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Finding the Best Airline Travel Deals

We are all hearing some pretty strange stories about how the airlines are charging people these days. I just recently heard about an airline that is considering laying their passengers and pricing their tickets accordingly. That’s pretty drastic stuff in my book, but then again, maybe it is justified. In any event, booking airline tickets can become a pretty expensive proposition.

But we as customers of the airlines have a way to fight back. And what I mean by fighting back is shopping smart and saving money. Whether you’re traveling on business or for personal reasons there is no excuse not to be able to find the best airline travel deals. It is a simple matter of knowing where to look and then actually doing your homework by searching out the best airfares. It is not at all difficult and in my opinion, well worth the effort.

I personally like to use the Internet to shop and compare airline travel deals. There are literally dozens and dozens of websites that are independent of the airlines and are therefore not beholden to them. What that means is that it is in their best interest to show you the very best airfares available.

Some of these websites can be a little bit intimidating at first but you will soon find that they are actually quite easy to navigate. They can actually be quite enjoyable once you get the hang of them. I see travel websites as treasure maps and it is up to me to find the treasure, which in this case are exceptional airline travel deals.

What you will find is that these travel sites usually offer a whole lot more than just airline tickets and information. Many of them offer package deals that include hotels, car rentals and visits to attractions such as theme parks and museums. Actually makes perfect sense doesn’t it? The bottom line is that you can get great airfares as a part of a travel package.

Another excellent alternative is booking last minute flight reservations. Usually to find the best deals you have to book your flight well in advance. But a little known secret is that if you are flexible enough and can travel at the last minute there are some great deals to be had. Airlines faced with last-minute cancellations will price their tickets to sell as opposed to having those seats go empty and the airline not making any money on them.

If you do find a great deal on last minute cheap flights then you must be prepared to travel at odd times. Usually what happens is that the airlines have most of their empty seats during their red-eye flights. But for my money, traveling at odd hours of the morning and night is an inconvenience that is more than compensated for by the savings enjoyed for the airline tickets.

I have personally had great success and save a lot of money by doing my comparison shopping online and taking advantage of those great airline travel deals that are available. They are out there believe me, you just need to know where to look.

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Best Airlines For Pets

There are a variety of airlines that accept pets either in the cargo or even in the cabin so we are going to consider here which of those airlines are the best airlines for pets. Remember, pets include birds, rabbits, kittens, hamsters, or guinea pigs, but these pets do have additional restrictions.

United Airlines — The United Airlines pet policy is that they do allow pets in the baggage and cargo areas as well as in the cabin. Some short-nosed breeds of dogs are not allowed as checked baggage or as cargo during the summer months which are from June 1 through September 30. The breeds referred to are Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, English Bull dog, French Bull dog, Lhasa Apso, Boxer, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, etc. Heat is a factor here. This does not affect the transportation of pets in the cabin. So United Airlines can definitely be considered one of the best airlines for pets.

Northwest Airlines — The Northwest Airline pet policy is that they are accepted in the cabin on all U. S. flights except to Hawaii. They are accepted in some international flights but the airline must be contacted regarding this. Pets are also allowed in the checked baggage and cargo compartments. Northwest airlines boasts to be the industry leader for pet transportation in a safe and efficient manner. So the three options that Northwest Airlines offers for pet transportation are — Cargo Shipments (with passenger or traveling alone); Carry-on pets; pets traveling with checked luggage. Northwest Airlines is one of the best airlines for pets.

Delta Airlines — Delta Airline pet policy is that they accept pets in the cabin, in the checked baggage, and in the cargo compartment. There are restrictions as to what type of pet is allowed in the cabin. They are dogs, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, and cats. The animals that are prohibited include mice/rats, sugar gliders, spiders, pot-bellied pigs, frogs, or reptiles. Delta Airlines boasts safety and comfort for the pet but do have some guidelines for the size, etc of the pets. The pet(s) must fit in a carry-on kennel that fits under the seat in front or the seat the passenger is sitting on. The pet will not be able to travel in the cabin if the flight is going to Hawaii. Lastly the pet must be at least 8 weeks old.

American Airlines — The American Airlines pet policy is that pets are accepted in the cabin and as checked baggage. No more that 7 pets can be booked on one flight in the cabin so it is important to advise the airline ahead of time of the transport of a pet. However, checked pets do not need a reservation. Cats and dogs are the limit of pets that are permitted on the American Airlines.

The best airlines for pets are the four listed above determined by the breath of the policy for the transported pets such as in the cabin, cargo, or checked baggage.

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Top Airlines in 2011

Many airlines are growing fast in serving international destinations. The services from different airlines are also top rated and offer customers great hospitality.

Asiana Airlines

It is a South Korean airline established in 1988 and its headquartered at Osoe-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul. It is member of Star Alliance and operates its domestic hub at Gimpo International Airport and its international hub at Incheon International Airport. It serves a number of international destinations in four continents including Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. It operates a frequent flyer programme, ‘Asiana Club’ with five tiers of membership including Silver, Gold, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Platinum. Asiana Airline has won several awards including, ‘airline with best in-flight service’ by Global Travelers Magazine, ‘Airline of the Year’ by Skytrax in 2010, ‘Best Airline in Northern Asia’ in 2010 and many more. It is also ranked as a 5-star airline by Skytrax.

Singapore Airlines

It is a flag carrier of Singapore established in 1947 and its headquartered at Airline House, Singapore and is a member of Star Alliance. It operates its hub at Changi Airport and operates service to 62 destinations in 35 countries. It serves six continents, but has stronger presence in the Southeast Asian region. It operates its frequent flyer program in two categories namely KrisFlyer and The PPS Club and the in-flight entertainment system ‘KRISWORLD’. Singapore Airlines is ranked one among world’s top airlines in different categories.

Qatar Airways

It is a flag carrier of Qatar established in 1993 and its headquartered at Qatar Airways Towers, Doha and operates its hub at Doha International Airport. The airline operates services to 101 destinations in 55 countries in six continents including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. It is member of Star Alliance and has codeshare agreements with a number of airlines. Privilege Club loyalty programme of Qatar Airways has agreements with the loyalty programs offered by different airlines and also tie-ups with many hotels and car rental companies. Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines and is currently undertaking major expansion.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways is a flag carrier of Hong Kong established in 1946. The airline is headquartered at Hong Kong International Airport where it operates it hub. The airline serves 115 destinations in 36 countries and territories, thus forming a well connected Asian Network. It is the founding member of Oneworld alliance and operates codeshare agreements with many other airlines. The airline offer two loyalty programmes namely, The Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles. Cathay Pacific Airways was awarded ‘Airline of the Year’ in 2009 and is also rated a 5-star airline by Skytrax.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is a flag carrier and national airline of New Zealand established in 1940. The airline is headquartered at Western Reclamation, Auckland City, New Zealand and operates its hub at Auckland Airport. The airline serves 27 domestic destinations and 26 international destinations in 14 countries in 4 continents. The airline is a Star Alliance member since 1999 and operates codeshare agreements with many other airlines. Air New Zealand operates a frequent flyer programme called Airpoints. The airline was rated ‘world’s eighth best airline’ in 2009 by Skytrax and ‘Airline of the Year’ in 2010 and 2012 by the Air Transport World Global Airline Awards.

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Flights From JFK to Tokyo – Travel Guide to Finding Airfare and Flying to Narita or Haneda

If you have to fly all the way to Japan from the US, NYC is one of the most popular departure cities. Today, there are dozens of airlines offering flights from JFK to Tokyo. Whether it’s a business trip, family vacation, romantic getaway, or personal leisure, discount airfare is available online.

The distance between JFK and the Narita International Airport is a whopping 6,728 miles. You’re going to be on a long flight, no matter which airline you choose. It’s in your best interest to choose one that will help make you as comfortable as possible. The fastest plane ride for this route is just around 14 hours. There is also a 14-hour time zone difference.

This is a highly trafficked route, so you’ll have tons of options. Some of the many airlines that currently offer flights from JFK to Tokyo include:

• British Airways

• China Airlines

• Aeromexico

• Malaysia Airlines

• United Airlines

• American Airlines

• Swiss International

• Cathay Pacific

• Japan Airlines

• Delta

• Korean Air

Of these, American Airlines offers the most flights, although their fares aren’t always the lowest. Philippines Airlines and China Eastern Airlines offer some pretty cheap airfare.

You can usually cut the price down considerably if you select a flight with one or two stops. Pudong (Shanghai) and Taipei in Taiwan are two popular stops for connecting flights. Some flights stop on the West Coast of the US in Los Angeles for a connection.

Other Destination Airports in Flights from JFK to Tokyo

Not all international flights to Tokyo land at the Narita airport. You might find a better deal if you want to arrive at Haneda. Regardless of which airline and airport you choose, the cheapest times to fly to Japan are in the months of January, September, and October. The rates increase considerably in the months of June and December.

It’s usually cheaper if you depart on an evening flight than a morning flight. You should book at least two weeks in advance in order to get a below-average fare on your plane ticket.

Getting to your hotel from the airport can be very confusing if you can’t read Japanese signs. It’s for the best that you carefully look over a map of the airport and learn about transfers to downtown Tokyo. There are several hotels that offer free airport shuttle as well. Consider booking a hotel with your airfare at the same time to make things more convenient.

Take advantage of helpful search tools to find flights from JFK to Tokyo, and compare the rates.

Where will you be able to find the most affordable flights from JFK to Tokyo? At Expedia, the #1 travel discount site in the world. Just search for flights and look over the rates, fees, terms and conditions. When booking the trip. use Expedia promotional codes to save even more money.

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The Sinister, Scary Impact of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The events and issues surrounding the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has created a suite of scary and sinister concerns for international travel, mobility, security and risk managers as a result. Many do not yet understand the full implications this event will have on the world. The issues range from technology deficiencies, crisis management, capable threat sources, news reporting to aviation security and management. Also a few new issues we examine here that will also impact the future of travellers and managers alike. For those charged with the preparation and management of people and assets affected, this will assist you in your analysis and future planning.

Many more people are now looking at all the associated issues now, some for the first time. What the world now knows about a number of related issues they once took for granted or simply did not have the interest in, now concerns them immensely. Rightly so!

Technology Deficiencies: Airplanes Vs Smartphones

If aeroplanes were cars, most people wouldn’t’ buy them. An alarming number of aircraft are 10, 20, 30 years or more old that are still servicing commercial and domestic routes. The technology available on most aircraft is much more dated than last year’s smartphone technology, including emergency communications and monitoring systems. Not to mention the lack of international integration for those that have better, more capable technology solutions.

There is a common misperception that aviation technology is evolving at similar rate to commercial technology as seen in computers, phones, cars, and so on. When in fact, this just isn’t the case at all. It is not just the aircraft that is dated but also the supporting systems such as radar, communications, reporting and access to databases as well. While the assumption is that it all works just fine, when there are no incidents or scandals, it is often not a topic of discussion or concern until one or more incidents occur and many more become aware of what industry insiders have been aware of and lobbying to change for some time.

Coincidence and Causation: Lag indicators are not future assurances

2012 and 2013 were celebrated as two of the safest years in aviation history. The problem with this fact is that the end result isn’t qualified nor specified as the result of deliberate actions that created the outcome or if it was just a series of random coincidences the peaked during these times. There are more airlines, more flights, more destinations, more pilots, and more travellers each and every year, which is placing significant burden on all the associated elements in different ways, at different times with vastly different consequences. The reality is, despite recorded incidents and data, aviation health,safety, security and risk management is not 100% controlled and incidents and events will and do happen, with often catastrophic results.

Airspace Management: World access and 100% monitored?

They average layman is under the impression there are super computers tracking every air movement across the globe and all centrally accessible, verifiable and accurate at any moment in time. They saw it on their iPhone app or desktop computer through a website so it must be the same for both commercial and military air traffic control too, right?

A growing number of reports and observations have revealed that take off and landing are really the only closely monitored and interactive stages of domestic and international air movements. Some locations still have bulletin boards to alert pilots and providers of changes to the airspace on given days or locations and civil and military systems do not interact or focus upon or even see the same data. What happens and what is monitored in the hours between take off and landing, is not that consistent nor is it universal the world over.

We had noted and commented in an earlier article on Australia’s airspace interoperatbility shortly before the official news converage also.

The fact remains, people or an incident was able to make a large, modern aircraft with over 200 souls aboard disappear without a trace while the entire world watched on, despite all the current technology and monitoring available to civil and military agencies.

Who’s watching?: NSA and other global overwatch perceptions

Many have become agitated and appalled by the Snowden revelations around civil and social monitoring programs. Everyone therefore believes that everything is monitored at all times and acted upon. This is not true nor realistic either. If that true, all storms would be reported to the affected before they struck, murder victims warned of the impending threat and all accidents such as aircraft crashes would be captured, reported and responded to before the aircraft actually crashed.

Despite what most people and even informed professional believed, many presumably important activities such as aviation movements are not monitored in real time, at all times and reported or acted upon in the event of the slightest variation. Even finding data or related information after the fact can be difficult or impossible. Not to mention that even if there were data on certain events, the data, source and means of collection would never be made public in the interest of protecting secrets.

Despite apps and desktop/online portals for getting access to airline schedules, tracking flights, aviation statistics and even in-flight radio transmissions, the volume of data, channels and activity in a single minute of any day, 24/7 is a staggering number and a long, long way off before there is anything close to achieving real time, universal monitoring and access of such activities. The bad guys know this too.

Warning Signs: Related, studied, rehearsed or coincidence?

Within the first couple of months of 2014 there were already a couple of key events, involving aviation safety and security that are related to Malaysia Airlines MH370.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 702 was significant not because it involved the alleged hijacking of an aircraft heading to the EU and a major capital city but because the story was not released by professional or government agencies and it involved one of the crew as the alleged hijacker. Online enthusiasts, rank amateurs and other crowdsourced intelligence where responsible for the identification, reporting and tracking of the incident which in turn fed the international news community. If not for this happenstance and skilled online community coming together at that particular time and seeing the incident through until conclusion, it would have just been a single line news updates online or during the evening news. Disenfranchised crew members also took many buy surprise as a potential source for misappropriate use of an aircraft.

Recently, Etihad flight EY 461 had a concerning chain of events that went unchecked and lacked adequate risk controls and oversight, placing commercial interests above more practical risk management principals for both providers and travellers. We noted several oversights and improvements in an article we wrote on the subject recently.

Crisis Management: Planned and learned skill, not part of your promotion entitlement

Governments, national carriers, military leaders and many more have collectively and very publicly been put on show as a result of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with many displaying an alarming level of unpreparedness, lack of coordination and cultural restrictions that have not faired well with the international news and affected audience.

Catastrophic failures, accidents and random events are not always blamed upon those left to communicate and coordinate the response but when their actions are inadequate, inconsistent, suspicious, uncoordinated or just plain random everyone starts to question their involvement in the tragedy and become less and less accommodating and increasingly hostile towards those who’s job titles demand they act on behalf of the victims and best interests of all involved. It has become painfully obvious to the world’s spectators and those tragically affected by the event that most where neither prepared for such an event nor are they effective in engaging, communicating and coordinating an event that was not scripted in advance.

Global News and Reporting: Random and misleading

The quality, accuracy and every changing focus of the news and media interest around the event has been incredible to say the least. Not because of the lack of details but the random frenetic change in focus, theory and data used to create and release stories. A perfect example has been a story titled ‘Malaysia Airlines Fligth 370: Runways in Range” which is neither accurate nor related to the event in any effective way. A random selection of runways, in unverified condition, never had a large commercial aircraft land upon it, has no instrument approach capability, at night, with no control tower nor on-ground emergency support resources does not qualify as an option for an aircraft in duress at the time and circumstances of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This has been representative of the hourly conspiracy theories and random topics released by an industry that they themselves have seen diminish in reach and capability in recent years, part of the reason the aforementioned group of amateurs providing critical information for the world’s news services during the Ethiopian Airlines suspected hijacking.

Airport Security: Hated and loathed by many

Despite continued loss of interest, tolerance and funding for airport security since the 9/11 catalyst it has seen a resurgence as a result of the incident. Most airport security is ineffective against intelligent, coordinated and capable threat groups with more of the focus and application upon random, individual acts and highly reactive to yesterday’s threat: which is part of the reason it frustrates so many. There is also little international consistency between the application and implementation of aviation security which in turn encourages the seeking out and exploitation of vulnerable, accessible channels by more capable, international threat groups.

The retrospective admissions and revelations that this one flight had so many airport security anomalies will drive change, innovation and frustration for travellers as a result.

Passports: A growing illegal market and utility

In much the same way technology has been a very slow improvement in the commercial aviation space, so too have passports and passport control. Paper books used for international travel in a world where money and currency interactions, along with electronic identification and verification takes place in a matter of seconds seem almost laughable but a reality for some time to come as not all countries and users have the resources or technology for anything more advanced. This means they can be fraudulently used too.

International agencies such as Interpol have for many years tried to raise awareness in the gaps and threats posed by stolen passports in particular. Coupled with the ever growing attempts to collect valid passports by illegal and false means, results in a significant number of international travellers or opportunities to move among the commercial travelling population. The chance of detection is also reduced when screening measures are not complied with or there are routine and regular lapses in verification systems. Those that use or exploit these vulnerabilities range from the frightened fleeing to the deadly en route.

Successful Plans and Ideas: A catalyst for next generation threats

A better prize always attracts a better quality and prepared competitor. So too does the world of criminal, violent or terror based threats. Training and tactics have always been shared by these individuals and groups thanks to cultural ties, technology and even institutions where you end up with a concentration of like minded collaborators. But when any one or more of these groups are successful and their planning and tactics are then made public, a whole host of capable and prospective threats are free to pursue similar plans. We have seen this over the past decade, from the 9/11, Pakistan, Mumbai and Algeria type terrorism attacks that have taken place with each group learning and improving upon the last.

Direct Impact and Likely Outcomes of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Aviation technology will face renewed pressure for modernisation and upgrades. This will put economic burden on an already pressured industry and will likely drive some providers or services out of select markets as a result. Governments will also be pressured to regulate and spend in this area too but inconsistent international results will not close the gap or solve the problem in the next decade. This gap will remain a key vulnerability for competent and persistent threat groups.

Aviation standards and risk metrics will be reviewed in light of the complete disappearance of an aircraft and the world’s inability to locate it within a timely manner. Some standards will be too onerous for some providers or markets, further increasing the gap between developed and emerging economies. No evidence of defect will no longer be considered as evidence of no defects by regulators and consumers. Buyers and consumers will change their spending habits for what they see or feel as better indicators for safety, security and risk management.

Airspace management changes are needed. Ageing infrastructure, public/private expenditure will be demanded but with no direct cost recovery means for most. Incidents, whether deliberate or accidental will continue to occur as with flight MH370 until effective change is implemented in this space. Transparency and admissions are likely to precede real change with traditional practices challenged.

Self help monitoring and awareness has already started. Buyers and consumers are now more suspicious and actively seeking ways they can monitor or self help in the event of routine or emergency failures. There is little collective trust or faith in the industry, evident in the individual applications and online portals that are already being utilised or referenced as a means of consumer transparency in the wake of perceived or government shortfalls or reluctancy to share. A cottage industry will accelerate in appealing to consumers and providing access to ‘behind the scenes’ data and information.

New trends and tactics for the future threat groups will include one or more areas of exploitation now publicly divulged in the Malaysia flight MH370 incident. Inspiration and focus will lead to high end, international, coordinated state/non-state actors considering this now as a viable option for their cause or campaigns.

Crisis management failures will result in institutional lack of faith in Malaysia’s governance, regulatory bodies and national carrier. While individual failures will result in termination or replacement, enterprise damage and set backs will have significant economic and confidence impact upon all those associated or held responsible for the poor management and response to the event. Malaysian citizens will be influenced in elections and support of public officials that have demonstrated long term association to a system that enabled the failure of processes and progress.

News capture and reporting will be less credible and become a secondary, unverified source in related incidents. Social journalism and data sourcing or verification by communities and skilled specialists will be promoted and utilised over conventional, mainstream mass media channels. Short, updatable content in various forms will for the bulk of informing and educating lay people on technical and related issues during high priority or emergency communication events.

Airport security will undergo a renewed restructure and focus. Social profiling will again become justified and more explorative background details sought on travellers such as profession and affiliations. Air crew will also be subjected to increased screening and verification. Both inbound and outbound flights will be subject to increased screening for routes into select destinations such as the US. Inflight security measures will be introduced and commuter comfort decreased due to enhanced measures. Significant disparity between standards will result and vary from one airline, location and cultural hub to another.

Passports and verifiable databases will be readdressed. Limited measures will be made to upgrade current formats for identification, with the prospect of a secondary identification document required by some locations or jurisdictions on top of the boarding pass, passport, visa application and other already ineffective documentations requirements for capable, resourced criminal and threat groups. Increased cost will be passed on to providers with longer delays for travellers as systems try to speak to each other and access data through secure, timely and ever changing and failing systems.

New threats, concerns and controls will emerge once the full specifics of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 emerge and are investigated. Immediate, reactive measures will abound and family and community groups will unify to apply pressure on those seen to be or identified as responsible. While public interest and support may wain, online, sustained campaigns will emerge, updating the general public, news agencies and invested parties. Tactics, lessons learnt and new or improved solutions to those aspects that didn’t work fully will be refined and practiced by threat groups. A new generation of aviation, terrorism and related security experts will be borne and contribute to the incident commentary and the renewed pursuit of preventing or capturing those select individuals and groups capable or intent on repeating the fear and tragedy associated with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Conclusion

The events and issues surrounding the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has created a suite of scary and sinister concerns for international travel, mobility, security and risk managers as a result. It is understandable now how and where this incident will influence or change the aviation and travel industries. The issues range from technology deficiencies, crisis management, capable threat sources, news reporting to aviation security and management. These issues will also impact the future of travellers and managers alike. For those charged with the preparation and management of people and assets affected, you have a more complete overview for your analysis and future planning.

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Are the Airlines Doing Enough to Reduce Their Carbon Emissions?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that it would achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020. Investment in biotechnology, bio fuels, more efficient practices and also trading in carbon are just some of the measures which they intend to adopt. The have further announced that they believe carbon trading will cost the industry about $7 billion from 2020(based on a carbon price of $65 a metric ton in 2020).

Some US airlines have reduced their flights in response to falling demand for travel and freight, and carriers in Asia and Europe are likely to make similar scheduling cuts to reduce their operating costs.

In the United States, Northwest Airlines has excluded spoons from its cutlery pack if the in-flight meal does not require one.”When you are talking about a jumbo jet with 400 people on board, being served two to three meals, this can save a few kilos,” they said. American Airlines said fuel-saving measures have helped it save more than 110 million gallons of fuel annually and reduced its carbon emissions by 2.3 billion pounds in 2008. It aims to save 120 million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 billion pounds in 2009.

JAL of Japan, took everything it loaded from a 747 and and laid it out on the floor of a school gym to see what it really needed. As a direct result it reduced the size of all the cutlery on board to reduce weight.

Many other carriers have put their planes on slimming plans to shift the excess flab. Some have dropped their in flight magazines whilst others are digitizing their duty free catalogues onto the seat-back televisions. Catering trolleys are becoming lighter and less water is being loaded onto these “slimline” planes

Aircraft seats are losing weight too with the next generation of aircraft seats being made of composite rather than the currently used aluminum. This will result in these seats being up to 30 per cent lighter than the current generation. The in-flight televisions are now being made from reinforced carbon fibre resulting in weight savings of up to 50%.

Whilst these weight saving measures are helping, the industry is also looking to step up the use of alternative carbon-free bio-fuels, which should account for up to six per cent of the industry total by 2020.

A number of airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, Continental and Air New Zealand, have already carried out extensive trials of and test flights using alternative fuels.

The airports and air traffic control are also playing their part, and up to 100 European airports are reported to be preparing to change their standards on planes landing procedures. The plan is to apply a “continuous descent approach”, or CDA, that makes for a smoother more efficient descent and cuts carbon emissions per flight by 160 kg to 470 kg.

IATA also restated the industry’s previous environmental goals to cut absolute emissions by 50 percent by 2050, and improve average fuel efficiency 1.5 percent annually between now and 2020. Airlines will reduce their carbon emissions by nearly 8 percent this year as they slash the number of flights they operate in line with a drop in cargo and passenger demand, and about 6 percent of the forecast carbon cut will come as a result of carriers flying fewer planes in 2009, and a further 1.8 percent reflects steps to improve energy efficiency, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

These changes are just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to reducing airlines carbon emissions but they are a start.

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Continental Airlines and Passenger Comfort

Continental Airlines has been serving customers with superior class and efficiency for decades, and recently merged with United Airlines to expand their offerings even further across the globe. Having made a reputation for itself based on customer service, the airline still maintains the basic tenets of its philosophy and espouses a customer-focused airline experience. This is one of the many reasons why the airline strives to rank so highly in polls on passenger comfort.

One feature that they provide to improve the passenger’s experience is additional leg-room. They provide ample space for travelers to recline and extend their legs to more natural lengths by lowering the number of overall seats onboard. With fewer seats, there is more space between rows and therefore, more space for each individual. Another feature added to improve passenger comfort was the Flat-Bed seat. This seat extends horizontally and creates a more fully-reclined seating position to improve the quality of sleep by mimicking the shape of a bed. These seats are great for long flights and international travel, where time-zone changes make it difficult to stay on a comfortable sleep schedule. They are currently available in about 40 different airplanes and there are plans for every plane to have them in coming years.

Continental has received numerous awards over the years and many of them are related to their pursuit of passenger comfort. In the last decade, they’ve received a number of top marks from international critics and most of them are related to the extra efforts made in comfort. For 17 years, the Conde Nast Traveler rated Continental the best U.S. airline for trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific travel. These types of flights are the longest and most physically draining of airline travel, due to the lengthy travel times. Clearly, the extra effort made for passenger comfort is especially important in these types of flights and customers will recognize this. The Zagat Airline Survey ranked Continental among the best International airlines for the price in 2009, and in 2008, they ranked it best large domestic airline for its premium seating features, including the Flat-Bed seat.

Most airlines are designed with the intent to get their customers from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. But sometimes, efficiency isn’t enough. With so many choices for airlines and airplanes, the little touches make a huge difference. So many people choose Continental because it’s a company that believes in customer service and appreciation. If you have to get across the world, and there are so many options for how to do it, wouldn’t you choose the most comfortable one? Combined with their affordable pricing and international network, choosing Continental to take you across the globe is a decision to travel with comfort and class.

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The Early History of Austrian Airlines

1. Austrian Airlines’ Origins

Austrian Airlines’ genesis can be traced to March 20, 1918, when the Austrian Postal Administration inaugurated daily scheduled mail service from Vienna to Kiew with intermediate stops in Krakow, Lwow, and Proskurow, and later expansion included Odessa, from Proskurow, and Budapest, from Vienna. When space permitted, passengers were also carried. But a flight prohibition, implemented at the end of World War I, forced its discontinuation.

When the ban was lifted, Austria subsequently reentered the civil aviation market by establishing the Oesterreichische Luftverkehrs AG (OELAG) on May 12, 1923 with an initial one million Crown investment financed by Junkers, a German aircraft manufacturer (49 percent), and various Austrian shareholders (51 percent).

Commencing scheduled service from Munich to Vienna two days later, it operated a single-engine, low-wing Junkers F.13, which featured an enclosed cockpit and passenger cabin. OELAG eventually operated several versions of this rugged, but (then) modern design, and increasing demand soon necessitated larger aircraft, the first of which was a higher-capacity, tri-engine Junkers G.24 delivered in 1927 and the second of which was the more advanced G.31, received the following year.

Perhaps the ultimate design, however, was the Junkers Ju.52/3m, a tri-engine, 18-passenger airliner with a gross weight of 24,000 pounds and a cruise speed in excess of 150 mph that joined the fleet in 1936. Most major East and West European flag carriers also operated the type at this time.

By the following year, OELAG’s route system incorporated Athens, Belgrade, Berlin, London, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Zurich, in addition to several Austrian domestic destinations, with much of the service daily. It eventually became the fourth largest European carrier after Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France, with 975,840 weekly seat-kilometers. Coincident with OELAG’s growth was the completion of five Austrian airports–namely, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, and Vienna.

When Austria was ultimately absorbed into the Third Reich in 1938, OELAG was incorporated into Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH). Nevertheless, it had flown 120,000 passengers 7.5 million kilometers without fatality during its reign.

2. Initial Growth

When World War II ended, Austria, once again independent, signed the Peace Treaty with all four occupying powers, and re-contemplated scheduled air service by forming a flag carrier. Two such national airlines were actually proposed: Air Austria, formed by the Austrian People’s Party and capitalized by KLM and later Fred Olsen, a Norwegian charter company, and Austrian Airways, formed by the Austrian Socialist Party and financially supported by SAS. Neither ever flew and the two were eventually combined on September 30, 1957 to create an integrated company with an initial AUS 60 million investment which adopted, Phoenix-like, its pre-war name of Oesterreichische Luftverkehrs AG, but whose English equivalent of “Austrian Airlines” was officially used.

Ownership included Austrian private investors, at 42 percent; public enterprises, at 28 percent; SAS, at 15 percent; and Fred Olsen, at 15 percent.

Austrian inaugurated scheduled service on March 31, 1958 after a 20-year suspension with four leased Vickers V.779 Viscounts, a medium-capacity, four-engine turboprop airliner designed in Great Britain and initially operated on the Vienna-Zurich-London route.

Growth proceeded rapidly and, in 1960, it took delivery of the first of four larger-capacity, stretched Vickers V.837 Viscounts, which it inaugurated into service on May 23, and the following year it took delivery of the V.845 for slightly lower-density routes. Both British turboprops provided reliable, economical service, the V.837s employed until 1971.

The Douglas DC-3, the best-selling civil airliner, was also acquired at this time and enabled Austrian to inaugurate domestic services on May 1, 1963, a route that would later be served by Austrian Air Services. This aircraft was replaced by the more advanced, larger-capacity, turboprop-powered Hawker Siddeley HS.748-2 in 1966, another British design.

Austrian Airlines entered the jet age on February 20, 1963 when it used the first of five Sud-Aviation SE.210-VIR Caravelle twin-jets, poising it for its characteristic strategy of operating short- to medium-range, low- to medium-capacity, t-tailed twin-jets on a predominantly European (and later North African and Middle Eastern) route system. Designed in France, the Caravelle, the first economical, short-range, pure-jet airliner, was quiet, cruised above the weather, and reduced flying times between European capitals.

3. Transatlantic Experiment

Contrary to most European flag carriers, which operated transatlantic service to the United Stares and Canada with quad-engine DC-4s since the end of World War II, Austrian Airlines maintained its medium-range route system until April 1, 1969, at which time it stretched its wings across the Atlantic with an intercontinental Boeing 707-320, registered OE-LBA and chartered from Sabena Belgian World Airways. Operated on the Vienna-New York route with an intermediate stop in Brussels, it constituted what could have been considered its “transatlantic experiment,” but, despite Austrian’s prior delay in launching it, it still proved both a premature and financially unsound decision for two primary reasons.

Its Austrian home market was, first and foremost, still too small to support this service, while Vienna-Schwechat Airport was not sufficiently developed as a hub, thus offering few connecting flights to which this transatlantic service could transfer passengers.

After a two-year trial, the 707 was consequently returned to owner Sabena on March 31, 1971, leaving Austrian once again to concentrate on its primarily continental route system, for which nine short-to medium-range Douglas (later McDonnell-Douglas) DC-9-30s were ordered.

Similar in overall design to the Caravelle, but manufactured in the United States, the t-tailed jetliner offered a slightly higher passenger capacity, a higher gross weight, more powerful engines, and improved economics, and with it Austrian entered a new era that would span almost two decades. It later described this design as “the start of something big, classical and still modern.” Delivered on June 19, 1971, the first DC-9-30 and those that followed soon became the mainstay of its fleet.

Another brief intercontinental route was introduced In 1974, this time for the purpose of carrying cargo, when Austrian leased a McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-63F, registered OE-IBO, from Overseas National Airways (ONA) and served Hong Kong, but this service was later discontinued. Other than the single 707-320, the DC-8-63F was its only other large-capacity, long-range, quad-engine jet.

So versatile and popular did the basic DC-9 design prove itself to be, however, that the carrier later ordered five stretched, higher-capacity DC-9-50s, the first of which was delivered on September 14 of the following year.

That operation of these twin-engine aircraft and the discontinuation of its transatlantic attempt were proper strategies for the Austrian national carrier was reflected by its positive growth. On June 26, 1974, for example, a new maintenance base opened at Schwechat International Airport-Vienna. Its value also continued to swell: in 1967 its share capital increased by AUS 140 million to AUS 290 million. In 1969, it further increased to 390 million. And in 1962 it reached the one billion mark. During the three-year period from 1972 to 1974, it equally posted a profit.

Its route system also commensurately expanded: in 1976, when Austrian launched service to Cairo in North Africa and to Stockholm and Helsinki in Scandinavia.

Demand, soon outpacing capacity, prompted an initial order for eight McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-80s to replace its existing DC-9-50s. Also designated DC-9 Super 80s, these aircraft represented the next-generation version of its previous -50 series variant for operation on medium-range sectors and featured a further fuselage stretch for still higher capacity and refanned, higher-thrust, and more fuel-efficient Pratt and Whitney JT8D-209 engines.

Austrian, which shared the distinction of being co-launch customer for the design with Swissair, inaugurated the first elongated DC-9-81 into service on October 26, 1980 on the Vienna-Zurich route with aircraft OE-LDR “Wien.” The twin-jet was later redesignated MD-81 and quickly became the short- to medium-haul workhorse of its fleet.

New additions to its ever-expanding route system included Larnaca and Jeddah in 1979 and Tripoli in 1981.

Another 1980 milestone was marked by the establishment of Austrian Air Services (AAS), which eventually became a wholly-owned subsidiary, for the purpose of operating Austrian domestic routes with two twin-turboprop, 19-passenger Fairchild Swearingen Metro II commuter aircraft. It entered service on April 1.

Austrian plied smooth skies. Indeed, its 1980 balance sheet indicated an AUS 71.5 million net profit, its tenth consecutive one.

The MD-81, intermittently proving itself as optimally suited to its increasing demand route system as the SE.210-VIR, DC-9-30, and DC-9-50 were, was followed by its shorter-fuselage derivative, the MD-87, which Austrian ordered on December 19, 1984 for lower-capacity route sectors. The Austrian Air Services fleet was equally upgraded with the addition of two 50-passenger Fokker F.50 twin-turboprops ordered on September 25 of the following year.

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The Best Airlines to Fly to USA

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is a major American airline based in Atlanta, Georgia that operates an expansive domestic and international network. Delta serves flights from London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin and Shannon to its main hubs at New York JFK, Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Continental

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Continental Airlines is the fourth-largest airline in the U.S.

The airline flies to Newark and Houston from all major UK airports including London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast and Shannon.

Virgin Atlantic

Richard Branson’s Virgin airline operates long-haul routes between the United Kingdom and North America from its main base at London Heathrow. The airline has smaller bases at London Gatwick and Manchester Airport. Virgin’s flights to USA include Newark International Airport, New York JFK, Baltimore, Washington Dulles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

American Airlines

Honored as the largest U.S. airline, AA is based at Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American operates scheduled flights from London, Manchester and Dublin to Boston, New York JFK, Chicago, Raleigh/Durham, Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles.

British Airways

The British flag carrier serves a huge amount of international flights to USA from UK. The airlines is one of the preferred carriers to fly from London to New York JFK, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington Dulles, Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles and many more. British Airways also offers flights to Canada including the international airports at Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

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Best Airlines For Miami Cheap Flights

Choosing the right airline can make the difference in paying too much or finding a cheap Miami flight for your next trip to this popular destination. It seems as if airlines come and go rather quickly these days and the old standards that monopolized the industry for years have fallen to the way side. There are smaller, start-up airlines that are popping up all over the place. Quite a few airlines fly to Miami as Miami is an international hub – so Miami International Airport is rather busy. Finding the best deal for Miami cheap flights will involve some research and effort, and it is vital to saving money on your next Miami trip that you choose an airline that offers you the most value for your hard-earned dollar.

There are a couple of considerations to make when trying to find the best airlines for Miami cheap flights. Not all airlines fly into and out of all regions. A great part of the equation is where the flight originates from. The larger the terminal that the flight comes out of, the cheaper the flight will be – as a general rule. Having to book a flight that will have many transfers may not only be a hassle but may also be more expensive – and this is due to the number of fees that are charged by way of taxes on each takeoff and landing. Driving to a larger hub may solve the problem.

Jet Blue flies to Miami regularly but typically has very limited flight offerings and does not have terminal permission in too many areas. On the plus side, Jet Blue’s fares are very low and may be a great option for cheap flights to Miami, if there is access to the airlines. Jet Blue is usually easy on baggage fees as well, and they don’t charge for the first bag checked – unlike many airlines that charge an average of $25 for the first bag you bring along (other than your carryon bag).

Delta airlines is one of the cheapest airlines for flights in and out of Miami, and Delta flies into almost every terminal in the U.S. Delta also has smaller jets for shorter flights, which may reduce the cost of your Miami flight as well. U.S. Airways also flies in and out of Miami and this airline is typically widely available making it the best choice for many folks around the country. Northwest Airlines also has cheap flights to Miami and flies out of many of the airports across the U.S. Northwest can typically be counted on for offering great discount airfares unlike any other airline doing business -when you book early.

There are plenty of airlines to choose from. Plan ahead and do the research, check each offering and compare prices. Each of the travel websites online will display multiple options when conducting your search for Miami cheap flights. The options will vary and the conditions of travel will also vary. Some airlines are more inclusive than others, and the fees are already included in the pricing, such as taxes and baggage check fees. Some airlines do not include fees up front and there may be some additional charges. Reading the conditions of the ticket before booking the flight is a good practice and will insure flying with the cheapest airlines.

Airlines really are competitive and work hard to win your business – so comparing offerings and prices is really a good way to secure the cheapest airfares and Miami cheap flights.