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Hot breakfast sandwiches. Free WiFi. A power outlet for each comfy chair. A slick bar stocking all the good stuff for complimentary cocktails. Cheese plates. Private restrooms with showers. Macbooks.
Hello, this is airport heaven.
Though it kinda sounds like we've been describing an ultra-premium airline lounge for elite flyers at some exotic international airport, all this is in fact coming to a new lounge within Terminal 5 at New York-JFK, aka the home of JetBlue. It's to be called Airspace, and travelers will find it come May 2013 after security, near Gate 24.
Airline Industry / Airline News / Ryanair / Aer Lingus / Turkish Airlines / Etihad / Olympic Air / Aegean Airlines / → All Tags
Gather around children, as we spin a fable about the magic that is European airline industry regulation. In early 2011, the European Union was in the midst of an airline merger blocking spree. Regulators rejected a proposed merger between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines because they declared it would leave the resulting airline dominating the Greek market. Then Olympic went out of business because it was unsustainablehence the need for the merger in the first placeputting a lot of people out of work and leaving Aegean dominating the Greek market anyway. The End.
It bears mentioning that around the time when regulators were putting Olympic on a path to insolvency, they also rejected an attempted takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair. Now Ryanair is trying again and forecasters predictperhaps in light of the Olympic fiasco or perhaps because of the challenging economy or perhaps simply a function of the changing industrythat its odds "of clearing competition hurdles...have improved."
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / Delta / United / Spirit Airlines / Aer Lingus / JetBlue / → All Tags
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
· Aer Lingus:
Christmas hasn’t even happened yet, but the suits at Aer Lingus are already busy planning where to send their planes once the warmer weather comes around again. They’re upping the frequency on several existing spots which they already serve, but they’re also planning to connect Dublin with Verona and Stockholm. The flights to Sweden will run four times per week, and they’re sending the planes over to Italy just twice a week. Both options sounds like a great way to extend your European vacation—or just to take a weekend getaway in the middle of your trip across the pond.
· United Airlines:
The country’s shot at the World Cup is still a few years away, but if you want to head over to Qatar to start warming up there’s an option thanks to United Airlines. The carrier is planning to start up service between Washington-Dulles and Doha, Qatar beginning on May 1 of 2012.
The flight does make a little bit of a pit stop—for airplane gas and iPad charging—in Dubai on its way to Qatar, so just make sure you don’t get off at the first stop. They’ll be flying back and forth one of their Boeing 777s, so you can expect seats in first, business, and economy. According to United this makes the airline the best in the Middle East, as they’ll be flying to more spots than any other US carrier.
Travel Deals / Dublin Travel / Aer Lingus / Ireland Travel / Airfare Deals / New Year's Travel / → All Tags
We're a bit skeptical about 1/1/11 being a lucky day, but we look for any reason to travel and the new year is as good of an excuse as any. We'd feel pretty lucky scoring a last-minute trip to Dublin that starts at $399 for four nights.
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Depending on your opinion of Ryanair, their newest move could either be awesome or a total disaster. The cheap, no frills airline is looking to buy their Irish pals at Aer Lingus. They’ve tried on and off since 2006 to take over the airline, but the Irish government and the European Union keep putting the kibosh on the deal.
Most recently, Ryanair head honcho Michael O’Leary stated that his airline would ultimately succeed in buying their rival. Aer Lingus doesn’t seem as opposed to the idea as they once were, and they might not have a choice since they’ve announced that they have a little problem with burning through their cash too quickly.
Nude Travel / London / Airline News / Aer Lingus / LGW / → All Tags
How much do you love free airfare? Do you love it enough to get naked for it ... in public?! If so, then have we got some happy new for you: it seems that new routes will be launching in Europe soon, and they're looking to recruit a a whole sea of exhibitionists for a publicity stunt in central London.
To be more specific, the unnamed airline is in need of 999 bare bottoms this Sunday, March 15, and signing up and showing up will yield you a free roundtrip from London Gatwick to any of their eight destinations in Europe.
Frankly, for those in London this week, this is a huge win-win situation; strut your naughty stuff and get more stuff in return. Nonetheless, public nudity is still against the law, and so volunteers will be provided with a little something to "cover their rude bits."
A few hundred people thought all their Christmases had come at once last Wednesday when they booked business class fares with Aer Lingus, flying from Ireland to the United States for just 5 (US$8).
In the spirit of Malaysia Airlines' recent bargains this was, of course, a mistake. Blame it on a "technical error."
Unlike Malaysia Airlines, however, Aer Lingus won't honor the accidental tickets. At first, they just canceled the bookings altogether, but now they are offering the passengers economy class seats for the price they paid. There's still a chance of a class action against the airline, but yet again, we're just sad we missed out on such a bargain. Bring on the technical errors!
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First it was ze Germans and Lufthansa. Now JetBlue is teaming up with the Irish in the form of Aer Lingus. Starting April 3, passengers will be able to buy tickets connecting the US to Ireland via JetBlue's hub at JFK in New York. There's been no mention thus far of ticket prices.
While Aer Lingus operates Airbus aircraft like JetBlue, they likely won't have the same in-flight entertainment. (The LiveTV system used in the States is ground-based and so it would be useless over the Atlantic.)
Both airlines are claiming that transferring at JFK will be "seamless," but we're a little less than convinced. True, the AirTrain makes it easy enough to transfer between Terminal 4 and Terminal 6--for flyers who know the airport well. But we can imagine more than a few missed connections among passengers less familiar with the maze that is JFK.
Luggage / Baggage / Airlines / Europe Travel / Ryanair / Aer Lingus / → All Tags
There's a long list of complaints people often make about airlines, but a recent study by the European Consumer Centre confirms that lost luggage problems top the list, at least in Europe.
In the survey, they found that 33% of all complaints from passengers were about lost luggage, and that the number had doubled since 2005. The biggest offenders were Ryanair and Aer Lingus--funny, because we always thought British Airways was the champion of lost luggage. (Perhaps we got that mixed up with their terrible record of flight punctuality?)
The European Consumer Centre thinks that the penalties airlines pay over lost luggage should be higher, and that there should be a mandatory emergency payment made to all passengers when their luggage is lost. But wouldn't that spoil the fun of trying to use the same set of clothes for three or four days?
Aer Lingus / Baggage / Luggage / → All Tags
We cover the world of travel non-stop, so we like to think we know a thing or two about airlines. But every now and then we get a question that stumps us, so we're putting it out there to see what you have to say. Our reader Anne wants to know:
I am flying tomorrow: Lyon to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Can I bring my guitar in its soft case aboard the plane? I do not own a hard carrying case.
According to Aer Lingus, musical instruments need their own seat if they're too big to be called hand baggage. And a guitar and case would exceed the 56 cm by 45 cm by 25 cm limits on carry-on bags. Officially, the airline doesn't care if you bring a guitar on board, just as long as it's under the maximum size.
But guitars are funny things, and we've seen our share on board a number of airlines. Our plan of action would be to act extra-polite when checking in and hope the desk agent looks the other way. But remember, Aer Lingus is becoming a low cost carrier, and those LCCs love to nickel-and-dime. So no matter how nice you are, getting that guitar on board isn't a sure thing.
The national Irish airline, the needs-a-name-change Aer Lingus company, is in chaos right now: conflict over a proposed change of base to Belfast along with the connected salary and working conditions have sent pilots into a two-day strike, beginning tomorrow. All long-haul flights have been canceled and other services are being run on a limited basis.
At the same time, Aer Lingus has been getting a few nasty comments on the web. Guess that is what happens when you start charging for online seat selection, anything up to £10 per leg.
But don't worry, despite the nasty message you might get from the Aer Lingus website if you don't assign yourself a seat and pay up, you can still fly. Ponying up for a seat assignment simply is not part of your contract of carriage.
Aer Lingus is partly owned by RyanAir (now 28%) so perhaps there's some kind of budget takeover in the, um, wings.
· Aer Lingus [Official Site]
· Pilots Meet To Discuss Aer Lingus Offer [Belfast Telegraph]