Monthly Archives: December 2003

Stowaway Found Aboard British Airways Plane

A stowaway was found dead in the wheel well of a British Airways plane at JFK that had arrived from London. While the plane did have a dead stowaway in the wheel well, everyone will be happy to know that security WAS able to keep all of the nail clippers off the plane. Well done.

The Spirit of the Law

The DOT fined Spirit Airlines $20,000 for printing misleading fare information on their website and in print ads. They basically neglected to tell consumers about the additional fees and taxes on each ticket in the proper way. They’ll pay $10k now, and the rest will be forgiven if they do a better job of reporting fees to consumers in 2004.

Le Meridien Joins Starwood

Nice bit of non-airline news for Starwood Preferred Guest members. Le Meridien will now join the Starwood portfolio of hotels, after Starwood agreed to aquire the chain’s $1.3 billion of outstanding debt.

United Does Something Right

United announced that they will give full elite credit for flights purchased with heavily discounted fares. This news flies in the face of Delta and my beloved Continental, who have decided that business travelers who fly on discounted tickets are roughly the scum of the earth. Gee, I wonder why people like JetBlue so much…

America West Pilots Ratify Contract

America West’s bang-up year finishes on a high note as their pilots have ratified a new contract. Just two weeks ago, the same pilots narrowly turned down a similar contract offer.

Other airline news to look for in the new year:

Northwest’s pilots, in the meantime, suggest that they may be willing to accept some concessions in exchange for stock. Union leaders call this arrangement an “investment agreement” not a concession.

US Airways is close to an agreement with Pittsburgh Airport to keep operations going there beyond January 5th. Passengers will be relieved to hear that they can look forward to mind-blowingly high fares continuing throughout 2004.

Terrorism Updates

Two terminals were evacuated in the past couple of days. An abandoned suitcase was found in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, leading officials to evacuate 200 passengers. Nothing of note was found.

In San Antonio, police closed the terminal for 30 minutes after hair care product was mistaken for TNT. The explosive, not the cable network. I don’t know how the two were confused, but they were.

Finally, Thailand’s fearless prime minister has told the US that Thailand will not place armed guards on flights from that country to the US, as the US government has requested.

Today’s Show is Sponsored by the Letter S

How in the name of God did I miss this one?

Last month Delta’s Song airline agreed to become the official airline of the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. Look at us! We’re the sponsor of the coolest neighborhood in Manhattan…we MUST be cool, too! Pay no attention to the old farts on the plane, they don’t hang out in the Meatpacking District. best domains . Nor do our flight attendants, whom we pay so little they couldn’t afford a $14 martini in the neighborhood, let alone the Song signature drink.

$50 bucks says we see Song’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy next year.

Air France Christmas Losses

Air France said that they will lose $1.2 million because of the terrorist threat-related flight cancellations on Christmas Day.

Dude Goes Nuts for Southwest

A passenger tried to jump out of a Southwest Airlines jet as it taxied down the runway at Salt Lake City airport. Passengers restrained the man from jumping out of the plane. The Deseret News reports:

Witnesses said the man “spoke of Jesus,” “slapped his body,” “broke out into laughter” and assumed a position “as if he were practicing martial arts,” according to the report.

I believe Michael Jackson did the same thing in the interview with 60 Minutes last night, no?

Where’s Virgin America Going to Land

It’s the slowest news week of the year, so we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here at OTR headquarters. Richard Branson’s US-based Virgin America is looking for a home base and, because he’s the best PR guy in the biz, has turned choosing a corporate headquarters into a public event. (This would make a miserable reality show, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a “Meet My Corporate Headquarters” type series on Bravo next year.) Anyhoo, he’s narrowed down the list to the Bay Area, Boston, and Virginia. Yes, I know one of those is a region, one is a city, and one is a state. I’m just reporting what MSNBC is saying. It’s not my fault that they reported it that way. Don’t yell at me.

I’m going to guess Virginia, as it has flights into Dulles, would make a nice hub for north/south Florida lowfare traffic, and would be a siginificant competitor to a weaker US Airways at Baltimore and a weaker United at Dulles.