Lots of crazy going on in the travel world this week and I’m struggling to keep up (and keep my job). Here’s a quick summary of some of the fun stuff going on out there:
- British Airways launched their London City – JFK service (stopping in Shannon, Ireland westbound) this week. The pictures and reports from the first few days of flights are quite impressive. They even have the OnAir in-flight internet service on the planes, bringing internet back to transatlantic travel. Here’s a link to the menu and here are some pics that were tweeted on-board. Apparently they forgot a corkscrew on the first flight (they got one in Shannon) and they had a mechanical failure on day two. Whoopsie. According to BA CEO Willie Walsh the route will need a 70% load factor to break even. That’s typical of many routes but they’re trying to do it in an all-businee configuration and supposedly twice a day starting later this year. Good luck!
- British Airways also announced a new plan to charge for advance seat assignments. For just about everyone. And the charges are not trivial, ranging from $30-90 on longer flights. Folks who pay for a discounted business class ticket will be included in this scheme, and the charges are per segment. So a ticket could end up with a few hundred dollars in extra fees to get those seats assigned. Even worse, they’re only exempting their own top tier elites and full-fare customers from these fees. Not cool.
- Travel & Leisure has published their Top 10 Beer Gardens list. I’m generally not a huge fan of their lists since they tend to focus on luxe and hip more than authentic and cool, but they definitely did OK on this list, giving the nod to the Bohemian Beer Garden in Queens over the one at the Standard in the Meatpacking district of NYC. Looking forward to visiting a few more of those in the near future.
- Probably the coolest video of an airplane being assembled that you’ll see today. It is just under 6 minutes long and is just plain awesome.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Travelers – A great read for reminding yourself that travel is as much about the adventure as it is about getting your way.
It is a lot of random stuff, but all worth a look.
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