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"OMG, you're going to have such a great time" isn't the typical response to someone saying they're about to spend over 14 hours on a plane...in Economy.
Alack and alas, we find ourselves reacting in this way when said travel involves flying Cathay Pacific.
Since Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong, a "Special Administrative Region" under China and only 426 square miles in size, it has no domestic flights. Every flight from Hong Kong International Airport is truly international, and thus Cathay is an airline completely equipped for long-haul travel, with a fleet of all wide-body aircraft. On top of that, Cathay only introduced their new Economy seats in 2012, so the interiors aren't as tired as you may have come to expect from long-haul aircraft.
While other airlines may offer some of these perks, it's Cathay's particular ratio of comfort to friendliness that may help travelers be least anxious about spending a 14-16 hour nonstop in coach.
How Cathay Pacific makes Economy Class special:
Seats / Qantas / Airlines / Airline News / Business Class Travel / In-Flight Comfort / Airline Seats / → All Tags
We have seen all kinds of innovations and improvements when it comes to the wild, wild world of business class; however, one thing that seems to be overlooked is true comfort from gate to gate. No, we’re not talking about keeping the champagne flowing from takeoff to touchdown with a side of mixed nuts, but rather the ability to keep that seat reclined no matter what stage of the flight.
Qantas is looking to change that, as the kangaroo carrier is in the final stages of introducing a business class seat that would allow sleeping comfort from boarding to departing. It sounds like regulatory approval and associated paperwork are the final steps in the process, but soon sleep can be yours from the moment you sit down to the second before you step off into the jet bridge at your destination.
Business Class Travel / JetBlue / SFO / JFK / New Routes / Seats / JetBlue Mint / → All Tags
If there's one question we've heard over and over since the launch of JetBlue's Mint premium class earlier this year, it's "when will it fly to San Francisco?"
The answer arrived this last Sunday, literally, in the form of a JetBlue A321. This milestone marks the beginning of regular Mint service between JFK and SFO, which comes in addition to the original route of JFK-LAX begun in June.
Mint seats start at $599 each way, and include custom extras specifically for JetBlue Mint passengers. These include a full, hot meal from NYC's Saxon + Parole, a special customer service line, an amenity kit by Birchbox, a comfy pillow and duvet, and a fully flat bed for optimum nappage.
To book Mint between JFK and LAX or JFK and SFO, simply search your preferred dates on JetBlue.com and look for the green column of Mint fares.
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The folks over at Air New Zealand are pretty darn excited to offer up some cool seats on their newest non-stop 777-300 service between Auckland and San Francisco, and they're about to brag all over the Bay City.
Service between the cities isn't actually new, but the airline used to fly Boeing 747s on it. Now that those big birds have been retired from their fleet, the 777 is doing the heavy lifting. With this aircraft switch comes a new and improved cabin for the 12-hour flight, finally including those futuristic SpaceSeats in premium economy and the comfy SkyCouch in economy.
The legroom debate is hardly new; did you know, for example, that it's already been a whole four years since Spirit Airlines did away with reclining seats altogether?
It's true and it's sad, but reducing legroom and recline is a route being taken by more airlines as passengers seek lower fares in times of higher fuel prices, and airline still want to make a buck at the end of the day. Cue arguments around the use of Knee Defenders and a need for informational websites like RouteHappy.
Standard economy seats on United
Three times this week have flights been disturbed by passenger fights over the right to recline, and three times this week have the situations proved petty. Alas, it's a hot topic and the details of that initial confrontation (which was so bad as to divert the plane) continue to leak.
Our friend Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press spoke with Mr. James Beach, better know to the internet as "Knee Defender Man," who, though repentant for some of his actions once the issue escalated, states that he still plans to use the Knee Defenders on future flights.
The article manages to tell a clearer story of what exactly happened in that United flight from Newark to Denver, which diverted to Chicago because of the argument. It's well worth a read, especially as Mr. Beach's explanations only serve to dig his hole deeper. Take, for example, this:
People are crazy. That is the one thing to keep in mind as we start in on this week's tale of ridiculous behavior on an airplane.
Sunday's United flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago-O'Hare after a mid-air argument erupted over legroom. The two partiesa man and woman, both coincidentally aged 48 came to harsh words over the man's use of "Knee Defenders" to prevent the woman seated in front of him from reclining.
Knee Defenders (pictured in use, above), are a $21.95 pair of doohickies designed to fit between a meal try and the seat it's attached to, which inhibits the recline of said seat. They are unofficially prohibited by airlines, and Knee Defender itself recommends doing the decent thing of providing a "courtesy card" to explain the use of the devices to the effected parties. Alas, it is apparent that such common decency was absent on this United flight.
Flight Reviews / Air Canada / AC 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Star Alliance / 787 Dreamliner / Photo Gallery / Dreamliner / Tokyo Travel / HND / Japan Travel / Toronto Travel / YYZ / Premium Economy / Economy Class Travel / Seats / In-Flight Entertainment / New Airplanes / → All Tags
[Also check out Part 1, Business Class]
Premium Economy is so hot right now.
Or, rather, the class between Economy and Business has been a popular addition to aircraft for many years now, every since Virgin Atlantic introduced it way, way back in 1992(!!), but some airlines have held off and, in turn, benefitted from the wait by introducing Premium Economy classes with all the latest bells and whistles.
Flying AC00611 hours back from Tokyo-Haneda to Toronto-Pearsonwe settled into a window seat and experienced what this new class for Air Canada was all about.
Flight Reviews / Air Canada / AC 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Star Alliance / 787 Dreamliner / Photo Gallery / Dreamliner / Tokyo Travel / HND / Japan Travel / Toronto Travel / YYZ / Business Class Travel / Seats / In-Flight Entertainment / New Airplanes / → All Tags
[Also check out Part 2, Premium Economy and Economy]
"Whoever said man wasn't meant to fly didn't see this coming."
These were the words printed on a banner welcoming passengers to gate 172 at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on July 15, 2014.
Outside the windows was one of Air Canada's airplanes, sitting chill in her ice blue livery and scarlet maple leaf logo while a flurry of ground vehicles prepared her for a 12-hour flight to Tokyo. Passengers waiting to board forwent selfies and instead pointed their cameras outside, at this aircraft which stars in the celebration of a new era for Canadian aviation.
But, um, hasn't Air Canada been flying from Toronto to Tokyo for, like, decades? Yes, yes they have, but never before to the Japanese capital's other, very recently updated and better located airport of Haneda, and never before with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Flight AC005 is non-stop from YYZ to HND, a lengthy trip which gives the benefits of the 787the greater cabin humidity, lower altitude level, improved personal space, and fuel efficiencya chance to strut their stuff. It was, in fact, the longest flight we've ever done in a 787, and absolutely one of the best in our own travel log.
Now, let's delve into the delicious details:
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.
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Still in signature tones of green, the seat is a variation on a theme that we’ve seen on a variety of carriers now, including Finnair. It reclines to a 2-metre, 6.5-feet bed, features USB ports and a universal plug, as well as various storage spaces for jackets, shoes, and laptops. There is more good news in terms service and experience on the ground too.
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.