An Open Letter To Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair

Say it ain’t so, Mike. The British newspapers report you’re stepping back from the spotlight. Think of the fallout. For starters, non-union Ryanair pilots unite around their dislike for you. Now what? And I can’t even imagine what your inner circle at the corporate offices are feeling. Christmas is coming. It’s no Christmas without Scrooge….

10 Rules of Airline Travel

It’s almost time for turkey, Christmas shopping and holiday travel. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve no turkey recipe for you, no gift, but I can pass along a few air travel rules that we all should know. Everything you’re about to read comes out of the DOT rulebook, even though it sounds…

The Strategies of Airline CEOs

I’ll begin with a story. A Delta million-mile flyer with a long history of Platinum, Gold and Silver status was in Europe, when his daughter ended up in a hospital back in New York. He was flying business class with frequent flier miles and scheduled to return the next day. He appealed to Delta for…

What’s a Low-Cost Airline?

Low-cost airlines. We throw that moniker around all the time. It’s even got an acronym – LCC (Low Cost Carriers). Sometimes, just to mix up the modifiers, we write “budget airlines.” But are they? Are they really the cheapest? Always? “The first name that reflexively pops out is Southwest Airlines,” writes Joe Sharkey in his…

Dubai Airshow: Airbus and Boeing Big Winners

Set your tray tables in the upright position. On Sunday, the first day of the Dubai Airshow, the big three Gulf airlines (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways) spent more than $150 billion on new Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Included in the mega deals are 150 Boeing 777Xs and 50 A380’s from Emirates. But it does…

Luxury Travel Trends in Asia

In Asia, there is never any ending to resorts raising the gold bar on luxury, which generates more than 20 percent of the annual travel revenue even though luxury represents only 3 percent of travelers. The direction is towards five-star facilities offering authentic new experiences and exclusivity; personal relationships and seamless service between luxury providers…

Delta Taking on Southwest at Love Field

“Where there is love, there is life,” wrote Mahatma Gandhi. And now there is Delta Air Lines. The Atlanta-based carrier is planning to add 18 daily nonstop flights to five destinations from Dallas Love Field next year. Challenging Southwest Airlines at the low-cost carriers home base, where they control 16 of the 20 gates and…

Swiss Dreaming – Cheese, Chocolate and Chairlifts

I’ve cashed in some frequent flyer miles and heading to Switzerland for a 10 days in January. Pure and simple, there’s no place like Switzerland for skiing. It’s even affordable. You don’t need a car. Trains take you everywhere. Lifts tickets cost half what they do in the U.S. The food is, well, real food….

Check Your Coat At the Airport

I frequent the long-term self-park lot. When it’s stormy and snowwhipped I keep my coat on until I see the shuttle, then strip down to shirtsleeves and make a run for it. A zillion stops later I’m in the terminal and heading for a summer-like destination. Arriving back from the tropics and getting from the…

The Winglet – Good for Business, Good for the Environment

Call him a genius, or mutant, or avatar. Or just call him Joe Clark. He’s the prophet of the wingtip, those handlebar mustache-like attachments on the tips of the wings of most of the jets we fly. They cut fuel burn by about 7 percent. Winglets are to aircraft what wheeled luggage is to passengers….

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