Articles in In Flight

American Airlines Flagship First New York-San Francisco – Flight Review

My first flight since joining Frequent Business Traveler was to be a good one: New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to San Francisco in American Airlines’ recently rebranded Flagship First. Our exalted editorial director graciously allowed me to fly in his usual seat, 1A, since he was not going on the flight anyway and there I was, going through the PreCheck line at JFK.
The line for PreCheck was moving surprisingly …

The Sisyphean Task of Designing a Faster and Better Boarding Process

The holy grail for airlines is to speed up boarding. Unlike deplaning, which tends to be fairly orderly albeit slow, boarding is an intrinsically slow process, somewhat akin to herding cats. With people traveling together who cannot be separated for even several moments, language barriers, people running late, people focusing on their mobile devices instead of getting seated, much about the boarding process will never change. In addition, for some …

CDC: Fewer Than Half of World’s Busiest Airports Are Smoke-Free

An overwhelming majority of the world’s busiest airports continue to offer smoking areas to travelers and employees, putting millions of other travelers as well as airport workers at risk for second-hand smoke exposure.
The findings were published in a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoke-Free Policies in the World’s 50 Busiest Airports,” published on Wednesday.
The report found that, as of August 2017, more than half of the …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Photo Essay: Auf Wiedersehen, Air Berlin!

MUNICH—Air Berlin, which was founded as a U.S. company based in Oregon in 1978 to operate charter flights in and out of West Berlin, flew its final flight on October 28 after almost 40 years of plying the skies.
After the reunification of Germany, the airline was acquired by Joachim Hunold, a former German leisure airline LTU executive. It became a low-cost long-haul carrier in 2007 after acquiring LTU, and evolved into …