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Last week we got pretty excited about United's news to bring some 787 Dreamliners across the Equator for the long trip from Los Angeles to Melbourne, beginning in fall 2014. While this won't mark the first flight from SoCal to Australia's cultural capital, it is the first for the US airline; United used to first stop in Sydney, then hit the sky again to Melbourne.
If MileagePlus isn't your preferred loyalty program, there are plenty of other options to hop on the nearly 16-hour flight down under. In fact, there are two other airlines running here nonstop from the US, making that long way over the Pacific.
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Earlier this year, we delved into the world of pet travel fees on airlines, a topic not much discussed but a frequent cause of concern for travelers with animals.
In the US, there are a few airlines that stand out when it comes to pet travel; Virgin America has a "pet liaison" named Boo and JetBlue awards 300 frequent flyer miles for every one-way flown with your fuzzy friend.
Abroad, any perks of pet travel are nearly non-existant, with the exception of what Air New Zealand is now calling "Australia's first Pet Frequent Flyer Program."
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Now that we've already shared a detailed peek at what it's like to fly up front in the cushy seats of Virgin Australia's Business Class, it's about time to show you what economy has to offer on Australia's newest full-service airline.
The flight: Sydney to Brisbane, Australia.
Since our seat was towards the back of the economy section, we boarded from the back stairs which resulted in a speedy boarding and ultimately got us in the air quicker. A primped cabin crew, outfitted in their red skirt suits with purple scarves, warmly greeted every passenger as they headed for their seats. Just like in business class, these seats are covered in soft leather and have headrests that feature random pops of purple, red or light grey to keep the cabin interesting. Of course the major difference comes in seat size and legroom.
Piles of newspaper and old magazines are no longer an issue for Virgin Australia and their airline lounges, as they’re getting ready to go digital. We’re sure some periodicals will be kicking around in paper format for quite some time, but we still think their latest move is pretty darn clever.
It sounds like visitors to the Virgin Australia lounges down under will soon have access to well over 2,000 different publications thanks to PressReader. Basically you’ll connect to the wireless network, fire up the app, and then start perusing plenty of newspapers and magazines from nearly 100 countries across 50 languages. Local favorites like The Australian and Gold Coast Bulletin are available, but feel free to digitally flip through the Los Angeles Times as well. They promise complete digital replicas of each and every edition, and often things are available through PressReader before they hit the newsstand.
In case you've ever wondered what it'd be like to create a video using Instagram filters and common Insta themes, like, say a day of travel viewed through airplane windows and selfies, then have we found the music video for you.
It's the video for the song "Paradise" by Wild Nothing and directed by Matt Amato. The YouTube description is simple: "A story of plane travel and waterfalls starring Michelle Williams," but we can't help to try and figure out the airports and airline traveled by Ms. Williams.
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After a short hunt like a mouse looking for cheese, we eventually worked out the signage and rode a virtually unmarked elevator to the second floor. A flash of our Business Class boarding pass and we were in. On first impression, the space looked quite tired and nothing like our
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After some time talking about the sexy new business class, the movie filmed onboard and even a new TV commercial, it was time for us to experience all the hooplah around the updates at Virgin Australia. We are huge fans of what Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America do, so we were excited to fly on the Aussie cousin.
Our flights were between Brisbane and Sydney which are pretty close to each other, but, along with Melbourne, create the Golden Triangle of Australian commercial aviation. Flights between these three cities are the busiest routes in the country and highly competitive. When we saw "Happy Hour" fares for $200 AUD each way in business class, we excitedly click "purchase."
Finally. Now that the Los Angeles Film Festival and the in-flight entertainment systems on the three Virgin airlines have had it, it's time for everyone to be able to watch the first movie filmed onboard commercial flights...in the air. The film, Departure Date comes from Virgin Produced, who teamed up with Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia airlines to shoot and edit the half-hour movie aboard several different flights.
Departure Date, which follows a developing romance between two people who meet on a plane, was entirely shot in nine days on previously scheduled flights over three continents, from Los Angeles to London, Dallas-Fort Worth and Sydney, Australia.
We'll be first to admit that we long for the days of getting gussied up to fly on a plane, the days when passengers watched with awe as flight crew passed in an airport. Okay, we still might do both of those, but it's just not common anymore. That's why we are completely enamored with Virgin Australia's newest television commercial.
It might be the big band music or the notion that everything comes together flawlessly, but the entire spot imparts the glamorous feeling now absent in air travel. All of the Virgin-brand airlines have been working hard to bring something new and exciting to travel and now it's the Australian cousin's turn.
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Passengers flying back and forth on Virgin Australia will now have more options when it comes to a littleor a lotof in-flight entertainment. The airline has launched a new media system that gives passengers the ability to watch hours of TV and movies, delivered to a Samsung Galaxy tablet via wifi.
We talked about the new technology coming out of Australia's airlines and the battle for the best. First, Qantas' Q-Streaming hit the skies and, now, Virgin has their version that will begin testing next month, with tablets handed out for in-flight use.
If you can forgive us for being, like, a week behind on finding this video, then please enjoy yet another instance of a mini in-flight "flashmob." Actually, they're calling it a "Fly Mob," but under 20 people on a flight of 200 isn't exactly a "mob" in traditional definition.
Anyway, the dance crew for Kanye West's Australian tour hopped a Virgin Australia flight to reach their next performance and managed to squeeze in a show onboard.
Set to the music of West's song "Runaway," the group's choreography includes arms and legs in the aisle, which is typically a big no-no when it's done by anyone other than pretty blonde dancers from Prague. Was Kanye himself on the flight to see this? Nope, but that "regular passenger" stuck in the aisle sure makes enough of a cameo to count as a special guest.
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Passengers flying from coast to coast Down Under can now enjoy a little more comfort when tackling the nearly 5-hour flight. With the addition of larger aircraft plus free meals and drinks, Virgin Australia is wooing passengers to fill planes from Perth to Melbourne.
Next month, the Australian airline will only fly Airbus A330s on between the two cities. These internationally configured aircraft will also be doing their thing more frequently between Perth and Sydney.