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The last book we recommended to you shed some light onto the dark side of the travel industry, showing that, for all the good it can bring, tourism has the capacity to become a virus that diminishes the cultures of destinations around the globe. This time, we're suggesting something a little more uplifting. And, believe it or not, it's about the airline industry.
Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections, written by commercial pilot Patrick Smith, attempts to unblur the line between fact and fiction when it comes to all things air travel.
While we know commercial airline pilots are real people with thoughts and feelings (usually), we passengers rarely get even the slightest glimpse into the other side of the flight deck door.
Commercial airline pilot of 28 years, Chris Manno, has flipped this with the release of Flight Crew. . .like you, a collection of illustrations showcasing the behind-the-scenes view of a career pilot.
Photo Gallery / Fashion Travel / Flight Attendants / Pilots / Virgin Atlantic / Virgin / Airline Uniforms / Vivienne Westwood / Vivienne Westwood for Virgin Atlantic / Richard Branson / Travel News / London Travel / Britain Travel / Beauty Travel / → All Tags
The Virgin Atlantic look is sharp, iconic, sizzling; there’s no denying the head-turning appeal of a crisp white blouse tucked into a scorching red pencil skirt, topped off with red heels. But, with the celebration of the airline’s 30th Anniversary this year, it’s about that time for a snazzy refresh so as to continue “flying in the face of ordinary,” as the airline’s slogan goes. For this, Virgin Atlantic paired with UK designer and punk powerhouse Vivienne Westwood. The new uniforms were just unveiled July 1 in London, and will roll out for all Virgin Atlantic staff, from cabin crew to flight crew, and desk agents to Clubhouse hospitality.
Alas, a flash of the new uniform as it swishes down the airplane aisle isn't enough to appreciate the detail. Aside from the fact that it’s now easier to care for with a new tech “nano finish" (the earlier uniform was dry clean only) and yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, there are small secrets hidden in every dart and under each lapel, telling the story of the collaboration between England’s flag-carrying airline and one of the country's most iconic fashion influences.
Although the uniforms don’t officially take flight for the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet until September 1, keep an eye out for a preview on your next VS flight; crew have been heading to the airline’s Base near Gatwick Airport to pick up their full looks since this past weekend. Here's what to look for:
New Airplanes / Airplanes / Air Canada / Canada Travel / Air Canada 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Boeing 787 / 787 / 787 Dreamliner / Dreamliner / Boeing / Airline News / Airplane News / Videos / Pilots / → All Tags
Canada is psyched.
Why? Well, simply because they've finally received a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to call their very owntheir first 787 landed in Toronto on Sunday, fresh from Boeingand the campaign to promote it is one of the most endearing airline projects yet.
It begins with Air Canada's 787 slogan, "Everything You Dreamed Of," and continues to slick promises like, "All Jet. No Lag."
Beyond the snazzy photos of interiors and that icy blue livery, however, we're most in love with a touching video series introducing the aircraft with a sentimentality that's so delightfully Canadian.
Air Canada has 37 Dreamliners on order, and an incredible 15 of them will hit the skies come this autumn, with the full lot delivered by 2019.
In the above "Born to Fly" video, the experience of such a technologically advanced aircraft is paired with the journey of one Air Canada 787 First Officer to his spot in the right seat. With it, Air Canada is answering a question we always find ourselves asking those lucky enough to sit up front in a brand new airplane: "where did this passion of yours originate?"
We've waxed enthusiastic about Instagram for what seems like forever, including trends like carpet designs and even celeb travel selfies, but a new trending hashtag (with over 320,000 images!) has us shaking our heads.
This hashtag#crewlifedocuments the more casual aspects of what it's like to be part of an airline's crew. All these flight attendant selfies on social media means cabin crew are snapping while in uniform. On planes. Quite possibly while working.
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Lindbergh. Earhart. Yeager.
Let's face itaviators are the epitome of cool. Heck, even fictitious pilots like Top Gun's Maverick get all the girls, so frankly we're shocked it's taken so long for the internet generation to devise a character as brilliant as The Lego Pilot.
Jetting around the world in his perfectly pressed uniform, The Lego Pilot spends days sharing his "office views" and favorite layover locations with fans on social media. Though his body may be made of plastic building blocks, his personality is very much alive on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. He's essentially a fully conceptualized and storified version of Lufthansa's "Pilot Diary" Instagram series from August 2013, which we heralded as "a revelation for airline social media."
Recent travels have transported The Lego Pilot to London, Hong Kong, Spain's Costa del Sol, Dubai, and Marrakech...and that's only since the beginning of March when the accounts initiated.
We won't spoil all the fun for you (follow him!), but below are a few of our favorite The Lego Pilot moments. Enjoy!
ET 702 / Hijackings / Boeing / 747-8 / Airplane News / Airplanes / Toilets / Pilots / → All Tags
Above: the cockpit lavatory of the Boeing 747-8i
We mention it now because the 747-8 is the only Boeing commercial aircraft with a built-in feature which would've prevented a hijacking situation like what happened with Ethiopian flight 702 earlier today. That feature: a restroom and rest area just for the cockpit, located behind the armored flight deck door, which means both pilot and co-pilot never have to leave the secure area to use the restroom.
At the debut of the 747-8 Intercontinental in June 2012, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein noted the advantages of having this lavatory and crew rest quarters inside the cockpit, as it increases security and minimizes flight crew absence from the flight deck. [Update: The restroom within the flight deck is actually an option on all 747s, and some older 747-400s have it (such as in the case of Qantas' 744 fleet), but the 747-8i is the first aircraft where it's been the popular option].
Weird News / Pilots / PIA / Pakistan International Airlines / Pakistan Travel / Food Travel / → All Tags
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) runs a Saturday 6:45am flight that goes from Lahore to Manchester to New York. Last week it took off at 9:15am - two and a half hours late - because the pilot demanded sandwiches, and the catering company didn't have any sandwiches, and so everyone waited around until the sandwiches were delivered from a nearby five-star hotel. Done and done.
On one hand, that's exactly the kind of story that causes the blood pressure of travelers to spike uncontrollably. Three continents to travel, lots of connections to make, and flight Captain Naushad won't take off until he gets sandwiches. On the other hand, you have to respect a man who knows what he wants and won't budge until he gets it. And this guy, he wanted some damn sandwiches.
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Well, Halloween is right around the corner and if you haven't even begun to think of your costume for this year, you better get cracking. We already showed you what some airplanes are donning for the spooky holiday, and now it's your turn.
We've hand-picked several travel-related costumes to provide some inspiration. Since there's a week yet to go for perfecting your look, note that some of these are pretty easy while others require more time.
If you’ve mastered Flight Control and love traveling up in the air, then we’ve got some news for you: American Airlines is getting ready to hire a whole bunch of pilots and flight attendants. Okay—you probably need a little more school and a lot more training to become a pilot than the hours you've logged on that cell phone game, but your mastery of all those virtual takeoffs and landings should count for something.
Over the next five years, American Airlines will welcome back any and all furloughed pilots and add around 1,500 new ones to the cockpit as well. It sounds like 40 or 50 will be added to the payroll each and every month, so if you have the résumé ready—they’re waiting for you. Head over here to check things out, but do so quickly as your application needs to be completed in the next couple of days.
For those that would rather hang out in the main cabin and sling drinks, the carrier has been busy hiring flight attendants, too. The positions are posted on their main career website, and they’re looking to fill plenty of spots. Those with foreign language experience have their very own openings, so if you also speak Korean, Spanish, French, German, or Italian you’re all set. However, if you lost your copy of Muzzy—no problem—they’re cool with English speaking applicants as well.
Travel Photography / Pilots / Lufthansa / Instagram / LAX / FRA / Social Media / → All Tags
It's officialLufthansa gets it. By it, we mean Instagram, as they've just completed a brilliant photo series named #pilotdiary which goes above and beyond (and into the cockpit) to share the Lufthansa experience, but through the eyes of an international commercial airline pilot.
To be specific, the 39 photosposted from July 29 through August 2chronicle the early mornings and long flights of Philipp, a Senior First Officer on Lufthansa's 747s. Jetting back and forth between Frankfurt and Los Angeles at the yoke of a new 747-8i, he snaps anything and everythingfrom a lunch over Greenland to a generic layover hotel room, and even a brief beach breakto essentially provide a full picture of life in the skies.
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From United to Alaska Airlines there’s been quite a few airlines that have received iPads in the cockpit, and it looks like the technology continues to flow into the front of the plane. Most recently it has been American Airlines making the most dramatic change, as they recently just completed getting rid of all the paper in the cabin—for the most part—as the carrier has completely switched over to electronic flight bags.
American Airlines has been quick to point out that they’re the first major carrier to completely ditch paper this and that in favor of documents that can be loaded onto an iPad, as they are now approved to use the electronics during all the different phases of the flight. Each and every one of their planes is good to go, as the entire fleet has been given the go ahead to move forward. They aren’t just stopping with the mainline fleet either, as July 10 will bring an electronic option to the American Eagle regional branch of the airline as well.