Roundup – Biased Documentaries, Historical Hot Pants, and More

By | June 25, 2007

For the first time, this Roundup was written while our editor was sitting at an airport, awaiting a flight. Hmm…perhaps a story on Airport Wifi is in order?

  • The Coalition for Luggage Security….don’t you love their press releases as much as we do? They reported(and we use the term lightly) on the 13th about a British conference to discuss luggage-free airports. We tend to agree with the Coalition that we need to rethink our system…and we are in favor of these services being available to people who wish to take advantage of them…we also hope that airlines get involved by partnering with these organizations…but beyond that….
  • Eos Airlines issued a press release announcing it, after less than two years of service, will become #4 on the list of most scheduled service between New York and London…putting a newly-acquired fourth 757, and expanding to forty flights per week, effective September 9th. Eos flies all-business class service between New York’s JFK and London’s Stansted airport…which, despite its claims, may not be exactly equivalent to the competition, flying to Heathrow and/or Gatwick…
  • The airlines involved issued a press release regarding the situation at LAX involving terminal charges imposed on AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, ATA Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways. It has been ruled that the actions of LAWA, the organization that runs the airport, in increasing charges to these carriers and not certain others with long term leases…was discrimination…and they have been ordered to refund this money. We see LAWA’s position that the airlines must bear their fair share of these costs…but it is unfair to not impose this across the board because some carriers have negotiated lower rates that they cannot raise to support increased costs…
  • Delta is installing blended winglets on more than 60 Boeing 737NG, 757-200, and 767-300ER aircraft…Blended winglets are wing tip devices that reduce drag thanks to improved aerodynamics, resulting in a reduction in fuel usage. The 737NG, as a result, will be able to operate transcontinental flights, and the 757 and 767 aircraft will also experience extended range and efficiency in their transatlantic service.
  • The Consumerist brought Airtran’s deceptive sale practices to our attention last week…information produced shows that Airtran created a ‘Systemwide Summer Sale’ by raising fares, then lowering them…We can defend a company for advertising its lowest fares as ‘lead-in’ in a Sale Ad…but this seems a bit tricky to us.
  • A Computer failure grounded United flights last Wednesday, and was still suffering residual delays for hours. United has experienced many complaints of late about its service, and we doubt this helps.
  • Jetblue has predicted a higher profit and lower fuel bill for this year’s second quarter.
  • We also credit the Consumerist for this archival story from 2005 about a 57-year old middle school principal and grandmother who forgot to remove a bread knife from a pocket on her cooler bag and was told she committed a felony and was now considered a terrorist. Being a terrorist means she was fined $500 and her name is now on a terrorist watch-list. She claims She says screeners refused to give her paperwork or documentation of her violation, documentation of the pending fine, or a copy of the photograph of the knife. When asking about her constitutional rights, she was allegedly told at that point she had none.
  • Even more from the Consumerist…the story of a passenger offered a frequent flyer account and ending up with a high-interest credit card linked to the US Airways Dividend Miles account. Common sense should prevail though….never sign anything without reading it very closely…and ask exactly what you are getting into.
  • Don’t worry…we’re almost out of Consumerist stories….With this one about a Cathay Pacific ground delay of seven hours before the flight was finally canceled…The passengers insist there were no refreshments and few announcements, a contrast to the airline’s press release that insists they handled the situation well.
  • They also have a video of the recent sewage incident on Continental…Continental has apologized to passengers who had to put up with the stench and discomfort of overflowing toilets during a flight from Amsterdam to Newark that ended up taking two days. The flight had diverted to Shannon and overnighted for the problem to be repaired, but during the transatlantic journey to Newark, the problem reappeared and the flight pressed on. The airline attributes the problem to a pair of latex gloves found in the toilet system. A stinky business…and one we hope Continental will compensate these individuals for…
  • Skyservice Airlines inaugurated scheduled service from Toronto to Zagreb, Croatia. Service on Flight 858/859 departs Wednesdays, returning Thursdays. The airline also inaugurated service to Belgrade, Serbia with flight 863/864, which departs on Mondays, returning Tuesdays. The airline has operated charter service to these destinations since 2004.
  • Old uniformsAlaska Airlines is staging a “fashion flashback” in celebration of the airline’s 75 year history. Pillbox hats, Russian cossack dresses, and hot pants will be sported by their flight attendants from last Thursday through this week both at Seattle-Tacoma international Airport, and in the air. For more images, click here.
  • Zoom, the UK sister company to the Canadian low-cost carrier, began service from New York to London Gatwick. Promotional fares begin at $99 each way, including tax…which is a shocking number assuming there are any still available. Normal pricing begins at $199, tax not included. Service will be direct five times per week as well as two off-peak services via Bermuda using 767-300 aircraft in a two-class configuration. Check for prices on their website.
  • The Association of Friends and Relatives of Gol’s Flight 1907 Victims haves announced that the Discovery Channel’s documentary is not approved by the families of the victims. The documentary, aired on June 10th, did not please the group. The investigation of this incident is not yet complete, and the complaint suggests the documentary is unfairly biased toward the Americans involved in the incident. Hmm…we’ll have to watch this thing….
  • Delta has started a website for its bid to operate Atlanta to Shanghai service in the midst of the next round of China bids. The site,, is supported by a group of politicians(just like every other bid), and is ironically one we favor. Atlanta could use a flight to China….it is the busiest airport and would certainly benefit the most people….Of course, we haven’t seen the full range of bids…but being that Delta has no China service, it is also good for them.
  • Delta and American raised fares by $5 each way in most domestic markets on Friday.
  • USA3000 will serve Sarasota/Bradenton Airport effective December 18th, with service to Chicago O’Hare(Five times weekly), Detroit(Three times weekly), and Cleveland(Three times weekly) effective through April 19th. Service will be operated with Airbus 320 aircraft with 168 seats.