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· British Airways' 787 took off to Toronto. It flies! Well, we already knew that. They were a half-hour late in arriving, but we wouldn't have wanted an inaugural on a 787 to end early, either. Check out our gallery to see more.
· British Airways adds Austin, TX to the 787 routes. While we're on the topic of the BA 787, might as well mention that this morning held the huge announcement of a new route to come in spring 2014: London to Austin, TX. The first flight will happen in March, bringing a second international destination to Austin Airport, which currently only has over-the-border flights to Mexico.
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In the grand tradition of US college hijinks, Thursday is affectionately known as "Thirsty Thursday." So what's United thirsty for today? The answer: flights to China! We're talking about Chengdu specifically, as United just announced that they'll be the first airline with nonstop flights to Chengdu from the US, beginning June 11, 2014.
The route, operating by United's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will fly from San Francisco to Chengdu-Shuangliu three times a week, a trip of nearly 14 hours one-way.
This is only the latest in a slew of headlines for Chengdu travel this year, and it's left us wondering what's so cool about Chengdu, anyway?
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This is just the Amuse-bouche
On any given day, there are 9-10 British Airways planes zooming up into the skies from New York's JFK Airport. Touch down may be London's Heathrow Airport, but the 7+ hours in-flight time is absolutely a destination in itself. This is especially true for First Class guests who opt to open the menu for a meal, rather than just close their eyes for a sleep.
The focus for British Airways' First Class cuisine is, to quote BA's Manager of Food & Beverage Design, Chef Gwendal Hamon, "lovely ingredients with good provenance, simply prepared." Catering is by Do & Co, who employ over 500 people just at their JFK facility, with the aim to provide the best quality foods for the best possible taste at altitude and, in this case, especially for those in the best seats on the plane.
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It's no secret that Google has high ambitions for Street View. In March the company expanded its offerings across Eastern Europe, and for the first time users got the opportunity to walk through Bulgaria, plus some 200 Russian cities. Then a few weeks ago we told you about new walkthroughs being built into Street View that will allow users to meander through rain forests, beaches, and maybe even a volcano.
Then news came this week that Google is letting users inside the insanely decadent Emirates Airbus A380. You start off on the concourse at Dubai International Airport. From there you get the option to step inside the plane. Here is the economy "bus with wings" section of the plane. Here are the steps you take if you're lucky enough not to be sitting there. And here is the bar you get to avail yourself of once you're upstairs. It's kind of amazing, the things we can do.
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In case you were wondering how big an Airbus A380 really is, perhaps this picture will provide some sense of perspective: it shows the brand new British Airways A380 nose-to-nose with its smallest cousin, the teensy Airbus A318. How cute is that? You can almost hear the Disney Planes dialogue: “Move over, little one”. “I ain’t going anywhere, big guy!”
This unique photo-op happened at Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland. Why there? The Airbus A380 is on its rounds of familiarization flights before it will start flying to and from Los Angeles on September 24, and made a trip to Shannon as part of this cycle. The A318 of course makes its daily stop on the way to New York-JFK from London’s City Airport, where it refuels, and if you’re on the magic flight number BA001, you can clear US immigration.
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Starting next February, British Airways is planing to bring one of their newest birds down to Johannesburg, so it makes sense to build some excitement around the news of a new A380 route. We're not talking about painting London cabs like safari animals or dishing up biltong on every BA flight (although that would be cool); this one involves a little man versus machine action.
The newest advertisement from the airline features South African rugby player, Bryan Habana, challenging the super jumbo to a race in the hopes that they'll discover which finely tuned machine is faster. The 100 meter race takes place on a runway (of course) and has the sportsman racing the Airbus from a dead stop. Although Habana slows to a stop, obviously the super-jumbo rotates to complete a takeoff.
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Self-service baggage tagging is far from breaking newswe told you about Alaskan Airlines leading the charge last yearbut the TSA has just granted the privilege to its first international carrier, British Airways.
The airline has chosen Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (of all places) as "the first airport in the US to conduct its trial." Self tagging your bags is a breeze, but we do find a bit of humor in Sin City being selected as the pilot location. We guess BA figures that if the blurry-eyed tourists leaving Las Vegas can figure out the procedure, the rest of the nation shouldn't have much a problem.
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London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 may have been purpose-built as the home of British Airways, but as these things tend to go, there isn’t nearly enough space to operate all flights out of its main A building and B/C satellites. Depending on your destination, you may find yourself therefore flying in and out of Terminal 3, or even the waiting-to-be-torn-down throwback that is Terminal 1.
Short-haul Terminal 3 destinations include the majority of Eastern European flights (think Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest), which all involve (without exception) a rather uncomfortable bus journey out to the airplane. T3 itself (crowded, noisy) doesn’t have much else to make the experience of going through this particular part of Heathrow more pleasant, setting aside for a minute Virgin Atlantic’s private security channel.
The sole reason we’re not completely hating every time we fly out of T3 is down to one redeeming feature BA has up its sleeve: its Galleries First lounge, specifically the corner First Class Dining Room therein.
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Almost everything that's been said has been said, so here's the news plain and simple: the royal baby arrived today to parents Prince William and Kate Middleton.
While royal watchers and much of the UK catches their breath, brands are racing to express their well wishes. Of course airlines are getting in on the action, taking to Instagram and Twitter. Here's a few who've likely already sent little wooden toy airplanes to the hospital:
With all of the flashy new airplanes that British Airways are taking all over the world, a spike in passenger traffic is imminent. More passengers means more checked baggage, which adds the operating costs of flying said passengers here and there. Coming up with tech-friendly, cost-saving service improvements means fun new things, like e-ink bag tags that you might see on your next BA flight.
This month the airline is trialing the new bag tag for flyers that choose to check-in for their flight via the airline's own smartphone application. Using technology called NFC, or near-field communication, passengers will 'scan' the plastic tag at the airport counter. After the scan, flight details and a barcode will appear on the tag's LCD screen, sporting a very similar look to their super-tough paper cousins. Once all is confirmed correct, wave goodbye to the luggage since it'll be on its way to your final destination.
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Last week, we were one of only 50 people onboard the brand new British Airways A380 as it made its delivery flight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse to London Heathrow. We have both extensive shots of its shiny exterior and each of the four cabin classes. As a bonus, once we landed at Heathrow we parked up next to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, delivered just the week before. Read on for the inside look at part two of BA’s new plane era.
Compared to the delivery of the Airbus A380, British Airways brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived with very little fanfare in late June, winging its way from Boeing's HQ near Seattle nonstop to London. Nevertheless, there are enough reasons to be interested in what British Airways has in store for travelers, especially given the initial routes to Toronto (YYZ) and Newark (EWR). North American travelers who enjoy hopping the pond should listen up; this could be your next transatlantic ride.
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Imagine being one of only 50 people onboard an airplane built to fly 500. This was our experience yesterday, July 4, as British Airways took delivery of its very first Airbus A380 from Airbus' HQ in Toulouse, France. Stay tuned as we explore the outside, inside, all around and even BA's other new toy, the Boeing 787, over the next few days.
Right here, right now may be your only chance to tour all four cabins of the British Airways A380. You see, once it begins regular passenger service, there's those pesky privacy curtains separating World Traveller (Economy) from World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), and definitely keeping the riff-raff away from Club World (Business) and First Class. As we frolicked on the A380 during the delivery flight from Airbus HQ to Heathrow, there's even a cockpit peek bonus!