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.

Would you go on a flight to nowhere, as airlines are now doing?

People seem to really miss flying. So much so that some airlines have cottoned on to this fact and are very successfully selling passengers a flight to nowhere. This is exactly what it says. You leave your local airport, fly around, and land right back where you started. Sounds pretty good to me, and here’s why. A Flight To Nowhere Australia’s Qantas offered a flight to nowhere, on board one of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners. All of the seats sold out within 10 minutes of going on sale. The plane isn’t just going out over the ocean and back...

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Playing the waiting game with my Qatar Airways flights to Sydney

I think it’s time for people to start placing bets on when and if I will get home to Sydney as I’m now playing the waiting game. After finally getting agreement from my employer, I switched my flight dates with Qatar Airways and everything was fine. Until the final segment from Auckland to Sydney on LATAM was cancelled. This means the entire trip is all confirmed except the last piece. Perhaps I should canoe across the Tasman Sea? What Is Happening? Qatar Airways are not selling tickets to Australia between now and 17 December. You can happily purchase tickets...

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Does anyone remember the Soviet Tupolev Tu-124?

The Tupolev Tu-124 was a short-range twin jet airliner that first flew on 29 March 1960. Powered by two Soloviev D-20P turbofan engines, it is a smaller derivative of the Tupolev Tu-104, designed to seat up to 44 passengers on domestic services. Aeroflot put the aircraft into service from 2 October 1962 and two other airlines bought it new, East Germany’s Interflug and Czechoslovakia’s CSA. It could fly as far as 2,100 kilometres (1,300 miles) with maximum fuel and a 3,000 kilogram payload. Tupolev Tu-124 Video Following on from the last video about the de Havilland Dragon Rapide, this...

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The Tiger Gang and the Hijackers – children’s books aren’t like this anymore!

Children’s books have always been full of adventure, as far back as Enid Blyton with her Famous Five, Secret Seven and Adventure books. By the time the 1970s rolled around, some books were quite topical, like The Tiger Gang and the Hijackers. The author, Dafne Bidwell, seems to have had an adventurous life herself. She was born in England, grew up in Ireland, joined the British Secret Service (MI6) and operated in Asia, lived in Malaysia and finally settled in Australia. The Tiger Gang And The Hijackers What is the book about? Well, the back cover blurb puts it...

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Why did British charter airlines number all the seats sequentially?

While doing some research, I stumbled across an interesting fact. Back in the 1970s, British charter airlines would number all the seats sequentially from one onwards. If you flew on something like a Dan-Air Comet 4 for example, you would experience this. This is different to the accepted practice we are used to, where seats are designated by numbers and letters. You find your row number and your seat is one of the letters. British Charter Airlines Seat Maps For starters, apparently British charter airlines originally had no assigned seating. The letter below painstakingly points out that seats are...

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Flights are cheap on British Airways right now, but should you book?

Airline pricing right now is pretty remarkable. Flights are cheap for travel well into 2021, which is extremely tempting. The only problem is, should you go ahead and book considering the current restrictions? It’s a bit of a conundrum, but with a bit of research, you should be able to make an informed decision. I would be of the view to book now, lock in the pricing and worry later and here’s why. Which Flights Are Cheap? British Airways have some extremely good fares at the moment. Heading from Dublin to London? Well, you can get that for €60...

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What is flying during the pandemic really like in Europe?

Flying during the pandemic is something that people are not doing as readily as before. A combination of government travel restrictions, fear, government advice and changes to people’s personal circumstances means jumping on a plane is less common right now. I recently completed four flights in Europe, travelling on three airlines through four airports. Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of flying right now. Flying During The Pandemic – The Good Travelling with hand baggage and getting your boarding pass on your phone is encouraged to reduce human interaction. What is also great is...

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Review: A dazzling Swiss A220 business class flight Zurich to Dublin

American frequent flyers often pooh-pooh European business class. This appears mainly down to the fact it lacks the enormous seat required to cradle them adequately. In virtually every other aspect the Europeans come out ahead, which Swiss A220 business class demonstrates so well. When planning the trip, my excitement was around flying on a Bombardier CSeries Airbus A220 for the first time. Who knew everything else would far exceed my expectations? LX406 – Zurich to Dublin (ZRH-DUB) 30 August 2020 Bombardier CS300 Airbus A220-300 – HB-JCF Seat: Business Class 3A Departure: 17:10 Arrival: 18:35 I arrived in Zurich from...

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Airlines stop selling flights to Australia, so I’m re-routed via New Zealand

Did you hear that Australia is closed? Arrivals at the major airports are capped, with Sydney accepting a maximum of 350 passengers per day, Perth 525 per week, Brisbane and Adelaide 500 per week, and zero in Melbourne as they are in lockdown. Airlines have had to stop selling flights to Australia. Carriers are even being told how many people they can bring in, with some flights limited to just 30 passengers. Obviously, Australian citizens are stranded abroad because of this. On the flip side, the Government does not permit people to leave Australia without permission, which must be...

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Does anyone remember the de Havilland Dragon Rapide?

The de Havilland Dragon Rapide is a short-range twin engine biplane that first flew on 17 April 1934. Crewed by a single pilot, it carried just eight passengers and was powered by two 200 horsepower Gypsy Six engines. Entering service with Hillman Airways in summer 1934, it appeared on routes in Great Britain, Europe and Ireland. The aircraft boasted a range of 895 kilometres (556 miles) and cruised at 212 kilometres per hour (132 mph). de Havilland Dragon Rapide Video Following on from the last video on the Airbus A380, this week we head over to England for a...

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