Post-Inauguration Roundup

By | January 25, 2009
Terminals, San Francisco International Airport
Image by Telstar Logistics via Flickr
  • Ray LaHood is now the US Secretary of Transportation. Mr. Hood is opposed to the slot auctions at New York airports, dedicated to a new generation of air traffic control equipment, and we’ll see how he is for the country’s transportation network.
  • 3M has issued a press release that it is taking the lead in rebranding Northwest locations to Delta signage. The airline and its partner expect to complete the transition by the end of the year, with international locations by next year. They’ve already completed transitions in the following cities in Minnesota: Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Hibbing, International Falls, Rochester, St. Cloud and Thief River Fall. The Minneapolis/St. Paul hub is scheduled for conversion in March. With the death of the Northwest brand name, we wonder if Compass, Pinnacle or Mesaba will be adopting the name to honor the loss.
  • Aer Lingus and United Airlines announced a transatlantic partnership to operate from Washington Dulles to Madrid. Not long ago, we commented on the fact that none of the Open Skies initiativeS(ie Air France from London to LAX) had lasted long. This one, on the face of it, seems a bit strange, as the two airlines just recently started a codeshare agreement a few months ago. Aer Lingus will operate the service and both will share in the revenue. We’ll be watching this one. Perhaps the lowering of fuel will finally make Open Skies a viable economic expansion. Technically Aer Lingus, which opened three cities after the US-EU Open Skies treaty was arranged, is the only airline that has developed a lasting benefit from the treaty. For more information, here’s the Cranky Flier’s opinion…he does not approve.
  • American Airlines is inaugurating its first nonstop service between Yeagar Airport in Charleston, W.V. and New York’s LaGuardia Airport beginning April 7th using 37-seat Embraer 135 once daily except Sunday.
  • Southwest announced expansion of service from San Fransisco with five daily flights to John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Here’s a good analysis.
  • AirTran will now be serving caffeinated and decaffeinated Fortnum & Mason Royal Blend tea on all flights, free of charge.
  • United Airlines will be offering wireless internet on its NY-SF flights, beginning sometime later this year. The service will cost $12.95.
  • JetBlue changed its bicycle policy in response to a passenger blogging about the situation. Folding bikes are now charged according to baggage allowances, and only full-sized bikes are charged an excess. It is a lesson that corporations can listen.
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