Monthly Archives: July 2006

Is US Airways Trying to Merge with Delta?

A number of news reports are noting that US Airways’ CEO approached Delta this summer about a possible merger.  Delta’s representatives say that they are not interested in a merger but, given the profitability of the recently merged US Airways, people are getting excited about the possibility of airline mergers again.  This is insanity, as US Airways is an outlier in a sea of failed mergers.  Could a merged Northwest and Delta be successful?  Or a merged United and Delta?  Uh, doubtful.  But we’ll likely see a crazy merger in the next year as the market gets excited about consolidation.

United Sells Delta Its Route from New York to London…Sort Of

Delta purchased the rights to serve London from New York’s JFK airport for $21 million.  United had served the route to Heathrow (after it purchased the route from Pan Am years ago), but Delta will have to fly into the less-desirable Gatwick.  United noted that the route had not been profitable for them, but that won’t stop Delta, which called the route the "crown jewel" of its JFK operation.  Crown jewels are usually flashy and cost too much.  Delta’s assuming, though, that the large feeder service it’s built at the airport will make it possible from them to make the route profitable when United couldn’t do it.  They face tough competition from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Continental, American, Air India and an assortment of others.  BA and Virgin have 19 daily flights between them.  Good luck!

$29 Flights Within Hawaii

go!, the new airline flying within Hawaii, has lowered the bar on fares within the islands.  In the past, you’d be lucky to find $100 round trip fares on a great sale.  Not anymore.  The airline announced a sale featuring $29 one-way fares between Honolulu and Hilo, Kona, Lihue and Kahalui.  Crazy cheap.  You must fly by September 30.

Iron Maiden Singer Flies Airlift from Lebanon

You may or may not know that Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickenson is a licensed commercial pilot with Astraeus, a charter airline.  That’s a whole other story.  Let’s just accept for the moment that the lead singer of the heavy metall band is a licensed commercial pilot (he’s technically a first officer).  Turns out he’s also a good guy.  Dickenson flew a rescue flight on a 757 from Cyprus to London to airlift British citizens who were trapped in Lebanon.  Let’s see Ozzy do THAT!  And yes, feel free to insert your Bruce Dickenson/Cowbell jokes here.

Ryanair to Allow Cellphones on Board

Ryanair’s CEO said yesterday that the airline will allow people to use their cellphones in-flight beginning by next June.  If you thought their cramped seating, brutal customer service policies, and out of the way airports were bad, just wait til you spend an hour next to someone yapping on the phone.  But there’s some good news — it will cost 2 Euro per minute to make a call (1.50 Euro to receive a call), so perhaps that’ll shut people the hell up.  Text messages will cost about .40 Euro to send and nothing to receive.

David Hasselhoff Banned from British Airways Flight

What is up with celebrities and airlines?  Snoop Dogg gets banned from British Airways.  DMX gets banned from British Airways.  Some person named Mo’Nique gets kicked off a United flight yesterday.  Where will it end?  Well, it won’t end with David Hasselhoff.  British Airways refused to allow the Baywatch star to board an LA-bound flight in London after he got drunk in the first class lounge.  Said a witness, "He wasn’t aggressive, he just had problems standing."  Hasselhoff was reportedly upset after splitting with his wife.  After sobering up, BA allowed him and his talking car to board a later flight.

Delta Raises Fares

You may remember that 2 years ago, with much fanfare Delta announced its so-called SimpliFares program.  The idea was that it would simplify its fare structure and cap its top fares at $499 each way.  Those were the days.  Delta announced yesterday that it was raising its top fares to $704 each way, a 40% increase over the so-called SimpliFares.  If it seemed like you were paying more for your next business flight, you were probably right.

Kingfisher Airlines to Buy MAXjet?

The Times of India is reporting that India’s Kingfisher Airlines (named after a beer, mind you) is in talks to purchase MAXjet.  Kingfisher’s owner has made it clear that he would like to own an airline in the US, which he can’t do since he’s not a citizen.  But his kids are, so he’s hoping they can buy it.  In any case, he wants a foothold in the US to give him rights to fly to India.  MAXjet is vehemently denying a sale.  I’m shocked — shocked! — you can’t always believe what you read in the newspaper.

Mo’Nique Kicked Off United Flight

Hm.  This is an odd one.  "TV Star" Mo’Nique was kicked off a United Airlines flight after a confrontation with flight attendants over a hair dryer.  I can’t be bothered to share the details.  Ms. Nique later told a radio station that United’s employees were racist, saying, "I felt like I was being treated like an animal…This
happens to black people all the time, and they don’t have a voice. I
have a voice."

Doesn’t she know that EVERYONE who flies is treated like an animal?  Sheesh!

Spirit’s Buy One Get One Free Sale

Spirit Airlines has brought back its buy one get one free deal for one day only.  If you buy a ticket today (July 26th) for travel between 8/15 and 10/4 (selected cities only), you’ll get a voucher for a free flight.  You have to enroll in their frequent flyer program to take advantage.