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March 16, 2007

JetBlue's Continued Weather Woes

JetBlue is cancelling more than 200 flights because of a storm in the northeast, but that doesn't mean its passengers know if their flight is cancelled. I rarely bring up personal gripes here, but I will:  My grandfather, who is 90, is travelling (alone) from Florida (of course) to New Jersey on JetBlue this morning.  After an hour on the phone with them to find out whether his flight was cancelled (no one ever answered), my father went online to check the status of his flight.  The flight status tool on the website isn't working.  Sometimes an airline can't catch a break.  So while it's good that JetBlue has been far more proactive in cancelling flights, the rest of the customer service operation will take a while to get to where it needs to be.

March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Blind Woman Files Complaint with Air Canada

This is an odd one, but it's a slow news morning:

A blind woman has filed a complaint with Air Canada, after she said she was mistreated by a flight attendant on a recent flight.  She was not helped on board, slammed her head into the overhead compartment after the flight attendant pushed her, then berated by said flight attendant for not seeing the overhead compartment (not nice), then had her bags placed by her feet, where she could trip on them during the flight.  Air Canada has not responded.

March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 15, 2007

Pilots Fired for Drug Smuggling, Sightseeing

Two naughty pilot stories:

(Via Sanj):  A pilot with City Star Airlines (?) was fired after he took an unscheduled detour to show his co-pilot some scenery during a flight from Aberdeen to Shetland in Scotland.  The bad part is that he told the co-pilot to turn off the plane's automatic warning system after it sounded an alarm that the pilot was flying too low.  The co-pilot did as he was told and later said that he did not take control of the airplane from the pilot because he thought it was too dangerous.  The fired captain's name was Captain Old.  Dunn was under Oveur and I was under Dunn.  As they said in Airplane 2.  Carrying on...

An Alitalia pilot was fired after he was caught smuggling cocaine in the cockpit when he was flying between Caracas and Milan.  A colleague opened a glove compartment and found 1.8 kilos of cocaine in it.  The pilot's defense, no joke, is that it was not for selling, just for personal use.  Oh good.

March 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 14, 2007

New Airline Will Deport Asylum Seekers in Europe

Lou Dobbs will be proud:  A group of Austrian businessmen are planning to launch Asylum Airlines in the next 3 months.  What is Asylum Airlines, you are asking?  Well, so many people have unsuccessfully sought asylum in Europe that it has been costing European governments a bundle to return said people back to their countries of origin.  This airline will return these poor folk back to Iraq, Sudan, Mauritanian and wherever else for a lower cost than the governments could have done themselves.  Supposedly the planes will have padded rooms for passengers who aren't happy about their flights home.  This all sounds like a hoax, but the story has gotten picked up all over.  Weird, huh.

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Air Canada Launches US Flight Passes

Air Canada has had a great deal of success with their flight passes in Canada - basically, you buy a book of tickets in advance that are good for flights within a certain area. 

The airline has now announced passes that originate in the US.  Passes start at about $1650, but go way up from there depending on whether you're buying a fixed number of tickets or an unlimited pass, and where you can go with the pass.  My only issue with these is that there are so many combinations that I have no idea how you choose what to purchase.  I would definitely call Air Canada (and your travel agent, if that person knows what they're doing), to see if this even makes sense for you.

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 13, 2007

Spirit Airlines Launches Club for Low Fares

Say what you will about Spirit Airlines, but you cannot deny that have been pretty innovative on the marketing front lately.  In their latest move, they have introduced what they're calling the $9 Fare Club.  Basically, you pay $30 a year (or $10 for a 3-month trial), and you'll get access to their super low sale fares before anyone else (by "super low" I mean "$1").  I have no idea if this is a good deal, as those $1 fares (and $8 fares and whatnot) generally aren't available as part of a reasonable roundtrip.  But, if you live in a market with a fair amount of service from Spirit, it may be worth the $10.  Either way, has any other airline thought of making you pay to get low fares?  Brilliant.

March 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Qantas: Prisoners Are Not Cleaning Our Planes

Qantas is denying accusations that the airline is using prisoners to clean aircraft at Singapore's airport.  An engineering group says that prisoners on a day release program from a local prison were cleaning Qantas' aircraft before they went in for maintenance.  I have no idea what this is all about, but it seemed a little odd.  I'll let you know if anything comes of this.

March 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 12, 2007

Airline Flies Empty Planes to Keep Heathrow Slots

British Mediterranean Airways has been flying empty planes between Cardiff and Heathrow 6 times a week for 5 months so it doesn't lose the landing slots allocated to it at the crowded airport.  Environmentalists in Britain are quite upset because of the environmental impact of flying empty planes (carbon footprints have been a huge issue in Britain, especially when it comes to the airline industry). 

The airline said that it has explored selling or leasing the slots but decided flying empty planes made the most sense.

March 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Biman Bangladesh Aircraft Incident Closes Dubai Airport

A Biman Bangladesh A310 had an accident while taking off at Dubai's airport this morning, causing the facility to shut down for 8 hours.  Early reports suggest that 14 passengers were injured when the plane either burst a tire (tyre) or had its landing gear collapse on takeoff.  The airline has been a mess, cancelling routes due to mechnical issues with its aircraft.  This won't help that problem.

For a good laugh, check out the flight reviews for Biman Bangladesh over at Airlinequality.com

March 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

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