Monthly Archives: May 2007

OTR Offices Are Moving

The OTR’s New York offices will be closed tomorrow as we move them 25 blocks north to handle our expansion.  If you have any questions, please our Tripmela offices in Delhi.  See you Monday!

Northwest Airlines Exits Bankruptcy

The era of bankrupt US airlines is basically over today (well, for now), as Northwest Airlines exits Chapter 11.  If you’re a fan of airline stocks (you are crazy) you’ll be excited to know that Northwest’s shares will be listed today on the NYSE.  Passengers won’t notice anything different.

An Update on the Tuberculosis Situation

As I haven’t bothered to write about it here, you’ve probably read something about the passenger who flew to and from Europe even though he knew he had a particularly awful strain of tuberculosis.  Before everyone gets into a giant uproar over this, this article should help clear things up a bit.  The good news:  you will probably not catch a particularly awful strain of tuberculosis if you fly.

Tripmela in the News

A bit of self-congratulations :)

The Asia Times has a nice piece about the online travel industry in India, including a bit about the OTR’s sister company Tripmela, a publisher of travel deals for the Indian market…

Does Mike Figgis Want to Shoot a Pilot?

(Editor’s Note: I’m calling bullshit on this one, but I’m printing it anyway:)

A number of places are reporting that director Mike Figgis was detained at LAX because he told screeners he was in LA to "shoot a pilot."  (that would be a TV show pilot, not an airplane pilot).  I believe this is too good to be true, but there it is.

Bees on a Plane

You can read the article for the details, but just know that a swarm of bees forced a plane to make an emergency landing…

Don’t see that every day…

Really, We Don’t Want to Have to Bump You

The NY Times has an interesting look into US Airways’ bumping practices.  I’m not sure they’re any better or worse than any other airline, but just know that with the planes even more full than in the past, involuntary bumps are becoming more common (so they say) — apparently people are less willing to accept voluntary bumps (as I witnessed last week, as Continental couldn’t get anyone to accept $1,000 travel vouchers on my flight). 

US Airways says that involuntary bumps are necessary because business travelers with fully refundable tickets don’t bother to show up.  Solution?  Make tickets fully refundable, but you lose 25% if you don’t call before the flight.

Anyway, a good read…

Doctors Deliver Baby on Delta Flight

Two doctors on board a Delta flight from Germany to Atlanta helped a woman give birth to a baby boy in the air somewhere near Charlotte, North Carolina.  The baby was born in the area between coach and first class (he was not charged a change fee for only showing up for part of the flight). 

The boy initially was not breathing, but doctors revived him and pronounced him healthy.  The mother was flying while 9 months pregnant, typically a no-no, but Delta has no rules about flying during the final month of pregnancy.  I bet they will now.

JetBlue Now Available on Expedia

Good news if you use Expedia to book your tickets:  JetBlue’s flights are now available on Expedia and Hotwire.  Last year (or so) JetBlue added their flights to Travelocity after 6 years (or so) of trying to sell on their own.  Southwest Airlines also recently announced a broadened approach to selling its tickets, adding the Galileo GDS to its distribution partners after more than 30 years of just using Sabre.  I know, most of you don’t care about this stuff.  But the broader implication is that airlines have realized that at the right price (ie, if GDSs lower their fees enough), it’s worth using a third party to sell your tickets.  We still may see GDSs charging travel agencies a fee (whereas now, for the most part, travel agents receive a payment for using a GDS), which means passing that fee on to you, the customer.  Not yet — but soon.  Maybe.

Spirit Airlines Announces Service to Nicaragua

Spirit Airlines announced new service to Managua, Nicaragua, beginning in August.  Normally, I don’t bother sharing new routes, but this marks a rather significant expansion into Latin America for the little-airline-that-could.  The past year has seen Spirit announce new service to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti and Peru, among other destinations.  What’s interesting, is that US Airways tried to launch many of these same (or similar) services from its Ft. Lauderdale hub (or focus city) a couple of years ago, without much success.  Spirit has created buzz by offering seats to new cities for $.08 and keeping regular fares extremely reasonable.  Launching from Lauderdale was gutsy, as American has much of Latin America sewn up from Miami, but their ridiculous introductory fares have put a bit of buzz around the airline and gotten them noticed by the ethnic communities they’re hoping to serve. 

Always good to see an airline take a bit of a different approach…well done.