Luxurious Business Class Flight Accommodations

Business class seats are becoming more luxurious than ever. Some would even consider the flight a vacation in and of itself. To give you an idea of what modern-day business class can look like, we’ve compiled a list of 7 airlines offering some of the most luxurious business class flight accommodations.

British Airways

British Airways first revolutionized business class 20 years ago with its introduction of the first fully lie-flat seat and an innovative “Ying/Yang” seat plan. Since then, British Airways has provided a consistently luxurious business class experience through its wide-body fleet and private seating. Plus, British Airways has gone through a serious upgrade over the past couple of years resulting in improved catering (from an internationally-acclaimed Austrian catering company, DO&CO), excellent bedding, and some of the most stylish amenity kits available in the sky. In addition to this, last July British Airways introduced a new suite concept on-board its A350 planes consisting of direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18.5-inch entertainment screens, and 40 % more storage space per seat (including a vanity unit and mirror).

Source: British Airways

Emirates

Business-class passengers aboard Emirates’ Airbus 380 fleet enjoy a staggered 1–2–1 configuration, direct aisle access, and the perfect amount of privacy. They even cater to passenger party sizes, with the window Business Class seats being suited for solo travelers and the dual and more intimate center cabin seats being suited for partners traveling together. Throw into the mix large amenity kits, an extensive in-flight entertainment selection, chauffeur service to the plane, a gigantic Dubai airport lounge, and even a spacious, stocked bar on the upper deck, and Emirates’ A380 becomes the quintessential business class experience.  However, it’s important to know that this Business Class experience is typically only offered on the Airbus A380 and not the Emirates’ Boeing 777s, which offer an inferior 2-3-2 configuration with no direct aisle access for all passengers.

Source: Agent Wolf / Shutterstock.com

Japan Airlines

JAL Sky Suites, the name for business class suites aboard Japan Airlines, are completely enclosed for each individual passenger. In other words, all business class passengers have their own private space. Passengers can also control the amount of privacy they want with retractable privacy partitions (which can be lowered when you are traveling with a companion). The JAL Sky Suite III, introduced in 2017, offers an even more spacious 1-2-1 configuration, providing all passengers with direct aisle access. Inside each Sky Suite, passengers have access to ample storage space beneath an ottoman, a 23-inch LCD monitor (one of the largest in its class), and comfortable bedding with a highly resilient airweave mattress and pillow. As far as other perks, JAL offers both Western and Japanese menus created by world-renowned chefs. Without even so much as peaking your head out of your Sky Suite, you can order in-flight meals from an a la carte menu by simply tapping a touch screen. You can also order food at any time, and as often as you wish.

Source: Japan Airlines

United Airlines

New to the upgraded business class experience is United Airlines. United introduced their new Polaris Business class concept just a couple of years ago, which features staggered seats that allow every other row to have “true” window seats. These seats still maintain a high degree of privacy, and, similar to Emirates, every other row also has “honeymoon” seats in the center section that is perfect for traveling couples. Outside of seating, United Polaris offers bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, restaurant-quality dining with a rotating monthly menu, cozy slippers, premium skincare items from Sunday Riley, earplugs, an ergonomic eye mask, and even pajamas on flights longer than 12 hours. United Polaris can also take advantage of the United Polaris lounge in select airports around the world. Keep in mind that United Polaris is currently only available aboard all United Boeing 777-300ERs and 787-10s, and some 767-300s and 777-200s.

Source: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

JetBlue

Despite being otherwise known as a low-cost airline, JetBlue’s Business class offers very unique perks not offered by other, higher-end airlines. Mainly, JetBlue is the first to provide business class seats with doors. Otherwise, JetBlue’s Mint Suites provide lie-flat seats (which extend to 6’8″) and plenty of storage space. Outside of the cabins, JetBlue Mint offers artisanal dining, tons of free entertainment, award-winning service, and a complimentary Hayward & Hopper amenity kit. JetBlue Mint can be found aboard all Mint configured Airbus A321 aircrafts.

Source: Jet Blue

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways’ newest business class experience provides seat configurations catering to all kinds of travelers. Solo travelers can enjoy the spacious window seats and couples can enjoy the “honeymoon” seats in the middle of the cabin. Both options offer plenty of privacy and ergonomically-designed, comfortable seating. Other than this, Business Class passengers aboard Etihad Airways benefit from direct aisle access, more than enough storage space, seat upholstery by Poltrona Frau, and 22-inch wide seats that convert into lie-flat beds (which support up to 6 feet and 8 inches in length). There’s even a lounge aboard A380 aircraft located between first and business class that seats up to six guests. In this lounge, passengers can take advantage of a power supply and connectivity ports.

Source: Dmitry Birin / Shutterstock.com

Eva Air

EVA Air’s ‘Royal Laurel Class’ Business class experience maximizes space for its passengers through its reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout. When it’s time to sleep, seats can be converted into beds approximately 82 inches long providing more than enough space for passengers to stretch out and relax. Passengers can also take refuge in the fact that they can use fixed panels to create their own space and enjoy as much privacy as they like. Like coming home to your apartment, Business class passengers even have a space to hang clothing, a shoe cabinet, a retractable armrest, and a cocktail table. Also provided are amenity kits, noise-canceling headphones, Fiji water, seasonal cuisine, and the over-the-top attendant service (in the best way possible) that EVA Air has become known for. Similar to United Polaris, EVA Air is also one of the few airlines to offer pajamas in Business Class.

Source: EVA Air

Airport Travel Hacks To Make Your Trip Easier

Are you ready for your next vacation? While air travel means jetting off to a new and perhaps exotic place where you can rest, relax, and adventure, it also means airports and all the other not-as-enjoyable aspects of travel. So to help you prepare for the time before, during, and after your flight, we’ve compiled this list of travel hacks to make your trip easier, cheaper, and more comfortable.

1. Pre-Booking: Incognito Mode

When you’re ready to start looking for flights, always use your browser’s incognito mode. When you do this, the airline websites aren’t able to track your searches using cookies, ultimately resulting in lower flight prices being shown to you. Yes, that means that the more frequently you look up a flight, the more the cost of the flight will go up because the airlines know you’re interested. It’s the law of supply and demand, people!

Source: Shutterstock

2. Pre-Booking: Fly Direct

Whenever you’re able, fly direct. By flying directly to your final destination, you avoid the risks that come with a layover – missing your connecting flight or having it canceled, losing your luggage or having it end up at the wrong destination, and so on. It may cost a little bit more but, it’s always worth it and makes travel less stressful. If you aren’t able to fly direct, look for a flight that has a longer layover. This way if your first flight gets delayed you won’t have to run frantically through the airport trying to catch your next flight.

Source: Shutterstock

3. Pre-Booking: Red-Eye Flight

If you’re someone who can sleep on a plane, consider flying red-eye for your next trip. You’ll be able to skip the crowds and lines because you’ll be taking off and landing during off-peak hours. Red-eye flights are often cheaper as well, making your trip more affordable overall. If you can’t handle a red-eye, try to take the earliest flight out, even if that means you’ll be getting up super early. Early morning flights are often less likely to get delayed or canceled, making your airport experience more enjoyable. They also tend to be slightly cheaper than flights leaving at more convenient times.

Source: Shutterstock

4. Before You Fly: Switch to Solids

There is nothing worse than opening up your suitcase and realizing that one or more of your liquids has leaked or exploded. There are a couple of ways to try to prevent this from happening, but the best way is actually to avoid liquids all together! Before you travel, pick up a shampoo bar, conditioning bar, and bar of soap from a store like LUSH. They’re just so good that you might actually find yourself making the switch permanently! You can also get items like facial cleanser, facial oil, body lotion, and toothpaste as a solid. It simplifies travel without sacrificing the quality of your skin and hair care!

Source: Shutterstock

5. Before You Fly: Layer Your Clothing

When you’re packing for your trip and choosing what you’ll wear for the flight, consider layering your clothing. The temperature often varies quite a bit as you travel to the airport, on the plane, and to your final destination. Rather than sweating it out or freezing when your seatmate blasts their air vent, you can simply remove or add layers as needed, making for a much more comfortable experience. Plus you can avoid paying for one of those overpriced thin blankets they offer you on the plane!

6. Before You Fly: Wear Bulky or Heavy Clothing and Footwear

If you’re only planning on taking a carry-on suitcase or you’re jam-packing your checked baggage, you’re going to need to pack smart! If space or weight is a concern, wear your bulky or heavier clothing items and footwear (like winter boots) through security. If you want, you can always change into more comfortable clothing before boarding your plane. Since airlines don’t count what you’re wearing towards your maximum weight allotment, this is a great way to squeeze in some extra weight without overloading your suitcase.

Source: Shutterstock

7. Before You Fly: Wear Comfortable Clothing

While we understand that some people need to wear suits and ties on their flight, most of us don’t have to. It’s pretty obvious – wearing comfortable clothes will help keep you comfortable during your trip. This becomes even more important when you experience a flight delay or it’s an overnight flight! Ditch the suit or skirt and opt for comfy jeans or leggings and a cozy sweater layered over top of your fav t-shirt. No one is judging you!

Source: Shutterstock

8. Before You Fly: Pack a Reusable Empty Water Bottle

The liquid limitations that you can bring on a plane are strict and that causes many people to think they have to buy water once they’re through security! To reduce plastic waste and keep yourself from spending money on water, bring an empty reusable water bottle through security and fill it up at one of the many water fountains throughout the airport. This will help keep you hydrated, which is incredibly important because the high altitudes (drier air) when flying dehydrates you. Fight the temptation to not drink water to avoid using the onboard toilets and drink up. You’ll feel better post-flight if you keep chugging back that water (especially if you’re planning on a glass or two of wine)!

Source: Shutterstock

9. Before You Fly: Pack Dry Snacks From Home

Airports are notorious for overpriced and often bland-tasting foods and snacks. But did you know that you can bring dry snacks like trail mix, chocolate bars, or protein bites through security and onto the airplane? However, as always, be sure to check your specific airline and call ahead if you aren’t sure. Generally speaking, you don’t need to buy food in the airport if you plan ahead, which is great for your wallet and for those with dietary restrictions.

Source: Shutterstock

10. Before You Fly: Pack Earplugs and a Sleep Mask

Earplugs and a sleep mask come in handy whether you’re planning on trying to take a little snooze in the airport or on the plane and can help block out the constant noise and fluorescent lighting. They’re also good to have on hand in case your flight gets delayed or you get stranded in the airport and need to catch some shut-eye. You may be able to buy them from an airport kiosk or from a flight attendant, but you’ll pay a pretty penny, so why not just bring them from home?

Source: Shutterstock

11. Before You Fly: Know Where You’re Going

Before you fly, do a quick Google search of the airports you’re flying into to get a sense of what they’re like. This is important if you’ve got a layover that you could miss or that could be canceled, leaving you stranded in the airport longer than anticipated. It’s important to know if the terminal stays open overnight, and if your connecting flight departure gate is close by (or even in the same building!) as well as what kind of food and shops are available. This may seem like a lot, but it’s better to be prepared and have a backup plan in case you find yourself stranded.

Source: Shutterstock

12. At The Airport: Download Your Airline App

You might feel like you’ve got enough apps on your phone already, but having the free airline app downloaded and your flight information entered is helpful to stay up to date with gate changes, delays, and heaven forbid cancellations. You generally get the updates before they make the announcement and you don’t have to worry about missing them – crucial if you tend to have headphones in at the airport. Some airlines have also started using their apps for in-flight entertainment, so if you want to watch a free movie while you’re up in the air, be sure to download it while you’re still on the ground and on Wifi.

Source: Shutterstock

13. At The Airport: Airline Lounge

Did you know that most airlines have VIP lounges in every airport? Did you know that they’re absolutely wonderful to stay in? Some people get access to them because they are airline VIPs from flying so much (many business people have this status), but you can actually purchase a day pass for many of them! They offer comfortable seating, peace and quiet, free high-speed Wifi, and in many, snacks and buffet-style meals and alcoholic drinks are included! While you may not choose to pay for this if your layover is only an hour, these lounges are totally worth it if you’ve got a longer layover or you get stranded in the airport.

Source: Shutterstock

14. At The Airport: Get a Seat Close To The Gate

More people are choosing to only bring a carry-on suitcase and a backpack or purse – a common luggage allowance. This can lead to overpacked overhead bins and requests for people to volunteer to check their hand luggage for free. If that’s okay with you, then go right ahead and sacrifice your bag, but many people pack a carry-on so that they don’t have to wait at the luggage carousel upon landing. If you want your carry-on to stay a carry-on, grab a seat close to the boarding desk and hop in line as soon as your zone is called. More frequently, the last group of people to board end up having to check their baggage, which adds hassle and time upon landing if you didn’t check another bag.

Source: Shutterstock

15. At The Airport: Load Leftover Currency Onto a Gift Card

If you’ve got a small amount of foreign currency left at the end of your trip and there’s a store in the airport that you also have at home, load the change onto a gift card. This works especially well if there’s a Starbucks, David’s Tea, Booster Juice, or Tim Hortons – all shops commonly found in big airports. If you’ve got big bills leftover, take them back to your bank, but most currency exchanges and banks won’t accept small amounts of foreign currency back, so this is a great way to not waste leftover change!

Source: Shutterstock

16. On Flight: Snacks and Drinks

Most airlines thankfully still offer complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and small snacks while you are aboard. When they come around and ask what you’d like, don’t hesitate to ask for the full can of whatever you’re ordering and one of each snack. Most of the time, the flight attendant doesn’t care and will happily hand it over, especially if you’re polite.

Source: Shutterstock

17. On Flight: Moisturize

Flights tend to leave our skin dehydrated and more prone to breakouts. The longer the flight, the worse your skin will be upon landing. Since you can’t bring big bottles of cleanser or cream on the plane, use an empty contact lens container and put a little bit of cleanser and cream in each divet. Part of the way through your flight, head to the bathroom and wash and moisturize your face. Bringing a small airplane-sized facial mist onboard and spraying a little bit on every hour can also help keep skin moisturized and may help you feel more alert! Also, bring a face sheet mask to do once you get to your destination to rehydrate even more.

Source: Shutterstock

18. On Flight: Peppermint Essential Oil

Another great item to bring on board is a small roll-on of peppermint essential oil (like this one from Saje!). You can roll it onto your temples and neck if you get a headache or have tension, roll some onto your hands and breathe the oil in to clear your sinuses, feel more alert, or help with nausea, and generally just to help with odors. It’s a great multi-purpose oil that’s perfect for some of the negative health effects of flights. Plus, you’ll smell great!

Source: Shutterstock

19. When You Arrive: Break a Sweat

Most people are a little bit tired upon landing, even if there hasn’t been a time change. You might be tempted to take a nap, but that will most likely just mess up your sleep that night. Getting active and breaking a sweat can combat those sluggish feelings and help you wake up and enjoy the rest of your day at your destination. It can be as simple as a short yoga session in your room, some weight lifting at the hotel gym, or a quick jog or brisk walk outdoors, which doubles as a way to see what’s in the area!

Source: Shutterstock

20. Before You Head Home: Online Grocery Shop

Does anybody else try to empty out their fridge before they go on a trip? You never want food to rot while you’re away, but this also means you come home to a very empty fridge. A couple of days before you get on your flight to come home, order some grocery staples online from whatever local grocery store offers the service and choose delivery for the day you’re arriving back home. That way there’s something to eat when you get home sleep-deprived and jet-lagged and you don’t need to worry about breakfast, lunch, or dinner the day after.

Source: Shutterstock

10 Things NOT to Say to a Flight Attendant

It seems that it is everyone’s dream job, jetting off to places you can only dream about. But being a flight attendant isn’t always about having fun, meeting new people and exploring new places. In fact it seems that the majority of passengers these days are downright rude, miserable and panicky. Crying babies, delays, drunken passengers and ignorance are a big part of everyday life for flight attendants. If you want to make their day just a little bit better and move from being the rude, ignorant passenger to the nice passenger, we suggest never ever saying these 10 things to your next flight attendant.

10. Is there anything else to eat?

Let’s review what happens when they load the airplane with food. The crew comes on, loads the tiny little carts with a select number of meals, sandwiches, snacks, etc and that is all the food on the plane. The plane takes off into the air and there is no possible other way of food getting onto the aircraft. If a flight attendant offers you ‘chicken or vegetables’, I assure you that there is not another option. Whatever they are telling you is the only option and if you don’t like it, that’s just too darn bad. As for flights that don’t offer anything other than a snack, same thing applies. There is one snack, take it or leave it, and next time pack your own food instead of complaining about ours.

Airplane Food

9. I am sorry to bother you but…..

The fact of the matter is if you were actually sorry about bothering me, you wouldn’t bother me. It is a flight attendant’s job to get you a drink, ensure you are staying safe, grab you a blanket if you are cold, etc. Therefore please stop saying sorry. If you actually need something that requires the flight attendants assistance, you don’t need to apologize because it is their job. On the other hand if you are ringing the call button and apologizing because you are asking for them to watch your children; “sorry to bother you but can you hold my baby”, then that is not okay. Bothering flight attendants for mundane reasons is not okay, they have a job to do to.

Call button

8. Am I going to make my connection?

Flight attendants are not psychic. Now just repeat that three times in your head. They are only privy to the information that is shared with them via the pilots, the air traffic controllers and the airport. Therefore if you are asking midway through your flight if you are going to make your connection, chances are they have no idea. They cannot predict what the weather will be like for the rest of your flight nor do they know if they will hold your plane for you. There are hundreds, even thousands of different scenarios that can play out in the time it takes you to get off the plane and run to your connecting gate that no one can in fact know the answer to this. Your best bet if you think you are going to miss your connection, is to start running, really fast once you exit the plane.

Scared Passenger

7. I will turn my phone off in just one minute.

This is perhaps the most annoying thing you can say to a flight attendant, and it may be obsolete in a few short years as cell phone use is becoming more and more common on major airlines. But for now, certain airlines make you turn off your cellular device, or at least turn it on airplane mode. Talking obnoxiously on the phone while you are sitting in your seat and the flight attendant is trying to get others settled in, brief emergency exit door passengers and making sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt is just downright annoying to all those people around you. Then to tell the flight attendant; who is ensuring your safety by the way, that they need to wait a moment while you finish you phone call is just rude. You know you are boarding the plane at a certain time, you know you have to get off your phone call, so do everyone a favor and switch your phone off when they tell you to.

Airplane phone

6. What kind of drinks do you have?

Even if you are a first time flyer, it is pretty obvious that airplanes have a select number of drinks on-board. Asking a flight attendant to list off all the drink choices is not like asking a server at a bar to list off draft choices. First off, your non-alcoholic drinks are most likely free, therefore just pick a regular soft drink or juice and ask for it. If they don’t have, they will mention something similar they do have. If you really can’t figure out something to order just reach into that seat pocket in front of you, there is probably a menu in there that lists your options. If that doesn’t help you, please just do everyone a favor and order water. Your flight attendant has 100 other people to serve and doesn’t have time to list off the 14 different drinks they have available.

withGod / Shutterstock.com
withGod / Shutterstock.com

5. Can you watch my kids?

If you look up the definition of a flight attendant, nowhere does it say the word ‘babysitter’. That is because they are not there to watch your kids. To you it may seem like the perfect excuse to hand off your baby to a stranger for 5 minutes while you run to the washroom but this is a horrible idea. What if something goes wrong in those 5 minutes and the flight attendant cannot do their job because your baby is now in their arms? Plus let’s be honest, as cute are your crying baby may be to you, the flight attendant probably isn’t going to think so when they are screaming in their face. If you want any chance of the flight attendant slipping an extra cookie your way to calm down your two year old who is throwing a temper tantrum; do not ask them to ever watch your kids for you.

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4. Can you put my bag up there for me?

If you cannot lift your carry-on bag above your head, you should not be carrying it. The rule is pretty straightforward. Your carry-on bag will likely have to be stored in the overhead compartments and guess what; you are responsible for getting it up there. Did you think that in flight attendant training they practiced lifting up people’s bags for them? The answer is no, they are not responsible for lifting your heavy bag that you tried to cram your entire life into. If you do ask this question plan on getting a dirty look shot at you by the flight attendant, followed by a snicker which will quickly remind you that placing your bag up top is your responsibility. Also don’t plan on getting any special service after you have asked this question, it is one of the most offensive.

Overhead Baggage

3. Why are we delayed?

Let’s go back to the idea that flight attendants are not psychic. Therefore if they aren’t making announcements about why you are delayed, they probably don’t know themselves. You see, contrary to people’s beliefs, the airline actually does want passengers to know what is going on. Leaving passengers in the dark about why delays are happening leads to unhappy flyers, unhappy flight attendants and an overall terrible experience. Therefore flight attendants are apt to make an announcement when they know what is happening. Delays happen, every single minute of every single day for millions of reasons. Your best bet is to sit tight because whether you know or not, it doesn’t change to fact you are stuck in a metal tube with no way out.

Passenger Announcement

2. I sure hope these pilots know what they are doing.

It is the most idiotic statement you can make, either to the person sitting next to you or the flight attendant, but they hear it all the time. Do you actually think the airline went to Joe Schmuck last week and asked him if he wanted to try flying a plane, and then just hired him as a pilot with no prior experience? NO! Of course the pilots know what they are doing. They have gone through years of training, hours upon hours of flying and if you seriously doubt that fact, perhaps you shouldn’t be flying with that airline. Do not ever utter these words, to a flight attendant, to anyone. Ever.

pilots cockpit

1. Can I get a free upgrade?

If they wanted to upgrade you for free, trust me, they would have. That’s the thing that passengers don’t quite understand about the airline world. First up, if you wanted an upgrade you should have asked before you got onto the plane because chances are, you would have had a better shot. Secondly, why would a flight attendant upgrade you for free while all those other people in first class have paid big money to sit there? Are you famous? Are you someone who deserves a free upgrade? I can almost guarantee if you ask for a free upgrade from a flight attendant they will say no, and probably not give you any free drinks either. Stop asking for things for free.

Airplane Upgrade

The Biggest Airplane Disasters

From Amelia Earhart and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle in 1937 all the way up to the controversy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, aviation crashes are always surrounded by a bulk of mystery as we search for answers. Sometimes they are even poorly reported; for instance Asiana Flight 214 in 2013-and other times they are tales of survival worthy of feature films, like Uruguyan Air Force Flight 571 -but most of all they are tragic. Unfortunately, 2014 included 18 such incidents, some military and others commercial. Even more disheartening, a few were even intentional. Despite 2014 actually being noted as the safest year in aviation history, the year past showcased some of the most widely covered plane crashes ever recorded, with some taking months to uncover even the smallest pieces of evidence. Let’s review 5 of the biggest airplane disasters of 2014 and in some cases, of all time.

Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 – The Beginning of Another Conflict

The Ilyushin Il-76 military plane that was shot down on June 14, 2014 is a case of spy versus spy. The Lugansk People’s Republic is said to have shot down the military craft carrying 40 paratroopers and nine crewmembers. While it was originally thought to be taken down by anti-aircraft guns, evidence was found of empty Igla missiles near the crash site close to Lugansk Airport.

In the usual case of “he said/she said” that typically goes on between Russia and Ukraine, a Russian source went as far to claim that neither body parts nor military armaments were found at the crash site, alluding that the plane was actually empty the entire time. This would have meant the plane was intended to transport bodies of deceased soldiers but didn’t have any aboard at that time. As usual, revenge was promised and both sides blamed one another. At least there was a day of mourning.

InsectWorld / Shutterstock.com
InsectWorld / Shutterstock.com

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – Caught Between Two Sides

On July 17th a massive Boeing 777-200ER lost contact with air traffic control approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. According to American and German intelligence, pro-Russian separatists near Donestsk Oblast, Ukraine shot down the jet.

All 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers of the Malaysia Airlines flight were tragically killed in the incident including 27 Australians, 43 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Brits and 193 Dutch. Donbass separatists claimed responsibility until it was revealed it was a commercial airliner at which point they backed down. Of course, Russia put the entirety of the blame on Ukraine in a rather sad circumstance of wrong place, wrong time.

Faiz Zaki / Shutterstock.com
Faiz Zaki / Shutterstock.com

TransAsia Airways Flight 222 – Natural Disaster

Flight 222 is one of the very rare cases where a plane actually strikes a civilian building. The plane (an ATR 72-500) is a mid-size craft with two propellers, so it is lucky in the sense that if the plane were bigger there would have been more damage & additional casualties. On July 23rd, the flight (which was initially delayed by weather) departed from Kaohsiung, Taiwan en route to Magong Airport, Penghu Island, Taiwan. The landing was also delayed 40 minutes before it was cleared for approach.

This is where the plane was thought to experience problems likely due to Typhoon Matmo, which passed over the location earlier in the day; radar revealed a large amount of rainfall during the time of the crash. The plane veered left on descent and crashed into two houses in the township of Huxi, resulting in a blaze that injured five on the ground. 48 of the 58 people on board were killed, including 2 French nationals among the rest of the Taiwanese passengers and crew. A total of 14.9 million New Taiwan (NT) dollars was paid out to each of the victim’s families as compensation for the crash, which equates to just under $500,000 USD.

LauraKick / Shutterstock.com
LauraKick / Shutterstock.com

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – The Mystery Over the Pacific

2014 was certainly not a good year for Malaysia Airlines as Flight 370 went missing on March 8 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing; less than half an hour after take-off the Boeing 777-200ER disappeared from radar and was never seen again. All 227 passengers and 12 Malaysian crew are presumed dead. A multinational effort was quickly underway as the passengers on-board represented 15 countries, and as no one seemed to know what happened, this is where the mystery started and all sorts of theories and alleged evidence began hitting the media.

Stolen passports, asylum seekers, one-way tickets and cash-purchased fares were all part of the speculation surrounding what is considered one of the greatest aviation mysteries ever. The FBI reconstructed deleted data from flight simulators both pilots had used previously, but “nothing sinister” was found on it either. Because it was impossible to prove the cause of the accident, the airline was responsible to compensate each victim’s family $175,000, which totaled almost $40 million. On top of this, Malaysia Airlines suffered a huge setback in sales following the incident.On January 29, 2015 the Malaysian government officially declared that the flight was an accident with no survivors.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Olsberg Mid-Air Collision – A Bad Left Turn

During an exercise to simulate the interception of a civilian airliner, a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet crashed in mid-air with an American made Learjet 35 on June 23rd. The crash over Olsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany occurred when the Learjet crashed into one of two Typhoons as both turned left. After the collision, both fell into a tailspin with the business jet landing just 100 meters from some residential houses.

Luckily for the jet it suffered critical damage but was still able to land near Cologne, Germany. Sadly, both Learjet crew perished in the crash. This was the first time in 10 years there had been a mid-air collision in German airspace. For reference, each Eurofigther Typhoon costs about £125 million after production plus development.

ChinellatoPhoto / Shutterstock.com
ChinellatoPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Costs of All Kinds

Not only are there a ton of elements that go into each and every aviation accident, there are repercussions that exist in many different ways. There are the deaths themselves and the toll they take on families, business costs each airline suffers from a loss of business, not to mention how much money is lost when a commercial airliner is destroyed.

The previously mentioned Eurofighter Typhoon’s approximate $200 million USD price tag seems small when compared to a Boeing jet, which can fetch a price close to $350 million. Piling on payouts to victim’s families (although deserved) and surrounding infrastructure, and the costs of airplane disasters can easily make their way into the billions. If there were any positive outcomes to stem from these accidents, they would be to learn from the mistakes. Whether it be radar tracking or flight techniques/regulations, flights such as Malaysia Airlines 370 (which remains a mystery) can teach the entire an industry the lesson that there is always more that can be learned, more that can be studied and taught. The reason that avoiding these events is so important is because each and every happenstance is incredibly detrimental to everyone that is involved.

money risiing

Angry Passenger Slaps Airline Employee

Most airline freak-outs seem to happen in the air, but one passenger hadn’t even boarded the plane before losing her temper and throwing a fit.

A woman at Tan Son Nhat International airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was heading to her gate to board a plane for Hanoi when she was stopped by a VietJet employee who requested she have her bags weighed. 

VietJet

The airline’s requirements for carry-on luggage is a weight of 7kg (about 15.5 pounds) or less, with a size of 56x36x23. When the employee looked at the woman’s two bags he suspected they were over the limit. After weighing them, he confirmed that they indeed exceeded the weight limits set by the airline. 

The woman disagreed with the scale’s results and instead of negotiating with the airline employee, she wound up and slapped him right in the face. According to reports, officials responded to the incident quickly and the woman was made to sign a statement about the incident and also fined VND7.5 million, or approximately $345 USD. Ironically, this is more than it would have cost her had she just paid the overweight baggage charges.

Animals are Getting Second Chance Thanks to Volunteer Pilots

Sadly, more than 4 million U.S. pets are euthanized every year but thanks to a few incredible organizations some animals are getting a second chance at life.

California-based group Wings of Rescue and South Carolina-based Pilots N Paws are two of the major organizations leading the way in rescuing and relocating animals to give them a better chance at adoption. Through these programs, volunteer pilots lend their planes, fuel, and their time to help move these loving animals from places with an overpopulation of animals for adoption to those where more people are looking for their next best friend.

puppies in carrier

Areas like California, South Carolina and Georgia tend to have more pets than can be adopted while states like Florida, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Oregon actually need more pets to satisfy the growing demand for pet adoptions. To help this location problem, some volunteers with big hearts are taking to the skies.

Kate Quinn, the Executive Director of Pilots N Paws says, “We have seen the number of animals rescued go up every year since we started in 2008” and in each of the past 2 years, the groups 5,000 plus volunteer pilots have flown more than 15,000 animals to their new homes. More than 75,000 animals have been relocated in the last 7 years and according to Pilots N Paws, the number just keep rising. 

It’s good news on each end of the journey as the overcrowded shelters euthanization rates are dropping and those shelters receiving the relocated animals say that the furry friends are getting adopted out as quickly as they’re being brought in.

 

Like This? Check out: World’s 6 Strangest Animals (And Where to Find Them)

Bye Bye Legroom: Airplanes Only Getting Smaller

If you didn’t already feel like a heard of cattle when boarding an airplane you’re about to.

Airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus are set to produce 2 new models of aircraft which are more fuel efficient (yay!) but squeeze more seats into the same amount of space as previous planes (boo!). More seats in the same space = less room per passenger…as if we didn’t already feel cramped while flying in economy class.

The new Boeing 737 MAX should be ready in 2017 and will have 189 (in comparison to the current 737-800 model which has 160 seats). European low-cost carrier Ryanair has even put in a special request with Boeing to create a Boeing 737 MAX 200 just for them, which packs in 200 seats! The Airbus version will be out ever earlier withe a reported release date of late 2016 and was planned to feature 180 seats. Last month however, the European Aviation Safety Agency gave approval to add another 15 seats increasing the total to 195.

InsectWorld / Shutterstock.com
InsectWorld / Shutterstock.com

The actual loss of space looks like it will be about 1-2 inches in the Boeing 737 MAX and around 3-5 inches in the Airbus. You might not notice a loss of an inch or 2, but at the higher end we’re talking about almost half a foot of lost space!

Many airlines are lining up to purchase these new fuel and space efficient aircraft and while we hate the thought of even less room on-board,  more efficiency should translate to lower costs for airlines and more friendly competition between carries -which all translates to savings on fares.

Like this? Check out: How to be Productive on an Airplane

Where the Wealthy Fly: The Top Private Jet Routes in the World

No cramped spaces, no crying babies, and the freedom to decide exactly when and where you want to fly–anywhere in the world. Yes, flying in a private jet is a privilege most of us can only ever dream of, but for those wealthy enough to afford it, it’s a luxury like no other.

With the whole world to choose from, just where would you fly if you had a private jet at your disposal? If you’re like us, you think about this (probably more than you should) and also wonder where do the wealthy fly? Well, a 2015 Wealth Report published by Knight Frank shows a list of the top 10 private jet routes in the world for 2013. The report also shows the top 10 fastest-growing private jet routes. Let’s take a look:

Jordan Tan / Shutterstock.com
Jordan Tan / Shutterstock.com

Top 10 Routes Worldwide:

  1. Moscow -to- Nice/Côte d’Azur
  2. Miami -to- New York
  3. New York -to- Los Angeles
  4. New York -to- West Palm Beach
  5. London -to- New York
  6. London -to- Moscow
  7. London -to- Nice/Côte d’Azur
  8. Chicago -to- New York
  9. Houston -to- New York
  10. West Palm Beach -to- New York

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Routes:

  1. Nice/Côte d’Azur -to- New York
  2. Maiquetía -to- Miami
  3. Dubai -to- London
  4. Pittsburgh -to- New York
  5. Houston -to- West Palm Beach
  6. Moscow -to- Tel Aviv
  7. Houston -to- Midland (Texas)
  8. Lagos -to- London
  9. Austin -to- Houston
  10. Houston -to- Washington DC

It might come as some surprise that the most popular private jet route in the world is from Moscow, Russia to Nice, France. This fact displays the continuing importance of Russian wealth in the European market. The second most popular route after this is Miami to New York, followed by the ever-popular New York to Los Angeles, both of which firmly reinforce the fact that the United States remains the most important private jet market in the world.

When we take a look at the fastest growing routes we can see the emergence of international markets like Maiquetía, Venezuela, and Dubai, UAE; though the fastest-growing route overall is Nice to New York. Given the number of times we see New York come up on this list, it’s clear that it’s both a favorite departure city as well as a destination for wealthy jet-setters worldwide.

So just who are these wealthy flyers and what do they do? Well according to the report which uses data collected by NetJets, around 80% of these luxury flyers are male, aged 40-55. It also states that the majority are private entrepreneurs whose wealth comes from finance and oil and gas industries, followed closely by those in property and technology industries.  By the sounds of this, if you ever want a private jet of your own, you’d better get working on that big business idea!