Fun Airlines Facts About 28 Airlines
What’s the fun of being a travel agent if you don’t have a few weird, fun airline facts to drop at parties? My personal favorite is letting travelers know they can bring their favorite pet falcon aboard Qatar Airways.
The best part, of course, is that you can sell airfare with each of these airlines (and many more!) on centrav.com! And as you sell, give your clients a little bit of fun info to share with their seatmates on their journey! Once you’ve finished reading about these modern carriers, scroll down and learn some cool history about some of our favorite, iconic airlines of yesteryear!
For a complete list of Centrav’s partnering airlines click here.
28 Fun Airline Facts You Might Not Know
Aeroméxico is one of the four founding members of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Other founding members are Air France, Delta Air Lines, and Korean Air.
You can thank Air Canada for computerized reservations systems. AC released ReserVec in 1963, just two years before the creation of Sabre. Before computerized reservations, it would often take multiple phone calls and upwards of 90 minutes to make a single reservation.
Air France takes pride in what they serve their travelers. Their in-flight menus are created by top Michelin-starred chefs and wines for premium cabins are chosen by celebrated sommelier, Paolo Basso.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has gained quite a reputation for their hilarious flight safety videos. Self-declared, “The Official Airline of Middle Earth,” Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit-themed videos are especially great.
Not only is Alitalia the flag carrier of Italy, but the preferred carrier of the Pope as well. The Pope flies Alitalia on all outbound flights from Rome and generally flies the flag carrier of the country visited on his return. Alitalia aircrafts carrying the Pope receive the reserved flight number, AZ4000 for the journey. Staff might also use the call sign, “Shepherd One,” when the Pope is on board.
American Airlines is the largest airline in the world by fleet size, passengers carried, and revenue passenger mile (2019).
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
ANA or, All Nippon Airways, is one of 10 airlines to have a 5-star rating from Skytrax. They are also leading the way towards sustainability in the aviation industry, seeking to adopt more sustainable fuel.
Asiana is one of the most environmentally friendly airlines in the travel industry with numerous awards for environmental initiatives. Some of these include emissions measurement and reduction systems, reducing pollution from ground facilities, and even partnering with the Rainforest Alliance for in-flight coffee served.
British Airways carries 40 million passengers annually and serves those travelers 35 million cups of tea each year.
Cathay serves Haagen-Dazs ice cream for the dessert after meals. Don’t be afraid to let Cathay know about your dietary preferences. Cathay will accommodate a host of dietary restrictions, as long as you give them sufficient notice!
While American Airlines has the largest fleet and number of passengers carried per year, Delta Air Lines is the largest airline by revenue, assets value, and market capitalization.
➡️ Related: 6 Reasons to Book Delta Airlines on Centrav
El Al means “to the skies” or “skyward” in Hebrew. The airline does not carry passengers on the Jewish Shabbat or religious holidays.
Emirates just keeps raising the standard for luxury-loving travelers with their glamorous, and totally over-the-top first-class suites. With design inspo from Mercedes-Benz, 40 square feet of space, and personalized mood lighting, first-class passengers will feel right at home.
If cleanliness has been on your mind lately, EVA Air takes home the Skytrax award, “Cleanest Aircraft Cabins.” Cleanliness and presentation of seat areas, tables, carpets, cabin panels, and restrooms are all determining factors for this award.
Iberia was recently ranked “Most On-Time Airline” according to a report by FlightStats with 92.7% of flights being on time.
In celebration of their 80th anniversary (2017), Icelandair released “the fly glacier,” Vatnajökull. Take a look at this beautiful aircraft here!
KLM Royal Dutch
Founded on October 7th, 1919, KLM is the oldest airline still operating under the original name. KLM stands for the Dutch “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij”, meaning Royal Dutch Airlines.
The name Lufthansa is derived from the German word Luft, meaning air, and Hansa, referring to the Hanseatic League.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to cross the Atlantic, Norwegian is the only true transatlantic low-budget carrier. And it is considered by many to be one of the best low-cost long-haul carriers overall!
Founded in 1941, Philippine Airlines is the oldest airline in Asia. PAL was also the first airline to introduce fully-flat beds, or “Skybeds” to their first class cabin.
In 2015, Qantas brought virtual reality to the skies for the first time ever. First-class passengers could visit Hamilton Island, dive the Great Barrier Reef, or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge en route. If a virtual experience sounds like a good way to get a sneak taste of international travel in right now, you can download the Qantas VR app here!
Though falconry has been practiced by many cultures over the millennia, it takes a special role in the Middle East, where falcons are status symbols and beloved companions. Falcons receive their own passports and may travel on Middle Eastern airlines such as Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, and Royal Jordanian Airlines. Qatar Airways allows up to 6 uncaged falcons in economy class.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Scandinavian Airlines is the flag carrier for three countries — Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Consequently, SAS has hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.
SWISS Airlines began in 2002 after the bankruptcy of Swissair. This airline loves to show off Switzerland’s culinary delights so you might expect to sample some Swiss cheeses or chocolates.
TAP Air Portugal
TAP Air Portugal has a stopover program that allows passengers on valid routes the opportunity to stopover — for free — in either Lisbon or Porto. Get more info on their stopover program here and help your clients add a fun side adventure to their trips!
Thai Airways’ airport spa, the Royal Orchard, holds the Skytrax award for Best Airline Spa Facility. It is available to premium class travelers and Platinum status members.
If you consider yourself a foodie, Turkish Airlines might be the carrier for you. When you step onboard a TK flight, the “flying chef” might greet you. The flying chef is responsible for all first and business class meals. Business-class travelers can experience the flying chef’s homemade yogurt, grilled sea bass, or sour cherry cake.
In 1930 Ellen Church became the first female flight attendant flying United Airlines (then Boeing Air Transport) from Oakland to Chicago. She was also a registered nurse, which was required at the time so flight attendants could assist with airsick travelers.
Read next: Do You Remember These 7 Iconic Airlines?