All posts in Hot Topics

Taking consumer air travel back to Mach 2

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Taking consumer air travel back to the supersonic era and speed of the Concorde — and beyond — is what Boom has in store for business class flyers over the next five years.  Not only that, in an interview with Boom founder and CEO, Blake Scholl, the company expects that carriers will be able to offer prices competitive with today’s subsonic business-class tickets—about $5,000 for a round-trip transatlantic flight.

Blake Scholl, president, Boom

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO, Boom

Tell us about Boom and how you are planning to bring back supersonic flight to consumer air travelers?

In the first few decades of commercial flight, long-distance travel became steadily faster and more accessible. Ocean liners gave way to piston-powered flying boats, which were then replaced by jet aircraft. But today, commercial airplanes aren’t flying any faster than they were in 1958—the Concorde era has come and gone. With its Mach-2.2 airliner, Boom is putting society back on the path of rapid technological progress that brought us great improvements in the speed and convenience of travel.

For carriers, Boom’s 55-passenger, all-business-class product is an attractive alternative to the status quo. Our supersonic airliner will take you across the world in half the time at fares similar to a subsonic business-class ticket. Not only do you save time, but you’re able to make trips that would have been prohibitively long on a subsonic jet.

When will consumers be able to avail of your services?

Our XB-1 supersonic demonstrator is slated to fly in 2018, and Boom’s airliner is expected to begin serving passengers in 2023.
What will your initial routing look like and what will fares range from?

There are over 500 routes worldwide capable of supporting supersonic service, and transoceanic travel will become much more convenient on Boom’s airliner. At Mach 2.2, a trip from San Francisco to Tokyo shrinks from 11 hours to 5.5. Getting from LA to Sydney, currently, an arduous 15-hour journey will be flown in under 7.

Fare setting will be up to the airlines, but we expect that carriers will be able to offer prices competitive with today’s subsonic business-class tickets—about $5,000 for a round-trip transatlantic flight.

Talk about the short-term and long-term future of consumer air travel from a technology aviation standpoint?

Today’s airlines only compete with each other in a few dimensions—ticket price, quality of service, and comfort. Because all existing jet aircraft take people from point A to point B in roughly the same amount of time, there is little differentiability apart from offering more leg room, better food, or cheaper seats. An airline with access to a substantially faster model of aircraft would be able to radically differentiate itself from the rest of the industry. We aim to jumpstart a renaissance in travel where affordable supersonic flight is the norm.

We believe the long-term future of air travel will be one where anyone can get anywhere on Earth in only a few hours for dirt cheap prices. Affordable ultra-fast travel will change everything. The whole planet will become like one big city. There will be no more long-distance relationships or loved ones you only see once a year. We will simply all be here on Earth together.

Will supersonic flight be a mainstream expectation in the not too distant future?

Currently, we’re building a Mach-2.2 commercial airplane that can operate profitably at a ticket price similar to subsonic business-class fares, but our work doesn’t end when Boom’s first airliner flies. In the future, we’re going to leverage our success to make commercial supersonic travel even more affordable and accessible. Ultimately, we want the fastest ticket to be the cheapest ticket.

ExpertFlyer’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Frequent Flyers

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

If you’ve got a frequent flyer in your life, you’ve probably heard moans and groans about the middle seat, lack of leg room, a scarcity of munchies – and fresh air – among other discomforts.  This year, we’ve amassed our annual ExpertFlyer Holiday Gift Guide to perk up pessimistic flyers with a stocking filled with gifts of comfort and convenience.

Suitcase in a Jacket

travel jacket bauBax

The BauBax Travel Jacket gets our vote for smart, trendy and practical travel wear. Featuring 15 comfort and stashing options, travelers can cloak themselves in their own self-contained cocoon. An integrated neck pillow, eye mask, gloves, microfiber cloth, along with a plethora of pockets to store everything from a tablet to a blanket, make this travel jacket a nifty take-along on your next trip. Price: $149.99 (Men’s Bomber).

 

A grand adventure is about to begin — Don’t forget the wine!

VinGarde Valise

The VinGarde Valise is a unique multifunction travel case that is designed to maximize space, functionality and unique packing configurations so you can safely take your personal travel items along with your favorite wine…or bring home a new found vintage, spirit or craft beer from your travels. Even fully packed with 12 bottles of wine, the VinGarde Valise only weighs 43 pounds! Price: $299.99 (Grande); $249.99 (Petite). ExpertFlyer readers: Use promo code VGV417 for a $25 discount on the purchase of either a VinGarde Valise Grande or Petite now through December 31, 2017. Continue reading →

Dream of having an entire row to yourself on an economy flight? Here’s how

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Nothing makes us happier than a frequent flyer scoring the best seat in the cabin. So, when we heard that God Save the Points Travel blogger and frequent flyer, Gilbert Ott, recently put ExpertFlyer’s Seat Alert app to the test and scored an entire row to himself, we were brimming with joy!

gilbert-ott via BusinessInsider.com

Gilbert Ott via BusinessInsider.com

Gilbert shared his experiences as a regular Seat Alert app user with BusinessInsider.com.

“A smart flyer (which you clearly are) sees the cabin as a game of musical chairs,” he said. “If the best seat in the house is available immediately — book it. If not, get the next best available seat — and set free alerts on ExpertFlyer for any and all the seats you’d prefer. By doing so, you can keep improving up until final boarding.

“Once everyone else has settled their fate, you can often stand in the boarding line with your app open seeing if final seating assignments have created any opportunities — like an entire row to yourself. It really does happen.”

Read the full post and tips here.

 

What “Worldwide by easyJet” may mean for air travelers

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

The trend in low-cost long-haul carriers has been flourishing over the past couple of years. Airlines, like Norwegian, WOW Air, and WestJet, are offering no-frills air travel around the world for less and that’s a good thing for travelers.

worldwide by easyjet

Last September, easyJet, a low-cost carrier based in Britain, announced a long-haul low-cost airline alliance with partners Norwegian and WestJet, offering connecting flights through Gatwick to North and South America. While the premise of such an alliance is grounds for excitement, the depth and breadth of actual benefits and convenience still remain shallow as compared to traditional airline alliances.

In an interview with the Globe Trotting Teacher, Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie, we learn there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the future of Worldwide by easyJet.

WATCH our interview with Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie, blogger at theglobetrottingteacher.com

“It’s generally a good thing for air travelers when airlines partner up because there are usually benefits to the consumer. In the case of Worldwide by easyJet, there is more ironing out to do, such as ensuring that one’s baggage seamlessly travels with them from connection points in Europe. We need to follow this partnership to see how it evolves, but the alliance is a step in the right direction. Consumers are now being exposed to new long-haul low-cost flight options that weren’t on their radar and more choice is always a good thing.”

— Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

 

 

Did you know…Chile has been named the top travel destination for 2018?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 is the highly anticipated collection of the world’s hottest destinations that should be on every traveler’s wish list in the year ahead. The world’s leading travel media authority reveals its selections of the top 10 countries, cities, regions and best value destinations that Lonely Planet experts recommend travelers experience in 2018.

Chile takes the coveted top spot of the best country for travelers in 2018 (Check out our post with the Chilean Tourism Board). Seville receives the accolade of number one city in the world to visit next year. Hot on the Spanish city’s heels is the American comeback city Detroit and Australia’s oft-overlooked capital Canberra. The region which Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 declares the number one must-see in the coming year is Belfast and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, with Alaska in second place. Tallinn, Estonia has been crowned Lonely Planet’s best value destination of 2018, closely followed by Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Arizona in the USA.

San Juan is also showcased in the 10 best cities list. Lonely Planet’s Central America and Caribbean destination editor Bailey Freeman said, “While Puerto Rico’s capital was hit hard by the hurricane last month, San Juan’s resiliency will have it back on its feet for travelers in 2018.”

Deciding what destinations to include in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel annual selection is a considered process involving Lonely Planet’s most experienced travelers providing hundreds of recommendations of places not to be missed. These places are then shortlisted by a panel of in-house travel experts who consider criteria such as topicality, novelty, and wow-factor to decide what to include in the inspirational travel yearbook – available in hardback for the first time this year.

“These are the places you shouldn’t miss next year,” said Lonely Planet’s US magazine managing editor Alex Howard. “From Alaska to South Africa, our community of travel experts have named the top places to experience. Whether they’re coming into their own, celebrating an anniversary or have seen a resurgence in recent years, all these destinations are worth a visit in 2018.”

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 features trends and experiences to prepare for in the year ahead. Top trends include destination races, vegetarian and vegan travel, and exploratory cruises. Lonely Planet’s experts also rank the top 10 best new openings, places to stay and culture trips for families.