Monday, October 31, 2016

Bloody Mary Morning - Great Flying Song

Written in 1970, a few years before the invention of Bailey's, the Willie Nelson song Bloody Mary Morning is a fun song about flying. Or maybe a broken heart, I hear what I want to hear.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

New QANTAS Logo

Well it's more like an updated logo and font, but big news from an airline with the same look since I was born. 
Current QANTAS Look

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not Having Good Luck to Asia on United

I spent a few hours hanging around Denver watching my departure move further and further back. Then I got on the plane, heard the wheels up time, and then exited aircraft and left for home. My flight with a 3 hour connection in SFO wound up miss-connecting by 15 minutes. Less than half of my Asia trips have gone correctly this year. Two of them were scrubbed completely. United is not running a good operation.
Memories of Better Times

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Boeing Sold 14 (Maybe 28) 747's

Boeing sold 14, with options for 14 more, 747-8 freighters to UPS. They are an existing 747-400 customer and probably got these for a steal since Boeing was planning to shut down the 747 production line once they filled their remaining orders. This will keep the 747 program alive for another year.
I Don't Have Many Cargo Airline Shots

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The A340 is 25 Years Old and Obsolete

Good thing Airbus paired this design with the A330 or it would have been dumped years ago. It has a limited future with VVIP operations, small carriers, and for it's long overwater (not ETOPS limited) range. You can buy one ready for airline service for $20,000,000
Most Operators Have Replaced It

Thursday, October 20, 2016

First - Coach - First Crossing the Pacific

First class over the Pacific can be one of the best in flight experiences available, see ANA, Cathay Pacific, or JAL for examples. As per tradition, US carriers do it worse or not at all. United is no exception. They run domestic configuration 737's out of Guam all around the Pacific. They also run a domestic 777-200 from Guam to Honolulu and regional upgrades don't work on this flight, so be ready for 7 long hours in coach. From Honolulu, it's all domestic configurations.
Like I'm Flying to Boston
Regional Upgrades Work HKG-GUM
This means passengers flying the equivalent distance of LAX to London have to do it in planes made for LAX to SFO. Even worse there is no free food or alcohol. United has a monopoly, more or less, on the central Pacific routes and no interest in improving the onboard experience. Be prepared.
View from GUM United Club
Breakfast on a Domestic 737 Flight for Comparison
Breakfast HNL-IAH - Meh
Meal Leaving HKG on 737

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Double Amex Points!

Shop small and get double points when using a registered Amex card. Not as fun as free money ($25 or $10 a card in previous years), but still a worthwhile promotion.
Delta & Amex Are Friends

Monday, October 17, 2016

Longest 777-200ER Flight In The World

United Airlines operates the longest 777-200ER flight from EWR to HKG, about 16 hours on board and over 8,500 flown miles. I flew it in coach. It's not bad if you have a good seat and travel prepared. 
Economy Seat Recline

Open middle seats make a world of difference. An open row is amazing. Otherwise shoot for an exit row (right side is better than left) or Economy Plus. I booked an exit row when I make my reservation then hold onto it until I'm at the gate and get a decent feel for the seat map. I was able to switch into an open middle row of 3 seats at the last minute and have all that space to myself.  It made for a nice trip.
777-200ER to HKG
Fly with ear plugs and an eye mask. The cabin is always noisy and next dark. Also avoid caffeine for the day. It's hard enough to sleep on board. Take a walk around the cabin every hour or two when awake. It helps. Also stock up on podcasts or bring a book, the TV's don't always work.
Exit Row Leg Room
Broken TV - It Reset After About 20 Minutes
Pack snacks. The food is ok, but infrequent.  The beer is free and the wine is undrinkable. Spirits cost money.
Pasta Dinner
More Pasta
Noodle Breakfast - Good
More Noodles - Still Good

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good View From Houston United Club

Go to the third floor of the E11 United Club in Houston. It is less crowded and the views are great.
Ample Outlets, Quiet, & Views

Monday, October 10, 2016

Odd Emirates Advertising

Emirates paid for an ad to have me join their company as a pilot. I have less than 1 hour of total flight time at the controls, so this may be misguided advertising.  The website was an interesting view into their push to poach experienced pilots from around the world.
Emirates Never Goes Small

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Window Seat With Nothing To See

Window seats are still fun, even if you're just flying over ocean the whole way.
I Am Biased

Saturday, October 1, 2016

British Airways 747-400 First Class

After an amazing experience in first on the A380 and a lousy ground experience at Heathrow, I went to board my 747-400 to Denver. I've always loved the 747 because it looks great and goes interesting places. Sadly, airlines don't share my love of the aircraft and are phasing them out. As part of this plan, airlines are not upgrading systems or interiors. Maintaining yes, but improving no.
747 First Class Seat Room
The first class cabin has 14 seats in the nose section of the aircraft. It felt a little bit cramped, but only 50% of the seats were occupied. The space was much more limited than on the A380 and the TV system was a previous version with fewer options and lower resolution. The age showed.  
Closet on 747 at my Seat
The service on board was great from the moment I stepped through the door. First class service is the same regardless of aircraft. The meal service is at your leisure, so I opted to dine over Canada. I was tired and well fed, so the option to not rush was welcome. I also really enjoy the tea service. The personal tea pot was fun.
Seat on 747 - Goes Full Flat
It was a good flight and I slept well. BA's bad ground service continued in Denver. My bag was one of the last out, even though it was tagged priority and first.