As it’s 4th of July, we thought we would bring you a little bit of Americana to the site today. We have highlighted 4 excellent reasons to book a ticket to the US right now.
1. British Airways & Los Angeles
Why British Airways? British Airways accepted it’s first A380 today, with much media hype over it’s arrival into London’s Heathrow. The brand new aircraft, which features 4 classes from economy to first class will seat 469 passengers in relative comfort on their first two double-decker routes to Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The A380 flights have also been brought forward by almost a month to a late September launch. The airline is apparently offering first class return tickets priced at £3,800 return, but no doubt, booking months in advance will help you find this low price. Our tip, if you travel club world, is book window seats or isle seats, the solitary backward facing middle seat now has lost it’s appeal, being a solo traveller seat. In our opinion the mini privacy of the middle backward seats was that as a couple, the relative privacy was welcome. www.ba.com
Why Los Angeles? Los Angeles has always had a wealth of great hotels, our favourite here at thedesignair.net is The London West Hollywood. It’s excellent for service and great California style. The rooftop pool is one of the great views from Los Angeles, giving sweeping vistas of the metropolitan area. Recently re-opened, and more surfer-soho-chic is the Oceana Beach Club, based in Santa Monica, you are a stones throw from the beach, where rein-acting scenes from Baywatch in ‘super-slow-mo’ is a guilty pleasure of ours. As it’s just opened up it’s a secret gem, and well worth investigating, as it’s definitely one of the hippest places to hang.
2. Honolulu & Air New Zealand
Why Air New Zealand? We are great fans of Air New Zealand, their product innovation knows no bounds. What’s more, they’ve just announced their new fleet of 787-9 aircraft will be flying to Shanghai, Tokyo, Perth, Papeete and …tada!… Honolulu. The new fleet seemingly will have a few new bonus features:- The Business Premier cabin will feature Air New Zealand’s signature chalk coloured luxurious leather armchair which converts to an indulgent lay flat bed complete with memory foam mattress, cosy duvet and two full size pillows. In the Premium Economy cabin the airline has worked with US seat designer Zodiac on a customised seat best described as Business-lite. This comfortable ink coloured luxury leather seat will have a 41” pitch, a generous 5” wide armrest and a leg rest and extendable foot support which will allow passengers to really stretch out and relax. The Economy cabin will feature 16 rows of Air New Zealand’s unique and highly popular Kiwi designed Skycouch seats. This is a row of three seats that converts into a sofa like flat surface for both rest and relaxation. The standard Economy seat in the 787-9 will be also be supplied by US manufacturer Zodiac and customised to Air New Zealand’s specifications including a slim line seat back to enhance the feeling of space, sculpted upholstering and a more flexible headrest. www.airnewzealand.com
Why Honolulu? Whilst the destination is becoming increasingly popular due to the massive expansion at Hawaiian Airlines, and the recent possible buy out of smaller go! and Island Air. It’s the new aircraft from Air New Zealand that is currently grabbing our attention. The Island is having a small resurgence in tourism, and the majorly intra US tourism that has historically filled the hotel rooms across the islands is now being given a run for it’s money from more international tourists. Waikiki also houses one of the best hotels in the world. The Halekulani is an amazing sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip. It’s not the most modern, nor the oldest, but still has a colonial charm that we can’t get enough of.
3. New York & American Airlines
Why American Airlines? Well, we haven’t been the biggest fans of American’s new livery, but that doesn’t stop us loving what’s inside American’s latest 777-300ERs. Whilst you can already fly to Sao Paulo, Dallas, Los Angeles and London, but you can also travel between London and New York on the biggest and best toy in American’s toy box. Whilst the economy is slightly crammed in with narrow seating, the business class and first class cabins are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the fleet. Already praised by quite a few websites for it’s comfort, the only thing that we think that needs a little bit of improvement is the dining options, however, we hope to review American Airlines in the upcoming months and will have a report for you to give you the full low-down. www.aa.com
Why New York? The city that never sleeps is full of surprises, our one that we want to share is The Standard hotel. We love the hotel. It’s located in the meatpacking district, and each room has an amazing view of the city. The corner rooms are by far the best for views and the roof top area that turns into a disco at night, or a daytime lounge during the day is the only place to be seen in the city. It’s also perfectly located for some of the best restaurants in the city. Now is definitely the time to book a trip to New York and experience some real Americana.
4. Miami & Virgin Atlantic
Why Virgin Atlantic? Virgin Atlantic has been flying to Miami now for quite a few years now. No news there, but what is news, is that Virgin is now partnering with Delta, giving even more options for connecting flights through the US. Whatsmore, Virgin is now flying their brand-spanking-new A330 to Miami, with their brand new Upper Class product and new inflight entertainment system Vera. Miami is a party city, so placing the world’s longest airline bar in the sky on this route makes absolute sense. With a fairly sociable flight schedule too, if you are lucky enough to travel in Upper Class, expect to raise a few glasses and make a few friends before starting the night off to a bang! www.virginatlantic.com
Why Miami? Miami is more cool than an ice bar. It’s got such a history and heritage to it, and in recent years has fought hard to clean up it’s image. One of the latest hotels to open is Soho House’s Beach House. The renovated property has a wealth of character, bringing a bit of the Soho House group charm to the beach. Situated slightly away from the rest of the hotels on the main Miami Beach strip, this is the haunt of media types and fashion gurus. It’s more club than hotel and the guests value a bit of privacy and quiet, so during the day, expect very little eye contact from the rows of bronzed bodies, and come the night, cocktails and smiles are all around. Our tip, try the cowshed and try Cecconis, and if you can afford it, try a beachside room. It’s worth the extra dollars!