United Airlines debuts new uniforms

United Airlines debuted new uniforms for its front-line workers on Tuesday, more than two and a half years after the carrier completed its merger with Continental Airlines.

The new uniforms means that the distinctive former United logo — a stylized ‘U’ that was nicknamed “the Tulip” has disappeared from workers’ clothing.

Here are some pictures of the new look. What do you think of it? Incidentally, have you ever seen airline employees smile so much?

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Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines lead list of world’s top airlines

Emirates (800x505)There a lot of rankings of the best airlines. But it seems there’s only one that most carriers truly pay attention to. Those are the annual SkyTraxx awards, and they were released Tuesday.

You’ll notice none is based in North America, which is not really a surprise, as service standards here tend to lag behind the rest of the world. Asian and Middle Eastern carriers dominate the list. It’s also worth remembering that a good number of airlines on this list receive some sort of government support.

SkyTraxx says it it surveyed more than 18 million people before coming up with its list.

We should be getting the list of the top American carriers soon. Until then, perhaps it’s time to plan a trip on one of the airlines below.

  1. Emirates
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. ANA All Nippon Airways
  5. Asiana Airlines
  6. Cathay Pacific Airways
  7. Etihad Airways
  8. Garuda Indonesia
  9. Turkish Airlines
  10. Qantas Airways

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What does it take to reconfigure a United Airlines jet?

United Airlines announced this week that it’s just about finished installing flatbed business class seats on every long-haul international airplane in its fleet.

It seems easy enough, right? You just rip out the old seats and put new ones in their place.

But it’s not that simple. Condé Nast Traveler got an inside look at what it takes to transform a Boeing 777. In short, United rips the plane apart and then puts it back together.

Check out the whole photo galley. It’s worth a visit. 

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JetBlue may add fancy first class on LAX flights

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JetBlue Airways, the airline that sought to bring a new civility to economy class 13 years ago, is expected to soon revolutionize coast to coast premium class travel.

Several blogs and news organizations have reported that JetBlue is planning to install first class suites — possibly with doors — on new Airbus A321 aircraft. The news became public after someone found a regulatory filing submitted by the aircraft manufacturer.  Apparently the seat design favored by JetBlue has never been used.

JetBlue currently has only economy class seating, though some seats have extra leg room.

JetBlue has been coy about its plans for a premium cabin. But airline officials announced in March that they were planning some sort of first or business class cabin.

In addition to LAX, JetBlue serves Long Beach and Burbank in the L.A. Basin. While the airline could use its new planes from Long Beach and Burbank, it’s much more likely it would fly them on flights between LAX and New York. Premium traffic demand at LAX tends to be considerably higher than at other airports. And that means fares can be set relatively high.

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A Knife and fork for your donuts? That’s the Singapore Airlines way.

Randy's donuts

Hungry for donuts at 30,000 feet? If you’re flying Singapore Airlines in first or business class from Los Angeles International Airport, you might be in luck.

The carrier struck a deal with iconic Los Angeles area purveyor Randy’s Donuts, which is delivering the sweets daily to the airline’s caterer. We spoke with James Boyd, Singapore’s spokesman, about how the deal went down.

Brian Sumers: Why the tie between Singapore Airlines and Randy’s Donuts?

James Boyd: Well, it’s part of our light bites menu. So basically between meals and whenever passengers are feeling a little bit peckish, we have a whole menu — everything from noodles to Singapore Chicken Rice, in some menu cycles. We also try to be reflective of the local communities that we serve and so Randy’s Donuts is such an institution in Los Angeles, we wanted to give people a little bit of a taste of home.

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