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.

Mimosa surprise! How good was American Airlines 757 First Class LAX-MIA in 2012?

From what I recall, I had no idea what a Mimosa actually was until this flight. Well, that’s how I like to remember it anyway. On this trip, I arrived at 1am on an American flight from Miami, spent a few hours in the terminal and flew straight back again. The outbound flight with the rude passengers is here, if you’d like to read it. There were quite a few people waiting about in the terminal overnight. The seats were all taken, so I sat on a window sill. A couple of people had snagged wheelchairs, some people just...

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Remember to be nice to airline customer service staff right now!

At the moment the airline industry is in turmoil thanks to the ongoing quarantine orders, border closures and all the rest of it. Everyone’s plans have changed and one thing that is key to remember is to be nice to those serving you. People tend to think of themselves and how things affect them and their families, which is natural. However, you also need to try to remember to take into account others as much as possible. How Does A Call Centre Work? Once upon a time, I worked in a call centre, dealing with account queries for an...

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Who started the Eurowhite paint scheme that all airlines use today?

Eurowhite is the name for a particular style of airline livery which you definitely know. It usually consists of an entirely white plane, with a company logo on the tail or a solid colour that wraps around under the fuselage. Once common cheatlines are banished to the past and are only spotted today when airlines do a retro livery. Swishes, curves, swirls and two-tone paints are sadly all gone too, despite some of them being very beautiful. So, who is to blame for all this white? Eurowhite Examples We are living in an era of peak Eurowhite, as it...

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A story of ground delays, demanding passengers and impeccable service. American Airlines 757 transcontinental First Class in 2012

Back in 2012, I found myself in the United States and did a transcontinental mileage run on an American Airlines 757 from Miami to Los Angeles and back. Round trip, it set me back the princely sum of US$785.59. Here’s the experience as I reported on it at the time. I arrived from Washington DC and immediately went to the Gate 15 Admirals Club lounge at Miami Airport. You go up escalators, and then there are three agents all checking people in to the lounge at little desks. The guy I had scanned my Boarding Pass, and commented it...

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Are you rescheduling your travel plans or cancelling outright?

With flights being cancelled left, right and centre, travel plans are being thrown out the window. There are clearly just two options for most people and that is to either cancel outright or reschedule for another time. Originally the airlines were dictating what you could do, to a certain extent. Now that almost all airlines are offering refunds, vouchers or free flight changes, the power is back in your hands. My Travel Plans Are Rescheduled My next trip is to St. Petersburg with friends from University. Naturally it is all booked and paid for, with travel due in April....

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Does anyone remember the Soviet jumbo, the Ilyushin IL-96?

The Ilyushin IL-96 is a long-range aircraft produced by the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia. First flying on 28 September 1988, it entered service with Aeroflot on 29 December 1992. Powered by four Aviadvigatel PS-90 turbofan engines, the aircraft is designed to fly lengthy missions of 11,300 to 13,500 kilometres distance. Its widebody interior allows 237, 263 or 300 passengers in a three, two or single class configuration. Ilyushin IL-96 Video Following on from the last video about the McDonnell Douglas MD-90, we head over to the Soviet Union for a look at the Ilyushin IL-96. This video runs...

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Do you know airlines give their planes names? Here are some of them!

People have a habit of giving inanimate objects names, with the most obvious example being boats and ships. Hell, I know a bunch of people who name their cars, so it’s not at all unusual. You’ll probably not be surprised to learn that some airlines give their planes names. From the early years of aviation, this has been happening. Some airlines settle on a particular theme or word to keep things common, while others just go with whatever they like. Let’s have a look at some of the more interesting ones. Aer Lingus And The Saints Ireland is a...

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Hooray! Airlines are finally starting to allow free changes on existing bookings!

When the current situation first arrived, airlines decided to try to stoke the bookings by offering things like “Book With Confidence”. An example of this is British Airways, where new bookings made between 3 March and 31 March allow free changes. Finnair offered something similar, with the exact same title, as did Aer Lingus. Unfortunately those who had made bookings for travel around now prior to March were completely out of luck. Change fees applied and good luck getting any movement on that. Free Changes Are Now Here! Aer Lingus today announced they now allow free changes on all...

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With British Airways BA1 cancelled, it is a great time to upgrade the plane, right?

British Airways have cancelled their flagship service, the BA1 from London City to New York JFK. With the Airbus A318 out of operation for over five months, now would be an excellent time to upgrade the plane. The exclusive all business class flight is the closest thing to a private jet you’ll ever get. Outbound, the flight stops in Shannon, Ireland to refuel and passengers go through US Pre-clearance, meaning they arrive in the USA as domestic passengers. Return flights are non-stop, thanks to the long runway in New York. Why This A Great Time To Upgrade The Plane...

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Whatever happened to 2-5-2 economy seating on flights?

Economy seating on long-haul flights generally comprises of blocks of two, three or four seats. For example, the Airbus A330 typically features seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. Wider Boeing 747s will also have four in the middle, but three on each side. A popular configuration that is no longer around is 2-5-2. This is where there are two seats on each side and a block of five in the middle, obviously. There are some benefits to this arrangement, so it’s curious as to why nobody uses it any longer. Economy Seating As 2-5-2 Having two seats on each side...

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