Blogger trying to raise $25,000 so he can fly (once) in Etihad residences class

Kickstarter
Here’s a kickstarter campaign you don’t see every day.

Ben Schlappig, the talented blogger behind the One Mile at a Time site, is asking for donations on the popular crowdfunding platform so that he might review the new Etihad Airways “residences” product.

You know the one. It’s something of a train compartment on an Airbus A380. You get a living room, bedroom and private bathroom with shower. The whole thing is 125 square feet.

Want a double bed on an airplane? Ethiad might be the airline for you. Photo: Associated Press.

Want a double bed on an airplane? Ethiad might be the airline for you. Photo: Associated Press.

Schlappig wants to review the product for his blog. He is asking for small donations amounting to $25,000 so he can buy a ticket. As of this writing, he has eight committments for about $630. But don’t count the man out. He has a big following, and his reviews of airline products are pretty darn good.

“What I propose is flying the Residences product within the first week it’s in service, so I can report on all aspects of the experience,” he writes. “Chances are it would otherwise be a long time before we get an unbiased review of Etihad’s new product.”

You can donate to his Kickstarter campaign here. And if you think he’s nuts, you can also tell him that.

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Routehappy.com wants to make sure you pick the right airline seat

Screen shot 2013-10-28 at 9.53.02 AM

In coach, how important are creature comforts to you? Do you just want the lowest fare? Or do you need to make sure you have stuff like on-demand video, in-seat power and internet?

If you like your comforts, even in coach, you might want to check out the website routehappy.com, whose slogan is “Find the happiest flight for the lowest price.” Above is a recent search for the Los Angeles to London route.

The fine folks at RouteHappy are also trying to call attention to the fact that not every airline configures its airplanes in the same way. Most importantly, on the Boeing 777, some airlines install 9 seats across, while some install 10. There’s usually no discount for flights on the more cramped 777 version, so you might as well book on the comfortable version.

Here’s what RouteHappy has to say on the matter:

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Delta executive says airline will continue to invest in in-flight entertainment

With more people traveling with laptops and tablets, you would think airlines would get out of the business of providing in-seat entertainment. They could give passengers some in-seat power and internet and let them fend for yourself.

But Mike Henny, Delta’s director of customer experience, says his airline has no plans to stop giving passengers in-seat entertainment. In fact, he expects Delta will continue to invest in in-seat entertainment, with sharper, clearer screens with even better resolution. That sort of investment is expensive, but Henny said customers demand it.

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On some flights, Japan Airlines to devote 4 seats for “ladies makeup” and “nursing”

This is not Southern California aviation news, but it is too good to pass up.

On some flights from Japan to Hawaii starting in October, Japan Airlines will devote four seats for “ladies makeup” and “nursing.”

Some of you might not believe this, so I figure it’s best to quote directly from the release. Here we go:

Special place is available for ladies’ make-up* in the flight departing from Japan
“The 4 seats in the rear of the Economy class will be set up for Ladies’ make-up from October 1, 2013. This place is also available for nursing, too.”
*The service will not be available during the seat belt sign on.

H/T @wanderingaramean

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Star Alliance lounge at LAX features outdoor seating, fire pits

Last week, we were first to report that some premium customers at the new LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal will have access to a special outdoor lounge, complete with a bar, lounge chairs and fire pits.

It took a week, but we finally secured renderings of the space, which will be used by first and business class customers, as well as some elite frequent fliers, flying on most Star Alliance airlines. It should open later this summer, when a key piece of the new building is finally opened.

The airlines using the lounge are: All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, THAI and Turkish Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Will you be using this lounge? What do you think of it? Do you think airlines cater too much to premium customers?

The outdoor terrace at the new LAX international terminal.

The outdoor terrace at the new LAX international terminal.

The bar at the new Star Alliance lounge, LAX.

The bar at the new Star Alliance lounge, LAX.

Inside seating at the new Star Alliance lounge, LAX

Inside seating at the new Star Alliance lounge, LAX

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