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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: Eggs Royale in the Qantas First Lounge

June 26, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

It's true--this yummy airline meal wasn’t technically eaten on a plane, but rather in the Qantas International First Class Lounge at Sydney-Kingsford Smith airport. That said, it was too good not to report on, several years after the lounge opened to much fanfare.

While some of the furniture could use a spruce up, we still make extra time when our travels take us through here, and the food has been - and is - right up there when it comes to why we do. The waiter-served restaurant, overseen by Neil Perry, actually lives up to its claims of serving restaurant-quality food. The Eggs Royale we had were delicious, and with a tea and orange juice the perfect way to start our day and ready ourselves for a long-haul flight.

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: A Bistro 'Brekky' on Virgin Australia

Where: Australia
June 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

Eggs on a plane often sounds just as scary as "Snakes on a Plane," and we usually recommend avoiding rubbery, egg-like substances that very rarely turn out nice. Virgin Australia has however eschewed the traditional cheese-filled omelets or scrambled egg substitute for a bistro-style offering that is not only delish, but making us rethink the importance of breakfast on a plane.

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The Days of This Qantas Business Class Seat are Numbered

Where: Australia
May 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comment (1)

What you see above is the original Qantas “Skybed,” the angled flat seats which are still found on the airline’s Airbus A330s and which we experienced on a recent flight from Bangkok to Sydney. They wont be around for much longer though, as an improved business class seat—fully flat, and all seats with aisle access—is being rolled out from the end of this year.

While we had a pretty good flight on this overnight sector, and spent most of it stretched out in our window seat trying to get some sleep, we’ll be looking forward to the refurb for a number of reasons. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what things are like today, and what you can expect going forward:

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On a Virgin Australia Turboprop, the Last Row is First

May 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM | by | Comment (1)

When flying Economy on a narrow-body aircraft, we usually aim to sit as far forward as possible. Most importantly, this move generally gets you served first and off the plane first after landing. And there's the added bonus of minimizing the number of rows in front of you, which makes the cabin feel less crowded compared to a sea of heads between your seat and the cockpit.

That strategy might work in the majority of cases, but here is one example where it didn’t. On a recent hop from Sydney to the Australian capital of Canberra, our aircraft was a Virgin Australia ATR72-600 Turboprop. The only aircraft doors (which incorporate steps, private jet-style) are actually at the back, just behind the last row (17). We originally had a seat near the front, but were asked while already on the plane to move to row 15, which worked out just fine.

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The Last Virgin Atlantic Flight Has Left Sydney Airport

May 16, 2014 at 9:01 PM | by | Comment (1)

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.

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What's the Longest Route Flown by the Airbus A380?

May 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

As we round a week of chronicling the world's longest and shortest flights on the newest and most notable planes on the planet, it only makes sense to highlight which route is lengthiest for the whale of the skies, Airbus' A380. Some of these aircraft have showers for first class passengers, in-flight duty-free shops, and wider cabins for a bit more space to make spending multiple hours on the aircraft a whole lot more enjoyable.

Emirates is two-for-two on these top spots with their regular A380 service from Dubai to Los Angeles. EK 215 spends about 16 hours, 35 minutes making the 8,339 mile trek around the globe, which gives ample time to experience the world-class service for which Emirates is well known.

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First Time to Australia: What's a 'Nullarbor' Flight?

Where: Australia
April 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we brought you our introduction to Aussie slang last month, we may have forgotten one very important travel term unique only to Australia. We knew that some words would be new to us on a trip down under, but we'd never think about taking a "Nullarbor flight."

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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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So, Who Won BBC Top Gear's A380 Race to Sydney?

March 5, 2014 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: James' final leg, from Dubai to Sydney

24 hours ago, BBC Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May set off from London-Heathrow Airport with a final destination of Sydney, Australia. They flew on separate planes through different layover airports, and their arrival times were to be within thirty minutes of each other despite the incredibly huge distance traveled. The trip evolved into a Top Gear Live challenge, with the usual jokes and competitive spirit of a regular Top Gear challenge, except that it all occurred over Twitter.

Well, now that the guys have completed their #RacetoSydney journey and are on the ground Down Under, it's time to name the winner.

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Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and James May are Racing Planes to Sydney

March 4, 2014 at 6:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

UPDATE: The race has concluded, nearly 24 hours after it began. Check out who won, and how some twists made it a real nail-biter.

The sun has set for tonight in London, but it's already a bright new day over in Sydney. The miles and time zones between the two world capitals are many, and right now they're the focus of a new, live Top Gear race, as presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May challenge each other to be the first to zip across the globe and touch down at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith International Airport.

Both are traveling on commercial flights—Jeremy's onboard Singapore Airlines SQ321 to Singapore and James is on Emirates EK6 to Dubai—and both on Airbus A380s for all legs. They're also due to share their travels on Twitter thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi, but only Jeremy seems to have gotten the hang of using the network onboard his flight, which is currently chasing James' flight across Germany.

But is this race really for BBC's Top Gear? All signs point to yes, as Jeremy notes that it is a "Top Gear race," and the video of their announcing it (posted below), was uploaded to a "Top Gear Live" channel. There's a hashtag, of course: #RacetoSydney.

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What are the World's Longest and Shortest Flights? 2014 Edition

January 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

What a difference a year makes! Last January, we profiled the longest and shortest regularly scheduled commercial flights, with Singapore Airlines taking the cake for traveling from Singapore to Newark in 19 hours. SIA has since ceased these flights, making room for a new top dog.

As of November 23rd 2013, Qantas flight 7 now claims the title for longest flight, hauling passengers from Sydney to Dallas aboard a Boeing 747-400. From block to block, the flight takes about 15 hours, 25 minutes to fly from down under to the Lone Star State. The total distance traveled spans 8,578 miles, edging out the second longest flight by a mere 139 miles.

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First Time to Australia: How to Survive the 14-Hour Flight in Economy Class

Where: Australia
January 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM | by | Comments (9)

It's always sunny in Australia, or at least right now it is, during the Southern Summer. Oz is one of those destinations that can take a little more planning and a little more money to make happen, but it's worth it the moment you set foot on Aussie soil. All this week we'll be sharing our best tips for taking that leap for a first-time trip Down Under.

14 hours, 20 minutes is the average flight time for a nonstop between Los Angeles or San Francisco and Sydney. By the time you're onboard, all the stressful packing is behind you, you've already applied for the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) a while ago, and it's time to fully focus on adventures ahead.

Still, the long distance over the Pacific between continents is a destination all its own. If you're flying in Economy Class, it's a challenge to get comfortable for even a moment, let alone enjoy the flight, but these tips will definitely help:

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