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February 23, 2007

Delta to Launch Nigeria Service

Bravo to Delta for announcing nonstop service from Atlanta to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning in December.  Any nonstop service to Africa is a plus for Americans and even moreso for those living in African nations who were forced to stop in London or Paris anytime they wanted to go anywhere (which makes doing business there even more difficult).  Speaking of difficult, in the linked article you'll notice that a spokesman for North American Airlines (which flies thrice weekly to Lagos from New York) calls the market "challenging" which is code for "good luck bribing your way through that mess."

To steal a comment from the Airliners.net board, this service will also make it easier for Atlantans to fly to Lagos to pick up their $34,720,000 they're helping a prince smuggle out of the country.

February 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 22, 2007

Britney Spears Nearly Misses Flight, Gets Special Treatment from American Airlines

Though Britney Spears has certainly had a rough week, she got a bit of help from American Airlines on Friday.

Ms. Spears arrived at Miami's airport late for her American Airlines flight to Crazytown (or wherever she was going).  When she got to the gate, the door to the plane was already closed.  So the gate agent did what she would've done for any passenger (except you), was call the pilot, said that Britney Spears needed to get on the plane, and could they extend the walkway back to the plane and allow her to board.  The pilot, just as he would've done for anyone (except you), said, "of course."  She made her flight and arrived in Crazytown just in time for her uneventful weekend.

(Thanks to Today in The Sky for the head's up):

February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Last Word on Ralph Fiennes and Sex with a Flight Attendant

I swear, this is it.  My last post on it:  This is the full lowdown on the Ralph Fiennes sex with flight attendant extravaganza.  The linked article has all you need to know, including their plan for covering up their escapade.  Also know that the flight attendant said "she knew she'd get the sack."  Long time readers will note this is the 2nd time I've mentioned someone "getting the sack" after having sex on a plane.  I don't make the news, I just report it.

February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 21, 2007

US Airways CEO to Spend Day in Jail for DUI

Not a good week for airline CEOs...

US Airways CEO Doug Parker pleaded guilty to a DUI charge and will spend a day in jail (as well as paying a fine) as part of his sentence.  No one was hurt when he was arrested last month -- his third DUI offense (the others were nearly 20 years ago).

February 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 20, 2007

JetBlue Will Reimburse Delayed Pasengers, Sort Of

JetBlue announced the full details of its delay reimbursement program (DRP, though I just made that up), offering passengers payments that vary from $25 flight vouchers to free round trips based on the length of the delay you face and whether you're already on a plane or not.  Most of the payments only kick in if the delay is not caused by weather or air traffic control holds.

This is reminiscent of a similar scheme from long-gone Biztravel.com (a division of also long-gone Rosenbluth International) where if a flight you booked on their site was delayed, they would pay you ($100 for a 30 minute delay, up to full reimbursement for a 2-hour delay). 

In any case, this should mark the last of my posts on the JetBlue matter.  Carry on...

UPDATE:  The full details of the JetBlue passenger bill of rights say that they will make "take the necessary action" to deplane customers if a plane is on the ground for five (five!) hours.  Even then, there's an out:  "JetBlue Captains have discretion if the aircraft is positioned and almost ready for take-off."  The financial payouts are nice or whatever, but 5 hours?  That's news?  We won't hold you hostage for more than five hours, unless the captain decides he wants to?  That's the big news?  (Well, no, the payments are the big news.  It's a nice gesture.  But 5 hours?)

February 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

MAXjet's $998 Round Trip Offer to London in Business Class

Assuming they don't cancel the flight you're on, MAXjet's $998 round trip offer between either New York or Las Vegas and London is a great deal -- the Vegas offer is an amazing price.  Book by March 5, fly by September 15th.  Seeing as summer fares in coach to London can hit $800 round trip, you may want to hop on this.  And pray your flight isn't cancelled.

February 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9)

February 19, 2007

JetBlue Cancels 25% of Its Monday Flights

JetBlue's nightmare week is continuing, as the airline has announced it will cancel 25% of its Monday flights, 5 days after an East Coast storm wiped out its operations.  JetBlue has cancelled about 1,000 flights in 5 days, and has seen 7 years of goodwill flushed down the 2 lavatories located in coach.  Police were called in to calm frustrated travelers in Boston and New York.  Incredible that the situation got so out of hand in multiple cities, but the comments a couple of OTR readers have posted about their own horror stories suggests that it was amazing customers kept it together at all.

Also incredibly, CEO David Neeleman told the NY Times that airline management was unprepared for the way the events unfolded.  He blamed airline operations for not being able to stay in touch with pilots & flight attendants, blamed customer service reps who work out of their homes, blamed the airline's reservations system, and blamed the airline's emergency control center.  Though while he said he was "humiliated and mortified," he didn't take the blame himself.  And from what it sounds like, the airline was simply ill-prepared and, worse, took several days to realize the extent that it was unprepared.  If Neeleman weren't the founder, I would expect a board to oust him over this.  But they won't. 

I was about to write that on the plus side, we can assume this will never happen again.  But it's happened over and over again (from the Northwest 20+ hour ordeal several years ago, to the American mess in Texas last year, to JetBlue).  It will happen again.  Profits come first, you come second.  It's great when that benefits passengers, but it stings a bit when it doesn't.  As soon as we stop fooling ourselves that airlines care about anything other than profitability (and, to be fair, safety), we'll gladly accept the next 3-hour wait on the tarmac. 

February 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Turns Out, Qantas Flight Attendant Did Want to Sleep with Ralph Fiennes

A very special thank you to frequent reader/contributor IAHPHX for letting me (and now, you) know that the Qantas flight attendant who had denied having mid-flight sex with Ralph Fiennes has now changed her story and is says that she propositioned him.  You'll also be interested to hear (yeah, right) that she spent the next night with him in his Mumbai hotel. 

February 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

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