Airlines & Air Travel

Fiji Airways: The World’s Next Cool Airline?

These days, most airlines are struggling financially. But then, let’s face it, most haven’t done much to endear themselves to their customers, churning out a bland product and then pairing it with a confusing price structure and a level of service that ranges from uninspired to maddeningly inept.

Unfortunately, it is hard for the modern global traveler to avoid commercial aviation service. Which is why Spot Cool Stuff is so thankful that there are at least a handful of cool international airlines. We’d put Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines at the top of that list. Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways have some game too. And soon, their ranks might be joined by a new airline. Or, more accurately, a new old airline: Fiji Airways.

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The Munich Airport Beer Garden

Your typical airport bar is a semi-depressing place, full of lonely traveling salespeople and stressed passengers waiting out their flight delays. Happily, Munich—Europe’s beer capital and the spiritual home of Oktoberfest—is not your typical city when it comes to its bars. At Munich’s international airport you’ll find Airbräu. It’s the world’s only full-fledged beer garden that’s inside an airport. It’s also the world’s only in-airport brewery.

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Meals Ordered by Smartphone,
Delivered To Your Airport Gate

You just hopped off of a two-hour flight that had no meal service. You are connecting to a four-hour flight, which, of course, doesn’t provide meal service either. And you don’t have much time during your layover.

In such a situation, how can you get a hot meal? As it happens, there’s now an app for that.

Specifically the B4YouBoard app. It lets you pre-order and pay for a restaurant meal and have it delivered directly to you at your departure gate. It’s like room service for the airport.

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The Airline for the Pet-Setting Crowd

The airline business has to the dogs. Literally. On Pet Airways, the world’s first animal-only airline, pets fly in the main cabin and not in the cargo hold.

What’s it like on a Pet Airways flight? If you are imagining a Boeing 747 with dogs and cats curled up in business-class seats while watching Lassie on their personal television screens as flight attendants stroll the isles with carts of chewy treats and catnip . . . well, you are a little off. Pet Airways isn’t some bad Disney movie. But it is a very cool service. Here’s how it works:

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Borrow a Chromebook From
Virgin America, Ace Hotel

Spot Cool Stuff recently reviewed Google’s Chromebook netbooks on our tech blog. The new computers runs the Chrome operating system is almost entirely integrated in with the cloud. The major disadvantage of the Chrome OS: It renders a computer mostly useless if it isn’t online. The major advantages: With a Chromebook there’s no need to worry about updating software, backing up files or running out of storage space.

If you’d like to try out a Chromebook for yourself on your next trip you now can. For a limited time, passengers on Virgin America and guests at New York’s Ace hotel will each be able to borrow one, for free.

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Yo, Cool and Cozy In-Airport Hotel

Take a modern, stylish boutique hotel. Then automate its check-in process. Then shrink down its rooms. Then place this hotel inside the terminal of a busy airport. What you’ll get as your result is Yotel—Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite chain of airport-only accommodations.

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Airplane Safety Card Humor

There’s nothing funny about an airplane crash landing. But there is something funny about the crash landing preparedness cards that are a staple of airplane seat back pockets. At least there is at the Airtoons website.

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At Frankfurt Airport, Pets Have It Better Than People

Some of us can’t even imagine getting the opportunity to spend time in some of the amazing luxury airline lounges that are offered in the world’s larger airports. Almost none of us can imagine offering that luxury to our pets. And yet, that’s exactly the perk that some pooches are going to be enjoying now that Lufthansa’s new first class pet lounge is in operation. The lounge provides top-notch service to animals that are traveling through the airport.

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