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.

Have you seen these 1970s TV commercials from defunct airlines?

Television commercials of the past are quite fascinating. Since ads tap into the zeitgeist, you get a real flavour for what was in and what was out during the time. Airline commercials are especially good at this kind of thing. There are five below, all featuring from the 1970s, are from Continental, Piedmont, Southern, PSA, and National. Some you may have heard of, others might be new to you, but all are worth checking out. Southern Airways Kicking things off is Southern Airways, with a fun campaign featuring the tagline, “Nobody’s second class on Southern”. I like how the...

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Hooray! Alaska Airlines joins oneworld today, so it’s time to go shopping!

What song springs to mind right now? Of course, it’s Johnny Horton’s North to Alaska – “North to Alaska, we’re goin’ north, the rush is on.” It’s a happy day when a new airline joins my alliance and today oneworld welcomes Alaska Airlines to the fold. Headquartered in Seattle, the airline flies to 120 destinations across four countries, the USA, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. Those that like airline lounges will find Alaska Airlines lounges in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and New York JFK. Alaska Airlines Joins oneworld All day I’ve been looking forward to seeing the alliance...

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Which airline opened the very first airline lounge in 1939?

Airline lounges are ubiquitous at major airports around the world. Frequent flyers love them, for the facilities they offer before a flight, as well as the certain cachet around being able to gain access. Everything has a beginning and the first airline to open their own lounge was American Airlines, all the way back in 1939. Things were a little different to today though! The First Airline Lounge Fiorello LaGuardia, the New York Mayor, was being taken to task in the press for having offices at LaGuardia Airport. To shut them up, he offered to rent them out and...

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Have you ever stayed in a church convent hotel before?

Ever seen the movie Sister Act? When Delores is shown to her room in the film, which is called a cell, she is horrified by the austere décor. That is how I imagine a church convent hotel to be, but the reality seems a little bit different. When looking for hotels, price and location are more important to me than a particular brand. While I love a good room and plush surroundings, where I stay is not as exciting to me as flying, which is probably pretty obvious! A Church Convent Hotel Recently, I was looking around for places...

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Does anyone remember the British Airspeed Ambassador?

The Airspeed Ambassador was a medium range British airliner, powered by a pair of Bristol Centaurus 661 engines. First flying on 10 July 1947, the aircraft had an unusual feature in that it could be operated pressurised or unpressurised. Particular attention was paid to soundproofing the cabin, which in standard configuration held 47 passengers, though up to 60 could also be carried. This made it quiet for a piston engine plane, though not as quiet as the new turboprops coming into service at the same time, such as the Vickers Viscount. Airspeed Ambassador Video Following on from the last...

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Wow! JetBlue awarded London Heathrow slots for services from New York JFK and Boston

It is no secret that New York based JetBlue is planning transatlantic services. London services have definitely been on the cards for a while, with the airline coyly saying they applied to multiple airports there. Recently, people noticed that JetBlue appeared on the London Heathrow website, which noted they were an operator at Terminal 2. Now more evidence has come to hand, indicating flights will commence this summer, with slots now being allocated. JetBlue Coming To London Heathrow A slot is a specifically allocated take off and landing time assigned to an airline to operate a flight at a...

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Virgin Australia serve new business class meals – at times that would make US airlines blush!

Virgin Australia recently exited business administration and now have new owners. They have just released information on their new business class meals, which look rather good. What excites me more are their new meal times. Breakfast is served on flights departing from 3am to 9:59am, lunch from 10am to 4pm, and dinner from 4:01pm to 2:59am. Around the clock business class meal service is the same as what British Airways and others do, which I like. Virgin Australia’s New Business Class Meals Introduced from 25 March 2021, the new meals certainly look the part. Gone are the celebrity chef...

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What carrots do frequent flyers want to get back in the air?

With flying beginning to start in dribs and drabs around the world, airlines are beginning to make offers to encourage bookings. It made me wonder what things do frequent flyers actually want or find valuable here. During the pandemic, many airlines have extended the elite status levels of frequent flyers. Considering far fewer people were actually travelling, this was hardly a gesture that cost the carriers any money. In return, they gained a lot of goodwill. What else has been going on? Carrots For Frequent Flyers Airlines are starting to offer additional perks to get people back into the...

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Aer Lingus announce new long-haul flights from Manchester to USA and Barbados

Ireland’s Aer Lingus is commencing long-haul services from Manchester in 2021. The three initial destinations will be New York, Orlando and Barbados, promising new options for those in the north of England. Daily services from Manchester to New York JFK will start on 29 July, with a five times weekly service to Orlando opening at the same time. Barbados flights will be thrice weekly from 29 October. Aer Lingus Manchester Schedules Manchester to New York will be EI45 leaving at 12:05, arriving in New York at 15:25. The return, EI44, leaves at 17:25 and arrives at 05:50 the next...

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Can you guess the airline just by looking at an inflight meal picture?

People sometimes remark that all airlines are largely similar. The same seats, same food, same service… the only real difference being the accents of the cabin crew. Personally, I think there is quite a bit of differentiation, especially when it comes to the food. A lot of the time, especially in premium classes, the meal is a reflection of the airline and the country it is from. Therefore, I think it might be fun to see if anyone can guess an airline just by looking at a picture of an onboard meal. I imagine hardcore frequent flyers who have...

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