The Flight Detective

Trent is a European based author covering airlines in the oneworld alliance, plus those flying in the Irish, British and Australian markets. He also produces comprehensive and unbiased flight reviews. For variety, Trent intersperses all of this with pieces on aviation history, commentary on current industry happenings and travel tips for frequent and infrequent flyers.

What’s the new Cathay Pacific business class bedding like?

Cathay Pacific have enhanced their business class experience with new bedding. This is designed to provide a more comfortable sleep on long haul flights. The new items are a seat topper, a plush duvet, a larger firmer pillow and on longer sectors, complimentary slippers. I had the pleasure of trying these out on recent flights, so let’s have a look at them. A Bedding Pack and Slippers When you arrive on board, the bedding pack is situated in the foot well of the seat. It is a reusable grey fabric bag, which makes a nice change from the plastic...

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Does anyone remember the Fairey Rotodyne?

You would be forgiven for never having heard of the Fairey Rotodyne, which is a compound gyroplane or a gyrodyne. This is a vehicle that has aspects of both a helicopter and an aeroplane. First flying on 6 November 1957, the aircraft was designed to carry up to 40 passengers, landing and taking off vertically from heliports but with the speed of a normal airliner. Fairey Rotodyne Video Following on from the last video on the Douglas DC-4, this time we look at the British built Fairey Rotodyne. Made by the people at the excellent Mustard channel on YouTube,...

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Do you know you can pay to use the Qantas London Lounge?

Qantas operate one of the nicest lounges in London Heathrow Terminal 3. Since the Australian airline operates just two flights per day, the lounge is often empty, so now you can pay to use it. Opened around two years ago, the lounge features a modern design including bars, a restaurant and quiet areas for relaxing. When I visited, I took a bunch of pictures and some videos which provide a sneaky peek at the offering. Pay To Use The Qantas London Lounge All passengers in Terminal 3 will be able to pay to use the Qantas lounge. This means...

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What was the BOAC Monarch service like on the Comet 4?

The Monarch Service is the name BOAC used for the on board experience on routes across the Atlantic. Flights commenced on 4 October 1958 with the de Havilland Comet 4, bringing jet travel to the crossing for the first time. With a clientele composed mainly of wealthy people, luxury was the name of the game for these flights. There is an example menu and two short colour film clips below which illustrate just how posh this really was. BOAC Monarch Service Videos Both clips are from the same film and while the videos have no sound, they show everything...

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Have you ever checked out your airline ticket taxes?

When it comes to airline ticket taxes, the amount can sometimes be more than the actual fare itself. It seems that Governments and facilities levy a range of fees for flying which end up being passed on to the consumer. Airlines are usually required to give you a breakdown of the taxes and fees with your ticket. Most people don’t really pay much attention to them, but checking them out can reveal interesting information. Airline Ticket Taxes Long haul international travel is especially good at attracting service fees. This can and will include fees for services such as immigration,...

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Does Airbus have it in the bag for Qantas’ Project Sunrise?

Lots of reports have appeared in the aviation press over the last day or so, making me wonder if Airbus have it in the bag for Project Sunrise. For those that don’t know, these are the touted non-stop Qantas flights between New York and Sydney, and London and Sydney. The specific aircraft on offer are the Boeing 777-8 being pitched against the Airbus A350-1000. There are a few reasons why I think Airbus might have the edge now. All Airbus All The Time Recent reports have had quite a lot of comment from people at Airbus on the matter...

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Should I pay for my favourite seat in business class on British Airways?

One of the perks of certain levels of frequent flyer status is that seat selection is free. Now that I have dropped from that level, it is confronting to see that I have to pay for my favourite seat in business class. Needless to say, having been used to getting it for free, I am reluctant to do it. That being said, there are arguments for and against forking over some cash, so let’s have a look at them. Why I Should Pay For My Favourite Seat I am spectacularly picky when it comes to seating on board a...

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Did you know there is one Lockheed L-1011 still flying?

Lockheed’s legendary L-1011 TriStar first flew on 16 November 1970 and you’d be forgiven if you thought none were still flying today. In fact, there is just one, operated by Northrop Grumman, which is called Stargazer. This aircraft was originally delivered to Air Canada in 1974 and was modified in 1994 to launch Pegasus rockets for Orbital Sciences. Today it is still used in that role. The Last TriStar Still Flying Stargazer is named as a homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was the commander of the Stargazer, prior to going on the Enterprise. In...

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Which hotels are a walk from London Heathrow’s terminals?

When you’re staying overnight at the airport, the last thing you want to do is have to take transportation to and from the hotel. Being able to walk from the hotel to your terminal is ideal. London Heathrow has a myriad of hotels surrounding it, from five star to no stars. There seems to be something available for any budget. Here’s an easy guide to the hotels actually connected to the terminals, making for a far easier journey. Connected at Terminal 2 The Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 is officially connected to Terminal 2. Also...

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Does anyone remember the very useful Douglas DC-4?

First flying on 14 February 1942, the Douglas DC-4 is a long-range airliner powered by four Pratt & Whitney Twin-Wasp piston engines. It was the second most popular aircraft built by the California based company, with 1,241 built between 1942 and 1947. Used throughout World War II by the Americans, it later played a large role in the Berlin Airlift. Many major airlines used the DC-4 on services around the world, some for quite a long time. Let’s have a look at some videos about this popular plane. Douglas DC-4 Video Following on from the last video about the...

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