Layovers - Air Travel podcast
About this podcast
The Air Travel podcast — created by Paul Papadimitriou, hosted along with Alex Hunter — top #1 in 35 countries and counting.
About this podcast
The Air Travel podcast — created by Paul Papadimitriou, hosted along with Alex Hunter — top #1 in 35 countries and counting.
Layovers - Air Travel podcast
109 DIVERSION - Storminess reroute, Steampunk Singapore, (AL)ITA(LIA), pandemic fleets
Alex outsmarts a diversion, using all the on-air WiFi. Paul talks Scrabble (he clearly spent too much time on the ground). Flights to nowhere and airplane food to your door are not for us, even if it's BA First. 2 Boeing 2 Airbus, Pandemic Drift. ITA, Italy's Troublesome Arrangement (we've come up with a better acronym in the episode). The Singapore Airlines 380 First STEAMPUNK experience, before all the 380s disappeared. Recorded live, no edits, aka "podcast vérité" (or whatever you call Paul being too lazy to edit this). The episode is 2 hours, folks, press Pause for a Kit Kat. (DIVERSION isn't an IATA airport code, we googled it for you ;-))
107 - A Golden Era of travel ends, another will rise
Flight 107. We might have been in a Golden Age of travel, and didn't see it — it's now time to reflect, and think about the next one, a different one, with perhaps more friction, and certainly some pain in the process. From the economical hurt, the airlines at risk, to the new borders to travel (green zones versus red zones of infection?), from health as the new visa to less interaction (more automation?), all the travel futures we might see. For now, we're in this together. The World won't stay closed. We will fix this.
106 OGG - The 2020 Virus Crash, the world is shutting down, keep healthy, cheer up, we will beat this (and, guys, that Kahului final will make you smile!)
Flight 106. The 2020 Virus Crash, the world is shutting down, no one is flying — this could become the biggest downturn ever in aviation history and perhaps the biggest global recession since World War II (we certainly do not hope so, we all need to beat this damn Covid-19!). Our thoughts are with all the people in the wider travel industry. Tons of airlines are now at risk around the globe, with bankruptcies and bailouts a certainty, following absolutely massive drops in demand, insane border closures (those are accelerating, and it's only the start), routes suspensions at an unprecedented scale, forced quarantines, fear and uncertainty. But hey, come on, we have good upbeat stories for you (airline bunk beds are a thing!), flight reviews (that turbulent landing!), and, as always, a good banter. Cheer up, keep healthy — we will get through this.
105 DCA - Covid19, 787 raffle, LHR Volunteers, business+, Ben's Chili Bowl, with Elizabeth, Dan & Ed
Flight 105. Everything you wanted to know (or not know) about the coronavirus (aka Covid19, Sars2, or World War Z) and its short-term effects on the world of air travel — from the hassles to the precaution to think about. Followed by the fan episode, with longtime listeners Elizabeth, Ed & Dan. Two out of three agree FRA is a disaster (not Elizabeth haha). The Heathrow volunteer program. The battle of the travel apps (and the bizarre TripIt strategy, and UX, as Dan knows very well!). Do you want to win a Dreamliner? Can the BA 350 fly really long routes? SWISS introduces an airline …scent (WTF). American Google translate (and we were hosted at Google, thank you Ed!!!). Ed has seen the future: a robot barista! Someone's been at Southend airport (Elizabeth!). Is there such a thing as too close a livery between airlines? Business premium (no that's not First!) on the Lufthansa 777X. Saving private FlyBe. Willie Walsh leaves IAG. And more avgeekery!
104 MSP - KC-10 flying gas station, cheese cubes and hummus, why Delta, alliances no more, A220+
Flight 104. The cheese cubes and hummus episode, with Doug Zschoche, aka OfficerWayFinder: everything you ever wanted to know about why flyers love Delta so much. What it is to fly the KC-10, the flying gas station, and to play with flight simulators (the serious ones!) around the US. Who owns the window? Airbus goes 787 dimming, and pulls a book (too many scandals?). A 737 MAX update, from revelations, crazy quotes to management reshuffle (what will come first: the re-certification or BER actually opening?). The future of alliances (not disappearing, but there are other ways). KLM retires its 747 and Qatar goes train (buses will be the way to go in the US). Delta introduces Iron Man, a multi-view screen at DTW, some jet fuel over schools, and promises more flexibility. The A220 will get stretched (900? 1000??), though no single pilot planes are on the horizons. Paul chose the wrong lounge at MSP (yes, he actually did go!), thanks to Doug for letting him know. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEXT TRIP PODCAST (seriously, they release faster than we do). Also, this is our 5th anniversary, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SO LOYAL ALL THOSE YEARS, EVERYONE.
103 DEN - Fish, Chicken, Beef, Lasagna, the flavors of the airlines …and the lizards conspiracy
Flight 103. It's always fish, chicken, beef and lasagna, airplane food, airport food and more food: airline Christmas menus, First class samplings, FRA hunger games, fake meat, Air Yoshinoya. The healthiest US trays, the best global airline for your taste buds. The Bali pigs could lead to the next airline epidemic, its epicenter actually being US catering. From airline beers (yes) to jet lag powder drinks (nope). The lizards übermensch that took over the hidden bowels of Denver airport (and haunt United's lavatories).
102 DFW - United Jedi Force, 380 misjudgment, coffee pan pan, BA door review, mad MAD, BLLegoland
Flight 102. Paul reviews the BA Club Suite (no door was hurt in the making of this podcast). Alex and the secrets of meeting rockstars in flight (mark them down!). The A380 misunderstanding: it should live on (and don't listen to the French, they just strike anyway). United will decide your fate: dark side or light side of the Force (United also ghost Force'd Munoz). Food pan pan, coffee pan pan, but chocolate delight (edible cup though?). BLLegoland. Paul kneels down in front of Madrid e-gates (they don't work) whilst Alex believes it being a social experiment: it's truly mad MAD (and a new fortress by IAG). Boeing will soon sell a negative number of planes. Hong Kong airlines lives to see another day, Avatar airlines might never be born (low-cost 744s, really?). Tim Clark has had enough of beta-testing aircrafts. DFW innovates, a lot, but it's still not sexy (Alex's posh voice however...)
101 HAN - Emirates plans, Vietnam meat, Miles & Less, Aeromexico noise, Norwegian LHR coup
Flight 101. Everything you wanted to know about Emirates future. Vietnam Airlines has pizza, 350s, 20 million fines and some undefined (but good) meat. The 777X wings are automated. Lufthansa mulls rebranding its program Miles & Less (meaning, the new program rules are stupid). Aeromexico noise, can it be damped by the PowerBeats Pro (or pretending to be on the phone to enter the DXB First Class lounges?). KUL was hacked (they say they haven't, but come on…) time to call BA's IT department :-)). Seeing Ha Long Bay with a Cessna Gran Caravan hybrid seaplane (hint: Paul fell in love in Vietnam). 400000 miles for a cat. Carbon taxes are becoming a trend. Berlin has an opening date (YEAH RIGHT). Norwegian lands at Heathrow, or is it JetBlue? Catch me if you can at DEL. Quote of the month: being dragged in a washing machine backwards.
100 LON - Thank you everyone for being such great listeners, happy 100 to you all!
Flight 100. To all of you, thank you so much for tuning in repeatedly, we couldn't have done any of this without your help, your feedback, your reviews, your comments, your corrections, your criticisms (and yes, Delta fans, we're again on your case in this episode haha), your photos and incredible stories you share back with us. Thank you whether you started listening last week or in 2015, whether you always listen, or just once in a while. Thank you as well for bearing with us between episode releases at times, we know we often test the limits of your patience ;-) Thank you also to all of you who came to say hi in airports, lounges, and planes, we always appreciate it (Alex will have his resting bitch face, Paul will have his stupid noise cancelling earbuds, but do come forward, we'll both smile and chat). Thank you for your enthusiasm and your friendship. We appreciate you. Much love to all from Alex and Paul. Happy flying <3
099 ARN - Facial boarding, Airways board game, epic Qatar, Emperor 747, AA flagship, Betsy beer 2.0
Flight 099. Airways, the board game & softball, an avgeek game. Food galore, from the AirMos burger manual to the LHR AA chorizo hot dog, to the not-really-parisian Admirals baguette. UA Polaris confusion and AA absent service (ok, more like hit-and-miss): Paul and Alex compare their US travels (there's also AeroMexico, JetBlue, and Paul flies the longest possible AA route with a pajama). From windows shades (down) to wearing shades at facial boarding (and we debate facial recognition at airports around the world and how we feel about it all). Is the US mobile passport worth it? How to spot you're in a 757: the fierce take off, and interior pieces falling off. Paul has his best flight since we started recording, on Qatar in a Q Suite, and then gets baffled by an epic customer service delight in Doha. What would you do with 28 million, buy the Japanese Air Force One 747 of fly the new ANA seats (with a MASSIVE HUGE SCREEN) continuously for the rest of your life? Stockholm ARN secrets: the underground lake that warms and cools the airport, and the transfer trick between T5 and T2. Betsy is back in a very cool beer can.
098 DTW - Extraordinary HK, experiencing Delta, AA B&O, mad MAX, Gran Class, LAX Eagles Nest, e-NRT
Flight 098. Shinkansen Gran Class, Four Seasons Mexico and Popeye Chicken sandwich, are we still an aviation podcast? The Eagle's Nest at LAX. Aer Pluto Lingus. SFO goes stupid with plastic. The 777x decompressed explosively. The 737 MAX is still wingless. Alex gets BA at the top of their game for an almost-diverted flight. NRT gets e-gates and Tokyo will get aircrafts over it (point your finger at HND). Qatar insists on business buses. Norwegian could get WOWd. WOW is reborn by the way of a Le Carre enigma. Paul finally flies AA, loves the B&O headphones. ANA goes BONX (and Alex goes ANA). Delevingne coffee at Heathrow. AA illogical re-re-refits. We meet listeners, thank you so much everyone (and for your patience!). Extraordinary times in Hong Kong, at HKG and for Cathay. Is Detroit DTW our #1 US airport? A magnificent Livermore Fest.
097 FAO - TWA love, underwater 747, Virgin Pride, Del(icious)ta, RIP Airbus father, AA MD80, BA cats
Flight 097. The TWA hotel is everything we wanted. Long haul narrowbodies, a new old debate. USB-A versus USB-C, a new new debate (we just want good power!). Delta goes all in for good economy food, the US goes all in for the Open Skies (fifth freedoms, please!!). The cool Virgin Pride flight. The not very cool alone-in-the-dark-forgotten-by-Air-Canada experience. The under water 747 (and a few others to dive into, pun intended). The Brussels airport Stella, the 747 Microsoft simulator cockpit (that's one option), the PW2000 engine BBQ. American retires its MD80 and Qantas goes domestic for the end of its 747s. The cheap ERJs and the gone CRJ. What is the S in A321S (not SSSS, that's another story). The new Istanbul has Segway wheelchairs and some surprising live indoor mapping help. Uber chooses Melbourne for its VTOL trials (no FREE-something stupid rebrand) and MEL goes 3 runways (with a wind situation). Singapore extends the A380, but Air France will not (AT ALL). The passing of Continental (this time for good), and the passing of the father of Airbus (what a man, what a legacy!).
096 IST - Emirates rejig, airport Lambo, Skytrax porn, Sunrise 4th zone, BA bubbly, Embraer nickname
Flight 096. Emirates fleet rejigging, 787 trashing, and basic business. The airport Lambo is nicer than the new Air Force One. What's in a name, MAX or no MAX, and other Boeing decisions. IAG steals the Paris Air Show PR. The A321XLR is amongst us. After beers and whisky, BA goes sparkling. What does Embraer actually stands for (it's a fun one). Space Jet gets a mystery sale. Do you need a door in your seats? Qantas retires its 747, pushes the 380 to its end. The Sunrise 4th zone, after the cabin, cockpit and lavatories, it's not a cargo nightclub. The LHR expansion finally revealed (for 2070 surely). A Turkish seat malfunction (the switches are amazing). The bespoke Airbus lettering (made by hand?). Germany blocks Norway (well, a Norwegian 737 MAX, haha). Lufthansa will also price its business seats. SkyTrax announces its 457th awards of the year (Qatar and Singapore are on top). A new way to enjoy Cathay First. The new IST is a big bet but impresses.
095 YYZ - Jewel WOW, EVA pizza, chipped E140, Airbus 50, Kulula, Finnair whisky, De Havilland, A220+
Flight 095. EVA bakes pizza. Finnair does whisky. Airbus goes 50. Uber goes NY copter. Alex flies to South Africa, misplaces stuff (angry breakfast and angry lounge shower follow). Paul flies the Q Suite to Singapore, marvels at the Jewel waterfall (rain vortex!). United goes green. AF/KLM goes V plane. Alex survives a chipped E190 with rocky suspensions to Toronto. Paul falls in love with Singapore Airlines (again!) but damages a bin. The future of Changi T5. The A220 becomes enhanced. De Havilland is back. Introducing the MRJ CRJ Space Jet (or something). VIP Terminals. Paul flies EVA, loves the lounge pizza, the rest, well… Alex gets a crush on Toronto. Why YYZ?
094 TLV - RIP Niki, First beer, Boeing distrust, 747 record, SWISS 77W, JetBlue treason, fly Nando's
Flight 094. Niki Lauda the legend who pushed death aside. Beers and more beers: Betsy makes a come back, BA adds a secret First Class bottled beer, and more on the Speedbird 100 (toilet clog, anyone?). From Nando's to Taco Bell, zeitgeist food in travel (and debating whether there is one or two Michelin star airport restaurants worldwide). BA goes whisky, JetBlue opts for treason (I mean, Pepsi, really?). United goes Spiderman, Avianca and women liveries. Alex flies the SWISS 77W, in 7A (Paul's favorite seat), but gets his wifi gobbled up (and Paul offers a trick to avoid paying for Swiss throne seats, and how to get an F experience on the cheap). None of us get thrown out of a plane (but one stupid passenger did in NZ, good!). Iberia measures your carry-on in augmented reality, and we measure the worst Aeroflot 1492 surviving passenger. Delta tests free wifi for all, no matter the seat back IFE comeback, and MUC tests what AMS already offers, seamless X-ray scanning. Cathay Move Beyond business, and attempts to move beyond a very murky HNA / HK Express situation (Alex wants to never move beyond the HK theme park however). Boeing fails to regain trust, whilst the 737 MAX is still thrustless. Google's superapp, Amazon's supperairport (and flight search!). Qatar reshuffles its fleet (and hates the 340, yay!) and goes Canada whilst Etihad goes Serbia. The South American game, some losers, some winners (a Ryanair of LatAm). Paul flies to a WeChat airport (in the midst of removing paper strips in its tower). The incredible LY001 747 history, along with a record that will never be broken. The TLV security measures, past and present, from VIP to sheruts.
093 INN - Speedbird beer, Superjet bounce, lavatory ratio, tricky airports, SQ farm, IFE privacy
Flight 093. Paul sounds like a robot (sorry, guys), Alex sounds authoritative (he's always right, no?). The BA Speedbird 100 beer (when need Glen to assess it!). Some on-board pop that foams too much (Alex is the worst passenger). On-board food: increasing portions, farm-to-plane, rooftop potatoes. After the on-board food: the toilet to passenger ratio revealed (but also how to cram gold in a lavatory). Don't get too much on-board food: getting weighted to board (do the 7 layers of clothing count?). The future of ISL Ataturk and Mexico's airports (and BER, the Fyre Festival of airports). The tricky category C airports in Europe, Innsbruck, LCY and others that require special training (and specific technologies). The continuing acts of customer experience contritions by BA (afraid of JetBlue maybe?) and United (but it goes only so far). JAL really did name its low cost Zip Air Tokyo (and used Word to create the logo). The best Priority Pass lounges awards. Tons of feedback. And the uncertain future of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, after the sad tragedy.
092 KUH - United love, JAL Zipair, BA coronation chicken, shoddy Dreamliner, Star Wars 738, IFE 56F
Flight 092. Alex loves Innsbruck 3000. Paul loves running in CDG 3000. We adore the new TWA infinity edge pool 3000. We love the new United livery 3000. We love tiny airports that behave like big ones, 3000. We love the BA coronation chicken 3000, the best shot haul airplane food in Europe. We love Emirates and Qantas IFE data 3000, and luxury brands love Emirates 3000. We're fascinated by the post Jet Airways Indian market, 3000. We do not love United crew who resell ticket, Emirates First passengers who steal bottles, or Cathay staff who steal cutlery, 3000. We're intrigued by the Japanese low-cost market, 3000, baffled at the Hong Kong Airlines infighting, 3000, and by the Taiwan airline heirs saga, 3000. Lufthansa loves Europe 3000. We're aghast at the Boeing Charleston revelations (3000?). We wish the US3 would actually stop whining, 3000. The new Japan era isn't 3000. United, 3000, Avengers, assemble …what? Yeah, Paul should really stop with those bad Endgame puns in those notes …3000.
091 DEL - Virgin half door, JetBlue Europe, BA First buttons, IST Big Bang, DME cheese, Grand STN
Flight 091. Warning, doesn't contain images of any aircraft in distress. BA pizza app delivery to Lagos (so many questions!). Risk of cheese smell upon landing at Moscow DME (does that make immigration go faster?). Virgin Atlantic unveils a half door (but it has nice colors). Paul flies BA First with round buttons (but fix that 789 IFE remote for Pete's sakes!!). Alex bids his Etihad way up (just to be jarred by the backward seating). JetBlue announces the worsts-kept secret in the industry: it's coming to Europe (and we devise their winning strategy for LCY). Flying in style: in-flight bars or lounges (more precisely, being alone or not). The DME Navigator lounge seat Paul and Alex fight over. The New Istanbul looks grandiose (congrats! And thank you for our ever-incredible listeners for the pictures just after opening). Ethiopia overtakes DXB (kinda) and DWC decides to wait for the Heathrow's third runway (kinda again). Grand Stansted Tour hilarious rant. Why is Jet Airways even trying anymore? We can't avoid discussing the 737 MAX. And DEL, well, we'll let you judge…
090 RIX - BA Club Suite, cockpit goals, bye WOW, Qantas cafe, bold StarLux, Sukhoi 380, 737 MAX bind
Flight 090. BA flies to the wrong destination (Ryanair mocks, but did worse) and introduces its shortest hop ever. WOW is gone, Jet Airways is close to be gone, but StarLux goes bold. AMS has a direct view on the luggage delivery system (WHAT?!). Astana is no more (just the name of the city, we recorded 079 just at the right time!). Cathay buys Hong Kong Express (did we call it?). ANA gets its first A380, and a very cute one. The Russia 860-seater double-decker escalator-filled plane that never was (but engineers designed folding wing tips). The Irkut MC-21 flies to compete with the 320/737. Qantas mulls crazy ideas for its ultra long haul flights (but, really, a space to stretch our legs is all we'd hope for). The LHR hawk is so smart (the Singapore stowaway too?). Cool flight deck stories at Delta (family goals!) and JetBlue (PA goals!). More to the 737 story. The RIX airfield that you can't miss. And yes, BA introduce the Club Suite …what do we think?