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Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
This week United Airlines launched a new ad campaign. Okay, it's not exactly new. In fact, it's like a little Throwback Thursday for themselves because it borrows one of their more famous taglines from yesteryear, "Fly the Friendly Skies."
History on the original motto dates all the way back to 1965 when advertising firm Leo Burnett (another company calling Chicago home) came up with the slogan for a growing traveling public. The tagline was used until 1996 when the airline began to play on the word "united."
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There are lists out there ranking airports for their traveler-friendly design, pleasing aesthetics and comfortable spaces. Los Angeles International Airport, despite being the mega-destination it is, doesn't make it onto those lists. Perhaps that's about to change.
LAX has spent 2013 shoveling money into refreshing a majority of the terminals to make them pleasant places to begin or finish trips. After Southwest's plan, Alaska's new digs, and the beautiful re-do of Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), it's now United's turn to keep up with the Joneses.
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Before early 2008, travelers didn't even think about forking over some extra cash just to put luggage in the belly of the plane, unless, of course it was oversized and overweight. On a whole, checking a bag or two without extra cost was just part of the air travel experience.
As we celebrate the 5th birthday of baggage fees, it's plain to see that much has changed. In 2011, US airlines raked in just under $3.5 billionyes, billion with a 'B'so there's no way these fees are going anywhere. Love them or hate them, they're here to stay (and eventually increase).
American Airlines started it all in May of 2008 with the rest of the industry watching with bated breath if it was going to fly or fail. Right in the height of the summer travel season, other airlines followed suit and began charging the extra bucks just for the privilege of checking baggage. Luckily there are still two major holdouts from the first bag fee: Southwest and JetBlue.
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When it comes to staying in touch with what your airline and airplane is doing there’s nothing better than an official airline app. All the airlines pretty much have them—except US Airways—and now United is adding a few new features to their offerings.
The latest version of the mobile app is still a version one release; so don’t really expect anything too radical or ridiculous. However, it now provides a few new options that will keep you moving when you’re on the go.
Cheers! Let’s raise a glass to United Airlines, as they’re bringing a new spirit to the in-flight beverage cart. They’re calling on an Austin, Texas based company to provide all the vodka to their flights all around the world. It’s Tito's Handmade Vodka that is now the exclusive choice of United Airlines.
We’ve got to admit that we’ve never had a sip of Tito's Handmade Vodka, but we’ve heard good things. We like that it's a somewhat local company, as the new United has family ties down in Texas—thanks to Continental.
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If you're anything like us, you probably think that the in-flight duty-free shopping catalog can eat up a good chunk of time on long-haul international flights and provide a few giggles or unique gift ideas. This week, we'll dive into the pages of some favorite airline shopping magazines and highlight our picks for the just-can't-live-without items.
Today we bring you items that can be purchased on board to use while in-flight. Whether you're using them to make the travel experience a whole lot more comfy or to burn up a few hours before the initial decent into your destination, this is our short list of stuff to keep an eye out while thumbing the pages on your next flight:
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We now know what United’s very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner looks like and we’ve got to admit that she’s a real beauty. However, the plane probably looks even better up in the air and that’s exactly what we wanted to fill you in on.
Boeing has been working overtime to get these planes done—well, pretty much all the 787s—and United should have five of the 787s in their hot little hands before 2012 rolls to a close. Flight attendants, mechanics, and pilots have already started to train on the simulator in Houston in preparation for the 787's arrival.
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Recently, we told you about our experience aboard a long, long flight on United in business class from the US to Australia. While we might give the actual service a mediocre score, we mentioned that recent upgraded food options have hit the mark for an American carrier.
Our flight details consisted of two different city pairs and each meal content and presentation was quite notable. We had a flight from San Francisco to Sydney and our return was to Los Angeles. The upgraded Business Class menu offers five courses featuring a starter, salad, four options for main courses, a cheese and fruit plate, and an ice cream sundae.
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United has been getting a bad rap lately with bucket loads of complaints from passengers and frequent flyers who are not. happy. with the 'new' United. Obviously, there will be some teething pains to get through after a major merger of 2 airlines, but United execs surely didn't think it was going to be as rocky as it turned out to be.
Well, the airline has come to the rescue with a way to tell them just how good a job they're doing and you'll find it in their smartphone app, of course. The hidden gem is in the MORE section located a few options down, where you'll spot "Outperform Recognition."
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Well that’s it—Continental Airlines is officially gone forever unless it's eventually reincarnated as some kind of low cost carrier long into the future. There’s still plenty of stuff to be done as United and Continental celebrate their newlywed stage, but this weekend was kind of the official end of the airline from Houston.
Sure there are still Continental planes flying around the globe, but they’ll eventually be heading into the hangar for some new United paintjobs. You can only buy tickets for a United Airlines flight moving forward, and if you head over to Continental’s website you’re just forwarded over to the new United website—which is kind of the former Continental website with a few different clip arts.
You’re probably getting a new frequent flyer number, but your frequent flyer miles are now being combined into a jumbo account. Hopefully the combination of your United and Continental points can now get you to your ultimate award flight redemption.
A couple weeks ago United announced some changes to their pet policy, and that didn’t sit too well with passengers looking to bring Fido or Fluffy on vacation too. This especially didn’t go over well with the brave men and women of the military, as the new policy was definitely going to screw up any plans they had to transport their pets along with the rest of the family.
Well it looks like United has listened to their flyers, and they’ve made a little bit of a change when it comes to flying with your furry friends.
Instead of shelling out plenty of cash in extra pet fees and fares, members of the military are now welcome to bring along their pets without the extra handling charge. Of course the type of pets allowed will be somewhat limited—no snakes on the plane obviously—but this is still good news for those that have way more important stuff to deal with then arguing with the agent at the airport ticket counter.
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It seems that a good number of airlines have decided to use this brand-spanking new year to freshen up their cabins and revamp service offerings. With a few recent announcements from various global carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Brussels Airlines and Virgin Australia, 2012 will be the year to make air travel look snappy and smell fresh...again. Here's who's doing what:
As the second largest German air carrier and a member of Oneworld, Air Berlin will be upgrading the entire long-haul fleet of Airbus 330s. New business class seats that recline to just about flat and thinner, more user friendly economy seats will be aboard their planes. The new interiors will be ready for the summer travel season.
· British Airways:
With all our hoopla from recent BA flights, it seems that the airline is not only upgrading service. Starting at the front of the plane a few years ago, overhauls have finally made it to World Traveler Plus and World Traveler. That's premium economy and economy for the uninitiated.