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First Class Travel / Airlines / Airline News / United / Airports / IAH / Frequent Flyer Miles / LAX / → All Tags
Last summer, United launched a partnership with Mercedes-Benz at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and began picking up its elite flyers planeside and driving them to their connecting flights. It was not an industry first, but it was far from industry standard here in the States. Now, just a year later, United has expanded this service to its hubs in Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and, most recently, Los Angeles, with no signs of stopping.
If you're not familiar with the service, what United and other airlines have now started doing is meeting its most favored flyers on the tarmac when they land and escorting them to their connecting flight. In United's case at LAX, it picks up its Global Services members and United Global First customers in a Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC SUV.
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We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, as there’s alway these current contests:
Enter between now and April 30th each and every day, as United Airlines is giving away some airfare over to Belize as part of the My Coke Rewards program. Apparently if Belize isn't your preferred destinations things can be changed, as options across the United States and Central America are also open to the winners. It's all part of Earth Day celebrations, as they want you to learn all about United and their commitment to the environment. The link above will fill you in on the rules and regulations, and you'll be one-step closer to scoring something with an a approximate retail value of $1,050.
Airline News / Airlines / United / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Dreamliner / 787 Dreamliner / United 787 / 787-9 / → All Tags
They’ve been working overtime up at the Boeing factory just outside of Seattle, as a few new Boeing 787-9s have been rolling off the assembly line. As we saw with Air New Zealand just last week, these planes are slightly longer Dreamliners, the latest type of next generation aircraft.
United also has a few of these on order, and their very first plane just appeared outside of the hangar for a sneak peek the other day. This is the airplane that’s scheduled to begin service on United's new nonstop route between Los Angeles and Melbourne—the one in Australia—a little later this year.
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / Emirates / Qatar Airways / ANA / All Nippon Airways / United / AeroMexico / → All Tags
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
· Qatar Airways:
Just last week Qatar Airways made another debut on US soil, as the carrier officially started up service to and from Philadelphia. Things started flying during the middle of last week, as Boeing 777s brought a new international option to the Philadelphia area for the first time in a long time. Nonstop flights will do their thing all the way over to the carrier’s hub in Doha, and after that there are connections available to pretty much anywhere else in the region. Qatar Airways isn’t stopping here, as they will also be heading to Miami in June. After that they will also be visiting Dallas-Ft. Worth beginning in July.
A new plane is headed to Dallas-Ft. Worth later this year, as Emirates shows off what it can do flying to and from the area. As of now it’s October 1 for the very first flight, as an Airbus A380 will carry plenty of passengers between Dallas-Ft. Worth and Dubai. For those keeping count of the big bird’s capacity it will be exactly 489 passengers heading between the two countries. Emirates currently offers nonstop flights aboard some Boeing 777s, but it sounds like they need a few more seats to keep up with the demand on this route.
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Granted, our usual NYC travel advice is to avoid Newark Airport whenever possible, but take it doubly serious this summer as public transportation to/from the airport is going to be the worst.
The Newark Airport AirTrain will be closed for necessary repairs for 75 days during summer's peak travel season: May 1 - July 15. Rubbing salt into the wound, not even Amtrak will be stopping at Newark Airport's train station, meaning the only option for public transportation is a replacement shuttle bus leaving from downtown Newark.
Additionally, with no AirTrain, travelers making transfers between terminals or heading out to the parking or rental car lots will also need to pile in the shuttle buses. Yuck.
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Think fastBusiness Class to Europe is on sale right now, but for how much longer, who knows?
Airfares are hovering around $1,500-$1,700 for scattered dates during this summer; this is half off (at least!) the usual price of Business Class and what you'd easily pay for Economy seats during peak summer travel. United initiated the sale, but it hasn't been publicized. Reading between the lines, this means act fast. The lowest airfares come from non-hub cities, so search for departures from places like San Jose versus San Francisco, or Boston or White Plains versus New York.
We recommend paying close attention to the itinerary before booking, and trying for a routing that includes Lufthansa from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt on the new Boeing 747-8i. It showed up for us while searching Dayton to Malta!
Australia Travel / Sydney Travel / United / Airplanes / Airplane News / 747 / 777 / SYD / LAX / SFO / → All Tags
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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Stay a little more connected during your next flight with United, as the carrier is doing their best to keep you charged up during your time at the gate.
The airline is adding around 500 charging stations to airport terminals and gate areas. Their home at Chicago O’Hare International Airport is the first to get the installations and upgrades, as they’re already hard at work putting in more than 100 such stations across the airport’s Concourse B and Concourse C.
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Coming this April to United aircraft: live streaming movies and TV shows directly to your Apple device. The scoop comes from Patently Apple. As with any major United announcement lately, however, there is both good and bad news.
The good: the new entertainment system will initially roll out onboard the airline's Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and select 777-200 fleet, to offer passengers 150 movies and 200 TV shows for free.
The bad: It will only be accessible on Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 with the United app, and on MacBooks (without the need to download an app). No word on if Android gadgets will eventually enjoy the same.
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Gone are the days when a hot meal was a complimentary part of any flying experience, so when any in-flight menu changes make the headlines, we get a little giddy. Here, for easy digestion, is a round-up of the latest in airline food news:
· Virgin America wanted their passenger's thoughts on the new First Class ice cream served in their swanky premium cabins, so they took to Twitter for a final decision. Designed specifically for the airline by San Fransisco-based ice creamery Humphry Slocombe, three unique flavors now complement Virgin America's existing Tahitian vanilla. Either Red Hot Banana (banana ice cream with Red Hot candies), Butter By Moodlight (buttery with a blueberry glaze) or Coconut Blonde Ambition (vanilla marshmallow fluff meets lemon sorbet) will make it the trays for transcontinental flyers.
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United might not have been the first one to introduce in-flight WiFi, but they are trying to lead the way with faster speeds and better tray table connectivity. Just the other day they flipped the switch on some of this technology, so your next flight just might be that much better.
The newest United technology kind of takes a page from what JetBlue has been doing, as the bits and pieces of up in the air technology rely on ViaSat-1 satellite stuff. That means way faster speeds, and a lot more in-flight streaming of Netflix and Hulu—at least in theory.
First Class amenity kits are big collector's items, no doubt. Do a little search on eBay and you'll see what we mean (some kits, like the Rimowa cases, commend $75 each!), but lately a flood of United kits has hit the market.
Available for customers in United BusinessFirst on long-haul international flights departing from the United States, collectable tins highlight each of United's eight North America hubs. The contents include a toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, earplugs, comb, pen, purell wipe, tissues, and some Philosophy skincare products of minuscule size.
Since these are only being handed out through this month, United obviously has some backstock to unload as they've begun legitimately selling them on the United online store.