Travel News – June 30th 2012 to July 3rd 2012

Travel news – June 30th 2012 to July 3rd 2012:

  • Why Airlines Should Bring Back Delicious In-Flight Meals – Budget Travel recently posted this on This Just In… Newsweek's Travel Blog:

    I got a big surprise on my recent ANA flight to Japan: a meal. Not just one meal, mind you, but two: a 5–course dinner featuring chicken cutlet and soba noodles and a full breakfast including melon, yogurt, and a sort of hot Asian oatmeal. I can’t remember the last time I was served a proper meal on a flight—at least, one that I didn’t have to pay for—and I enjoyed these immensely. The most delicious part of all: I was flying in coach.

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    When's the last time you had a good in–flight meal? (Courtesy LWY/Flickr)

    Like many Asian airlines, ANA has continued to serve in–flight meals on its international flights to all its passengers, unlike the penny–pinching American companies who often stiff the riff–raff in coach. It’s always been fashionable to whine about airplane food, either the quality or the quantity or both (just like the old joke about the Jewish grandmother who kvetched that the food at her new retirement village was a lousy and the portions too small).

    But it wasn’t until my ANA meals (did I mention that I got two on the return trip, too?) that I realized how much I’d missed in–flight food. The dishes themselves were tasty enough, but it wasn’t the food per se that I enjoyed. It was the way the meals broke up the long flights to and from New York, giving them a sense of pacing and time passed. The meals transformed a mere flight into a journey, an experience. The flying time may have been 12 hours, but that never felt like drudgery. It felt exciting, like when we were little kids on a big plane trip. Back then, my mother would steal the airline silverware because it was so much nicer than what we had at home. Now, you’d be stealing plastic utensils—if you were lucky.

    We all know why the American airlines cut out their food service: the bottom line. But it’s hard not to wonder if that was a pyrrhic victory. Everything about flying has become harder in the last decade; airlines are about as beloved as politicians and Wall Street bankers. Would a decent, reliable, in–flight meal take some of the bitter taste away from the whole experience? Would it make flying feel special again, enough of a reward to put up with the hassles at the airport? Would getting served a meal—even a mediocre one—change the way you feel about flying?

  • Paris’s Newest Attractions for Summer 2012 – Sean O'Neill recently posted this on This Just In… Newsweek's Travel Blog:
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    The new Islamic arts gallery building at the Louvre museum (Courtesy Louvre)
  • The Able Traveler: Exploring California’s Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway – posted this over on Frommer's : This road trip along Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway includes wheelchair-accessible stops at Mono Lake, Devils Postpile National Monument, and Manzanar National Historic Site.
  • Alabama | Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer

  • Get Up Close And Personal At The Kennedy Space Center – Budget Travel recently posted this on This Just In… Newsweek's Travel Blog:
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    The iconic Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., about an hour’s drive from downtown Orlando. (Courtesy Kennedy Space Center)
  • Allegiant Air begins Hawaii flights, stirs up competition – USATODAY.com
    Allegiant Air has officially landed in Hawaii.

  • Spirit Of America: Smithsonian DC; America From the Air; Butterflies of Grand Canyon – This week on the Travel with Rick Steves Podcast:
    Guides from the Museum of American History prepare us for a patriotic pilgrimage to the historical attractions along the National Mall. Next, a novelist reveals how the overwhelming beauty of the Grand Canyon inspires her writing. Also, a geologist explains what you're really looking at, from a window seat view on your next domestic flight.

    Podcast

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