The episode's name is an obvious reference to the ill-fated ship Titanic.
Excelsior is a commonly referenced interjection, for instance famously often used by Stan Lee.
This episode has numerous references to the Hindenberg, a rigid airship which famously and disastrously caught fire. Archer's exclamation, "Oh! The humanity!" is a well-known line from the newsreel of the event, spontaneously given by Herbert Morrison as he watched the ship burn. It is widely believed that one of the reasons the fire was so bad was the fact the ship was filled with hydrogen, which is highly flammable. The abundant availability of helium in the United States allowed US airships to use that gas instead of hydrogen. this is the case with the Excelsior. To Captain Lammers' exasperation Archer continuously mistakes the properties of helium as being like hydrogen, and referencing the Hindenburg.
Captain Lammers also continuously tries, without success, to correct the team's constant reference to the Excelsior as a blimp. Blimps, which are non-rigid airships, are often mistaken for being the same as rigid airships, which is what the Excelsior is.
Sandu Singh is staying in the "Von Zeppelin suite," where he meets Lana. von Zeppelin was a rigid airship designer and the founder of an airship company called the Zeppelin Airship company. Zeppelin would later become a genericized trademark for similar rigid airships. Archer keeps referring to this room as the "Led Zeppelin suite," a reference to the band, which took its name from a reference to these airships.
When Archer asks Lt. Klauss Kraus where Cyril is, he says to check the "Kaiser Wilhelm suite." Kaiser Wilhelm was the name of twofamous revered German Emperors, or Kaisers. Archer suggests that the company should change the names of these rooms, probably because they refer to famous Germans.
When Lana exclaims "Captain Lammers!" when he reveals himself as the bomber, and Archer says "Nice read, Velma", this is a reference to Scooby-Doo, where Velma (and usually the rest of the Scooby-Doo gang) would very dramatically exclaim the name of the episode's criminal mastermind when he was unmasked.
Archer seems never to have been trained in using the NATO phonetic alphabet or the many other conventions used to prevent misunderstandings on the radio. After Ray chastises him he tries, like many people, to use names. He makes things worse by saying "M as in Mancy," which Gillette is not sure of, then retorts "you of all people..." Ray thinks he said "N as in Nancy." Nancy is an archaic slang term for an effeminate homosexual.
This episode references the popular comedy Friends, when Cyril walks in on Archer and Lana in a sexually compromising position, and, in the ensuing fight, Lana exclaims, "We're on a break," to which Cyril responds, "fine by me!" This same exchange occurs in Friends, between Ross and Rachel.