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Photos: Everything is Bigger in Texas, Now Including Qantas' Flights to Australia

September 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Flying Cowboy Roo arrived in Texas!

As we mentioned yesterday, Qantas Airlines landed their Airbus A380 in Dallas yesterday from Sydney. The inaugural flight took about 15 hours, making it the world's longest route. It was also the first official arrival of the double-decker plane for the DFW airport.

Naturally, that's cause for celebration but since everything is bigger in Texas, Qantas really went all out in Terminal D for the plane's arrival, including a special appearance from Qantas Goodwill Ambassador, John Travolta.

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Idiot with iPad Causes Airport Security Scare

September 30, 2014 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

iPads, in general, are a good thing for travel. Airline are utilizing them both in the cockpit and cabin to lighten the crew's work load both literally and figuratively, and private pilots can navigate and aviate with greater confidence thanks to some iPad apps. Even sticking an iPad in front of a child may ensure a quieter flight, but there are some instances in which iPads just aren't welcome.

Take, for instance, this weekend's case of the idiot who caused a security scare at Sydney International Airport. The entirety of Terminal 3 had to be evacuated owing to the stupidity of this one person, simply because he couldn't be bothered to look up from his iPad screen to notice he was walking the wrong way into a secure area after getting off his flight.

This terminal, home to much Qantas' domestic service, then had to re-screen all the evacuated passengers, causing a travel delay of approximately one hour.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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How Qantas is Celebrating Flying Their Largest Plane on the Longest Route

September 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

This week, the world's longest commercial flight route scores a few more points in the world of aviation. Today marks the inaugural arrival of Qantas' Airbus A380, traveling from Sydney to Dallas as Qantas 7, a route previously operated with a Boeing 747-400ER. The jumbo days are over now, in favor of a superjumbo future.

The inaugural flight, the duration of which rings in around 15.5 hours, is scheduled to land at DFW at 1.45pm local time.

Not only will this be the first time Qantas uses an A380 for the route, but it marks the first official arrival of the double-decker plane for DFW Airport. In order to welcome the beast, the airport underwent some minor construction for updates to the international terminal (Terminal D). No doubt the ground crew at DFW are readying the water cannons right now.

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Can a Gelato Bar Entice Travelers to Book Business Class?

Where: Australia
August 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Flying can be exhausting, even if your itinerary involves lie-flat seats in the front of the plane. As such, you can imagine our jubilation when we passed by a low freezer case filled with creamy gelato goodness during some downtime in Qantas' Business Class lounge at Sydney International.

Along with the standard free-pouring champagne, hot dinner and bountiful desserts, the Red Roo's lounge serves up the icy treat for passengers traveling on international flights in Business Class (or holding Oneworld Sapphire status). Ice cream is a lovely little luxury, perfect to be present in a lounge for a level of luxury travel.

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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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