Video: Watch as United Airlines adds Wifi to an A319 aircraft

United Airlines is taking a lot of flack from frequent fliers from what some say is an excruciatingly long roll-out for its fleet-wide WiFi. (You can find out which planes have it already installed on the United Airlines fleet wiki page.)

But installing WiFi on aircraft is not as simple as it is at home. United released a movie last week showing all the steps it takes to add it to a A319 aircraft. Watch as crews overhaul N832UA. Yes, it’s sort of an advertisement for United — you’ll have to deal with the Rhapsody in Blue music — but it’s interesting.

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With video and photos, these airline pilots take you into the cockpit

What’s happening in the cockpit of your flight?

It’s been a long time since regular travelers have been able to get anywhere near the cockpit once an airplane is moving. But thanks to some very social media savvy airline pilots, we now know a lot more about what happens in flight.

Eric Auxier, who made the video above, is one of those pilots. He’s a captain at a major airline, and in the snazzy video, he takes us through an A319 flight from San Antonio to Charlotte. Actually he starts a bit earlier — when he wakes up in his hotel room. You can follow Eric on Twitter @capnaux.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my other favorite pilots on social media.

  • Brad Tate. @AAFO4Ever on Twitter. Brad’s a 737 first officer at major airline who takes some great cockpit and ramp photos. 
  • Capt. JC Kidder is a 737 check captain at a major U.S. Airline. He spends a lot of time flying to Hawaii, and posts some great photos. He’s on Twitter @CaptJCKidder.

  • Chris Spradlin is a pilot at a regional airline. He tweets as @ejetpilot. He gives a perspective on a different type of the business — commuter airlines.


(H/T on the video to @airchive and @andiamotv)

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American Airlines girds for upcoming LAX construction

An American Airlines 777-300ER parked at LAX. Photo credit: American.

An American Airlines 777-300ER parked at LAX. Photo credit: American.

Due to construction and the merger with US Airways, some changes are coming to the American Airlines operation at Los Angeles International Airport.

Here’s what we learned from an American newsletter this week to LAX employees:

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American Airlines receives its first A319

American received its first Airbus A319 aircraft on Tuesday in Germany.

American received its first Airbus A319 aircraft on Tuesday in Germany.

It probably takes a special type of aviation geek to appreciate the above photograph.

But that’s the first American Airlines Airbus A319, which was delivered on Tuesday in Hamburg, Germany. You’ll see in this picture it’s still wearing its European registration, D-AVYQ.

American has not had an Airbus plane in its fleet since it retired its widebody A300s in 2009. Now, the airline has about 260 Airbus planes on order, with a mixture of A319s, A320s and A321s.

We won’t see the A319s in Los Angeles at first. But starting in 2014, American plans to put the new A321s on the Los Angeles to New York JFK route.

Those will be specially configured planes with three classes of service – first, business and economy. Early renderings (such as the one depicted in the first half of the video below) suggest it will be an impressive product.

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