Why A United Regional Jet Flew To China With Five Stops

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It’s not unusual for turboprops or regional jets to make long trips across oceans with many stops. However, typically that happens when an airline is taking delivery of a plane, and the plane needs to get from the factory to where it’s going to be based.

However, at the moment a United Express Embraer 175 operated by Mesa Airlines is making a different kind of trip, which sees it flying to Russia and China. What’s the reason for this strange trip? Bloomberg notes that aircraft manufacturer Embraer is leasing the plane from Mesa, so it can show off the plane to an unnamed, prospective buyer in China.

The airline agreed to a short term lease for the plane, and expects it to be back in service by the end of the week. Since Mesa has 53 of these planes in their fleet, they can lease it without any operational impact, since presumably they usually have at least a couple of planes in maintenance.

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Getting Locked In A Gate At Heathrow For 30 Minutes

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This only applies in Europe, because I can’t imagine how this would have played out in the US. Then again, airports tend to be less automated in the US, so I doubt this happens as frequently.

Two weeks ago, I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 2 from a European city that will go unnamed. I never get recognized, but coincidentally the pilot, purser, and ground crew on this flight had seen my videos. After the flight, I stayed and chatted with the pilot before heading toward passport control. No other passengers were in sight at this point, but I didn’t figure it would be a problem.

Well, a minute later I got to the room between the jetway and the hallway to passport control. The only problem? The door was locked. I motioned to activate the motion sensor. I pushed and pulled. Nothing.

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Drunk & Threatening Guy Jumps Over Railing At Atlanta Airport (Disturbing)

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A sad incident occurred at Atlanta Airport today, where a man jumped over the railings at the airport, from one floor to another. It doesn’t appear as if it was a suicide attempt, but rather the passenger was just really drunk and got into fights. According to CBS46, the passenger was taken to the hospital, though is in stable condition. The incident occurred in Concourse D, outside of Terrapin Taphouse. According to the story:

“A spokesperson for the airport told CBS46 the man got into a disagreement with another passenger prior to falling, adding that he suffered significant injuries. Meanwhile, an Atlanta police spokesperson told CBS46 that the man appeared to be intoxicated, and was threatening other travelers prior to jumping.”

There’s video of the incident on Instagram. If you’d like to watch it, you can do so here (I don’t want to embed it directly), though it’s quite disturbing. You’ve been warned.

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Ukraine International Airlines Wants To Add Flights To Chicago, Miami, Toronto, And More

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Ukraine International Airlines is improving nicely. I flew the airline a bit over a year ago from Kiev to New York, and the route was operated by one of their extremely outdated 767s. One of the ways that the airline will improve is that they’re taking delivery of four 777s, featuring flat beds in business class. Going from their 767 business class (which is more like premium economy) to a 777 with flat beds is a huge improvement.

The airline presently has a fleet of 39 aircraft, and they have a further 17 aircraft on order, including three 777s, six 737s, and eight Embraer regional jets. However, it looks like the airline has lofty expansion goals that way surpass what you’d expect based on their fleet.

The Kyiv Post quotes the head of Ukraine International Airlines’ supervisory board as saying that the airline is planning significant growth over the next five years. Their plan sure is detailed, given that they’ve listed the routes that they plan to add every year. Here are the details of the new destinations they’re hoping for, by year:

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A Day In The Medieval City Of Norwich, England

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In England, there’s something of a ‘new tradition’. This ‘new tradition’ is all about celebrating local heroes… not that the celebration of local heroes is new in England – even the Queen’s done that ages with the Honours Lists, but this one’s different. This one’s about celebrating the people who help us travellers see even … Continue Reading

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Qatar Airways Will Offer Qsuites To Chicago As Of April 1, 2018

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Qatar Airways’ Qsuites, which they’re referring to as “super business class,” debuted between Doha and London Heathrow as of June 23, 2017. Since then they’ve also started offering them between Doha and Paris, as of September 23, 2017, between Doha and New York JFK, as of December 16, 2017, between Doha and Washington Dulles, as of January 16, 2018, and between Doha and Seoul Incheon, as of January 22, 2018.

On top of that, Qatar Airways now also has their first A350-900 and A350-1000 with Qsuites, so the number of planes with Qsuites should be increasing nicely over the coming months. I had the chance to fly Qsuites from New York to Doha in January, and was blown away by what a good product it is. This truly is the world’s best business class, by a long shot.

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Air France-KLM FlyingBlue Promo Awards For March 2018

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One of the best uses of Air France/KLM FlyingBlue miles is booking their Promo Awards.

FlyingBlue publishes these every month, and they offer 20-50% off select award tickets on Air France and KLM metal.

Back in the day Promo Awards would consistently be for 50% off and would have a good number of options in business class, though unfortunately they’ve devalued the promotion somewhat since then, and the discounts are now pretty consistently for 25% off. That’s still good, just not as good.

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Air New Zealand’s New Safety Video Was Filmed In Antarctica

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Air New Zealand is hands down the most innovative airline when it comes to their safety videos. Some of my favorite safety videos have been from Air New Zealand, and they’ve typically introduced at least two new safety videos per year.

Their safety videos have had all kinds of themes — some are intended to be humorous, while others are intended to showcase scenery. Air New Zealand has just released their latest safety video, which is all about the scenery. And my gosh, this is stunning.

Air New Zealand calls this the “world’s coolest safety video,” as it’s filmed in Antarctica. The star of the video is Adrian Grenier from Entourage, and the video is intended to highlight the importance of Antarctica in understanding the impacts of a warming world. Per the press release:

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TravelCon Update!

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Hey everyone! As you (may) know, I’m hosting a conference in September called TravelCon. For a long time, I’ve dreamed of organizing a conference in conjunction with our Superstar Blogging program. Something that would take everything we have online and bring it to life. I want to bring our students, other travel bloggers, and industry […]

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How Much Does The Average Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardmember Earn & Spend?

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ was introduced in the fall of 2016, and took the US credit card market by storm. Chase allegedly reached their 12 month sales goal for the card within two weeks of introducing it. The card was so popular that they ran out of the metal needed to produce the cards. I imagine they knew the card would be popular given the sign-up bonus and great rewards of the card, though it’s pretty incredible that it exceeded their expectations by that much.

This has raised some questions about whether Chase will ever be able to make money with the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠. While Chase expenses the customer acquisition costs over the first 12 months, it typically takes seven years before they make money on a customer. The further challenges with this card have been that fewer cardmembers have been financing charges than Chase expected, and that’s a way a lot of issuers make money. Furthermore, cardmembers have allegedly been using the card for more dining and travel purchases than anticipated, and since the card offers triple points in those categories, it’s presumably an area where Chase loses money.

Doctor Of Credit points to a JPMorgan Chase investor day presentation, which contains some interesting statistics about thee Chase Sapphire Reserve℠:

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