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 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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Will much change when LATAM leaves oneworld?

Thanks to Delta and LATAM entering a partnership, the South American airline will leave the oneworld alliance. The final day for membership will be 30 April 2020 and LATAM leaves oneworld on 1 May 2020. Anyone seeing this would automatically think that’s it. No more frequent flyer miles or recognition, goodbye reciprocal lounge access and all the rest of it. However, that may not be the case. LATAM Leaves Oneworld The press release issued by oneworld is quite specific in stating benefits will be offered up to and including 30 April 2020. After that is an interesting line which...

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Remembering the most gruesome breakfast I was ever served on a flight!

Once again, it was a flight in premium economy on the upper deck of an Airbus A380. The highlight of the flight, if you could call it that, was the most gruesome looking breakfast I have ever been served. I wrote about it in January 2015, so here is the review from then. BA26 – Hong Kong to London Heathrow (HKG-LHR) 6 January 2015 Airbus A380-800 – G-XLEA Seat: World Traveller Plus 61J Departure: 00:10 Arrival: 04:15 It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the A380 and then only with Qantas so it was nice to be...

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What is premium economy like on a Qantas Boeing 747?

Premium Economy on a Qantas Boeing 747 is a very good product. Of course, this is the final year of service for the Jumbo Jet at the Australian airline, so it won’t be around much longer. The seat on newer aircraft is different, but this review written in 2009 shows how it still is on the 747 fleet. I flew from Dublin to London with Aer Lingus, and as is their normal policy, they cannot check a bag through to another airline unless it’s on the same ticket. This is a bit of a shame, but there’s really no...

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It’s not fun when you miss your flight and get downgraded, is it?

Here’s the story of an American Airlines trip written in 2015, originally titled, “Oops! I Missed My Flight”, where I started off by missing the initial sector. Surprisingly, I was not able to travel in my ticketed class despite seats being available and ended up downgraded. I was booked to fly First Class on American from Portland to Dallas and then to change planes and fly from Dallas to Boston at the end of a trip. Unfortunately, I ended up missing my 05:00 flight from Portland – the first flight I’ve ever missed – and was put on the...

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What was Icelandair economy class like back in 2005?

Iceland is the very first place in Europe that I visited, as transiting through London Heathrow Airport doesn’t count. To get there, Icelandair economy class proved to be cost effective and so this is how the flight experience was back in 2005. FI – London Heathrow to Keflavík (LHR-KEF) 8 April 2005 Boeing 757-200 – TF-FIV – “Katla” Seat: Economy Class 24F Check-in at Terminal 2 in Heathrow took a while, even though I was there 2.5 hours before departure. Someone had a load of live birds on trolleys that took up quite a bit of time, and I...

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Does anyone remember the long-range Boeing 747-400ER?

The Boeing 747-400ER was the longest range version of Boeing’s jumbo jet until the Boeing 747-8I came along. There are just six passenger aircraft flying today, all with the only customer to order them, Australia’s Qantas. First flying on 31 July 2002, the Seattle manufacturer touted it as the largest and fastest aircraft in the sky at the time. It cruises at Mach 0.85 and has its take-off weight increased by 35,000 pounds (15,870 kilograms) to 910,000 pounds (412,770 kilograms) compared to the standard -400. Boeing 747-400ER Video Following last weeks video on the Boeing 720, this week we...

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