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December 16, 2005

Technical Difficulties

The fine folks at Typepad (the software I use to write this thing) have not had a good day.  Their site was down most of the day, which means that you didn't get to hear about $599 fares to Tahiti or why Air India hates fat flight attendants.  You'll probably hear about it on Monday though.  Have a great weekend.

December 16, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 15, 2005

Independence Air Keeps Shrinking

Independence Air, which is currently on the ol' auction block, continues to shrink itself down (or as some say, "right-size" the business).  The company announced yesterday that it will discontinue service from Washington to Chicago, Jacksonville, Manchester (NH), and Buffalo.  In addition, they will reduce frequencies in most markets.

(Incidentally, and this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, the people who live above us are SCREAMING at each other right now.  At it's 8 o'clock in the morning.  Screaming.  One of them must've booked tickets to Jacksonville on Independence Air or something.)

Anyway, according to the folks over at the Airliners message board, the airline told employees that it will keep flying through March.  We'll see.

December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bahamas for $49 from New York

A bunch of airlines are offering $49 fares from New York to Nassau, Bahamas, through March.

December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 14, 2005

$549 Package to Beijing

Go Today has the cheapest package to Beijing I've seen:  $549 gets you a flight and 6 nights hotel (including breakfast).  Flights are good from New York, LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.  The deal is good January 10th through March 30th. 

Is it warm in February in Beijing?  Uh, no.  No, it's not.  But is it crazy, crazy cheap?  Yes, yes it is.

December 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

American to Fly from Dallas Love

American Airlines announced that it will launch flights from Dallas Love Field to Kansas City and St. Louis beginning in March.  Southwest previously announced the same routes. 

American then said that they will end service to six cities because of the move to Love Field (the airline has long held that if routes from Dallas Love were opened up, it would mean reduced service from DFW).  But the reality is this:  the routes they are dropping from DFW, the airline has admitted, were dropped in part because they weren't making money.  So, if we were to take a step back, American is complaining that they had to drop unprofitable routes so they could compete (on possibly other unprofitable routes) at a different airport.  Fascinating.

December 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Life and Death Policies

Two stories addressing the life and death policies of airlines:

Life:  A woman on a flight from Fresno to San Francisco was asked by a flight attendant to stop breast feeding her baby because it was making other passengers uncomfortable.  The flight attendant later said that it was the policy of the airline---Skywest, operating as United Express--- to ban on-board public breast feeding.  Apparently she was wrong. In any case, I really, really wish this had happened on Hooters Air, but it didn't.  I'm not even entirely sure why this was news.  But there ya go.

Death:  Northwest Airlines has a bereavement fare program where you can get a discounted fare if a close family member dies.  Well, because airlines cannot possibly have any goodwill whatsoever, Northwest now requires the passenger to enroll in its frequent flyer program to be eligible for the fare.  It's almost as if they want people to hate them.

December 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 13, 2005

American Eagle to Test Soda Sales

Let the nickel and diming begin:  American Eagle, American Airlines' regional affiliate, will begin charging $1 for sodas on flights out of Los Angeles.  The move is a test to see whether people will pay $1 for a soda (duh).  Sure, Ryanair can get away with this---after all, they're offering a million free seats right now, but American Eagle isn't a lowfare carrier.  And this is where things are getting mixed up.  As airlines are now charging for curbside check-in, pillows, soda, nuts, pretzels and whathaveyou, you'll see free TV on Song.  It's a crazy world out there.

December 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 12, 2005

103 Dead in Nigeria Plane Crash

103 people, mostly students, were killed when their Sosoliso Airlines DC-9 crashed in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  Seven people survived the accident.  I typically poo-poo when people start saying that this airline or that airline is unsafe, but Nigeria has had a truly miserable airline safety record.  Seven weeks ago another fatal crash killed 117 people in Lagos.  Most airlines there fly old aircraft that are not well maintained (the old is not the problem, the not-well-maintained is the problem) and seem to have no issue landing in miserable weather.  On the flip side, driving through the country is far less safe than flying, so it's important to keep in mind that if you have to get from Lagos to Abuja (or wherever) most of your options suck.

December 12, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)