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We are right in the middle of the holiday travel season, so we’ve got some advice for you when it comes to picking your airline seats. It’s not just for travel over the next few weeks, but a trick for all year long. We imagine that it’ll only get worse as airlines continue to hold back—and charge for—premium seats like aisles, windows, exit rows, and pretty much everything else.
So you booked your ticket and all went well, but when it’s time to select a seat you only have the option of picking a middle seat. Here’s the tip—don’t pick a middle seat—and leave your seat selection unassigned. First of all, there’s always the possibility that better seats will pop up closer to departure. You never know who will cancel or who will change their plans, so keep an eye out for better up in the air opportunities.
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New airplane alert! Last Friday, June 1, Lufthansa sent the very first Boeing 747-8 for passengers on its very first regularly scheduled flight. Hopping from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC's Dulles Airport, the jumbo-jumbo jet made history with us onboard. Stay tuned the next few days for dispatches from the tarmac!
It used to be that flying in luxury on a jumbo jet meant somewhat wider seats with better recline, friendlier flight attendants, a spiral staircase to the upper deck and lobster on the menu. This was the premium class of the 1970s, when Pan Am took off with the very first Boeing 747 passenger plane, a 747-100. Fast forward to 42 years later (!!) to the new 747-800 Intercontinental and, as much as we bemoan the loss of the "jet set" glamor, stepping into Lufthansa's new Business Class forces the realization thatholy mackerelthese last few decades have actually produced a plane that can again cause passengers to mouthe "wow" (or "toll" if you're German).
The 747 has always been an impressive work of aviation engineering, but it's this 747-8i that Boeing is calling "a flagship aircraft that airlines will want to customize" and "a cornerstone of the Lufthansa fleet for years to come." So, no surprise that Lufthansa chose this baby for the grand debut of the new lie-flat Business Class seats, right? So let's check it out...
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It’s been a couple summers since Delta first introduced their plans to help you stretch out on those long-haul international flights. Apparently travelers enjoyed not having their knees bash up against the seat in front of them, so the stretched out seating design was extended to some domestic flights as well. Obviously they’re looking to cash in on our willingness to pay for a little bit more comfort and space, and it also probably doesn’t hurt that the competition over at United Airlines has been doing something pretty darn similar with their Economy Plus options.
Delta’s Economy Comfort upgrade is almost complete, as it sounds like they’re just about finished upgrading and updating a whole mess of their airplanes. The airline is promising that as of June 7 the new seating options will be available for your seating pleasure on all two-class airplanes throughout the globe.
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If you haven’t looked at our butt yet today it might be a good time to do so, because Airbus thinks you have a big one. Well not you specifically, but they are thinking that residents of the nifty fifty are expanding when it comes to their personal seating surface.
Always looking for a way to make some extra cash—and a leg up on the competition over at Boeing—Airbus is now adding some slides to their PowerPoint presentation about wider seats. The Airbus A320 is a little bit wider overall when compared to the Boeing 737, so this would allow Airbus to offer slightly wider seats along the aisles while keeping the middle and window seats basically unchanged.
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Not everybody can fly in Business Class, and that goes double-time for First Class, so with all this year's announcements of new business class seats, we're thrilled to find that an airline has slipped an Economy Class upgrade into the mix. That airline is Cathay Pacific and you should know that the new seats in economy are going to make a heck of a difference. Why? Because they are totally different from the old design andhere's the kickeryou'll have to sit in them for over 13 hours on Cathay's longest routes, so you better like 'em.
The old seats, for those who haven't had the blessing of sitting through a 17-hour flight in them, had a fixed back which meant that while no one was reclining into your lap, you essentially slide down to recline. The pressure was on what we fondly call "the butt bone," and you could kiss feeling in your bottom goodbye for half the flight.
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Since an important part of traveling includes how you get there, it's always nice to sit up front in an airplane. While it makes more sense to experience first or business class on long-haul flights, doing so requires a lot more digging into pockets than most people can manage. The most economical way to fly in the premium cabin is to use miles for an upgrade.
We recently flew an airline that isn't part of our favorite airline alliance (yet). This means no opportunity to use those frequent flyer miles to stretch our legs. While planning a Bali trip, we needed to fly to Denpasar/Bali from Jakarta, and found one of our options to be Garuda Indonesia. Knowing little about them beyond that they're the national airline, we were curious.
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No, this isn't a story on the Olympics, but we could see how you could think that.
Art comes in many forms and is often described as subjective. A current performance exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art is no exception. This time it has caught the attention of aviation enthusiasts by blending the architecturally fluid lines of business class seats with the sheer strength and flexibility of gymnastics.
The IMA is currently exhibiting Allora & Cazadilla. The visual artist duo of American born, Jennifer Allora, and Cuban born, Guillermo Calzadilla are part of the museum's Venice Biennale. While the pair have a number of commissions at the gallery, the most intriguing for our arena would be the Body In Flight Series.
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While most of us were working like normal last week, grabbing coffees and going home to watch sitcoms, thousands of travel industry C-suiters were having champagne cocktails in Berlin and toasting their latest product unveilings during ITB, the largest travel show in the world. One of the most exciting reveals comes from Qatar Airways, who lifted the veil on their economy and business seat designs for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The fresh new plane begins flying between Doha and London come later this summer, and the 22 business class passengers and 232 in economy will have the latest seatback, in-flight entertainment technology (lots) of money can buy. Yes, there will be power outlets and USB ports at every seat, but the real wow factorat least for usis with those huge TVs.
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Yes yes yes! Or, rather, ja ja ja! Lufthansa today made the huge announcement that they will be introducing an all-new Business Class, with redesigned seats and entertainment systems. Oh, and guess what? The new seats will be lie-flat, which solves the biggest complaint about the current seats, which recline to an angle (and you end up sliding down as you attempt sleep).
The new Business Class will hit Lufty's fleet beginning with their fresh-off-the-line Boeing 747-8 in only a few weeks. Following this, we hope for a swift fleet-wide rollout, but there's not definite dates on that quite yet.
Trust us when we say that every bit of this 3-billion-Euro in-flight upgrade is for the better. Sure, travelers should be excited for the 6' 5" lie-flat bed, the 15" seatback TV screens and new materials, but perhaps the sweetest perk of the new seats will be massively increased personal space.
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The disappearing legroom is on the move, and it looks like the smaller seats are making their way over to Frontier. The airline seems to be working to reshape and restructure things all in hopes of making more cash, so this seems like just the latest attempt to raise more funds while packing in more passengers. Brett Snyder—AKA the Cranky Flier—has already shared his thoughts on what Frontier is thinking, so this appears to be all part of the plan.
Frontier is sending some Airbus A320s into the hangar for a little bit of an airplane refurbishment, and when the dust settles passengers will be rewarded with more cramped seats and less legroom. They’re adding six more seats to the planes, and that should allow for up to 168 paying passengers to fly in and around the nifty fifty—or at least the lower 48.
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Two words, or, rather, one hyphenated word: lie-flat. On a 10.5-hour direct flight overnight, how low your seat goes should be concern numero uno. The Premium Business Class cabin on LAN's Boeing 767 is made of 30 true lie-flat seats, meaning there's no angle when it's all the way down, and you're sleeping for 7 hours on the way to Chile. BOOM.
Of course that's just a small part of Biz Class on LAN, but the rest is experiential...wining, dining, catching up on 30 Rock, you know. We'll have more on the meals early next week, so for now enjoy our slew of photos, and the hard facts below.
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At 10 hours, 50 minutes, the LAN Airlines direct flight (LA 533) between New York-JFK and Santiago de Chile-Arturo Merino Benitez International isn't anything to sniff at. Longer than a Europe hop but shorter than an Asia haul, the South America jaunt is enough time to enjoy a leisurely dinner, a movie and a quality snoozeyes, even in Economy Class.
Economy is 191 seats behind only 30 Premium Business seats up front on a LAN 767-300ER. On an A340-300, you'll find a few more seats, but nothing too different. Regardless, you're in that ergonomic, upholstered seat for the long haul to the southern hemisphere.