£1737 Etihad First Class Suite or £1107 business class fare to Tokyo
As usual, there is a catch to this amazing Etihad offer. To get the offer you must start in Cairo. Cairo is not a great airport to fly through and of course, there are the security concerns to consider as well. However, there have been some fantastic fares out of Cairo recently if you are prepared to take the risk. This is a particularly good deal, as prices to Tokyo are normally pretty steep.
The fare includes the regional service on Etihad‘s A320 with a recliner seat (4 hours) to Abu Dhabi from Cairo but then the B787 service with the First Class Suites or the Business Class studio, depending on which class you choose. The fare is very flexible with unlimited free stopovers and no charges for changes or cancellations except in the case of no show for the First Class fare. Etihad also provides a free hotel for up to 2 nights at a 5* hotel for First Class passengers. There is plenty of availability showing between now and May 2018. The fares can be booked on etihad.com
This video shows what you could expect in the First Suite.
Is the end of the liquids ban in sight?
Good news for all of us who find the liquids ban a big annoyance. The liquids restriction was introduced in 2006 in response to a threat to blow up an aircraft using liquid explosives. The US government has been working on new technology to find a way to allow hand luggage to be screened in the same detail as hold luggage.
The TSA and American Airlines are currently trialling a new scanner in Phoenix airport in the States that if successful, will be able to examine hand luggage in much greater detail. The CT scanner is a portable version of the machines used for hold luggage. The hold luggage scanners were not deemed suitable for hand luggage as they are too noisy and large. The new scanner even allows the screener to rotate the image so they can see the bag from every angle. If the trial is successful, it is expected to be rolled out across airports in the US with other countries likely to follow.
Other countries such as the UK and European countries are also trialling new scanners such as one that can detect liquid explosives in just 10 seconds. The EU has been keen to lift the liquids restrictions for a long time. It looks as though the next step may be to allow liquids to remain in hand luggage, rather than being in a separate bag and removed. Personally, it makes little difference to me whether I leave them in or take them out. Removing the 100ml restrictions or at least making the size restrictions more flexible would be a big step forward.