Qantas

Qantas reveals retro livery

Look what’s back:

Qantas-Retro-Livery-.tail

Qantas has reached way back for its first ever “retro” inspired livery, which can now be seen on one of the airline’s brand new Boeing 737 aircraft.

The design is a tribute to 70 years of the airline’s iconic flying kangaroo logo and was unveiled at a special hangar event in Seattle.

qantas retro livery - travola pointing

Qantas Ambassador and aviation enthusiast John Travolta (last seen welcoming the first Qantas A380 that flew from Sydney to Dallas) was on hand to help unveil the aircraft and the new/retro livery, which also brings back the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft, a signature element used from 1971-1984 referencing the colors of the Australian outback.

The winged kangaroo logo on the tail of this new aircraft was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim and brings back the wings on the flying kangaroo that were discarded in 1984.Qantas retro livery plane

The 737 will operate across all Qantas domestic routes starting November 20th.

A380s for DFW – first Qantas, now Emirates

It’s been a big A380 week for DFW International Airport:

On Monday, I was pleased to be on board when Qantas began flying the world’s largest airplane – the Airbus A380 – on the world’s longest nautical route – from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The Qantas kangaroo got a makeover for flight from Sydney to Dallas

On Wednesday, DFW International Airport celebrated the arrival of another A380: this one belonging to Emirates and arriving from Dubai.

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As part of the celebration on the ground, not cupcakes, but cake.
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Airline amenity kits -Part 1

Airline amenity kits filled with personal care items have been handed out to business and/or first-class passengers on long commercial flights since at least the 1950s. Utilitarian at first, today these chic containers and their posh contents have become coveted and collectible and are often designed by top designers and filled with luxury products.

Here’s a look at some travelers’ favorite kits, past and present from the slide show I originally put together for CNBC Road Warrior.

1_PANAMKIT_SFOMUSEUM

A Pan Am World Airways amenity kit from the 1960s. “The President Special” was the name given to the airline’s first class service on several high-profile international routes. Courtesy SFO Museum

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Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum has 355 airline kits representing 57 airlines in its collection. The earliest were called “Remain Over Night” kits and produced in “his” and “hers” versions by the Airline Textile Manufacturing Company (AirTex) based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The men’s kit included deodorant, aftershave, hair cream, a razor, shoe polish and a comb. The women’s kit had hair spray, cleansing cream, hand cream and nail polish remover, according to the SFO Museum.

11_Qantas_Kate Spade and Jack Spade

Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, partnered with Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade a couple of years ago to design exclusive amenity kits for customers traveling in the business class cabin. Each kit includes a selection of luxury Malin+Goetz skin care products as well as an eye mask, ear plugs, socks and other comfort essentials.

3A_DELTA Air Lines - new kit with lens cleaner

Delta’s Tumi amenity kit gets high marks from frequent travelers for both its contents and its re-usability. “It stands head and shoulders above the competition, with a good range of products, including lip balm, which is always something I forget,” said John Walton at Routehappy. It can also “easily be reused to pack thing likes extra batteries or headphone cords,” said Chris McGinnis, of Travelskills.com.

4A_SingaporeFerragamo Amenity Kit_Male and Female Products

Singapore Airline’s Salvatore Ferragamo-branded amenity kits stand out to Paul Shrater, co-founder of the online travel-size site Minimus.biz because “not only is Ferragamo a well-known luxury brand, but the kits include travel-sized perfume and cologne, a rarity in amenity kits and a product we recently launched due to customer demand.”

5A_EVA Rimowa Amenity Kits - contents

Sadly EVA Air has not created Hello Kitty-themed amenity kits to go with its fleet of Hello Kitty-themed aircraft, but when the airline introduced three brand-new Boeing 777-300ERs on its North America routes in the summer of 2014, it also introduced two new colors for its sought-after Rimowa amenity kits. Royal Laurel business class passengers receive one color on inbound flights and the other outbound. Contents complement the shells’ colors and include natural lip balm and moisturizing products by HARNN, lens-cleaning cloths and adjustable silk eye masks.

6_Japan airlines contents of amenity kit

All the items in Japan Airlines’ kit for First Class passengers “were perfectly color-coordinated,” said Oonagh Shiel, the editor who recently led a review of almost thirty airline amenity kits for Cheapflights.com. “The toothbrush matched the hair brush and the eye mask and we didn’t see another kit with a built-in hanger,” which open up possibilities for after-flight use in a hotel or at home, said Shiel. The airline distributes a beige canvas kits on flights departing Japan and a camel corduroy version on flights headed there.

More airline kits tomorrow.

Sleep tight on Qantas: new amenities for business class passengers

Qantas Airways has rolled out a few enhancements to its international Business service aimed at helping customers sleep better and eat better during the flight.

In the business class cabin, mattresses will be added to the Skybeds on international flights and duvets will be handed out instead of blankets. The airline will also be handing out Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade amenity kits that include, among other items, a biodegradable toothbrush.

The airline is also offering business class passengers a meal option called Select on Q – Eat. 72 to 24 hours before they board, passengers may choose their meals and choose when they’d like to eat them. The program was tested on the airline’s Los Angeles route and seemed to be popular, so now the option is being added to other flights beginning in mid -November.

A new after-flight amenity was recently announced as well: beginning in April 2013, business and first class passengers on flights longer than 12 hours will be able to take advantage of door-to-door car service; if the proposed partnership with Emirates gets regulatory approval.

On a hosted trip to Dubai from Seattle on Emirates a while ago, I was able to use this service to get home from the airport. After a very long flight, having a car waiting to whisk me home was not only incredibly convenient, it extended that “I’m flying business-class-and-I’m-being-treated-like-a-special-person” feeling all the way to my front door. A nice perk that I think about every time I have to make my way from the plane to the train and then to the bus in order to get home after a flight.

Free cupcakes at Newark Airport; free coffee at LAX, with planespotting

The early bird gets the… cupcake.

CRUMBS free cupcakes

If you’re catching an early flight Friday morning (January 28th) out of Newark Liberty International Airport, be sure to get yourself a free cupcake.

A branch of CRUMBS Bake Shop has opened in Terminal C (by the C2 checkpoint) and, to celebrate, they’re going to give the first 1,000 people who stop by a free cupcake. The sugary celebration starts at 6 a.m.

CRUMBS EWR free cupcakes

You might bring that cupcake with you to the LAX Theme Building Observation Deck on Sunday morning, January 30th, where Los Angles International Airport officials will be hosting a Sunday Morning Coffee from 8:30 until 11 a.m.

The Observation Deck is usually open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m and this Sunday planespotters and aviation buffs will be out in force to see some unusual airplanes that will be stopping by.

Air New Zealand’s new Airbus A320 with All Black Livery will be making at stop at LAX on its way to New Zealand from France. The All Blacks are a rugby team sponsored by Air New Zealand and this fall the 2011 Rugby World Cup games will be held in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand’s new Boeing B777-300 is also scheduled to operate at LAX on Sunday and Qantas Airways’ daily Airbus A380 super jumbo jet service between LAX and Sydney resumes this Sunday as well.

Here’s the Sunday morning schedule sent out by LAX:

  • Air New Zealand All Blacks A320:  ETA 9:25 a.m.; ETD 11 a.m.
  • Qantas A380:  ETA 9:45 a.m. (evening departure)
  • Air New Zealand B777-300:  ETA 10 a.m. (evening departure)

The Observation Deck has a 360-degree view of LAX’s terminals and airfield, and there are complimentary telescopes installed up there for better viewing. On Sunday morning there will also be a portable scanner available so visitors can listen to the radio transmissions between the pilots and the air traffic controllers.

And after the Sunday Morning Coffee event the party can go on: the space-age, retro-themed Encounter Restaurant, right under the Observation Deck will be offering a Plane Spotters Lunch Special.