« August 12, 2007 - August 18, 2007 | Main | August 26, 2007 - September 1, 2007 »

August 23, 2007

OTR on Vacation

The OTR offices are closed for a late-August vacation.  We'll be back on Tuesday.  See you then!

August 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

American's Crazy Cheap Fares to Central America

Since Spirit has invaded American's south Florida turf, AA has launched a number of fare sales designed to annoy them.  They announced another yesterday, including these fares:

Fort Lauderdale or Miami to:

Nassau, Bahamas: $34
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti: $69
San Pedro Sula, Honduras: $59
Managua, Nicaragua & San Jose, Costa Rica: $69

Fares are good midweek through December (for the most part).

To be fare, Spirit has low fares in this range quite frequently, but they don't offer the far superior schedule American has (nor does American have 2 1/2 hour red eyes from Central America -- I'm certain you really don't want to leave Managua at 1am to arrive in Miami 2.5 hours later.)

August 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 22, 2007

Delta Names New CEO

You'll can certainly read more about this elsewhere, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Delta has named former Northwest CEO Richard Anderson as their new chief executive.  Anderson is known for making tough but fair decisions, though Northwest lost a nice chunk o' change under his leadership.  Although I'm not expecting a Delta/Northwest linkup, I would expect them to take a page from Northwest's playbook and expand their Asian services.

I'm always curious, though, for an industry that consistently loses a ton of money, why do airlines keep choosing CEOs from within the industry?

August 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 21, 2007

China Airlines Gives Passengers on Exploded Plane $100

If you were wondering what kind of compensation you'd get if you narrowly escaped a burning 737, wonder no longer.  China Airlines' CEO flew to Okinawa to hand out envelopes with a crisp $100 in it to give to passengers who nearly died when their plane exploded.  One.  Hundred.  Dollars. 

August 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

China: No More New Airlines

Citing safety concerns, China's aviation authority has announced that they will not permit any additional airlines to launch before 2010.  They are also cutting back on the number of flights into Beijing by about 5% (right before the Olympics -- good luck getting a flight).  While this seems very consumer unfriendly, it's actually the opposite:  Chinese airports have been overcapacity, causing significant delays across the system (sound familiar?).  They hope to improve on-time performance and safety by getting flights down to a more reasonable level.

August 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

United: We're Going to Clean Our Planes

Good news if you're a United flyer and you've had enough of filthy planes:  The airline said that it's going to use part of its capital improvement budget to "deep clean" their aircraft more frequently.  They can spin that how they want, but that must mean their planes get extremely dirty.  And that means you've been sitting on an extremely dirty plane.  Ew.

On the plus side, they're also going to upgrade their domestic in-flight entertainment systems over the course of 2008.

August 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 20, 2007

China Airlines Plane Explodes

A China Airlines 737 exploded in Okinawa shortly after landing earlier today.  All of the passengers and crew managed to escape without injury (you can see a photo here.  Amazing anyone lived).

I'm the first person to say that all first-world airlines are safe.  However, China Airlines likely has the sketchiest safety record of any carrier outside the developing world, including 4 fatal accidents since 1994, plus this non-fatal accident.  (My six flights on the airline were uneventful).  Sure, it could just be a streak of terrible luck that these incidents happened on the same airline.  But still.

August 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hijacking Thwarted in Turkey

Americans should consider ourselves lucky that hijacking, which was once a moderately common occurrence here, basically no longer happens here.  The same cannot be said for other parts of the world.  Case in point:  An Atlas Air flight from Cyprus to Istanbul was hijacked over the weekend, with the hijackers demanding that they be flown to Iran.  The pilots (somehow) convinced them that they needed to refuel in Antalya, Turkey.  Once landed, the pilot, either in a brilliant or cowardly move (depending on whom you ask), jumped out of the plane after it landed, leaving the hijackers with the passengers. 

The hijackers then decided to free the women and children, but as this was happening, passengers opened the rear doors and escaped, leaving only 4 behind.  Several hours later the 4 hostages were freed and the hijackers arrested. 

The plane was hijacked to protest something or other by the US.  I know, that doesn't make any sense.

August 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)