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Good Riddance to United's 747s Between the US and Australia

Where: Australia
April 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

April 1 may be known for April Fools' Day pranks, but the United 777s that dotted the tarmac at Sydney Airport were no joke. Yesterday marked the first day for United's regular LAX and SFO service to Sydney to be operated by all 777-200s, instead of the older 747-400s. The last UA 747 to depart Sydney said "so long" on March 31, and with it goes the worst plane to fly between the US and Australia, in terms of passenger comfort and entertainment.

Our friends at Australian Business Traveller detailed the change after it was announced, and noted that this means fewer seats in all classes. Overall, however, the news is excellent for travelers on the 14-hour non stop flights.

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Just Another Example of Why You Never Put Valuables in Your Checked Luggage

April 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM | by | Comments (0)

In the event you haven't heard, as many as 25 baggage handlers at LAX were involved in the theft of thousands of dollars in valuables from checked luggage, according to the NY Daily News. Items stolen included jewelry, electronics, and clothing, among others.

We know it is so easy to have a little faith and toss your jewelry bag or iPod into your checked luggage, but as this sting proves, it really, truly is not a 100% guarantee that your things will come out the other end. As you might imagine, the process to file a claim for a missing item is equivalent to chasing a rabbit down a hole, so the best line of defense is to keep valuables close.

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Saudi Arabian Airlines Begins Service from Riyadh to LAX

April 1, 2014 at 9:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

This week, Saudi Arabia's flagship air carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines, completed the first run of its new flight to LAX from its capital city Riyadh. The flight will go three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays with a stop over in Jeddah.

“Saudi's inaugural flight to Los Angeles is a manifestation of our continued efforts to expand our global reach to better service our valued customers,” said Chief Executive Officer and Director General Designate Abdulaziz Alhazmi. “The services to LAX, following our launch to Toronto, Canada in October last year and the resumption of our flights to Manchester, UK, are just some of the components of this initiative to claim our rightful place among the world`s leading carriers.”

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Remodeled Qantas Lounge at LAX Set to Open Next Month

March 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Next week, Qantas plans to unveil its newest mega-lounge at LA's TBIT with a completely new design and refreshed service offering.

Looking to create a home away from home, the Flying Kangaroo has revamped the previously tiny lounge that's also shared with British Airways and Cathay Pacific in lieu of a more spacious area. The new escape will offer a wine bar, signature cocktails, and a circular fireplace area to get cozy before flying. Our friends down under at Australian Business Traveler got the inside scoop that the lounge will offer some local fare with a nod to typical LA street-food.

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Emmy Rossum Praises the Peace of Flying American Airlines

March 17, 2014 at 2:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Shameless star Emmy Rossum was spotted at LAX yesterday after taking what sounds like the most relaxing American Airlines flight ever.

Rossum tweeted from the flight, writing, "#100happydays The peace of flying in an airplane makes me happy. #4happychicks."

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Los Angeles Airport Open and Operating Normal After 4.4 Earthquake

March 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, LA!

Operations are normal this morning at Los Angeles International Airport, despite the city shaking from a 4.4-magnitude earthquake at approximately 6:35am PST. It was originally reported as a 4.7-magnitude, but was downgraded. According to Dr. Lucy Jones of the US Geological Survey, the quake was a shallow one and “epicentered in the Santa Monica Mountains between Westwood and Encino, closer to the Valley side, about five miles below the surface."

The city is conducting an emergency survey by ground and air to confirm that the earthquake hasn't caused any damage, but the LA Times did speak with a Westwood bagel shop owner who noted that "No bagels fell off the shelves and 'everything stayed in place.'"

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Compare and Contrast: Which of Los Angeles' Five Airports Sucks the Least?

March 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to Los Angeles travel, all airports are not created equal.

Although most travelers know of LAX, the area actually boasts five major airports, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, WiFi policies, and paparazzi specialties. And you can bet frequent flyers to the left coast feel loyalty for the airports nearly as much as the airlines.

For example, our Editor Cynthia loves Long Beach for its slick looks and tech friendliness. On the flip side, HotelChatter Editor and LA resident Juliana pledges allegiance to the flexibility and fancy upgrades of LAX. Contributor Andy swears by SNA, and Jaunted friend The Sterling Traveler seconds the Long Beach fascination.

What? No love for Burbank or Ontario International? Having sampled all five airports in our travels, it's time to compare and contrast:

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Lena Dunham Explains Why TSA Confiscated Her Cat Keychain

March 11, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (2)

This is a story about Lena Dunham, the TSA, and cats. The only way we could cram more Internet-friendly content into this thing is if we added some kind of Upworthy-style headline - "I Thought I Understood Airport Security; But Then I Saw This Outrageous Tape of A Celebrity Telling Her Brave Story" - but our blogging software won't let us use titles that long.

"Girls" star Lena Dunham was trying to get through airport security at LAX when she was pulled aside for what she later described to Seth Meyers as a "self-defense keychain" in the shape of a cat. Apparently it's the kind of thing where you slip your knuckles into the metal (maybe the eyes?) and then use the sharp bits (maybe the ears?) to stab another human being. The Seth Rogin Twitter feed subsequently tweeted an illustration for viewers who might have been struggling to form a mental picture.

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Melbourne May Seem Far Away, But United's 787 Dreamliner is Willing to Make the Trip

February 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

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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FlightCar Targets Business Travelers with Higher Rental Rates

February 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve talked about FlightCar before, and in case you don’t remember—we will fill you in. Basically it’s a car sharing program over at the long-term rental car parking lot. When you drop your car off it’s paired up with someone looking for a car. The renter gets a better deal by borrowing your car, and you get a better deal because you make some money instead of paying for parking. It’s all licensed, insured, and what not, as they realize that there needs to be some guarantees and promises to get everyone comfortable with things.

Right now FlightCar is an option at airports in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but what we wanted to share is how they’re changing things up for business travelers. The company isn’t just interested in the leisure market, as they’re now trying to get road warriors interested in their services.

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Soon You'll Be Able to Fly a United Dreamliner All the Way Down Under

Where: Australia
February 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Okay—we realize that we usually try to consolidate our new routes news, but we just couldn’t resist sharing this one sooner than later. It’s especially the case since it might just be a decent use of those United MileagePlus miles that you have been saving up for years and years—maybe even since the Continental days.

As you know United is a fan of the Boeing 787, and they’ve got a few of them on hand for some flying fun. Well the fun is about to go down under, as United has just loaded a new flight into their schedule. The carrier will be doing the nonstop thing between Los Angeles and Melbourne—in Australia—beginning this October.

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Throwback Thursday: Did You Know United Airlines Once Had Helicopters to Disneyland?

January 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM | by | Comment (1)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't 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.

A collection of National Geographic magazines from decades past may take up shelf space, but it’s hardly something to take for granted. We recently leafed through a few mid-1960s issues from the small library in the lobby of Miami’s Freehand Hotel, and struck retro travel ad gold in this United page touting their helicopter transfer service from LAX.

These were the days of Boeing 707s, United’s campaign as “the extra care airline,” and obviously putting far too much text in magazine ads. The fine print explains it all:

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