The Cost of Bad Weather

This winter’s weather has disrupted more than 90 million air travelers since the beginning of December and hit the aviation plutocracy hard. Some passengers were off work for days that felt like 60-hour shifts while anteing up for accommodations and meals. USA Today reports the lost flights have “already cost airlines, airports and passengers an…

Loyalty in Loyalty Programs

Here’s the deal: AAdavantage award travel, Calgary to Geneva, mid-April, for 40,000 American miles and $520 in fees. The destination and dates are dead-solid perfect. All flights are on British Airways with brief layovers at Heathrow. I’ll take it. Without the award, the ticket price with fees and taxes is $1,260 for the same flights….

Pilot vs. Instrumentation

My ski locker partner is a Delta pilot. One morning he spouted his views on young pilots who “grew up playing video games.” That’s pretty much how they fly, he said. Always on instruments and lacking the hours he logged flying without all the latest onboard computers. It sounds like the National Transportation Safety Board…

New Aircraft Are Changing Route Maps

It all starts with new narrow-body, fuel-efficient, medium-haul aircraft like the Boeing 737-800 and the future 737 MAX 8. Airbus, too, is in the game of improved economics with the coming A320neos. These latest aircraft from the two big duopolies are remaking routes for carriers everywhere. Vintage jets are going the way of the rotary…

The Strange World of Airline Cancellations

The aviation talk of the week is Bill Saporito’s 2,900-word cover story in Time Magazine. Airport Confidential: Inside the Strange World of Airline Cancellations. Saporito had behind-the-scenes access to American Airlines’ integrated Operations Control Center and the people who work there. He sought answers to who makes the call to cancel a flight, and what’s…

Vancouver Loves the Dreamliner

Up in beautiful Vancouver, wedged between whale-filled waters of Georgia Strait and the Coast Range of British Columbia, all the available information, the numbers and research and chatter, tells tourism officials that 2014 is “The Year of the Dreamliner.” The city’s major daily, The Vancouver Sun, isn’t touting so much the Dreamliner’s composite construction or…

LAX On the Move

First the facts. Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport on the planet. After Atlanta and Chicago, it’s the third busiest in the U.S. LAX handles 700 daily flights to 100 domestic cities and 900 weekly nonstop international flights to 59 cities in 30 countries. Last year, LAX handled 63.7 million passengers. Most…

United’s Latest Winglet Technology

Any of you FlyerTalk members take United Flight 1273 out of Houston into LAX last Tuesday? If so, you made history. That 737-800 was the first commercial flight in the world to operate with the latest advance winglet technology – the new “split scimitar” winglets, which the FAA approved just a few weeks ago. In…

Window or Aisle Seat?

The mechanics are simple. Get rid of windows and you reduce drag. The fuselage is stronger and you lighten the aircraft. Cargo planes don’t have windows. Add wall-length, high-definition interior screens and videos are better than the real world through a portal. That’s what Spike Aerospace is planning for the world’s first private supersonic jet….

All Nippon Airways Retiring its Last 747

For more than four decades, on both domestic and international routes, Boeing 747s have done the heavy lifting for All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Everything has a season. Things change. On March 31, ANA is retiring its last two passenger-carrying 747s. “I thought it was a wonderful aircraft. There is no comparison,” ANA’s chief…

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