A traveler’s guide through Istanbul’s hidden gems

Istanbul's hidden gems

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and then Constantinople, is a spectacular city with a deep history that dates back to the seventh century BC, when it was founded by King Byzas (hence its first name). In 1453, it was captured by the Ottoman Turks and was part of the large Empire until 1922, when Turkey became an independent country and Istanbul its capital. Now, they city is the economic, cultural, and historic center of Turkey, and continues to be a favorable destination for travelers all over the world, despite recent political issues.

Istanbul is not only a mix of modern and ancient cultures and worlds, but it’s also the only city that is located in both Europe and Asia. From century-old buildings, and modern cafes, to hamams (Turkish baths) and pazars (markets)—Istanbul is full of treasures waiting to be discovered. And to help you experience the best the city has to offer, here’s our top five hidden gems we know you’ll love.


Sneak peek: NEW British Airways Club World business class

British Airways Club World Business Class

British Airways is gearing up to release their improved business class seat aboard their Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 787-10 jets, and they are looking sleek. For those of you who fly (or at least love to fly) with the airline often, you can soon enjoy updated seats beginning in the earlier part of 2019. 

The new British Airways Club World cabin will still be in a 2-4-2, forward-backward layout, allowing direct-aisle access for everyone. 

Alex Cruz, British Airways CEO and Chairman, stated in an earlier report that there won’t be a radical change. However, due to increased passenger demands, which have risen over the years, Cruz does aim to have these new Club World seats be in line with present-day expectations.


Strange airplane rules: here’s what you may not know

strange airplane rules

Flying in an airplane is a privilege, and with that comes rules. Because let’s face it, without them, flying would be much more chaotic than it currently is.

But aside from buckling up your seatbelt, storing your laptop and other larger electronics, and putting away your tray tables for take-off and landing, there are other rules that are strange, but if not followed, it can cost you your seat and your ticket. And no, we’re not talking about an overbooked flight.

So for those of you who like to stay on the safe side, here are some rules for you to consider the next time you fly:


There’s a scientific reason why it’s always cold inside airplanes

why it's cold inside airplanes

Have you ever felt cold to the bone while flying on an airplane? It can definitely be a pet peeve, adding on to your travel discomfort. But did you know that there’s a medical reason why airlines turn the temperature way down? 

It has to do with hypoxia, a common medical condition experienced by airline passengers. When the tissue in the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, hypoxia occurs. The American Society for Testing and Materials ran a study, revealing how passengers aboard an airplane are more likely to pass out while flying than they would if they were on the ground. 

As such, if an airline cabin is heated (paired with high cabin pressure), it can trigger the onset of hypoxia. And since each person’s body temperature varies, airlines would rather maintain a much cooler cabin and cause several passengers to be cold, rather than have a single passenger pass out. 


The largest airport in the world will soon make its debut

largest airport in the world

The largest airport in the world—the Beijing Daxing International Airport (unofficial name)—will open next year. Located in Beijing’s Southern district, the new airport is a way for the country to open up its doors even wider to the growing world of travelers from the East to the West. 

For airlines like China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, this New Airport will become their new home base. It also will allow travelers to make easy connections for those who will be flying aboard the airlines part of the SkyTeam Alliance.  


Break the sound barrier and fly business class on the Boom Supersonic

Business Class on Boom Supersonic

Ever wished you flew aboard the Concorde, the airplane that flew faster than the speed of sound? Well you don’t have to dream any longer. 

A company based in Denver is working to build a much more advanced plane than its predecessor, called the Boom Supersonic. And, it will offer seats that were cheaper and more comfortable than the Concorde. 

According to Boom Technology, the airplane will be able to hold 45 to 55 passengers, and travel at 1,451 miles per hour—2.6 times faster than other commercial airplanes. That means you can fly from New York to London in just 3 hours and 15 minutes (the Concord took 15 minutes longer), or from Los Angeles to Sydney in 6 hours and 45 minutes. 


The Sky Suite III business class seat on Japan Airlines 787

Sky Suite Business Class Japan Airlines

Starting this July, Japan Airlines will install their newest business class seat—the Sky Suite III—across their Boeing 787’s (a.k.a. Dreamliners). These seats will be available on the 787’s that will start flying from Tokyo Narita to Kuala Lumpur. Later in the year, these retrofitted business class seats will be available on the Sydney to Tokyo route, and then on the route from Melbourne to Tokyo.

With this upgrade, the entire business class cabin will increase from 44 to 52 seats without reducing the number of seats in either premium economy or economy. If you purchase tickets early enough, you may be able to snag the five business seats in the “mini-cabin”, located right behind first class. This is the most private area on the plane, and of course, the most popular one of choice.

Luckily, these seats are designed in the most favorable layout, a 1-2-1, giving every passenger access to the aisle. (Say goodbye to stepping over the person beside you.)

So for those of you who will fly (or are looking to fly) aboard the JAL Dreamliner in the near future, here’s what you can expect from the Sky Suite III business class.


These airlines have the world’s best first class for 2017

Etihad best first class

The Best first Class Airline Award is given to the airline that offers passengers ultimate satisfaction in First Class product, the service provided by the airline staff in the cabin, as well as airport environments. Moreover, the airline that receives this award has to provide passengers with classic First Class Quality levels. The award has nothing to do with a specific aircraft (i.e. A380, A350, etc.) or goods that are not usually offered across an airline’s fleet.

This year’s winner for the World’s Best First Class Airline is Etihad Airways. And it should be no surprise, given that their First Class seat is not really a “seat” but a mini apartment in the sky, which includes a large leather armchair and separate bed measuring 6 feet and 10 inches. Plus, there’s even enough space to walk around once the privacy doors are closed.

Besides taking home the World’s Best First Class Airline Award, Etihad also took home the award for Best First Class Airline Seat and Best First Class Airline Catering.

And for all other airlines with luxurious First Class amenities, here’s who placed in the top ten in each First Class category.


World’s best airlines in business class for 2017

Qatar best business class

The World’s Best Business Class Airline Award is given to the airline that offer passengers high-quality service, amenities, seats and service. This year’s winner is Qatar Airways, which also took home the World’s Best Airline Award for 2017—a double win for this young yet luxurious airline. 

Nonetheless, other airlines also had their turn in the spotlight. Singapore Airlines received the award for having the Best Business Class Airline seat, while Turkish Airlines was voted as the world’s best onboard catering for Business Class, Best Business Class Lounge Catering and the Best Business Class Airport Lounge.

So for all of you who love to travel in business class, here’s where some of your favorite airlines placed in the top ten across all the World’s Best Business Class categories.



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