White-gloved stewardesses, lobster dinners served on bone china, on-board cocktail lounges—there’s a lot to miss about the golden days of air travel. (In-flight smoking, not so much.) Re-live the era through Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet, which hits shelves Sept. 10. The soft-cover book—originally released as a hardback in 2000 in the U.K.—presents a highly researched history of uniforms, food, and interior design. Sure, it’s interesting to read, but the images (and detailed captions) really tell the story. The final chapter takes a look at airline corporate identity, with a focus on logos and branding. Bet you didn’t know that now-defunct British European Airways had their own Benson & Hedges cigarettes and gave out complementary ashtrays adorned with “Fly BEA.” Today, that would never, er, fly.
Brooke Porter is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Image from the book AIRLINE: STYLE AT 30,000 FEET by Keith Lovegrove. Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing
Can you imagine having a real live Mary Poppins on your next flight? Someone to entertain your kids (origami anyone?), serve them meals, and help you fill milk bottles—and all this done with a smile? Well Etihad Airlines has made this dream a reality. Known for over-the-top amenities and service, the Persian Gulf carrier just announced a Flying Nanny program for all its long-haul flights. More than 300 "nannies" trained in child psychology and sociology will be available to help frazzled parents survive their trip whether they're sitting in economy, business, or first. Yes, it sounds a tad extreme, but think of all the magazines you could read, movies you could watch, and naps you could take.
Clara O. Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo Courtesy of Etihad Airways
You might not be fazed anymore by grouchy airline workers, or a surly passenger in the seat next to you. But when your in-flight system starts giving you attitude, that’s a whole new level of insult.
According to an article in the Times of India, Air India is investigating an incident on a flight from London to Mumbai in which a passenger was having some difficulties getting a movie started at her seat. According to her side of the story, she finally received a rather brazen error message: "This selection is not currently available. Please try again later," and, below that, "Lie low...Sit down you idiot!"
The actress, singer, and godmother of Quantum of the Seas—the new ship from Royal Caribbean International—reveals her in-flight must-haves.
Tiger Balm ($12): “Really good for neck pain—it’s basically Icy Hot times ten.”
Dental floss ($3): “It’s always nice to have clean teeth.”
Purell hand sanitizer ($2): “For when I can’t wash my hands.”
Nivea A Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care ($4): “My lips get so dry when I fly.”
Vitamin E oil ($10): “Put this on wrinkles and creases. People ask for my secret—this is it.”
Vicks VapoRub ($12): “I believe that a little bit under your nose keeps the germs out.”
Kleenex ($2): “I don’t want to sneeze and not be prepared.”
Tylenol ($4): “Stops a migraine before it starts. Wow, I sound like a walking ad!”
Photo by John Lawton
Somewhere above the Bering Sea on the long haul flight between Tokyo and New York, a Japan Airlines flight attendant kindly brought me a steaming bowl of rich broth and chewy udon noodles. Mine was the only seat lit at this late hour in the darkened cabin while glued to a subtitled crime drama marathon. (I'm a sucker for film noir in any language.) Recently, JAL launched its new business-class "Sky Suite" service on international routes to New York, London and Paris; service to Chicago and Los Angeles follows shortly. It's almost like having your own capsule hotel room, complete with a fully reclining seat, 23-inch LCD screen, and bed slippers. Definitely request a window seat for utmost privacy.
Q: How can I tell if an international carrier is safe? —Sarah Jones, Charlotte, N.C.
A: Even if we don’t like to admit it, the act of getting on a plane involves a great deal of trust: trust in the pilots and the flight crew, in the aircraft makers, in the airline, and—ultimately—in the authorities who approved the plane to fly. Domestically, this last responsibility lies with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is known for its exacting standards. But given that there’s no single organization with the authority to enforce safety around the world, things are more complicated abroad.
The easiest rule of thumb: book on foreign airlines that operate code-share flights with U.S. partners. (Global alliances—Star Alliance, Oneworld, SkyTeam—usually involve some form of code-sharing.) Before a U.S. airline can place its passengers on a foreign carrier, it must conduct a safety review of its partner and submit the results to the FAA for approval. As an added incentive, the U.S. airline may also be liable should anything happen to its passengers on a code-share flight.
You've done Notre Dame. You've walked the Hall of Mirrors. And, if you're like me, you've eaten every croissant in sight—hopefully one of the city's best. But don't check Paris and Versailles off your list quite yet. You haven't seen them by zeppelin...
Airship Paris is hoping to change that. This month, the company launched its inaugural flights around France's Ile-de-France region, and it predicts a bright future for the historic mode of transportation.
In the rush and jumble of getting off a plane that’s just landed, it’s not surprising if you absentmindedly leave your magazine tucked in the seat pouch, or neglect to notice that your favorite pen has dropped and rolled into another row.
But in a recent survey of 700 international flight crew members, travel search site Skyscanner discovered that travelers regularly leave behind a colorful, if not bizarre, array of items in their pursuit of prompt de-planing.
Some sundry items, one might assume, just fell out of a bag as folks took luggage out of the overhead bins—like an unpartnered shoe, an article of underwear or, well, handcuffs. But how exactly does one forget to grab one’s double bass, wedding gown, bag of diamonds—or a falcon?
A: Unless you get a very sympathetic agent on the line, you’re not likely to get your money back. But if you booked with a domestic carrier you’ll usually be able to cancel and receive a credit with the airline. Of course, you’ll have to pay a change fee—now a whopping $200 for most U.S. flights—and use the credit to travel by a certain deadline, often a year from the date that your original ticket was issued. Beware: some international carriers are not so generous and offer credit only in emergencies. And if you bought your ticket through a third-party website, such as Priceline or Hotwire, it may be subject to further restrictions. So always read the fine print.
Have a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at email@example.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.
Photo by iStockphoto
If there’s anything more challenging than a flight with your young kids, it’s trying to keep them entertained at the airport. On my last trip, I spent two hours chasing my twins around New York’s Delta terminal and had to convince a worker at Starbucks that Sebastian hadn’t intentionally stolen a bag of coffee (he knew exactly what he was doing). Enter Lufthansa. The airline recently launched a series of new family offerings at its Munich and Frankfurt airports, which include child-friendly check in areas with stations for kids. When you’re at the counter, your little ones can climb up a step ladder to feel part of the procedure (they’ll even get a “Best Friend Boarding Pass” for their favorite stuffed animal). You’ll also receive a Family Pilot brochure with vouchers and information about airport play areas, pharmacies, observation decks, and the best restaurants for kids. FYI, if you travel Lufthansa frequently, make sure to enroll your child in the Jet Friends frequent flier program—he’ll get instant points and access to a community of like-minded mini-globetrotters. Lufthansa.com/family
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Image Courtesy of Lufthansa