« September 2, 2007 - September 8, 2007 | Main | September 16, 2007 - September 22, 2007 »

September 14, 2007

Virgin America to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi

Your days of using a long flight to escape the office are over...but in a good way:

Virgin America announced that it will offer in-flight wi-fi next year.  Pricing details haven't been announced yet, but we can assume it will cost about $20 or so to use the service for a transcon flight.  The service will be provided by AirCell, which will also be testing the service on American Airlines next year.

September 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 13, 2007

Google Founders Park Plane at NASA Airfield

The NY Times is reporting that Google has been permitted to park its 767 and its two Gulfstream Vs at Moffett Field, a NASA-run airport near the Google offices that is generally closed to private airplanes.  Google reps say that they have an arrangement with NASA for the agency to use the aircraft for science-related activities in exchange for parking it at the airport.  Make up your own mind, but the whole thing smells a little fishy.

September 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Q400s Grounded for Safety Reasons; Not Good News for Horizon Airlines

Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier told airlines to ground their Q400 aircraft after landing gear collapsed in two separate incidents in the past week.   Bombardier told airlines that aircraft with more than 10,000 landing gear cycles should be grounded, but several airlines are taking a more conservative approaching, pulling most or all  Q400s from service.  In the US, this has caused Horizon Airlines (part of Alaska) to cancel about 25% of its schedule.

The Q400 is a turbo prop that has seen far more usage outside of the US, where propeller-based airplanes don't have the stigma they do here.  Airlines that fly it say it's a quiet airplane with low costs.

September 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 12, 2007

FAA: Please Make Your Flight Schedules Resemble Reality

Marion Blakely, the outgoing head of the FAA, told airline executives that if they won't change their flight schedules to actually reflect when flights depart and arrive, the government may step in and do it for them.  Flights in the US had an on-time arrival rate of just 69.8% in July (that would be a 'D' in my high school.)  A spokesperson for the Air Transport Association basically said, "don't look at us, it's the international airlines and corporate jets."  Right.

September 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Busy Day at Shannon (Ireland) Airport

Yesterday was a bit nutty a Ireland's Shannon Airport, as three separate flights were diverted there because of passenger-related nuttyness.

First flight:  Martinair flight from Amsterdam to Havana.  Plane diverted because of two unruly Ukranian passengers.

Second flight: Delta from Istanbul to JFK.  Iranian national arrested for some reason not mentioned.

Third flight:  Thomas Cook Airlines from Manchester to Toronto.  Cabin crew had unspecified concerns about one of the passengers on the flight. Passenger was interviewed by police and released.

the end

September 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 11, 2007

Chicago Bears Delayed 5 Hours in San Diego

You're not the only one who has sat through long delays flying into Chicago:  The Chicago Bears sat and waited for 5 hours in San Diego when their United Airlines charter faced a mechanical problem.  After a while a new plane was flown down from LAX.  See, it's not just you who can't get back home to Chicago.

September 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chinese Airlines Adopt Re-stocking Fee for Tickets

Change fees for tickets have often been a source of annoyance in this age of low fares because many of us have been in a situation where the change fee is more than the ticket itself.  Annoying, yes? 

Eight Chinese airlines are taking a different approach:  tickets are refundable, but they're basically charging a "restocking fee" that varies based on the level of discount of the original ticket.  But here's the interesting part - the fees are based on a percentage of the ticket price, rather than on a set amount.  Heavily discounted ticktets are refundable, but pay a 30% restocking fee.  Seems more reasonable than $100 flat fee on a $39 ticket that's entirely nonrefundable, yes?

September 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007

Iron Maiden Lead Singer to Fly Band on Next Tour

I've written before about how Bruce Dickenson, the lead singer for Iron Maiden, is a licensed commercial pilot, but I thought this was worth mentioning:  Captain Dickenson will be flying the band's chartered 757 for the next tour.  I'm going to guess this is the first time a band member has piloted a commercial aircraft for the band's own tour, but I wouldn't be surprised if Hannah Montana did the same thing (huh?)

September 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4)