News and notes from around the interweb:
- Emirates spending $500 million on its wine program. I’m skeptical of the number, and it just sounds like prepurchase of years’ worth of bottles in any case. Their wines are better than what US airlines serve, but the eye popping number doesn’t make their wines the best either. And with the airline’s growth, it’s not really that much in any case.. (HT: Milepoint)
- Australians on government-chartered relief flights don’t earn miles and other odd requests for Aussie consular assistance that the government is cracking down on. (HT: Chris Guillebeau)
- Restaurant recommendations for those coming to Frequent Traveler University this weekend. This doubles as a good suggestion list for DC/Northern Virginia generally. I agree that Jaleo is the best option in Crystal City/near the airport, and the ‘worth a drive’ list is spot-on.
- Low cost carriers take on long haul markets. The Economist suggests modern fuel efficient aircraft makes the other cost advantages of low cost carriers more relevant and thus long haul flying more successful. This is ironic since low cost carriers have often (though not exclusively) flown cheaper, fuel guzzling aircraft. And even Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary doesn’t think he’s on the verge of success in this arena.
- The UK is eliminating the ‘Air Passenger Duty’ for children under 12 flying economy starting in March, then children under 16 starting in 2016. This applies to economy only right away but may extend to all classes of service going forward. These are the hefty fees for originating a trip in the UK.
- Harrison Ford narrates an upcoming documentary on flight.