Matthewonlive and let's fly

When Chaos Breaks Out Onboard

One of the reasons I avoid low-cost-carriers in Europe is because of incidents like the one captured on the video below:

Flights within Europe on carriers like Ryanair can be very inexpensive if you buy early or buy at the right time and that attracts the clientele seen in the above video (among others).

> Read More: The Ryanair Experience - Frankfurt Hahn to Pisa

What would you do in a similar circumstance? There is a thin line in which revelers having a good ...

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September 2014 Flying Blue Promo Awards for November + December Travel

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Air France/KLM Flying Blue has released its Promo Awards for September 2014 and the pickings continue to get slimmer for business class deals between North America and Europe. This month, there is not a single city 50% off or even 25% off business class space in North America - the closest business class sale is Panama City.

But a 25K r/t economy class award is nothing to scoff at if you live in Detroit (Detroit - Tel Aviv or anywhere in Europe for 50K r/t is about as cheap as it can ...

Up to 100% Bonus on Purchased US Airways Miles - 7 Tips and Tricks

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US Airways is once again running a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 30, 2014. Every other month US Airways has been running this promotion, but I would not expect it to last - I sense an imbalance in supply and demand that will be solved through a dramatic award chart devaluation coupled with a further increase in the cost of miles once the merger with American Airlines is complete. But for now, US Airways Dividend ...

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Kidnapping Forces United Flight from Washington to Beijing to Divert

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I love the movie Argo, which tells the story of how Canada and CIA operative Tony Mendez smuggled out a cadre of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. In the gripping conclusion (full of artistic embellishment but nevertheless riveting), hearts pound as the Swissair 747 bound for Zürich gently ascends out of Mehrabad Airport to the consternation of the Revolutionary Guard and continue to pound until the aircraft safely leaves Iranian airspace. But ...

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United Airlines' CFO Disses His Company's Global First Class Product

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John Rainey, United Airlines' infamous CFO who claimed that elites are over-entitled, has put his foot in his mouth again...this time by trashing his company's three-cabin international first class product, dubbed "Global First". But it was not just a curious denigration...it was a fairly accurate statement and a sign that United does not see a three-cabin first class in its future.

Watch the video on bloomberg.com.

Rainey appeared on ...

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Additions and Subtractions to Virgin Atlantic Route Network

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Virgin Atlantic, strengthening its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines, has announced new routes that will bring the two carriers closer than ever before. With the lastest shuffle, the USA wins while Canada, India, Japan, and South Africa loses.

The new Virgin Atlantic routes include:

A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis on Delta A fifth ...
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United Airlines Should Capitalize on AA's Poor New In-Flight Meals

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Both Rocky and Sriram have sampled American Airlines' new onboard premium class menu, effective 01 September 2014, and both found it to be supremely lacking. They are not the only ones, for I have not read one positive review of the new meal policy. Meanwhile, United Airlines has announced a true enhancement in in-flight meal service, adding meals to shorter flights that do not currently offer meals and making the menu more attractive. Polling consistently finds that travelers do not choose ...

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How I Learned That I Could Never Be A Farmer

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My wife's suggestion seemed innocent enough: let's visit my cousins on the farm for a couple days before the wedding. I was at the farm once - in the winter of 2013 - and it seemed like an okay suggestion, as long as I could find internet. "Oh don't worry, you have your cell phone and USB internet," said my wife.

The farm is located near the village of Mulfingen, in Baden-Württemberg near the Bavarian border, with Schwäbisch Hall the nearest town about 25km away. This ...

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Orbitz and American Airlines Fighting Again: Who is to Blame?

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American Airlines has pulled fares from Orbitz (again) and will also pull US Airways' fares starting on September 01, 2015. Though AA is a partial owner of Orbitz, the carrier and the online travel agency have been unable to agree on a fee arrangement for selling AA/US flights. History makes me hopeful this blockage is temporary in nature, but is nevertheless detrimental to consumers. Which side is to blame for this latest squabble?

Here's ...

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Massive British Airways Executive Club Devaluation Coming?

Gary wrote an alarming post yesterday pointing out that Iberia, owned by the same parent company as British Airways, has obliterated its partner redemption chart for Avios redemptions. Shorthaul trips on American Airlines that are 4,500 Avios with BA are 19,500 Avios with IB! Although this is not a new chart, merely the first the time Iberia has published its current partner chart, many are rushing to redeem their remaining BA Avios in anticipation of a similar devaluation and moaning that ...

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Abundant Turkish Airlines Award Space on New San Francisco - Istanbul Route

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Turkish Airlines is launching new non-stop service between San Francisco and Istanbul in April 2015 and the award space is abundant in both business and economy class - even on the inaugural flights! We're not just talking about one or two seats - most days have at least nine award seats available.

The new service will commence on 13 April 2015 and operate 5x weekly before going daily on 13 May 2015. TK will place its 777-300ER on the route, which has full lie-flat beds in ...

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British Airways Companion Voucher Now Valid for One-Way Travel

British Airways offers a companion voucher when you accrue more than $30,000 in spending on its Chase-branded credit card. With this voucher, you can redeem your BA Avios for a complimentary companion ticket, paying only the taxes and fuel surcharge on the second ticket. Although BA's exorbitant fuel surcharges often make the use of the voucher a poor value (I let mine expire...), if you are traveling to Europe, the Middle East, or South Africa the voucher can come in handy.

One ...

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Pictures: Airline Amenity Kits from World's Leading Carriers

With the loss of Darren, our resident expert on airline amenity kits, I admitedly have not kept up with the current amenity kits offered by airlines outside the handful of Star Alliance carriers I frequent regularly. The Daily Mail has taken on the mantle with a great photospread of more than 20 airline amenity kits from the following airlines:

Emirates - ****** British Airways - ***** airberlin - **** Air Canada - *** Air New Zealand - ***** American ...
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Giving up Lufthansa First Class for Love

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Today was the day that my wife was to fly Lufthansa First Class for the first time. I was looking forward to it so much! First Tokyo Haneda to Frankfurt, then Munich to Toronto in First Class tomorrow with visits to the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and First Class Lounge in Munich. Lufthansa First has been one of the pinnacles of commercial flying since my first flight in first class six years ago, but I was curious to see how my German wife Heidi would like it. After all, she was not ...

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Review: Park Hyatt Vienna

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Vienna is a stately city rich with majestic architecture, an erudite culture, and a regal sense of style. In the center of the old city, replete with cobblestone walkways, horse drawn carriages, and glistening statues of historical luminaries, a new Park Hyatt hotel has opened on the site of a former monarchical bank. My wife and I celebrated my birthday in Vienna last weekend and stayed for two nights at Park Hyatt’s newest property.

A ...

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Passengers Steal Baby Strollers at London Gatwick

One of the things I love about Frankfurt Airport is that Lufthansa has coffee stations set up around many of its gates -- areas which offer complimentary self-serve coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Not to denigrate other cultures, but it just shocks me to see these stations orderly, clean, and still stocked even for evening flights - can you imagine what would happen to the cups, tea bags, napkins, and sugar (and machines) in about 20 minutes at other airports, even in more civilized ...

U.S. Secretary of State Rescued by United Airlines

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It is not just us hoi polloi that run into mechanical delays that foul up our schedules and cause us to shift travel plans…it even happens to the Secretary of State of the USA.

Sec. John Kerry has been on a whirlwind tour on his Air Force Boeing 757 in the last several days. Afghanistan, Burma, Australia and the Solomon Islands were all destinations before his final fuel stop in Hawaii on the way back to Washington. But that is a lot of ...

A New Problem for Malaysia Airlines

In light of two deadly crashes and the questionable handling of each incident, beleaguered Malaysia Airlines faces an uncertain road ahead. The state-run carrier is 70% government owned and the privately-held 30% will soon be acquired by the government. MH will be de-listed and a restructuring program to remake the airline will begin in earnest. Note that the carrier's economic outlook was far from rosy before this year's two deadly incidents: the carrier has lost over 1BN USD over the last ...

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The US Airways Dividend Miles Tax Game

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While charging fraudulent "government" taxes on Dividend Miles transfers appears to be a nefarious policy choice by US Airways, another equally distressing issue is just as concerning -- agent incompetence may mean you pay a lot more taxes on your US Airways award trip than you should.

The problem

I will start by saying that I do not think this problem is deliberate, just a reflection of outmoded technology and poor training. While some simpler US Airways award ...

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Air India: Rats on a Plane

Despite my love of German autos, I do not own one and instead use public transportation daily in Frankfurt. While the system is great for getting just about anywhere in town (and indeed, in the country), the underground stations have a serious rodent problem - it is not uncommon to be waiting for the next U-Bahn train with dozens of rats scurrying about within eyesight, both on the tracks and on the platform. 

Those little critters came flooding into my mind today as I read that ...

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