Arriving at any US airport can be a daunting task for International passengers. Not so at Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX) where travelers arrive at the newly refurbished Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) with customs procedures well organized and therefore being fairly efficient. After you collected your luggage, the arrival lounge then presents itself nice and modern. It is fitted with colour changing lights, you’ll find a cafe (“Daniel’s Bistro”, we wrote about it during our pre-trip research) and a place where greeting visitors can buy fresh flowers (what a great idea!). You will even find an art installation featuring a film strip with work from 17 artists.
It was April fools day on Friday and Virgin Atlantic released a funny press release for the occasion: they announced that fresh herbs and vegetables will be grown on board Virgin Atlantic flights for Upper Class passengers from April 1st 2011. They really built up a proper story by specifying that in Upper Class, fresh herbs will be used to complement drinks and cocktails from the bar area including thyme for Bloody Mary’s and fresh mint for Mojitos, Pimms and tea. The vegetable offering will complement the in-flight meal with availability of vegetable depending on your destination. Carrots, baby new potatoes and spinach will be available on flights returning to the UK. Miniature pumpkins and sweet potatoes will be grown on transatlantic flights to the USA, while Tokyo routes will have the choice of okura (okra) or shiitake mushrooms. Virgin Atlantic even supplied pictures of the “new service”, see one above.
Last night as part of the Passenger Terminal Expo 2011 held in Copenhagen, Skytrax announced this years World Airport Awards. The most prestigious price, Airport of the Year, went to Hong Kong International (IATA: HKG) for the 8th time since 2000. LateDeparture video reviewed the award winning airport. Last year’s winner Singapore Changi (IATA: SIN) came second and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN) third.
It’s been a massive week for Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA) after a fire broke out on Wednesday night and turning into an enormous blaze near six fuel tanks on the southeast side of the airport. It subsequently destroyed the airport’s hydrant fuel pump system forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights. The Miami Herald wrote that “some semblance of normalcy could return by early next week after temporary pumps are installed and the backlog of canceled flights clears out.”
Does 2 hours for changing from one terminal to another at London’s busy Heathrow airport (IATA: LHR) sound like a lot of time? Nope. Would it make you nervous? Likely. Should it? Yes! Well – hang on a minute – let’s look bit closer at this as airports do improve their operations every now and then. Let me show you that ‘bad child Heathrow’ can actually work like clock work, even with a missed approach on your incoming flight. Here’s my experience report on how to change terminals at London Heathrow:
The media this week mainly focused on the developments of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant. With that there were various reports about Tokyo’s International airport (IATA: NRT) becoming overwhelmed with people wanting to leave the country. Also we heard of several airlines (e.g. Lufthansa and Air China) stopping services to the country’s busiest hub altogether and of the opposite where airlines increased their capacities to fly their people out (e.g. Air India). But there even was “Japan nuclear” news from well outside Japan: On Thursday the Chicago Tribune reported that passengers on a flight from Tokyo had set off radiation detectors at O’Hare International Airport (IATA: ORD).
What’s the first thing you do at Las Vegas airport (IATA: LAS) after you checked in? Exactly: you spend those remaining dollars in one of the many slot machines throughout the terminals in order to try to recoup your losses during your stay in Sin City. Unfortunately this plan rarely works out and therefore you’re better off doing something else. So, how about recalling all the movies that were shot on location at McCarran International Airport?
It’s been another week full of planes for me. But this week I’ve actually been on the planes. I’ve travelled through 3 airports including one that I’ve been longing to review for quite some time: Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX). And I was lucky enough to meet up with the airport’s public relations person who gave me a fantastic tour through the airport and even showed me some real secrets of what to do when you have ample time at LAX. Watch this space for the detailed review!
This is the second part of my two part series of what you can do at LAX airport (part one is here). This basically is an experiment to show you a comparison on what you can find out before you fly and the reality. I’m travelling to Los Angeles today and will be able to compare my notes and report back to you with my findings.
This week for me has certainly been one surrounded by planes. However, it didn’t involve any flying. Puzzled? Alright, let me fill you in: I visited the 2011 Avalon International Airshow on 3 days. Where is Avalon? Glad you ask – Avalon (IATA: AVV) is a small regional airport about 60km South of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. Every other year Avalon hosts Australia’s largest International Airshow attracting Hundreds of Thousands of public and hundreds of industry & trade visitors from around the country and abroad. While I was hoping for a lot more civil aircraft demonstrations, the airshow otherwise lived up to the motto of “feel the power”: From a jet-engine-equipped glider, the always impressive Mustangs to the newest Royal Australian Air Force plane, the F/A-18F Super Hornet, if it had an engine and made a lot of noise, it was on display. My favourite bit though was the transport aircraft C27-J Spartan (pictured) flown by the Italian Air Force performing jaw-dropping manoeuvres and even included a roll!