. Small victories, ladies and gentlemen, small victories.