Posts Tagged ‘Plane porn’

Retro 70s Aviation Fun: The Pan Am Experience at Air Hollywood

One of the lovely stewardesses aboard The Pan Am experience at Air Hollywood

Since I flew over 100,000 miles in 2014, it might seem a bit odd that I spent one of my non-flight evenings aboard a fake flight to nowhere.

My boarding pass for the Pan Am Experience

But it’s not every night you get a chance to “relive the magic of flying onboard a luxurious Pan Am 747” circa the glory days of air travel, even if it’s in a soundstage in Pacoima.

My friend, Mike, rocking 70s polyester slacks, outside Air Hollywood studios

Fortunately Air Hollywood offers the Pan Am Experience a few times a year and I had a few aviation geek friends willing to join me. Upon arriving at Air Hollywood, you’re greeted with a mockup of the LAX sign and a red carpet for “boarding” the event.

Left: red carpet at the boarding gate Right: getting ready to board the Juan T. Trippe

Air Hollywood is an aviation-themed movie studio. They have standing sets of plane interiors and mock ups that get rented out for filming feature films, television shows, commercials, and music videos. This is where you’ll find the plane from Lost and the cabin from Bridesmaids. Check out this list of projects shot at Air Hollywood.

My friends boarding the Juan T. Trippe for the Pan Am Experience

The Pan Am experience is 70s themed. So I channeled my inner Sharon Tate and had my hair teased with so much hair spray I might have been flammable. There is a dress code for the event, since Pan Am customers did not fly with full size pillows and pajama pants that say PINK across the bottom.

Checking in for the Pan Am Experience

Once you’ve checked in for the event, you get to relax and grab a cocktail in the Clipper Class Lounge, complete with a bar stocked with classic cocktails (Tom Collins anyone?) as well as modern faves.

left: enjoying a classic cocktail in the Clipper Lounge prior to boarding Right: Vintage Pan Am playing cards

There is a lot of really cool vintage Pan Am memorabilia on display. Once you board the plane, the evening gets a bit surreal. The crew gives you safety directions prior to fake take off. Once you’ve reached fake cruising altitude, the stewardesses serve Pan Am nuts and cocktails. This experience is just wacky enough that everyone loosens up and starts having a good time.

One of the Pan Am Experience stewardesses working the main deck

After a cocktail or two, you start to forget you’re on a fake plane. The whole experience is fun, unusual and a good time is had by both passengers and crew members alike. On the Main Deck, they show a documentary about Pan Am.

Here’s a time lapse video I made of the event from the Upper Deck:

Pan Am Experience Upper Deck Time Lapse Video

First glimpse of the Upper Deck

Next comes the meal service, which is better than actual airplane food but “airplane food inspired.” There’s shrimp cocktail and Heirloom tomato salad. For the entree, passengers have choice of roast chicken in peppercorn sauce, Chateaubriand tenderloin, or vegetarian pasta. I went for the beef since it seemed the most 70s.

Left: Meal service begins Right: shrimp cocktail appetizer

The whole event is an evening of retro aviation themed goodness.

Chateaubriand tenderloin with demi-glace sauce

The cheese and fruit card with Port wine for dessert

Some of the Pan Am Experience Crew

Air Hollywood Founder & CEO, Talaat Captan, was on hand to give us a tour of some of the other sets at Air Hollywood after our Pan Am Experience was finished.

Captain Anthony in the cockpit for the Pan Am Experience

Left: a standing set at Air Hollywood Right: a cabin set

The highlight of my evening was meeting Otto the Pilot from the film Airplane!.

Meeting Otto the Pilot from Airplane!

You can buy tickets for upcoming dates of the Pan Am Experience here. Even better, book out the entire plane for a unique private event or party.

The Pan Am Experience at Air Hollywood

13240 Weidner Street
Los Angeles, CA 91331
Phone: 818.890.0444
Fax: 818.890.7041

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The Emirates First Experience… in GIFS

A smiling air hostess aboard an Emirates flight from DWF to DXB

I’ve flown a few legs on Emirates in First Class recently. Since nothing is going to top the video my husband and I made back in 2009, I needed to come up with another way to capture the experience.

The Emirates Flight Crew at DFW airport GIF

I thought it might be fun to do GIF post.

2004 Dom Perginon prior to take off GIF

I shot these images as stills on my iPhone 6 and then turned them into GIFS using the Giffer Pro App ($3.99)

Dates before take off on Emirates First

Emirates is known for hiring very attractive “brand ambassadors” as flight attendants. Here my husband enjoys one of the dates offered to Emirates First prior to take off.

Arabic coffee pour with a smile GIF

Small cups of arabic coffee are poured prior by an Emirates flight attendant. I love their I dream of Jeannie style hats. Giffer Pro also offers fun filters which help compensate for bad airplane light.

The Emirates First shuttle at Dubai International Airport

Giffer Pro also allows you to turn video into a GIF, like I did with the video I shot on my iPhone above.

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Check Out My Cathay Pacific Video Featured on The Smartflyer Blog

I’m so excited that Smartflyer is featuring my Cathay Pacific video today. While I had the privilege of flying in Singapore Airlines first class last month from SFO to SIN and was impressed with their service (and in-flight choice of Krug or Dom Perignon) and staying power of their flight attendants hairdos, it didn’t come close to the experience on my favorite airline, Cathay Pacific.

I find Cathay Pacific so far and away the best, I’ll take their herringbone layout business class over any US carrier’s international first class product. Cathay’s combination of style and service can’t be beat.

Above: Cathay’s Herringbone layout in International Business Class

If you’re new to the blog, I hope you enjoy my Cathay plane porn video. I am scheduled to fly in Cathay’s first class again in March from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG)– stay tuned to the blog for more in-flight Cathay goodness!

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Cathay, Take Me Away! Third Time’s Still a Charm in Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay CX 880 departs at 11.40 pm, so I was already exhausted

Cathay CX 880 departs at 11.40 pm, so I was already exhausted

On my most recent trip to Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to get an award ticket back home to Los Angeles on Cathay Pacific Airlines in First Class. If you’re saving your frequent flyer miles in your Award Wallet* account for an aspirational ticket for your international holidays, this is one worth aiming for!  My husband and I took separate flights from Hong Kong to Los Angeles (he left a day earlier) since we could not get two first class award tickets on the same flight, and we both wanted the Cathay First experience.

Rumor has it there might be a better International First Class product out there, but I have yet to experience it. First class flying is always fun, but Cathay’s sublime service makes every international flight a pleasure, and takes the pain out of the long haul from HKG to LAX.  Cathay Pacific Airlines remains my first true airline love. Some of my favorite touches: the Shanghai Tang sleep suit (which I really wanted to keep but didn’t. I have, however, noticed a few for sale on eBay). The lovely Aesop amenities kit, including an adorable tube of my all-time favorite, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, which exploded a tiny bit when opened under pressure. The champagne is still Krug, also my bubbly of choice.

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South African Airways Business Class: Review & Video

It’s not particularly easy (or quick) to get from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, South Africa. It took me more than 24 hours of transit time. But flying South African Airways Business Class certainly made the journey more pleasant.

On Wednesday, March 28th 2012, I took an early morning flight on United from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Washington Dulles (IAD) so I could catch a flight on South African Airways. After a couple of hours. I boarded flight SA 208 from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) with a stop in Dakar (DKR). The plane was an A340-300.

The flight time BRUTAL- over 16 hours. I sat in business class, seat 15 A. They served Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial. The seat next to me was unoccupied which made the long journey more comfortable.

Departing gate B27 at Dulles

Departing gate B27 at Dulles

The flight attendants were particularly charming and pleasant. The food served was plentiful and better than average, my Kokan style chicken breast with confetti rice, sugar snap peas, and coconut lemongrass cream sauce was tasty but not exceptional. The entertainment system had a few glitches and was re-booted often enough that I didn’t bother using it and just stuck my own in flight entertainment provided on my iPad. The plane was well kept and my seat worked well and was comfortable. The empty seat next to had a broken reading lamp.

The duvets were comfortable and the right density and I slept for several hours on both legs. The stop in Dakar, Senegal (where crews changed and more passengers boarded) was a bummer because I woke up for landing, only to realize the DKR-JNB leg was just as long as the previous one. The upside: I get to count Senegal as the 75th country I’ve visited. While I didn’t technically get off the plane and set my feet on the tarmac, the plane was sprayed with some sort of compressed gas. Any time I have to inhale foreign chemicals that make me cough and my eyes itch, I consider the airport stopover intimate enough to count as visit to that country.

My biggest problem with the South African Airways Business class experience was the amenity kit. While the socks with zebra treads were cute and useful, the kit was devoid of tissue of any kind. Neither Kleenex or an off-brand. In my humble opinion the tissue packet is, next to the eye shades, the one amenity I’m sure to use on a long haul flight. It was sorely missed.

The crew was very nice and the flight was uneventful other than exceptionally long. There were several passengers on board headed to the Cape Town Jazz Festival and I was grateful I got to deplane and stay in Jo’Burg.

African Clouds 1African CloudsDescending to Joburg from the window, FujiX100Descending to Joburg, FujiX100

Descending to Jo’burg, FujiX100

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