Monthly Archives: January 2006

Snoop Dogg’s Low Fares At

It’s good to see that Spirit Airlines doesn’t take itself too seriously:

The carrier is offering discounted seats to Detroit for the Snoop Dogg-sponsored Snooper Bowl at, get ready for this,  Yes, you read that correctly.  The LBC is coming DE-troit for a charity youth football game.  Now, you may be wondering why a guy who has spoken at length about the joys of marijuana usage is now a child charity hero, but that’s neither here nor there.  More power to him, I say.  He’ll be coaching a team of kids from the LBC playing football against a team of kids from Detroit on February 4th and in Pontiac Silverdome.  Spirit Airlines is offering $20 off round trip tickets to Detroit in early February in conjunction with the Snooper Bowl.  (It’s actually Snooper Bowl II, but you probably knew that already).

Ben Stein Rips Into United Management

NY Times columnist (and actor of "Bueller.  Bueller.  Bueller." fame) Ben Stein eviscerated United Airlines’ management in a column yesterday, basically accusing them of screwing over employees for their own financial gain.  Discussing the employee ownership fiasco at the airline, he says:

So here it is in a nutshell: employees are goaded into investing a big
chunk of their wages and benefits in UAL stock. They lose that. Then
they lose big parts of their pay and pensions. They become peons of
UAL. Management gets $480 million, more or less. "Creative
destruction?" Or looting?

…Management is using competition, higher fuel costs and every other cost
complaint to cut the pay and pensions of its own employees while
enriching itself.

Nothing you haven’t heard before, but it’s well worth a read.

JetBlue: New Aircraft Rollout Not So Smooth

David Neeleman, JetBlue’s CEO, said recently that the rollout of its new Embraer 190 jets has not gone as smoothly as he had hoped.  The aircraft have experienced greater delays than expected, due partly to technical issues with the planes and partly to what Neeleman says are problems "of their own doing." (that’s sorta awkward as I re-read that—he meant that there were aircraft-specific issues and JetBlue-specific issues.  I want to be as clear as possible, lest Oprah bring me on her show and yell at me).

He concluded saying that the launch of the 190 "hasn’t been up to what we thought we could do."

Flight Attendant Has a Grenade

The next time you’re flying Northwest, DO NOT piss off the flight attendant.

A Northwest flight attendant was arrested in Milwaukee when security workers found a grenade in her hand luggage.  The grenade was real, though inactive, though airport security tends to not make a distinction about that (they’re a little touchy these days).  The flight attendant says she bought the grenade as a gift (?!) for her son.

She posted bail and was released.

Nonstop Flights from US to Iran?

The Iranian government has sent a letter to the US asking to have nonstop flights between the two countries reinstated after 20 years of connections.  The Iranian government (which is always levelheaded and reasonable) appears to suggest that the flights are necessary because of missing luggage.  Says an Iranian aviation official:
"(Passengers) have repeatedly complained about wasting time and losing their baggage on connecting flights."

Yes, the Iranian government would like the flights re-started because they’re tired of having their luggage lost.  That’s diplomacy.

Ryanair to Charge for Checked Baggage (Sort of)

In a move that I’m about 93% certain will be copied by other carriers, Ryanair will now charge passengers for checking their bags.  At the same time, Ryanair fares will be reduced by about $4.50, or the same amount that it costs to check a bag in online.  Passengers who don’t check in the bags online will be charged about $8.  Those checking in online also will benefit from priority boarding.  The carrier has also upped the baggage limit to 30kg. 

In short, if you use the website, this will only benefit you.

Qantas’ Chairwoman Detained

The head of Qantas Airways said that she was detained at LAX because she was considered a security risk.  Margaret Jackson was held because she had a bunch of aircraft diagrams in her briefcase (makes sense), but the security guard didn’t believe that a woman could run an airline.  She’s not the most PC person in the world, as she noted:

"And I said, ‘I’m the chairman of an airline. I’m the chairman of
Qantas’. And this black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall, said, ‘But
you’re a woman’."

This black guy.

She managed to convince the guy that she was not a terrorist (lots of Australian women terrorists out there?) and she was released.

Mileage Bonuses from Love Field

The fight over Dallas Love Field is heating up and consumers will benefit (damn that sounds like the lead-in to a local TV news story.  I apologize, and I’m too lazy to change it).  Anyway, if you fly on Southwest from Dallas to Kansas City or St. Louis, you’ll get triple Rapid Rewards credits through the end of April.

Not to be outdone, American Airlines is offering up to 60,000 AAdvantage miles for flights between Dallas Love and St. Louis, Kansas City, San Antonio and Austin.  Hm, those sound like Southwest cities.  In any case, you have to fly a bunch of times to get those miles, (details here), but that’s a nice bonus for some short flghts. 

She’s a Little Runway ay ay ay

Bon Jovi’s chartered 707 skidded off the runway after it landed in Hamilton, Ontario, early Sunday morning with the band on board.  Nobody in the band was hurt, but their music still sucks (yes, I stole that from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).

Newspapers everywhere rejoiced when they learned that a wet runway may have contributed, allowing them to use the headline "Slippery When Wet" with the story.  Har.

Cheap Package to Israel — $749

Packages to Israel are at the lowest prices I’ve ever seen.  Gate 1 Travel is offering a 6 night package from New York, including airfare, hotel and breakfast for only $749 through February (prices go up just a bit in March).  If you’ve been waiting for prices to drop, now is the time to go.