The Flight Detective

Trent is a European based author covering airlines in the oneworld alliance, plus those flying in the Irish, British and Australian markets. He also produces comprehensive and unbiased flight reviews. For variety, Trent intersperses all of this with pieces on aviation history, commentary on current industry happenings and travel tips for frequent and infrequent flyers.

A €69 upgrade to business class on British Airways? Great, right? Well, not always!

I do enjoy British Airways offering upgrades to business class in Manage My Booking. It certainly whets my appetite, especially when it’s a €69 upgrade price. This is the current offer on a flight I have booked from Dublin to London Heathrow and both the outbound and return are available to upgrade for that price. However, all is not as it seems. Is A €69 Upgrade Really Good Value? On its own, getting a €69 upgrade on British Airways is straight up good value. You get a higher baggage allowance, lounge access, fast-track security at both ends, the middle...

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Does anyone remember the baby Boeing, the 737-100?

The Boeing 737-100 is the very first in what would become a large family of jet planes bearing this mark. Notable for being the first Boeing launched by a non-US carrier, the baby Boeing as some call it, first took to the sky all the way back on 9 April 1967. Close collaboration with launch customer Lufthansa resulted in original 60 seat jet being lengthened to seat up to 100 passengers. With power provided by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-1 engines, the aircraft was designed for short routes up to a distance of 1,610 kilometres. Boeing 737-100 Video Following...

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Open the Champagne, Alaska Airlines is joining oneworld!

In happy news, Alaska Airlines is joining the oneworld alliance. Another quality airline is joining the group, and I for one am absolutely delighted! A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Alaska Airlines headquarters in Seattle on a University trip. The people there gave us a great day of presentations on their roles, plus a tour of the facility, so I came away very impressed with the operation. Alaska Airlines Is Joining Oneworld! I have always thought Alaska Airlines would be a great fit for the oneworld alliance. They have partnerships with Qantas, British Airways,...

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What is the new Qatar Airways Quisine economy class dining like?

Qatar Airways call their economy class dining experience Quisine. First unveiled in April 2019, it promised to increase food portions by 25 to 50 per cent, along with things such as a pre-dinner drinks option on flights over five hours. The other important area the airline worked on is the reduction of single-use plastics. Clearly this is topical at the moment and will continue to be, so any reduction in this area is important. A Plastic Extravaganza Keeping food hygienic prior to being served is why there are food safety guidelines. However, does everything need to be encased in...

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Do you know the Air France A380 fleet is being scrapped in Knock, Ireland?

It looks like some of the Air France A380 fleet is being scrapped in Knock, Ireland. For those that don’t know, this is a place in County Mayo in the west of the country. The French airline are retiring the Airbus A380, planning to have all of them out of service by 2022. While it is the beginning of the end for the aircraft with Air France, other airlines plan to keep them for around the next ten years. Air France A380 Scrapping At Knock Flying In Ireland is reporting that up to four aircraft will meet the axe...

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How was flying American Airlines A321 First Class Boston to Phoenix in 2015?

Flying an American Airlines A321 in First Class for a flight of over 2,200 miles means you receive the most elaborate on board meal service. Originally titled “Phoenix Rising?” when published in 2015, it is a shame the flight was on an ex-US Airways aircraft. These planes feature some of the most basic seats I have ever experienced. I was on my way to Portland to see the city and visit some friends and decided to fly between Boston and Portland with American Airlines. I was extremely tempted to take Alaska Airlines and their direct flight between the two...

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Would you pay €172 to upgrade a 3 hour Finnair flight to business class?

I really like it when you log in to Manage Booking and there is an upgrade offer. I’m generally quite amenable to these things, having some form in availing of these in the past. The question is, would you pay to upgrade a three hour flight in Europe for €172? Clearly the answer is, it depends. For a famous rapper, €172 would be spare change, while for a 18 year old working at McDonald’s, it would be something completely different. Would You Pay Finnair To Upgrade? It is quite some time since I have flown with Finnair, and recently...

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Did you know British Airways now allow you to check your bag in the night before?

One thing that is gradually becoming more common is being allowed to check your baggage in the night before your flight. The Irish airlines have been doing this for years, with Aer Lingus introducing the service as far back as 2013. The advantage for passengers is quite straight forward. Since the early morning is one of the busiest times of day to fly, you completely avoid the queues. Going straight to security without the long check-in line is lovely… as is not having to heft all your bags! Check-In The Night Before With British Airways People flying British Airways...

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Does anyone remember the last flying boat, the Short Sandringham?

The Short Sandringham flying boat is a passenger conversion of the Short Sunderland used during World War 2. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines, it had a range of 3,928 kilometres or 2,440 miles. Fifty aircraft were converted, with the first taking to the sky in January 1943. Major operators included BOAC, TEAL, Qantas and Ansett Flying Boat Services, who feature in the film below. Short Sandringham Video Following on from last week’s video about the Boeing 747-400ER, this time we look at the Short Sandringham flying boat. This video is called “Last Regular Flying Boat...

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Why did Boeing make Ansett a special version of the 767 with a flight engineer?

A little known fact about the Boeing 767 is that Ansett Airlines operated the aircraft with a three crew cockpit. They are the only airline in the world to have operated with a Flight Engineer station on the flight deck. Conventional wisdom is that the Boeing 767 was designed for two crew operations and that the Australian airline’s unions demanded the Flight Engineer. The story is a little more complex than that. A Boeing 767 Story When the Boeing 767 was being designed in the 1970s, short-haul aircraft such as the Boeing 737, Douglas DC-9 and BAC One-Eleven featured...

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