The Most Read Travel News Stories of 2014
American Airlines and Flight 370 Most Popular as Chosen by You
A disappearing plane and the sudden outbreak of a deadly disease. New aircraft and the retirement of older ones.
These are some of the stories that dominated travel news in 2014. Frequent Business Traveler readers chose their favorites throughout the year and this is what you opted to read.
American Airlines: A Favorite Plane is Retired
In May, American quietly retired its last Boeing 767-200, an aircraft that was the mainstay of its premium transcon flights linking New York with Los Angeles and San Francisco over the past decade. In its place came a much smaller and sleeker jet: the Airbus A321T, also equipped with separate first- and business-class cabins, but with a design that gives first-class passengers an almost private-jet like experience.
Malaysia Airlines Loses Contact with Plane
At first, it was merely a presumed airplane crash. On March 7, Malaysia Airlines reported it had “lost contact” with Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur. No one at the time foresaw that the plane and its passengers and crew would simply vanish without a trace.
After a brief hiatus last year, Dreamliners returned to the sky and a larger 787 went into service at several of the world’s airlines, starting with launch customer Air New Zealand.
Delta announced cutbacks in the Pacific. The airline had been reducing the size of its Tokyo hub at Narita and eliminated several routes while downgauging the aircraft used on other routes. It also started to retire its fleet of Boeing 747-400s.
Long Live the Queen
Merging is Hard to Do
American Airlines, which merged with US Airways in December 2013, made significant progress in its first year as the world’s largest airline. While much work lies ahead, including moving to a single reservations system and one frequent flyer program, the airline renamed cabins at US Airways and changed and aligned meals and meal windows between the two carriers.
World’s Oldest Flight Attendant
Perhaps because he was a decade or two older than the oldest of his colleagues, many were surprised when a 90-year-old flight attendant named Robert Reardon retired from Delta Air Lines, after holding two Guinness world records, one for being the world’s oldest active flight attendant and the other for the longest career as a flight attendant. A post on his Facebook page indicated that the retirement was “not of his choosing.”
The Four Seasons Moscow opened its doors in November in a modern replica of the Hotel Moskva, built in the 1930s with Joseph Stalin’s approval. That hotel, designed by Alexey Shchusev, served as home for the Soviet Union’s leadership as well as for important visitors to the city. It continues to be featured as a background graphic on labels of Stolichnaya vodka.
(Photos: Accura Media Group)