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Qatar Airways wins Best Middle East Airline award for 2014

by amit.uniyal 3. November 2014 01:55

Qatar Airways was recently presented with the “Best Middle East Airline” at the recently-concluded 2014 Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards conducted at Hong Kong. The airline won the award for the fifth time consecutively. Prominent aviation and travel industry professionals attended the gala award ceremony.

Qatar Airways

The Doha-based 5-star airline is presently operating a total of 38 flights every week to mainland China and Hong Kong, both of which it considered as most valued markets on its network.

The Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards is presented annually and is currently in its 23rd year. The awards are given in above 50 categories.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, said that the airline is extremely proud to be once again a recipient of Best Middle East Airline award for the fifth consecutive time. He said that it is a matter of great privilege that the airline has been consistently recognized for its efforts in providing enhanced travel experience and five-star service to its customers.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways also emerged a winner by bagging the “Best Business Class Airline” award at a recently-held ceremony in London during the presentation of the Business Traveller Awards 2014. The airline won the prestigious title for the second consecutive year. Apart from this, the airline also made it to the finals in various other categories as well. These include ‘Best Cabin Staff’, ‘Best Middle East Airline’, ‘Best Economy Class’, ‘Best Long-haul Airline’, and ‘Best Airline’.

Earlier, the airline was also given the “Best Business Class Airline” by Skytrax during the Farnborough Air Show held in July this year.

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Airline News

U.S. airlines in a Wi-Fi race to keep passengers connected

by amit.uniyal 31. October 2014 01:51

Business travelers know only one thing. It’s only WORK for them whether on the ground or in the air. For business travelers connectivity matters particularly when they are above 30,000 feet in the sky on their flights. It’s important for them to keep connected and fulfill their official chores of writing emails, answering SMS, doing research or setting up last minute meetings. And, the crucial role of in-flight Wi-Fi here comes into real play!

U.S. Airlines

Gogo, a leading in-flight Wi-Fi service provider on U.S. carriers admits that Wi-Fi is crucial in air, but its uptake is only among 6 percent customers who prefer using the service whenever it is available. This is particularly true with some business travelers, particularly workaholic type, who are loyal users and swear by in-flight Wi-Fi.

Considering the importance of in-flight Wi-Fi, there are many U.S. carriers who have already adopted the service or are in the process of adopting it for the benefit of their customers. Major U.S. carriers such as American Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are already providing Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi to their respective customers.

Both American Airlines and US Airways, who have now merged to form American Airlines Group, have installed Wi-Fi on 832 out of 984 aircrafts in their fleet. Some 15 of these Wi-Fi enabled aircrafts are presently serving on international routes. Virgin America is the pioneer among domestic carriers in the United States to have equipped its fleet with in-flight Wi-Fi. It was the first and continues to be the only U.S. carrier to offer Wi-Fi connectivity on all its domestic routes. Southwest Airlines has made 80 percent of its fleet Wi-Fi capable. The airline’s Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 series aircrafts in its fleet have been made fully Wi-Fi capable.

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Airline News

Cookies on Air: An airline meal is incomplete without them

by amit.uniyal 29. October 2014 08:00

In-flight Dining is a quintessential expression of the services that airlines provide to tempt the travelers. From entrées to main course meals and desserts, the airlines ensure that the guests enjoy the food served during the air journey. The chewy, crumbly and soft indulgence that is a freshly baked cookie baked on board is something anyone would love to relish. This sweet assortment satisfies your sweet tooth and drinking milk is incomplete without it.

Cookies on Air

Sometimes, it is all you need to get your journey started or get rid of the grogginess upon arrival, but chomping such tidbits during flights these days can be rarely seen owing to the cutbacks and mergers.

Most of the airlines including Frontier Airlines have stopped serving cookies after 2012. Don't give up hope yet! There are still few airlines that ensure you do not miss the sweet bites even at 10,000 feet.

American Airlines

American Airlines is known to have introduced the baked on-board cookies. AA bakes different varieties of cookies on 1,000 to 1,298 miles flights. The guests get to try white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal cranberry, nutty butter and other varieties. 

United Airlines

United Airlines competes fiercely for Baking as it does for routes. The carrier hired Chicago-based Poppie's Dough to bake the melt-in-mouth chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter and cinnamon cookies on flights between 900 and 2,299 miles. The carrier serves them in branded to-go wax bags.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia serves Spotted Cow cookies complimentary on some flights and on sale in most of the economy flights. The "udderly delicious" gluten free cookies are also available across Hudson’s coffee shops. The passengers can enjoy a wide variety of baked on-board cookies including fruit mince spice, cranberry, triple chocolate fudge, white chocolate and macadamia, chocolate and salted caramel, choc chunk, Anzacs and spotted cookies.

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Airline News

Emirates, others win 2014 Best In-flight Dining Awards

by amit.uniyal 26. October 2014 07:09

The best airline meals have now been revealed and so are the wining airlines providing these. A popular luxury food magazine ‘Saveur’ recently announced the winners of its second annual Culinary Travel Award. The 2014 Best In-flight Dining Award provided to carriers offering the best in-flight options was given in two categories – first and business, and economy.

Dining

Emirates Airline was announced the winner of The Expert Choice Award for the second consecutive year. The panel of experts comprising editors, aviation industry experts, skilled chefs, photographers and travel writers who jointly announced the winners said that they were simply amazed by the quality of service and food provided by Emirates Airline to its customers.

According to the panel, the delicacies provided by the airline were quite delicious. They highly appreciated the delicacies such as lamb noisette with roasted seasonal vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes, and also wild Iranian caviar with sour cream and blinis, which were created by award-winning chefs. The menus were not only exquisite, but healthy as well. The seven-course meals are served on Royal Doulton fine bone china by the airline to its long-haul passengers. They are also offered an impressive range of vintage wines.
 
Emirates Airline offers its first class and business class passengers onboard shower facilities. They are also served gourmet meals comprising of traditional Arab mezze and lamb noisettes along with creamy mashed potato and roasted seasonal vegetables.
 
Another Middle East carrier Oman Air was also declared winner for providing best first class and business class meals. The airline was voted as Readers’ Choice winner.

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Airline News

New passenger assistant at MIA’s South Terminal now

by amit.uniyal 24. October 2014 09:19

No matter whatever time of day or night you are at Miami International Airport (MIA), a new super employee will be there for you to assist in either English or Spanish about where to get last-minute gift item or your favorite pre-flight meal.

passenger assistant

The South Terminal at Miami International Airport now boasts of a new first-rate employee called “Leticia”. This newly installed virtual passenger assistant will now be assisting the passengers all seven days a week, 24 hours a day, by providing helpful information regarding an assortment of 60 shops, restaurants and other services at the airport.

Media reports said that the virtual passenger assistant Leticia functions through high-definition projection imaging and surround sound. The best thing will be that Leticia will be operating round the clock without taking a break.

The Leticia has been initially installed as a pilot program at two entryways to MIA’s South Terminal. If this proves to be a success, the Leticia will be installed at more locations at the Miami International Airport in the coming days.

The Miami International Airport is now the latest addition in the ever rising count of airports in the United States to deploy virtual assistants for the benefit of the passengers. According to MIA officials, the Leticia will be targeting dining and shopping customers.

Emilio T. Gonzalez, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director, said that the Miami International Airport is proud to introduce an innovative way for engaging its customers and offering them improved travel feel. The novel virtual aid would be of immense help to the passengers and help them to utilize their time at MIA through interactive, fun and entertaining way.

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Two four-story hotels to come up in Sacramento

by amit.uniyal 22. October 2014 08:26

The California State University Sacramento will see two new hotels coming nearby in the next few years. Media reports recently indicated that the officials at the city of Sacramento have received a development proposal for the construction of two new four-story hotels. The proposal also includes the construction of a 10,000-square-foot retail building on 5.67 acres with the location being at 1817 65th St., near Highway 50 and an existing light-rail station.

sacramento

The application submitted to the Sacramento City authorities described the proposals to be a vital project and catalyst for the 65th Street area. The two hotels will comprise of a total of 250 rooms and would be serving Sacramento State University, SMUD as well as the medical campuses located nearby.

The proposal envisages the construction of a 117-room Hampton Inn & Suites on the eastern side of Sacramento State University, while the second hotel which is yet to be named would be located toward the western side. The retail building will however be situated on the 65th Street itself. According to the application, the construction of the Hampton Inn & Suites is scheduled to start from next year. The Hampton Inn & Suites would cover an area of 76,764-square-foot. However, the schedule for the construction of another hotel and the retail building is yet to be confirmed.

The application while providing the details of the site plans indicated that the main entrance of Hampton Inn & Suites would be on the north side of Sacramento State University. The outdoor pool and the surrounding parking spaces would be on the south side of the hotel. Apart from hotel rooms, the Hampton Inn & Suites will also have a breakfast room, a fitness center and a meeting space.

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General

Chinese Airlines offer utmost comfort with better seat designs

by amit.uniyal 20. October 2014 06:32

Chinese Airlines continue to grow tremendously in the global aviation industry with millions of passengers traveling every year. The Chinese Airlines ensure that the services provided in-flight are extraordinarily comfortable for the international as well as the domestic traveler. The passengers between U.S. and China would be quite pleased with the services offered on the various airlines.
Check out the 5 Chinese Airlines that shout absolute comfort.

china airlines

China Southern Airlines First Class
China Southern Airlines First Class Seat is the widest in its class, i.e. 33 inches with a seat pitch of 82 inches. It reclines to 180 degrees and is equipped with the latest technologies including connectivity IFEC system in five languages: English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese, Korean and French and Thales’ Top Series AVANT in-flight entertainment. This entertainment screen is 23 inches wide HD controlled with Touch Passenger Media Unit. This seat is available on B777-300 ER.

China Eastern Airlines Business Class
The new business class in Boeing 777-300ER for China Eastern Airlines features Zodiac Cirrus with 52 seats placed in 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration allowing each passenger direct aisle access. The 21 inches wide seat has 81 inches wide seat pitch equipped with power ports for charging your devices.

Hainan Airlines Business Class
The flat bed is the standout feature of Hainan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner and so is the 15-inch crystal clear video screen. The 22.5 inches wide seats with 74 inches seat pitch adorn red plush seat cushions which give the feeling of an oriental ambience. The 36 flat bed business class seats are divided in 2-2-2 configuration which is somehow bothersome. The passengers might not appreciate climbing over their neighbors to even attend the nature’s call.

Air China
The 12 first class seats arranged in 1-2-1 configuration offer direct access to the aisle. The 23 inches wide seat with 80 inches seat width are surrounded by curving cabin walls and mood lighting system. The seat reclines to 180 degrees.

Xiamen Air First Class
Xiamen Air first class features 4 Zodiac Apollo seats in a distinct shell-like design. The 28 inches wide seats arranged in 1-2-1 configuration offer direct aisle access. The 15.4-inch IFE screen features Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system.

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Airline News

Emirates Airlines proves to be the most glamorous airline

by amit.uniyal 19. October 2014 09:00

Emirates Airlines is all about extravagance, elegance and pleasure in air. The First class private suites with flat beds, Caviar, Aubergine Lasagna and other hors d’oeuvres served with champagnes and vintage wines, shower spa with Timeless Spa kits, the gorgeous flight attendants adorning red hats with white veils and khaki colored ensemble represent the Emirates royal experience. The company, founded in 1985 is the fastest growing airline while it fans out actively in the U.S air travel market, leaving the U.S. air passenger carriers behind.

emirates airlines

Business class travel in the U.S. is flourishing and Emirates is making the most of it. At present, the U.S contributes to 7% of business for Emirates. However, the airline aspires to expand in the U.S as it plans to add more destinations to the existing nine. Emirates is procuring more and more aircrafts to its existing fleet of 217 as it strives to achieve a 70 million customers per year target by 2020 as compared to 40 million as of now.

Emirates’ marketing campaigns, does not only set its sight on the business commuters but the routine fliers as well. Emirates also launched an ad campaign to make the airline accessible to all, depicting a company that connects the travelers worldwide.

Despite its much famed luxury travel, Emirates acquires major profits from the economy seats, not the business or first class seats. Filling the economy seats is prioritized.

Emirates Airlines has been conferred with various awards portraying it as one of the most glamorous airlines. Brand Finance, U.K presented the title of the most valuable airline brand across the globe to Emirates. In 2013, owing to 19 million surveys by customers worldwide, Skytrax fabled it the world’s best airline. The first-class lounge at Dubai International Airport also attained first spot in 2013 World Travel Awards.

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Airline News

Domestic U.S Airlines hike airfares despite cheap oil windfall

by amit.uniyal 18. October 2014 07:37

Holiday Travel may burn a hole in your pocket as U.S. air passenger carriers raised the base fares for domestic flights last week. Despite the good fortune of decreased oil prices and Ebola epidemic distress, the 5 major airlines in U.S have attempted a fare hike in October 2014 thrice, wherein the third attempt was successful.

US airlines

The fare hike was initiated by JetBlue Airways with up to $4 round trip raise on some domestic flights’ fares. 4 hours later, Delta jumped on the bandwagon and extended the increase with 37 times as many fares. American Airlines, US Airways and Southwest Airlines following suit on Friday. Airlines usually hike fares to rationalize the higher costs, especially for fuel. However, oil prices have gradually plunged in a few weeks and carriers are gaining a windfall.

Although Ebola epidemic was believed to tumble the stocks down and that the people will be reluctant to fly. However, the demand has only surged with the holiday season.

According to an investment analyst, this hike represents the first successful increase across the domestic aviation industry since April and the fifth one this year. These price bumps should allay the investors’ concerns that lower fuel prices will only profit the consumers with lower air fares.

Airlines do not also want to charge more than Southwest Airlines, the low cost carrier with maximum number of domestic passengers, so they run sales, reduce fares on certain flights and try to fill middle seats with extra perks.

Traveling on Thanksgiving weekend will pinch the passengers’ pocket as the domestic flights’ fares are up by 17% at $467 in comparison with $400 in 2013. On the other hand, fares for Christmas holiday flights will increase by 2%, averaging at $493 as compared to $482 last year.

Meanwhile, Wall Street remunerated the fare hike as the shares for airlines gained an average 5%.

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Airline News

Is Travel better with Wearable Technology?

by amit.uniyal 16. October 2014 06:31

Recent technological advances in air travel have streamlined the checking-in and checking-out process.
Air passengers are also getting accustomed with wearable technology for boarding flights in the most convenient way possible. A recent market survey depicted that 77% of more than 6000 passengers would be comfortable with use of wearable technology like Google Glass or smart Watch to make their journey pleasant.

wearable technology

Among the fliers assessed, 97% of them carry a laptop, smartphone or a tablet while flying and one out of five carry all three. Passengers are eager to stay connected even during flight with over 76% using the airline applications. 53% of the passengers want alerts about flight delays on their phones while 57% want airport terminal directions and maps. The demand for in-flight connectivity is drastic. 56% of the travelers want to be able to stay connected on their laptop or tablet for entertainment purposes during their flight.

The huge demand of customers worldwide has encouraged innovative minds to develop technology that helps you throughout your journey. Miami International Airport, for instance, is the first ever airport to deploy iBeacon technology covering the check-in point, baggage and parking areas across the airport.

The passengers are given relevant information related to boarding gate, directions and boarding time on their phones through the use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has released an update of iOS and Android devices featuring a Voice Concierge.

AirBerlin, Iberia and Vueling, and have also recently unveiled smart watch boarding pass for owners of Pebble Steel, Samsung Gear 2 and Sony Smartwatch 2. With just a shake of a wrist, the devices scan the watch like a digital boarding ticket on a phone.

Well, these dapper gadgets will certainly help you board your flight on time and have a fun flight.

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