Articles in In Flight

American, World’s Largest Airline, Turns 90


Cue Miss Sophie and her butler, James: American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, turned 90 Friday.
Robertson Aircraft Corporation of Missouri, a predecessor airline, took to the air on April 15, 1926, with pilot Charles A. Lindbergh at the controls of a DH-4 biplane.
While American was not the first to operate a scheduled flight (that honor belongs to competitor United Airlines), it was first in many innovations including the introduction of …

British Airways Club World Business Class London Heathrow – Seattle-Tacoma – Flight Review

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Following an enjoyable weekend in London, it was time to return to Seattle. A friend dropped me off curbside at Heathrow’s expansive and impressive Terminal 5, and I quickly found an empty check-in kiosk. Security was a quick and uneventful affair, before striking out for British Airway’s sprawling main lounge.
The southern lounge, located in the main terminal, is several stories high and perhaps the largest in the airline’s system. The …

Unavailable Dates and Lack of Low-Level Award Tickets Top List of Frequent Flyer Award Redemption Pet Peeves


Airline frequent flyer programs, the spiritual successor to S&H Green Stamps of the previous century, allow flyers to accumulate points and miles as they fly and make purchases with affiliated credit cards and then redeem the points for travel.
The process for this, however, is fraught with complications and surprises – so many, that whether or not there are some is not the topic of this survey, but rather how the …

United Turns 90, Marking Anniversary of First Scheduled Flight in U.S.

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United Airlines turned 90 Wednesday after having endured a tumultuous past few years.
Varney Air Lines, United’s predecessor, took to the air on April 6, 1926, operating a Swallow aircraft under the command of pilot Leon Dewey Cuddeback on a mail route from Pasco, Washington to Elko, Nevada with a stop in Boise, Idaho.
The start of the U.S. contract air mail system is considered to also have been the start of …

Please Fasten Your Seatbelts and Turn Off Your Transistor Radios

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While much has changed in flying over the past hundred years, much has remained the same. While today‘s passengers, in most cases on most flights, are welcome to use their smartphones during taxi and in airplane mode or connected to in-flight Wi-Fi once airborne, it was not that long ago that passengers were told to keep them turned off once on board the aircraft.
Recently I came across a “Welcome Aboard” …

British Airways Club World Business Class Seattle-Tacoma – London Heathrow – Review

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As may be expected, it was raining at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when I stepped off the curb and headed for British Airways’ ticketing counter. Today’s destination was London Heathrow in the Club World business class cabin.
It was off to security after a delightfully easy and short check-in, where, unfortunately, the line was one of the longest I’d ever seen. It took nearly 40 minutes to get through the TSA checkpoint.
Once …

Will the World’s Longest Flight Please Stand Up?

A United 787-9 will operate the longest scheduled flight by a U.S. carrier and the longest flight flown by a Dreamliner

Many airlines are currently vying for the title of offering the “world’s longest flight,” but few if any will come close what was the longest ever commercial route: the now-discontinued Newark-Singapore route operated by Singapore Airlines. The flight covered 9,535 miles (15,345 kilometers) and had a scheduled flight time of 18 hours 50 minutes.
Singapore also held the number two slot, linking Singapore and Los Angeles, California, with an 18-hour 30-minute …