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Photo Gallery / SCL / Airports / Airport News / Santiago Travel / Chile Travel / Oneworld / LAN / TAM / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
It's hard to believe that it was only last month we declared the LAN Airlines lounge at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport the "best in South America." That may have been true at the time but, as of this week, the tides have changed and LAN's home airport in Santiago, Chile now not only claims the best lounge in South America, but the largest.
The brand new Salon VIP opened at SCL yesterday, and it borrows much of the look and South American design influence of that Buenos Aires lounge, albeit on a grander scale.
As the largest lounge in South America, it naturally boasts some impressive numbers, like the facts that it's 23,000 square feet, with 28 restrooms, 10 showers, a 180-foot-long buffet, 46 employees, and the capacity for 460 travelers. It's nearly 24 hours, with operating hours from 3am to 1am daily.
Photo Gallery / Airline Lounges / LAN / Oneworld / EZE / Buenos Aires Travel / South America Travel / Argentina Travel / Business Class Travel / LATAM / → All Tags
There's a sweet secret within the otherwise unremarkable terminal of Buenos Aires- Ezeiza International Airport. You see, EZE is somehow home to the nicest airline lounge in South America, the LAN Airlines VIP room.
The lounge is relatively new, having quietly opened in early 2013. Dark woods and soft lighting welcome travelers, tickets are checked at reception, and then guests walk a short hallway of periodicals and departure screens to enter the lounge proper. The first sight is a wall of wine, followed by separate areas for relaxing, dining, and working. Several Mac desktops are available, and a large communal work table is ideal for spreading out with a laptop and last-minute work. Bookshelves and dividers are the only walls, allowing the space to be cozy and semi-private at the same time as open and welcoming.
Photo Gallery / Airline Lounges / Business Class Travel / DOH / Airports / Qatar Airways / Doha Travel / Qatar Travel / Airlines / Oneworld / → All Tags
In the world of premium air travel, there are a handful of what frequent flyers call “destination lounges.” These spaces, luxuriously appointed and exclusively for the use of the highest-paying passengers, are often an embarrassment of riches and, thus, completely worth spacing your travel with time enough to visit.
Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Doha’s Hamad International Airport is the newest addition to the list of must-visit lounges, and with good reason. Not only is it massive (30,000+ sq ft!) and filled with features like designer furniture and its own lake, but the Al Mourjan lounge has entire semi-private rooms just for families and a full restaurant with such variety of food and drink as to make other lounges cry into their chex mix with shame.
Flight Review / Vienna Travel / Zurich Travel / Austria Travel / Air Berlin / flyNIKI / NIKI / VIE / ZRH / Europe Travel / Oneworld / → All Tags
What can you expect of an airline started by a race car driver? If you're flying NIKI, you'd never guess that this small Austrian airline of A321s, A320s, and E190s only began in 2003, by Grand Prix legend Niki Lauda. It's now a subsidiary of Air Berlin and partner with Etihad, operating out of Vienna International Airport to cities around Europe.
Our recent flyNIKI flights weren't something we chose, but were chosen for us as part of booking a normal American Airlines ticket to Vienna. You see, American doesn't fly to Vienna, and so have enlisted another Oneworld partner to fly the portion they can't. In our case, we flew AA from New York nonstop to Zurich, and then flyNIKI from Zurich to Vienna and back.
Airline Mergers / American Airlines / US Airways / New American / Airline News / Travel News / Frequent Flyer Miles / AAdvantage / Oneworld / Airline Loyalty Programs / → All Tags
We've known for a long time that American and US Airways were planning on merging their frequent flier programs. This week, new details were released regarding how the programs will be integrated. Here's what AAdvantage and US Dividend Miles members need to know going forward:
· The two frequent flier programs will merge in the second quarter of 2015. You can see a full timeline here.
Airfare Deals / Travel Deals / Europe Travel / Winter Travel / Budget Travel / Oneworld / Star Alliance / SkyTeam / → All Tags
Not tomorrow. Not even later tonight. Right now is prime time for purchasing flights from the US to Europe, across all three airline alliances.
A fare sale initiated by American Airlines/US Airways this morning quickly erupted into a full-scale fare war, and now economy roundtrips from cities around the US to cities around Europe and the UK are totaling between $400-$800, with the average fare around $680.
Our friends at TheFlightDeal, FareDealAlert, and airfarewatchdog have been on it from the start, tweeting a stream of tempting deals all day long, like $467 SFO - Dublin on US Airways and $664 DFW - Madrid on Delta.
Travelers in cities other than the usual cheap fare favorites of New York, LA and SF will be shocked to see some serious deals closer to home, flyable for travel dates throughout winter 2014 and into late spring 2015.
Here's a few of our favorites:
Photo Gallery / Airport Lounges / Qantas / LAX / California Travel / Airline Lounges / Los Angeles Travel / oneworld / British Airways / Cathay Pacific / → All Tags
Freshly opened back in June, the new International Business Lounge within the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport is the result of a combined effort from Oneworld alliance partners Qantas, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific. Located on level 5, it can accommodate up to 400 people and is open from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Earlier this month, we swung through to take a look around during an 8-hour layover from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Just when it seems like airlines are only imposing new fees to negatively impact passengers, British Airways has gone and introduced a fee which actually helps. Starting now, travelers searching airfares on British Airways for travel on BA or Iberia may pay $5/£5/€5 for short-haul or $10/£10/€10 long-haul per person to place a reservation on hold for a period of 72 hours before deciding whether or not to purchase.
Alliance partner American Airlines offers a similar option, allowing customers to place an itinerary on hold for 24 hours, for free; BA's charging for the privilege may set a precedent for the future of this service.
While on hold, the flight price is guaranteed not to increase, but it can decrease (yay).
Seats / Business Class Travel / Japan Airlines / Oneworld / KIX / BKK / Japan Travel / Boeing / Boeing 767 / → All Tags
If the overnight leg on an old angled lie-flat Finnair seat showed us how far business class seats have come, our recent flight on a Japan Airlines Boeing 767 between Osaka-Kansai (KIX) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) almost took us back to a different era, with the above, ageing, manually-controlled cradle-style seats still going strong.
Almost literally coming apart (torn fabric, wobbly armrests), the likelihood you’ll find this seat on your flight is luckily decreasing, having serviced regional routes in Asia, as well as the crazy busy Honolulu to Tokyo return for a long time (in fact, the in-flight entertainment still had destination features on Hawaii on it). Japan Airlines is phasing in its new 787 Dreamliner, as well as upgrading 767s with “Sky Suites”, fully-flat, all-aisle access seats – check them out below.
Seats / Airline Seats / Qatar Airways / Doha Travel / DOH / BKK / Boeing / Boeing 777 / Oneworld / → All Tags
We’ve shown you that business class on a Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is not a bad place to spend a few hours, but how does one of the airline’s latest additions compare to the workhorse of the fleet, the Boeing 777? With 34 in total, split between 777-200 and 777-300 versions, Qatar has more of the triple-seven than any other aircraft type at the moment. Connecting from a 787 onto a 777 recently gave us a good opportunity to compare.
We flew the 777 between Doha and Bangkok, a flight that connects further to Hanoi (Vietnam) after a brief stop in Thailand. Consistent on both legs? A virtually empty business class cabin, with less than ten passengers across the 42 seats, which guaranteed not just a seat pair to ourselves, but multiple rows.
Qatar Airways / Business Class Travel / Seats / DOH / Oneworld / Boeing / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787 / → All Tags
Qatar Airways has 9 Dreamliners operating a number of routes out of its brand-spanking new (and humongous) Hamad International Airport in Doha, and an additional 51 on order from Boeing. We recently did a business class return between Stockholm and Doha, which gave us enough time to explore its swanky interiors.
Obviously, the press for Malaysia Airlines hasn’t been the best of late given the on-going search for the unsolved mystery that is Flight 370. Making our way to Borneo this week, we flew the airline from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur (4 hours) and then on to Kuching (1.5 hours). Despite the unpleasant images that come with the mention of its name, we actually really enjoyed our experience flying Malaysia Air. In terms of its everyday flying policies and procedures, it does a lot of things right.