All about airlines, airports, flying in general. How to navigate them, get the best airfares, maximize your experience in a sector that hasn't exactly been a joy in recent years...come fly with us!

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Inflight dining, from design to seatback tray

 Admittedly, inflight dining has not gotten a lot of love over much of the course of commercial aviation's history. Actually, early in that history, in the 1930s, multi-course meals were cooked onboard. However, as the postwar demand for flights took off in the 1950’s and 60’s and aircraft sizes (and therefore passenger numbers on each flight) grew, this soon proved impractical, and the complexity of cooking for hundreds of passengers in a tight space within a limited time frame prompted…

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The basics of commercial aircraft safety

  In recent times we've seen a flood of news related to air transport safety, especially in regards protective actions against the spread of COVID: terms like HEPA filters and other sanitary measurements in cabin such as ultraviolet lighting radiation or the use of products that neutralise the coronavirus - hydroalcoholic gels or other disinfectants -, have now become familiar to everyone.Considering the health and hygiene on board we can find some materials with antibacterial properties: with…

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Keys to Airline Decarbonization: Biofuels

 Epipelagic Commercial aviation (along with much of aviation in general) has for more than a decade now been committed to "green" development, with much of the sector now dedicated to reducing polluting emissions with a goal of net zero by 2050. To put this into perspective, this sector emits less than three percent of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere, whilst cattle raising is responsible for 19 percent; Internet servers more than two percent; and the information/communication…

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The hub system - a great innovation of commercial aviation

 Airline flights in much of the world are organised through a system called "hub-and-spoke," invented by U.S. airline Delta in 1955; made widespread in the USA after that country's deregulation of the airline industry in 1978; and commonplace in Europe as well since the European Union finally eliminated the last of its own air-industry restrictions in 1997. The model is named after the basic design of a traditional wheel, where the "hub" is a central airport and the spokes are the flights…

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  • Pakistan gets a new low-cost carrier, Fly Jinnah, to start serving both domestic and international destinations later this year: And keep apprised of dates and places on its website:
    Pakistan’s new low-cost airline Fly Jinnah unveils branding
  • Over the years there has of course been unending debate about the nexus of politics and travel, but never in memory has there been such a drastic and sudden realignment of the travel industry as what is going on today with regard to Russia as fallout from its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including closure of North American and Western European airspace to Aeroflot and other Russian aviation as well as cancellation of flights and banning of airlines flying to/from Moscow. More details at:
  • Ever heard of carbon offsets? Recently National Geographic looked at them for air travel and analyzed whether they make a difference and are worth doing:
    Should you buy carbon offsets for your air travel?
    More than a third of Americans would pay extra to offset their flights’ CO2 emissions, a new National Geographic survey finds.
  • In trying to use miles to book a flight from Miami to New York City just a little while ago, I was short miles in my American Airlines account, so we wanted to transfer some from his to cover the shortfall. Imagine our displeasure to learn that for a simple electronic transfer the fee was $116 - and to add insult to injury, on top of that they add a $15 transfer fee. I tweeted my displeasure to them and their only reply was:

    Replying to 

    We're glad to hear that you were able to get it booked. Thanks for your feedback.

    And so I left them with:

    Replying to 

    What a dumb and disingenous answer. You suck.

    This is another reason airlines and capitalism in general have been richly earning themselves such a bad name in recent years.
  • There are LOTS of ways to get free stop overs.

    United allows up to 23 hours and 59 minutes on intl' itineraries and Delta allow 1 free stop over in route.

    I have wrote about the Delta stop over rule and given an example here. Or the United free 24 hour stop over here. United also allows 1 stop over for more than 24 hours on a round trip. You can read about that option here.

    Many more explanations can be found on 

  • My pleasure! And of course if you find yourself in any trouble putting together an award with all of these added goodies, you know where to turn :) In case you forgot though, will likely provide the answers you're looking for. 

    The reason I say people run into trouble is simple: While these routings are allowed, they are often not bookable online and the phone reps are often not very amenable. At the end of the day however, persistence is key!

  • I have opportunities to do that. This is very helpful, Ari. 

  • Most airlines do, but it's how to maximize those stopovers/open jaws that is the trick! For example, you could be on a USAirways award from North America to "North Asia" (Japan, for example) but have a stopover in Rome. Not only that, but the North America-Japan trip (in business class) is 10,000 miles less expensive than North America to Rome. But because that's just a stopover, you not only saved yourself 10k miles, but you saw another great city! And the fact that the routing would then be around-the-world just adds to the "wow" factor. 

    Of course, there's the added ability to have "layovers" in multiple cities as well. The rule there (generally)? So long as it's under 24hrs, you're good :)

  • Agreed. If  I am not mistaken, AF allows a stopover in CDG  on its award travel without penalty of miles. 

  • True, but I was talking specifically about award redemptions. :)

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