BA flight caught short

The longest flight delay I have ever experienced* is 11 hours — waiting for a charter jet to take me from Glasgow to Malaga for a package holiday on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

A British Airways Boeing 777-200 (ba.com)

The reason given was urgent repairs to the plane — which, to be honest, is fairly compelling and mitigates the boredom of being stuck at Glasgow airport for half a day. I’m not so sure how I would’ve reacted if the reason was that they forgot to load the toilet paper.

Continue reading BA flight caught short

Qantas unveils Brisbane lounge

Some travel news from my home town: Qantas has released details, and images, of its new business lounge at Brisbane international airport.

The lounge, which will open in October, will be the first of several new facilities the national carrier will open at Brisbane Airport as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade this year, according to Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans.

Continue reading Qantas unveils Brisbane lounge

We want affordable wi-fi!

There is one area where the hospitality industry has struggled (or is unwilling) to keep up and be competitive: the provision of internet services.

It is ridiculous in this day and age that some hotels, airlines and cruise ships offer near-extortionate prices for internet access (which, according to the United Nations, is a basic human right, no less).

Continue reading We want affordable wi-fi!

A premium flight experience

In the current climate of austerity, many people are thinking twice about paying for business-class airfares.

Emirates is introducing a premium economy option on some flights

As I’ve argued before, if you can afford to fly business and you want to, nothing should stop you from treating yourself. However, if it’s going to break the bank, you don’t have to totally slum it in the ever-tighter economy or “basic economy” seats.

Continue reading A premium flight experience

Stream while you fly

Is this the beginning of the end of dedicated in-flight entertainment? Some airlines have already announced plans to remove seat-back screens since almost everybody has their own mobile device.

(Qantas Newsroom)

Now Australian airline Qantas has announced that its onboard Wi-Fi will enable passengers to stream Netflix, Foxtel and Spotify content on domestic flights.

Continue reading Stream while you fly

Reality TV bites

If you’ve ever watched one of those “fly on the wall” television shows set in airports and wondered why some people — especially those who do something foolish or illegal — would allow themselves to be a part of it all, this might be a clue.

This sign was spotted at an Australian airport recently, and I find the wording quite interesting.

Continue reading Reality TV bites

Pets on a plane

Japan Airlines has reportedly announced that it will allow dogs to travel in the passenger cabin on certain charter flights.

(jal.com}

I suppose that’s good news for some pet lovers, and it’s not uncommon to see pets on planes in some parts of the world, notably the United States. But, as much as I like animals, I’d hate to see this idea extended to all flights, because I don’t think it’s fair on other passengers. Continue reading Pets on a plane

Business-class blues

I love travelling in business class — who doesn’t or wouldn’t if they could? — but there are three small words that can make that experience infinitely better.

(seatguru.com)

They are “direct aisle access” — and, surprisingly, not every airline offers that even in the most expensive seats onboard their planes.

Continue reading Business-class blues

Overhead locker debate

Airlines, both budget and full-fare, are always looking at new ways to make revenue. Once-free services, including snacks, drinks and seat allocations, now carry a charge on some airlines.

(unitedairlines.com)

But how far should they be allowed to go? That’s the question one US senator is asking after two airlines indicated that they would be charging for access to overhead lockers.

Continue reading Overhead locker debate

What does a basic airfare buy?

There’s no doubt that budget airlines have shaken up the airline industry. With their cheap fares, they have allowed many people to have their first experience of flying.

(aa.com)

But it’s also the case that no-frills flight isn’t for everybody. After all, budget carriers often have minimise onboard comforts, and put a price on extras, such as onboard food and drinks, and luggage space. And they sometimes use smaller, out-of-the-way airports, increasing travelling time.

So, why would the full-service carriers want to emulate them?

Continue reading What does a basic airfare buy?

Getting tough on air ragers

I’m pleased to report that a judge  in the United Kingdom has taken a tough stance over misbehaviour onboard an aircraft.

(jet2.com)

According to The Telegraph, a man who took control of the intercom on a Jet2 flight as it was about to land in Tenerife and shouted “What does it take to get a —-ing drink in this place?” has been jailed for seven months.

Continue reading Getting tough on air ragers

Fantastic plastic blanket

Airlines and the environment have an uneasy relationship. Despite economies and advances in fuel technologies, there are fewer bigger polluters than jet airplanes.

(emirates.com)

It sometimes rings a little hollow when airlines boast about their environmental credentials, so it’s nice to hear any news of a “green” initiative.

Continue reading Fantastic plastic blanket

Airline reserves seats for women

Air India has responded to reports of sexual harassment in the air by introducing women’s-only seats.

(airindia.com)

The airline made the decision after reports of two separate groping incidents in the past month, and it’s difficult to argue against. But it raises a serious issue.

Continue reading Airline reserves seats for women

Fancy your own Airbus?

Want to own an airline? Well you may be disappointed, but not surprised, to discover that Airbus has increased the price of its fleet from January 1 this year.

(airbus.com)

According to manufacturer’s website, after an adjustment, the entry level model, the A318, is now US$75.9 million.

Continue reading Fancy your own Airbus?

When will flights be faster?

Ever since commercial air travel became a reality, we have been teased by the promise of faster and faster flight times.

(http://imaginactive.org/)

In the 1970s, it became a reality with supersonic flight on Concorde. But only two airlines ever offered the service, it wasn’t commercially viable and, after a big accident, it was discontinued.

So in a world where we expect everything to be better, what is next?

Continue reading When will flights be faster?