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In one day, approximately 8,100 travelers fly one-way between New York and London. The journey from one airport to the other, with the stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between, takes 7 hours, during which time the luckiest passengers will manage to squeeze in a nap between tiny meals. In one year, that's nearly 3 million winging their way, one-way, through the clouds between continents.
In one week, 2,620 travelers sail between New York and London onboard Cunard's ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2. In 2014, as she celebrates her 10th Anniversary, she'll transport 23,580 via 9 westbound transatlantic crossings full of black tie evenings, three lavish meals daily, proper afternoon teas, splashes in pools, Canyon Ranch spa treatments, lectures by notable personalities, walks around deck in the sea breeze, and stargazing nightcaps on balconies before tucking into bed.
That's 3 million in the sky versus 23,500 on the seas, and you can double those totals to approximate roundtrip travel. Crossing the Atlantic by ship is indeed a niche option these days, and it's a rarefied experience in more ways than one. Still, it is first and foremost a mode of transportationthe QM2 is a real ocean liner, not a cruise ship, after alland the small self-selecting group to chose an ocean liner over an airplane are actually getting the deal of their lives.
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Earlier this month, we were spending a few early morning hours at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport in the (pretty fabulous) Qantas First Class Lounge, which aside from rather swank surroundings comes with great views of the apron and city.
Sitting in one of the window-facing seats, watching aircraft taxiing here and there, we spotted an Airbus A340-600 being towed away with the Sydney skyline in the distance. At first, we didn’t think much of it among the rest of the aircraft movements, only realizing when we focused on the branding that we were in fact watching something a little more significant; this was one of the very last Virgin Atlantic aircraft to touch Australian soil, as the service from London discontinued just a few days later.
How badly do you want to win free airline tickets? Perhaps bad enough to wait in a line during your commute and bite your lip while flying a British Airways Boeing 777 simulator to several BA tropical destinations? Hopefully you've answered "of course," because that's exactly what's in store for intrepid travelers heading through London's Victoria Station this week.
The promotion, which gives away an unbelievable amount of free flights, returns after a successful run in early 2013, which we wrote about then:
It’s not a state of the art simulator, of course. This is more the kind you’d see in an arcade game. Every day this week, it’ll be loaded with a different airport approach, and your job is to land the plane. That alone is fun enough. But here’s the best bit: every 15 minutes, the person with the highest score in those 15 minutes will win a pair of flights to the airport in question. Yes – they’re giving away 60 flights a day. This is inspired.
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At the beginning of this year, we reviewed the most popular flight tracking websites for managing your personal miles flown and more. Well, there's a new kid on the block with British Airways' just-released My Flightpath.
As with the other websites we reviewed, My Flightpath keeps all data under your own account, but you'll need to sign in with your BA Executive Club number. Then, the data will be populated with your full, associated flying history since joining the frequent flyer program. The tool will track the full mileage flown, minutes in the sky, and how many 'round-the-world' trips it equates to.
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Last month, we opened up our own iTunes playlists to share favorite travel songs we listen to when on the road. Now, British Airways and Spotify have followed suit to deliver songs that make you dream of different destinations.
Creating the ultimate soundtrack for travel to a range of BA cities is now a snap for UK-based customers of the music streaming service, Spotify. For starters, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Naples, Edinburgh and Valletta, Malta now feature their own British Airways-curated playlists. Traditional and local tunes are served up directly to your device to jam along to on your journey.
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Even though the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival doesn't begin until this weekend, the city of Austin, TX was already in quite a flutter yesterday, with the arrival of their first transatlantic flight. Even better is that the airline is British Airways, who've put their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the nonstop route. Right now, the flight only operates five times a week, but will increase to daily service as soon as this May.
Texans used to flying other airlines and connecting to London can check out a sample of one of the plane's seats as part of a pop-up British Airways experience in the lobby of Austin's Driskill Hotel. Of course, there's always our own 40-image photo gallery and a few things the BA 787 has that other airplanes do not.
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Yet another exciting destination is being added to the routes the latest British Airways aircraft are flying: the Airbus A380, which premiered at LAX in September, will be starting services from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi (SIN) on October 28.
Initially operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (with the return to London the following day), the route will go daily A380 from February 9 next year. Why Singapore? Heathrow to Changi is an important route for both corporate and leisure traffic and competition is intense, with the original A380 flyer - Singapore Airlines - offering several double-decker services a day between the two cities.
How fast can you run? Faster than a domestic cat, perhaps? What about a less-than-domestic double-decker aircraft with four Rolls-Royce engines? Your answer doesn't really matter, because it's less about speed and more about winning a trip to South Africa on a British Airways A380. Of course, once you've arrived to South Africa after the airline begins nonstop flights on the jet to Johannesburg from London (starting February 12!), you'll be turned out onto the tarmac to see who's faster: you, or the aircraft that flew you.
One of the first glimpses the public had of BA's new super jumbo was last August, when the airline challenged South African rugby player Bryan Habana to beat the speed of the aircraft on a 100-meter track. They started from a dead stop, and the winner turned out the be Habana (although it's not like the A380 can stop so easily, so it made a hasty exit into the skies).
In-Flight Drinks / Wine Travel / Drinking Travel / Champagne / Air France / British Airways / Cathay Pacific / Delta / Emirates / Eva Air / Hainan Airlines / Lufthansa / Qantas / Singapore Airlines / United Airlines / First Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Lists / → All Tags
Just because the confetti is cleaned up, Auld Lang Syne is retired in your iTunes playlist, and your outfit from New Year's Eve is at the dry-cleaners doesn't mean we still can't talk about one of the best parts of ringing in a new year: a champagne toast! Since 'popping bottles' is for such special occasions, we can't think of a better way to sip some bubbles than when on a plane heading for a new destination.
While some airlines have a knack for feeding passengers fine food like lobster and caviar, there are thankfully more still taking sparkling wines just as serious. If your 2014 travel plans include flights in First or Business Class on the following carriers, be sure to reach for that PDB (pre-departure beverage) and ask for a flute of these fine pours:
The top trending topic on Twitter Friday night was a cryptic inquiry: #HasJustineLandedYet?
To tell the story behind the hashtag is to sum up 12 hours of Twitter intrigue and outrage stemming from a single idiotic tweet by @JustineSacco.
Sacco, a communications director for media conglomerate IAC (representing brands like Vimeo, OkCupid, and Match.com), couldn't resist the urge to fire off a final tweet before boarding a 12-hour nonstop flight on British Airways from London to Cape Town, South Africa:
Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!
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Nearly two months after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a directive allowing air travelers to use personal electronic devices (PEDs) from gate-to-gate, the rest of the world is finally beginning to follow along.
British Airways yesterday became the first international airline to declare gadgets safe for use throughout entire flights, even during take-off and landings, and without the wait for the airplane to reach 10,000 feet.
This is not something the airline has just up and done on its own; BA secured clearance for the change from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after passing safety tests. Expect more such news from European airlines in 2014, as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is next to relax gadget rules on flights.
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As if the shiny British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner isn't cool enough with their service between Newark and London, new and especially exciting routes to more North American cities were just announced this morning.
Currently, British Airways only flies their 787s from Heathrow to Newark and Toronto. Beginning next year, however, two more lucky destinations will join the list: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from March 3, and Philadelphia International Airport from June 5.
To score a seat on the 787, you'll want to book flight numbers BA 191/190 for Austin, and BA 68/69 for Philadelphia on or after the start dates mentioned above.