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Articles by Jonathan Spira

United Airlines ‘Royal Hawaiian’ Friend Ship Final 747 Flight – San Francisco-Honolulu – Review

United Airlines’ final Boeing 747 flight was to be very much like its first. On July 23, 1970, a Boeing 747-100, the Friend Ship, left San Francisco destined for Honolulu, offering the airline’s vaunted Royal Hawaiian service on board.
Although Flight 747 was scheduled to depart at 11 a.m. local time, I had to get up early to prepare. In addition to United’s plans to recreate 1970s menus and uniforms, most …

Theater Review: ‘People, Places & Things’ at St. Ann’s Warehouse

Emma, or is it Sarah, has an addictive personality. Not content with getting high from drink or recreational pharmaceuticals, she also gets her highs from performing as well, and therein lies the rub. “Acting gives me the same thing I get from drugs and alcohol,” she says matter-of-factly. “Good parts are just harder to come by.”
We first meet Emma playing the role of Nina in a performance of “The Seagull” …

Photo Essay: United Airlines’ Final Boeing 747 Flight Gives the Queen of the Skies a Royal Sendoff

United Airlines operated its last ever Boeing 747 passenger flight last week and took passengers back to the 1970s for a memorable experience and non-stop party.
After three hours of festivities at the departure gate, the leisure-suit clad crowd boarded and the real party began. There was a once-in-a-lifetime fly-by of the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco, retro menus from the 70s including delicacies from Trader Vic’s, dry ice …

Hawaii’s Island Air to Shut Down Friday

Hawaii’s Island Air to Shut Down Friday

HONOLULU—Island Air, Hawaii’s second-largest inter-island carrier, said it would cease operations Friday. The carrier’s CEO, David Uchiyama, broke the news to employees in an e-mail late Thursday.
The airline had “exhausted all options that would have allowed us to continue and we have not been able to solidify any of those options within the timeframe needed,” said Mr. Uchiyama.
Passengers with tickets for future travel on Island Air have been told to …

History in the Making: United Airlines Final Boeing 747 Flight Takes Off

SOMEWHERE OVER THE PACIFIC—Since its launch in 1970, over 1,500 Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets have graced the skies. Today, November 7, 2017, United Airlines, one of the two remaining U.S. carriers flying the graceful airliner, operated its final 747 flight, from San Francisco to Honolulu, recreating its inaugural 747 flight over the same route on July 23, 1970. This report is being published live from onboard the final flight.
“Flying to …

Short Stay: Hyatt Place DFW, Dallas, Texas – Hotel Review

A change in my itinerary meant that I would spend one night in Dallas in between flights so I elected to spend that night at the first new hotel to open in a decade at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Hyatt Place DFW.
I had previously stayed at both the Hyatt Regency and the Grand Hyatt at the airport and, while both are satisfactory, I wanted to try something new. While …

Short Stay: Conrad Dublin, Ireland – Hotel Review

Sometimes navigation doesn’t take you where you wanted to go. Such was the case with the last mile to the Conrad Dublin, when Apple Maps insisted the best way to get to the hotel was via someone’s private garden. For someone driving on the left-hand side of the street for the first time, even a minor course correction was daunting. However, moments later I was pulling up to the Conrad’s …