British Airways

Santa’s flight plan

British Airways has shared a preview of the flight plan the Jeppesen charting company has prepared for Santa for the evening of December 24th. 

For those who aren’t well versed in reading flight plan charts,
BA says that the chart shows the approach for landing Santa’s sleigh back at the North Pole, having completed deliveries around the world.

The chart shows that on approach, the sleigh will descend to 2,500ft on a track of true North between SANTA and CLAUS. The sleigh will further descend on the final stages of its approach from COMNG to TOWNN, but in the event that the weather conditions are not good enough to land then Santa will climb back to an altitude of 2,500ft before turning right at MSLTO. That will lead to KSSNG where he will hold until the weather improves.”

Here’s some more detailed information about the plan: 

“With Rudolph’s nose lighting system, the sleigh has a ‘decision height’ of just 250ft which will help Santa manage any bad weather, resulting in a safe landing. Safety is obviously a priority for Santa and his team, so the plan warns that reindeer and elves will be on the runway and that reindeer games could slow down ground operations. Other aircraft are advised to look out for the blinding red nose.”

“We’ll be cheering on Santa and his reindeer on December 24 as he flies around the world,” said Simon Brooks, British Airways’ senior vice president sales, North America, ” He has priority over the skies that night so customers traveling should look for the sleigh and wave to Santa.”

My favorite parts of the flight plan are the ‘Hot Cider Deice Pad” and “Letters to Santa Drop Zone,” and that little elf, but the whole darn thing is charming. 

Snaps from British Airways’ lounges at JFK Airport

On my way to London via British Airways from Terminal 7 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday, I was invited to tour the newly refurbished British Airways  First lounge, look inside the exclusive Concorde Room and spend time in the Galleries lounge.

Here are a few snaps from the day:

 

The new First lounge is now 60 percent bigger than the previous lounge – and includes a pre-flight dining area (shared with the Galleries /business lounge), a pleasant quiet work area and this lovely large bar area.

When I passed through it seemed to be both self-serve, with bartenders nearby.

Around the corner from the bar is a Wine Room with an enomatic dispenser serving 1-ounce tasting pours of a variety of specially chosen wine. Right now “Chardonnays of the World” are featured.

In addition to a quite bountiful buffet in the dining area, there was this dim sum bar nearby.

And (my favorite, after the complimentary 15-minute facial offered in the Elemis spa) –  a roving Gin and Tonic cart that was visiting both the First and Galleries loung areas.

Have you visited these lounges? Let us know what you think of the new and improved (and almost finished…) spaces.

British Airways & Heathrow Airport honor Freddie Mercury

Before he sang with Queen, Freddie Mercury was a baggage handler at London’s Heathrow Airport.

And today, September 5, 2018 – on what would have been Mercury’s 72nd birthday – Heathrow Airport and British Airways came up with the idea to put modern-day baggage handlers together with choreographers to create a performance of Queen’s “Break Free.”

If you happen to be in Heathrow Terminal 5 today, keep an eye out of these baggage handlers performing the dance in person during the airport’s “Freddie for a Day” tribute.

Or watch a video of the dance here.

Want more Queen and Freddie Mercury?

On September 5, passengers at Heathrow will find Queen songs on the Arrivals boards in Terminal 5.

Also on September 5, any travler named Freddie, Frederick or Farrokh (Mercury’s real name) departing from Terminal 5 will be invited (along with their traveling companions) to use British Airways’ First class lounge.

And on November 2, Twentieth Century Fox will release a film about Queen and the life of Freddie Mercury, called “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in the U.S. (The UK opening is October 24.)

British Airways gets a makeover from Late, Late Show’s James Corden

The Late, Late Show spent a week in London and we get some fun video souvenirs.

British Airways let show host James Corden and his crew give one of its jets a makeover.

In addition to decorating the cockpit and different cabin areas with props to evoke New York City and Mexico, Corden introduces a ‘new’ in-flight tool crew members might use to calm down frantic pasengers: tranquilizer darts. “If you don’t do it, Delta will,” he says.

 

And if you haven’t seen it yet, watch this instantly classic Car Karaoke video with Paul McCartney. Try not to cry, but definitely sing along.

Travel Tidbits: new pre-check airline + fresh art at Miami Int’l Airport

Just in time for summer, we learn that the latest airline to join TSA’s pre-check program is British Airways, bringing to 53 the number of airlines participating in the program.

And Miami International Airport has some new, high-flying art:

The new work is called ‘Ando Volando’ (I’m Flying) and is by Miami-based artist Emilio Adán Martínez. Look for it in the Concourse E satellite. The new kite-like artwork has a companion display, ‘Andan Volando’ (They are flying), located inside Concourse D.

Both installations are constructed with paper, string and Australian pine branches and are meant to resemble kites and boats and suggest the idea of flight.