Air Travel

Cool travel posters at Miami Int’l Airport

MIA poster 2

An new exhibition at Miami International Airport’sFaster, Farther, and More Comfortable than Ever Before – features vintage posters from the dawn of the 20th century.

A collaboration between MIA and The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, the exhibition near Gate D-31 showcases more than 20 reproduction posters whose originals were produced from 1900 through the 1930s and are now housed at The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Here are some more samples:

Miami havanaMIA POSTER 1MIA POSTER 3 mia poster 6

Pastry from Jet Blue’s inaugural Quito flight

JET BLUE ROSE (2)

Blue roses from the arrival party for Jet Blue’s inaugural flight to Quito, Ecuador from Fort Lauderdale

 

I was pleased to join Jet Blue as a guest on their inaugural flight from Fort Lauderdale to Quito, Ecuador on Thursday morning, Feb 25 and will be circling back around with a more details on why this route is especially meaningful for Jet Blue and for Ecuador – but it’s late here in Quito and what’s really important to share are these snaps of the pastry created for the send-off and arrival parties.

jet blue cake

 

jet blue cookies

I didn’t get to taste the cake (I was wondering what a passport might taste like) but ate two of those Jet Blue shortbread cookies for dinner.

Alaska Air & JetBlue top airline survey ratings

Alaska Airlines Salmon Thirty Salmon

The J.D. Power 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study is out today and both Alaska Airlines (in the traditional carrier segment ) and JetBlue (in the low-cost carrier segment) remain at the top of the heap in terms of customer satisfaction.

Alaska Air ranked highest in its category for the eight consecutive year, followed in the rankings by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

JetBlue ranked at the top of its segment for the 10th consecutive year, followed by Southwest Airlines.

The study measures passenger satisfaction with North America airline carriers based on seven factors (in order of importance): cost and fees; in-flight services; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; aircraft; check-in; and reservation. You can see the full list here:.

Living in the Age of Airplanes – preview on an A380

AIRPLANES_St_Maarten_Flyover_4

From “Living in the Age of Airplanes” – St. Maarten Fly Over

 

I was a fortunate guest for the in-flight preview of “Living in the Age of Airplanes”, a new National Geographic film by Brian Terwilliger, that is narrated by Harrison Ford, with an original score by Academy Award-winning composer James Horner.

The film opens this Friday in IMAX, giant screen, digital and other special specialty theaters but on Monday, Emirates hosted a reception in its new lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport and then invited guests on board one of the carrier’s newest double-decker A380s for a special film preview flight over the Los Angeles area.

The 47-minute “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” was shot in 95 locations in 18 countries across all 7 continents and starts off with a quick review of transportation history that reminds viewers that “in a single century aviation went from impossible to nearly perfected.”

After guests watched the film on the 20-inch seatback monitors in Business Class, filmmaker Brian Terwilliger chatted with reporters. “It’s not a movie about airplanes, but how the airplane has changed the world,” he said. “We don’t know what it’s like not to have airplanes, so it’s hard to imagine how life would be without them.”

Terwilliger is known to aviation enthusiasts for his 2005 high-definition documentary “One Six Right,” which told the story of general aviation and the role the local airports.
In his new film he calls airports “portals to the planet,” suggests that “If we couldn’t fly, we probably wouldn’t go,” and poses the question “And if we didn’t go, how different would our lives be?”

On-the-ground perks in your airline boarding pass

Ticketing office

Courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum archives via Flickr Commons.

Airline tickets may no longer come with meals, pillows or much legroom on planes. However, on some domestic and international flights, paper or electronic boarding passes come packed with a wide variety of on-the-ground bonuses.

For example, travelers on Virgin America can present their boarding pass for a free scoop of Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Sadly, that sweet offer expires at the end of this year (so hurry over), but there are plenty of other boarding pass perks that extend into 2015.

Ski – and taste wine – for free

Passengers who show a boarding pass from any airline can score complimentary entry at some ski or snowboarding locations in the U.S.

For example, at Steamboat Ski & Resort in Colorado, passengers can use their boarding passes for a free night of skiing on the evening of arrival. Those who arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday can get a free skiing night on Thursday.

Several ski resorts participating in the Alaska Airlines Ski the West promotion are offering a free day of action on the slopes. Among the offers are a free day-of-arrival pass for out-of-state travelers at Alaska’s Alyeska Resort, and a second-day-ski-free offer in Taos, New Mexico.

Passengers who show an Alaska Airlines boarding pass (paper or digital) in the wine regions of Oregon, Washington and Sonoma County, California, may check a case of wine for free.

Boarding passes also make Alaska Airlines passengers eligible for free wine-tastings at more than 300 participating tasting rooms in Oregon, and more than 200 wineries in Washington state. In addition, under the Taste and Tote program in Washington, Hertz offers car rental discounts and waives the drop-off fees at three regional airports—Pasco/Tri-Cities, Walla Walla and Yakima.

International airlines offer boarding pass perks

Austrian Airlines introduced its “World’s most valuable boarding pass” program in 2006, providing passengers with free access to museums and galleries and discounts at shops and restaurants for up to 10 days after they land.

Although the program is expiring at the end of 2014 for a reboot, an updated version will be offered in 2015 “with the same goal, to offer our passengers interesting benefits,” spokesman Wilhelm Baldia said.

Korean Air offers two boarding pass programs. Those flying from an overseas region to Korea can access the Excellent Boarding Pass Korea perks for seven days, and receive discounts on a host of attractions. These include tours, performances, meals, cellphone rentals, shopping, currency exchange fees, rental cars and airport ground transportation.

The Excellent Boarding Pass Worldwide offers a wide variety of perks outside of Korea, and is valid for up to 30 days from departure.

Through the Magic Boarding Pass program on Asiana Airlines, passengers have access to a wide variety of special offers.

An international boarding pass presented in Korea offers discounts on exchange rates, at shopping outlets, tourist destinations, concert halls and on ground transportation. An international Asiana Airlines boarding document also provides perks at premium outlets, hotels, restaurants and attractions in Japan, the U.S., Europe and Hong Kong.

In Singapore, passengers who fly on Singapore Airlines have a full month from the date of travel to use dining, shopping and other deals offered with their boarding passes.

“Tangible benefits for services that every passenger needs, such as the discounts on airport transfers offered by Korean Air and Singapore Airlines, offer the most value,” said Raymond Kollau of Airlinetrends.com. “Overall, I quite like the idea of thinking beyond the flight by offering all passengers, especially those in the economy cabin, boarding pass perks that let them make more of their stay in a city,” Kollau said.

(My story on airline boarding pass perks first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior)