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The king is dead, long live the king!
Just before dawn across the world at Singapore-Changi Airport, an Airbus A340-500 touched down and taxied to its gate. The passengers filed off, followed by the flight crew, and there was no fanfare for this last arrival of the longest flight in the world.
At nearly 18 hours and 9,500 miles, Singapore Airlines' SQ 21/22 between Newark and Singapore was a monster of a nonstop which only accommodated 100 travelers in all-Business Class comfort. All good things must come to an end, however, and Singapore dropped the route in order to trade in the old, gas-guzzling, four-engine A345s for some shiny and efficient A350s to come.
It's a smart move, but a sad one regardless. Singapore 21/22 will live on through the stories of those who flew it, and we're proud to add our hour-by-hour account to the aviation history books.
Moving on, another flight route must now ascend to the throne and claim the title of "longest flight in the world." For that, look no further than Texas.
Airline News / Qantas / Sydney Travel / SYD / Airports / → All Tags
We've all been there. We're excited to kickstart our international journey, so we head out for the airport with ample time to get our boarding passes, clear security and indulge in some shopping. It's a perfect plan, until we get to the counter and are reminded that international check-in opens up 3 hours before the departure time. Now, we're stuck in the departures hall of our favorite (or least favorite) airport with nothing to do for an hour -- the ultimate backfire. Perhaps you've experienced this firsthand or seen it on the Amazing Race. It happens. All. The. Time. And it is not fun.
Well, Qantas has solved that issue with its newest trial of All Day Check-In, which allows passengers to collect boarding passes for their international flight at any time during the day of departure instead of the usual 3 hours prior.
Surfing Travel / Australia Travel / Beach Travel / Sydney Travel / SYD / Surfing / Qantas / Australian Open of Surfing / → All Tags
There's no doubt Australia is one of the best places on the planet to "catch a wave," which is why it makes complete sense to host one of the world's largest surfing competitions on an Aussie beach. Plan ahead, because, this upcoming February, Manly Beach will become the epicenter of hanging ten when it hosts the Australian Open of Surfing.
This second annual event features competitions between top international pro surfers and skaters, A-list band performances, and a host of summer activities. With just 160 days until the festival kicks off, it's time to start the travel brainstorming.
Flight Reviews / Virgin Australia / Australia Travel / SYD / BNE / Economy Class Travel / → All Tags
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.
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Photo: Bernard Proctor/Qantas & Emirates Facebook
Easter Sunday in Australia was not only filled with egg hunts and chocolate bunnies, but it was the launch of the official partnership between Qantas and Emirates. The day signified the first flights for each of the airlines under the new friendship, all commemorated by each airline sending an Airbus A380 to buzz over Sydney Harbour at around 1,500 feet.
Alliances like this one are becoming a bit more commonplace in the industry, and they're pretty passenger-friendly in terms of more options for flying around the globe and for racking up frequent flyer miles.
Here are the immediate benefits of the Qantas-Emirates partnership for you:
The Newbie Traveler / A380 / Airbus / Airplanes / Airplane News / Flight Reviews / Qantas / SYD / LAX / Andy Miles / → All Tags
What would your life be like if you hadn't yet traveled? If you'd spent years reading travel novels and fantasizing over guidebooks, but hadn't made the big leap? This is the case for Andy Miles, who in his late twenties has just embarked on trips to hit cities for the first time. He's walking us through the emotions and observations of a true Newbie Traveler.
Contrary to what I learned as a youngster growing up in Texas, everything is not bigger there. Truth be told, everything is actually bigger in FranceToulouse, France to be exact. The reason for this is because that's where Airbus completes final assembly of their massive A380 airplanes.
After years of waiting, I finally got the chance to experience one of these incredibly beautiful planes myself, on a Qantas flight from Los Angeles nonstop to Sydney, Australia.
Seeing as how I booked my first A380 flight six full months before the day of departure, I had a lot of time to tell my friends about it, i.e. brag incessantly. The thing I forgot about bragging is that in order for it to work, you have to be doing something others care about. Unfortunately for me, I did not hang out with many #avgeeks during this time, so my brags usually fell upon deaf ears and I just came off as "nerdy" for caring about something as uniquely marvelous as a two-story airplane.
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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."
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Qantas is rolling out a new technology initiative for all of its passengers. It's like music to our ears and comes in the form of free WiFi. This may not sound like news as we have told you before that the airline has been trialing in-flight WiFi, but this time the web-surfing can be done on the ground.
The Red Roo is outfitting its major airports with complimentary wifi for passengers just passing through the terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The general airport access is in addition to the lightning fast wireless internet that frequent flyers love in each of its lounges.
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Flying Business Class on any airline is certainly a treat, especially when it's part of an international journey. If you have ever priced it out even just for gigglesit is, in truth, likely still hella expensive. Qantas has a little solution to this problem: fly an internationally configured Boeing 747 between Brisbane and Sydney.
All in all, flying time just over 60 minutes, so you might question if it's worth bothering to try Business for an hour. The flight is QF8 and it takes off from Dallas and makes it way over to Australia, but since the head winds are bit stronger when going west, it has to stop in Brisbane to fill its belly full of fuel and continue on to Sydney. Qantas makes the stop a little more financially viable by picking up some passengers who need to head to "big smoke." Like us.
Even some of the most luxurious and well appointed airport lounges need a fresh coat of paint every so often. That's why Singapore Airlines has revealed plans to completely overhaul their lounges across the the entire network. The airline is expected to spend around $20 million dollars on the complete refurbishment, so it's safe to say that we can expect more than just paint.
Without giving away too much, the architects of the project have been tasked with creating a "home away from home," so passengers can feel even more relaxed before heading off on a long-haul journey. All lounges will further improve the "ground to air" experience for passengers.
We dont know how they'll do it, but if they can improve on this lounge in Singapore, the outcome will be nothing short of stellar.
In-Flight Meals / United / United Airlines / SFO / LAX / SYD / Business Class Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Recently, we told you about our experience aboard a long, long flight on United in business class from the US to Australia. While we might give the actual service a mediocre score, we mentioned that recent upgraded food options have hit the mark for an American carrier.
Our flight details consisted of two different city pairs and each meal content and presentation was quite notable. We had a flight from San Francisco to Sydney and our return was to Los Angeles. The upgraded Business Class menu offers five courses featuring a starter, salad, four options for main courses, a cheese and fruit plate, and an ice cream sundae.