Air Travel

Heathrow’s photographer snapped them all

London’s Heathrow Airport is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and digging into the archives for some treasures and special stories.

This is one about “the Godfather of Heathrow” – 84-year-old Dennis Stone – who has been a photographer at the airport for 70 years, starting work at age 14.

Heahtrow Dennis Stone then

Over the years, Stone has snapped it all, including the visits of a dozens of celebrities, including including Frank Sinatra, Goldie Hawn, Princess Diana and the Beatles. Here’s a video about Stone’s time at the airport and some of the great photos he took.

Liz Taylor at Heathrow Airport

Liz Taylor at Heathrow Airport

Clint Eastwood at Heathrow Airport

Clint Eastwood at Heathrow Airport


Heathrow - BRAD PITT

Heathrow also has a website set up to gather stories about the airport, with a wide assortment of prizes for the best stories, including trips from London to Sydney, Australia with Qantas.

Flying on the new Bombardier CS100

Star Alliance CEOs posing for celebratory photo on arrival in Zurich

Photo by Harriet Baskas

CEOs from a good number of Star Alliance airlines – and a rag tag group of journalists – attending the Annual General Meeting of IATA (the International Air Transport Association) in Dublin took part in a special flight to Zurich on a new aircraft: the Bombardier C Series – CS100.

Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) will be the first airline in the world to operate the new Bombardier C series. The carrier is putting its first CS100 into service on 15 July and will begin replacing its existing Avro RJ100 fleet of 20 aircraft with this new plane.

The flight from Dublin to Zurich was on a SWISS-branded test plane – #5 – but offered a preview of the new  short- and medium-haul twinjet that promises improvements in inflight comfort and operations.

“Official” snaps are being prepped, but here are some tweets and reports from a variety folks on the flight and on the ground.

Here’s a video from June 17th 2015, when SWISS welcomed one of the Bombardier C Series CS100 prototypes to Zurich Airport.

(Film produced by for Swiss International Air Lines)

Airlines pledge to stop illegal wildlife trade


The commercial aviation industry is an unwilling partner in the illegal wildlife trade, which is valued at between $5-20 billion per year and is the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms.

But there is some encouraging news on this front:

Among the resolutions endorsed unanimously in Dublin this week by airlines attending the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is one which denounces the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products and pledges to join government authorities and conservation organizations in the fight against the traffickers of endangered animals.

“… [T]he airline industry is reinforcing its role by helping to shut down the vile activities of poaching and trafficking,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a statement.”

The resolution urges governments to commit additional resources to address illegal trafficking and calls on airlines to:

• Increase passenger, client, customer and employee awareness about the nature, scale and consequences of the illegal wildlife trade
• Partner with airports, freight forwarders and other stakeholders to work proactively with enforcement agencies and conservation organizations to address the problem and,
• Consider the adoption of appropriate policies and procedures to discourage trafficking through awareness programs, information sharing and incident reporting.

One of the high profile efforts already underway comes from Emirates. In November 2015, the airline introduced two A380 jets with a special livery in support of United for Wildlife, the global collaboration that unites the efforts of the world’s leading wildlife charities in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. A video describing the effort is also being aired on flights.

Emirates wildlife plane

In March 2016 IATA was one of the signers of the Buckingham Palace Declaration supporting the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce initiative of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The resolution also encourages airlines individually to sign the Declaration and more than a dozen did so at the IATA annual general assembly meeting.

Here’s the recorded message from Prince William played at the meeting:

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


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.