Monthly Archives: February 2006

Mother: Ryanair Made Me a Baby Trafficker

Here’s an odd one:  A passenger on Ryanair has accused the airline of making an error that lead (somehow) to Italian police arresting her as a baby smuggler.  The short version:  a British woman was bringing her newborn to Italy to be christened.  Ryanair told her the baby did not need a passport.  Not true, it turns out, and the woman found that out the hard way.  The hard way being when Italian police interrogated her and accused her of trying to sell her daughter.  Which is not what she was doing. 

To add insult to injury (as they say), she was held by British authorities on her return to England and accused (once again) of being a baby smuggler.  (If this all sounds confusing, I agree.  You can read the whole story at the above link).

In short, she wants Ryanair to refund the money for the tickets which, of course, the airline refuses to do.  The lesson here?  If you are a baby smuggler, do not fly on Ryanair.

Ryanair’s Founders to Launch Mexican Airline

The Ryan family, which founded Ryanair, announced that is has joined forces with one of Mexico’s largest bus companies to launch a low cost carrier aimed at Mexicans with family in the US.  The new carrier, reportedly named AeroBus, will launch in September and will likely target US cities with large Mexican populations, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Houston.

SirLankan Airlines Is Looking to Hire Pilots

Are you an out of work pilot looking for a new airline to join?  I may have something for you.  SriLankan Airlines has lost 30 of its 200 pilots since late 2005, a situation that has gotten so dire that it actually cancelled 2 London-bound flights last week because of a pilot shortage.  You should know that these pilots have left because they were offered better deals elsewhere.  Even so, if you’re willing to bear the indescribable traffic in Colombo, this may be a job for you.

Singapore Airlines’ Roomy A380

Last week I noted that airlines are looking to squeeze an extra seat in every coach row of the new Boeing 787 aircraft.  This week I thought I’d pass along some good news about seating:  Singapore Airlines has announced that it will only put 475 seats in the new A380, an airplane that can hold up to 800.  On the other hand, Airbus recently noted that it is considering a stretch A380 that could hold up to 1,000 passengers. 

Airlines Try to Make Fare Advertisements More Confusing

Legacy airlines are pushing a proposal that would make it more difficult to compare fares.  I know you’ll be shocked by this, but a number of airlines (United, American, Delta, Continental and Northwest) want to be able to exclude fuel surcharges from the fares that they advertise.  Currently, the fares they advertise must include all of the revenue that they get to keep (and excludes certain taxes and other fees)  Why is that a big deal?  Because airlines could then publish $3 fares from New York to London, and tack on a so-called $275 "fuel surcharge."  This is nonsense.  Let the Department of Transportation know that you won’t stand for this crap.  (Or more likely that you will stand for it because let’s be honest, they’re not going to listen to you).

$499 Round Trip to Casablanca, Morocco

Royal Air Maroc is putting Morocco on sale at incredibly low prices.  Flights from New York to Casablanca are available for $499 round trip for travel between May 17 and June 12th.  Tickets must be purchased by May 1 and this fare does not include taxes and other evil charges.

Spirit Airlines: $9 from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica, Dominican Republic

Spirit Airlines is having a sale that features $9 fares between Fort Lauderdale and Kingston, Jamaica, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  Before you get too excited, you should know that these fares are only available on a handful of days.  I do give them credit for telling you which days (see the link above) rather than making you guess like every other airline.  Purchase by this Sunday, February 26.

Venezuela May Cancel Flights from US

Venezuela’s government has announced (sorry, Spanish only…too lazy to translate) that they have cancelled all of Delta’s and Continental’s flights from the US to Caracas beginning March 1.  Most of American Airlines’ flights are affected as well (though not the flights from Puerto Rico).  As you may know, the US is in a bit of a pissing match with the Venezuelan government over oh-so-many issues.  This probably stems from the US refusing to allow Venezuelan airlines to fly to the US on safety grounds.  The affected airlines are still showing the flights as available after March 1st, so the governments may be negotiating.

Watch Your Mouth in Singapore…and No Bombs in the UK

If you find yourself at Singapore’s Changi Airport, do not (repeat, do not) swear at customs officials.  A man was arrested at the airport after he swore at customs officers who asked him to place his baggage through an x-ray machine for a routine check.  He was fined S$2000.

In other idiot news, a British man who joked that he had a bomb in his luggage, causing an expensive series of delays at Scotland’s Inverness Airport, was sentenced to two months in prison.  Police searched his bag and found candy.  And not a candy bomb, either.  Just regular candy.  Lesson:  if you have candy in your bag, don’t say you have a bomb.

JetBlue to Portland, Maine

Good news for travelers in Portland, Maine:  With Independence Air going the way of the dodo bird, you’ve been left without low fare service.  Those days are numbered.  JetBlue announced 4 times daily service to JFK beginning in May.  The good news?  Fares start at $59 each way, rather than the current $149 each way, with top fares only hitting $149.