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October 06, 2006

Chinese Airlines Must Reduce Number of Seats Because of Overweight Passengers

Americans are not the only group with an obesity problem.  As the Chinese population has gotten larger, it has had an affect on Chinese airlines:  overweight Chinese passengers are having trouble fitting in airplane seats.  Airlines in China historically have squeezed more seats into a plane because their travelers have been smaller than Western passengers.  But a source at China Eastern Airlines says that they are going to need to remove 20 seats from their A321s because their passengers are getting too large for the current configuration.  It turns out that the Chinese population's growing bottoms will cause a shrinking bottom line at the airlines.  (sorry)

October 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

More Checked Bags Leads to More Lost Bags

You may have been wondering whether airlines were able to handle the additional checked bags that were a result of the new security rules put in place in August.  (or you may not have been wondering, I don't know).  Either way, it turns out that the airlines couldn't handle the increase very well.  August saw a more than 20% jump in lost bags, from 6.5 per 1,000 checked bags in July, to 8.08 in August.  JetBlue and Northwest had the best record, while US Airways had the worst, with 10.33 bags lost per 1,000 (yes, that means they lost 1% of all bags checked, a pathetic record).

October 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 05, 2006

Eos Airlines $999 Sale

Eos Airlines has launched a $999 each way sale on their all business class flights (48 flat beds on a 757) from New York to London.  While they often have buy-one-get-one and companion offers that bring tickets as low as $1100 each way, they never have single tickets available this low.  Fly between November 22-25 or December 18 to January 4 to get this fare.

(For full disclosure, I do some consulting work for them.  This is still a great fare, though...)

October 5, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Business Class Sale on AirTran

AirTran has launched a sale on its business class seats for travel through November 9th (book by tomorrow, October 6).  Fares start at $119 (Chicago to Minneapolis).  Other great deals include Atlanta to Los Angeles ($269) and Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale ($179).   In many cases, these fares are cheaper than coach on other airlines.   

October 5, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ryanair Makes Bid for Aer Lingus

Uber-Budget carrier Ryanair has launched a $1.9 billion bid to purchase Aer Lingus.  The move would give Ryanair access to trans-Atlantic routes -- a first for a European no frills airline.  The two airlines would continue to be run separately.  For its part, the Irish government, which owns 1/3 of Aer Lingus, said it would not sell its stake.  Even so, this purchase would mark a huge change for Ryanair, which has focused on building an operation that can profitably charge next-to-nothing for its tickets.  Absorbing another carrier -- especially one with a completely different strategy, will be a stretch.  But, if this goes through, consumers should benefit in the long-run with even cheaper fares across the Atlantic.

October 5, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 04, 2006

A380 Pushed Back Yet Again

Are you an airplane dork who's counting down the days until they can fly on the A380?  No?  Uh, me neither.

Anyway, the A380's launch will be delayed yet again, with one plane being delivered in late 2007 (yeah right) and a bunch more being delivered in 2008.  Airbus said that the delays will cost the company more than $6 billion, and Emirates is now saying they're considering all of their options about the plane (ie, Airbus take your plane and shove it).  The next time you miss a deadline at work, make yourself feel better and remember that at least the delay didn't cost the company $6 billion.  Unless you work on the A380 project, in which case it did.

October 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Please Do Not Speak Tamil in the Airport

A man speaking Tamil into his cellphone while waiting to board an American Airlines flight from Seattle to Dallas was investigated because someone reported him to airport security officials.  The person who reported him did not speak Tamil, but found it suspicious that someone would be using a cellphone and not speaking English.  This is what it's come to.  The Tamil speaker said from now on he would only speak on his cellphone in English in the airport.

October 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 03, 2006

New York Times Reporter On Board Clipped Brazilian Jet

This is crazy:  NY Times business travel reporter Joe Sharkey was on board the small plane that was hit by the Gol 737 in the Brazilian Amazon last week.  He (and all the others) on that plane survived, while all on board the 737 died.  His account is pretty amazing.

October 3, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Great Elite Miles Promotion on US Airways

Most frequent flyer promotions offer you miles that don't count toward Elite status (which is what most frequent flyers actually care about).  US Airways has changed that:  Through the end of the year, any miles earned on their hotel and car partners (as well as FTD flowers) count toward Elite status.  Go send your wife some flowers so you can fly up front next year...

October 3, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)