We’re reporting in this week from the birthplace of Flight Wisdom, affectionately known as the Flight Wisdom Summer Palace. Flight Wisdom began in the summer of 2006, when a bunch of us decided to get into the habit of subject-based blogging. I, your usual host, the Editor, also known as the Flight Wisdom Guru, hope to give you the chance to hear some of the other voices of Flight Wisdom this week.
Back in August, Delta Air Lines and US Airways announced a deal to give Delta dominance at LaGuardia in exchange for Delta helping US Airways dominate Washington-National. The DOT advised that in order for them to approve the transaction, the airlines would have to divest a certain number of slots at each airport in order for it to be approved. This week, the two airlines shot back with their own proposal. They will transfer up to five slot pairs each to AirTran, Spirit, and Westjet at LaGuardia. And at National, they will transfer five slot pairs to JetBlue.
Delta Air Lines announced on Thursday that they would add a new business shuttle service between New York-LaGuardia and Chicago-O’Hare beginning June 10th. The service will replace existing service between LaGuardia and Chicago-Midway. That isn’t unique, it is the fact this will be the first addition to the Delta Shuttle product in years.
Virgin America Flight 404 circled JFK till it was diverted to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, which is also run by the Port Authority of NY & NJ, as is JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia, to refuel and wait out the weather. This is hardly out of the ordinary. But as the hours passed, supplies grew slim, tempers frayed, and things started to come to a boil.
Sun Country Airlines is going to add service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and London’s Stansted Airport beginning June 11th and going through August 15th. The service will depart on Fridays with a midday return on Sundays and will be operated with a 737-800. The service will make a refueling stop in Gander, Newfoundland.
This is Briefing 6. Welcome to our new subscribers on iTunes. Since last time, we did a bit of a movie opener in honor of Peter Graves and Airplane, we decided to try another random one that had been lurking in our heads. Feel free to tweet or comment with the movie title if you recognized it. We’ll continue to adjust the opening and closing until we find one or several with enduring amusement. If this is how it sounds at Brief 6, imagine how good we’ll be at it by Brief 60. Keep listening.
The Examiner reports that Continental Airlines will end its free meal program on flights shorter than six hours. We always find it amusing that companies, airline or not, spin taking away services that were previously free and replacing them with a paid option as an improvement for their customers. Certainly, we demand that if we pay for it, it be a better quality experience, but beyond that…
In honor of Peter Graves, who unfortunately passed away Sunday evening at the age of 83, we present a tribute to him in the form of the movie Airplane!, in which he starred as Captain Clarence Oveur.
We here at Flight Wisdom have decided to schedule a group watching of Airplane. So, everyone break out your copy of Airplane. We’ll be doing this at 8PM Eastern Time the evening of March 15, 2010 and again at 12AM Eastern.
We’ll be using a web-based chatroom if anyone wants to join us and will tweet the location a few minutes beforehand on Twitter @FlightWisdom.
We wanted to get a special release of the briefing in commemoration of Peter Graves.
Thus ends the first week of the Flight Wisdom Briefing. How are you enjoying it so far? Comments are open, as in Twitter. If you are interested in submitting a commercial aviation related story to the Briefing, please contact us. We’ll be back next week with new briefs and we’ll keep tweaking it to try to make it better for you.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 1.9MB) Image by Dave Sizer via Flickr As we continue to perfect the Brief, we offer a new opener, as well as a tribute to this Day in Aviation History. Tune in. Notes: American Eagle’s New Service to Augusta WestJet Launches New Frequent Flier Program…
WestJet has launched a new frequent flier program, called the Frequent Guest program. Now, the way that they are organizing this program is unique. It seems to be a program for the average flier, rather than the frequent flier. We recently bemoaned the fact that airlines have effectively devalued their miles by allowing people to accumulate them on every credit card purchase. We know this is a good deal for them, and for many consumers, but it devalues the definition of the term frequent flier. These companies keep devaluing their miles and limiting the number of award seats.
We’ve decided to try a little experiment here at Flight Wisdom. We’re going to record our news and service roundups that you can subscribe and listen to in your favorite podcast software. The new service, which we are calling the Flight Wisdom Briefing, will, if popular, come out at least once a week, if not more, depending on the volume of news to report, and will be supported by links in the post for each episode.
We’ve spoken on the issue of Bereavement Fares before. Bereavement Fares are discounts offered by the airline to those traveling in a death situation.They were usually flat-rate discounts off the unrestricted(highest) fares. In the old days, that could be a significant savings. Now, with such a wide gap between lowest and highest…not so much. You might as well pay the normal fare.
Canadian musician Dave Carroll released the final part of his United Breaks Guitars Trilogy this evening, with a live webcast. United Breaks Guitars was an Internet phenomenon, showing that someone, after making a legitimate effort to settle his problems with a company, can call them out in a public forum.
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the issues of regional jets. Recently, we pointed out how the Colgan Crash last year had brought to light several issues with the system of regional carriers. The Regional Airline system is based on the idea that a major carrier, let’s say Continental, can subcontract out its work to a regional carrier, like Colgan Air. The plane is painted in Continental colors, in little tiny letters by the door it says, “operated by Colgan Air.” It used to be, without such airlines and their smaller planes, airlines would never serve certain routes, especially into smaller cities.