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.

Review: Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

The Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is very well located. Once you exit arrivals into the transit hall where the trains are, you follow the signs to the hotel which is about ten minutes walk away, all undercover. A high quality property, it was completed at the end of 2015, replacing the former hotel on the site. Happily it is not showing its age, being very well kept as you will see in this review. Check-In and Luggage Storage There was little hope of checking in on arrival at 9:30am as the official time is 2:00pm. The desk agent...

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Does anyone remember Japan’s NAMC YS-11 turboprop?

The very first airliner manufactured in Japan after World War II was the NAMC YS-11. Powered by two of the famous Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines, it first flew on 30 August 1962. Hiroshima based Toa Airways put the aircraft into service in April 1965. Typically seating 60 passengers, the YS-11 was designed to replace Douglas DC-3s on short haul routes. In production from 1962 to 1974, 182 aircraft were delivered, including 75 sold abroad to 19 customers in 15 countries. NAMC YS-11 Video Following on from last weeks video about the Boeing 747SP, this week we head to Japan...

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Should you fly into London’s Heathrow or Gatwick Airport?

You wouldn’t believe it, but there are six airports to choose from when travelling to London. Long-haul flights tend to arrive at London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, with the other four serving mainly European passengers. Most airlines fly to one or the other and often you will have a choice when choosing your flights. People often ask me which is the best one to fly into, so here’s a little guide that answers that question. Is London Heathrow or Gatwick Closer to Central London? When it comes to driving distance, London Heathrow is 26 kilometres to the west of...

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You can now earn British Airways Avios on Airbnb bookings

Airlines usually have many ways to earn points in their frequent flyer programmes. Everything from shopping and credit cards, to car hire and newspaper subscriptions all increase your balance. British Airways now allow earning on Airbnb bookings. Many people have eschewed hotels in favour of Airbnb bookings, particularly those aged in their twenties and thirties. Airbnb is far cheaper and offers a more local experience in many instances compared to a faceless hotel chain. Airbnb Bookings Earn Avios British Airways have permitted earning Avios with hotels for years. Virtually every chain you can think of will earn something in...

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What special meals can you get on flights when on a diet?

Airlines offer the ability to order special meals on board a flight to accommodate people’s dietary requirements. Catering to a global clientele means the standard chicken or beef offering is not for everyone. Some people may be on a special diet for health or religious reasons, while others may be particular by choice. Happily these special meals are provided at no extra cost, but what types are there? Airline Special Meals The International Air Transport Association or IATA have a list of special meals and their codes in their Cabin Operations Safety Best Practices Guide. These are developed by...

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What is so special about the Airbus A321XLR anyway?

Airlines around the world are lining up for the Airbus A321XLR which launched at the Paris air show. After the news that Aer Lingus and Iberia ordered the aircraft, things have continued apace with Qantas and American Airlines both signing on. Frontier, Wizz Air and JetSMART have also been added to the order book today. You’d be forgiven for thinking the Airbus A321XLR was just another derivative of a common model, so why are airlines clamouring to get a hold of them? Airbus A321XLR Addresses A Gap In the Market There is a requirement by airlines to be able...

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Aer Lingus orders A321XLR, IAG goes for Boeing 737 MAX

Airbus have announced the formal launch of the Airbus A321XLR. With a range of 8,500 kilometres or 4,600 nautical miles, it is the longest ranged variant in the Airbus narrowbody line up. This means it could fly from certain points Europe to the west coast of the United States. With excellent economics, this could present even more opportunities for smaller markets to connect. Aer Lingus A321XLR Aer Lingus have ordered six of the new Airbus A321XLR, with Spain’s Iberia ordering eight. As part of the same group, there are economies of scale in ordering together. First deliveries are expected...

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Qantas to start Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco

Australia’s Qantas is entering a joint venture with American Airlines which is now pending final approval. Due to this, it has been announced that the first two new routes will be Brisbane to Chicago and Brisbane to San Francisco. Once again the aircraft of choice will be the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering the latest seating in business class, premium economy and economy class. Brisbane to Chicago Of the two routes, the service to Chicago O’Hare is the most exciting. It will be the first non-stop flight from Australia to the windy city, connecting to the American Airlines hub there....

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Does anyone remember the baby Jumbo, the Boeing 747SP?

The Boeing 747SP is the baby of the family, being 14.75 metres shorter than the standard version of the aircraft. SP stands for Special Performance, as it was the ultra-long range version of the 747, with a range of 12,320 kilometres. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT9D or Rolls-Royce RB211-524C2 turbofans, it first flew on 4 July 1975 and entered service with Pan American on 25 April 1976. Due to its long range, it set several distance records during its life. Boeing 747SP Video Following on from the video last week on the Fokker F28 Fellowship, this time...

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There’s one good reason to wear shoes to the toilet on a flight

Nothing is more relaxing on a long flight than taking off your footwear. You don’t need to wear shoes, as you’re going to be chilling with a movie or perhaps reading a book to make the journey pass by as quickly as possible. No doubt you’ll leave your socks on for extra comfort. During the flight, you’re also probably going to visit the toilet. Without thought, you pad off to the cubicle, go through the routine and head back to your seat. Nothing to worry about, right? Here’s Why You Should Wear Shoes For the uninitiated, there is something...

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