Tag: Airline IndustryView All Tags
Today could be a rough day at the airport, so we recommend charging up those electronic doodads and maybe even grabbing a magazine. Lufthansa is having a little bit of a problem with their worker bees today, and as a result they’re canceling all kinds of flights.
In total it sounds like they are proactively canceling around 1,700 flights; however, most appear to be shorter flights in and around Europe, as well as domestic options. It’s all part of a one-day strike finalized late last week, as a group representing around 33,000 Lufthansa employees hopes to show the carrier that they need a little more cash in their paychecks.
Someone with a lot of money is getting into the airline business, as it looks like there’s going to be another carrier joining the marketplace over in Asia. The details are just coming in now, but if things go according to plan the first flights might hit the skies before the year is over.
Neak Oknha Kith Meng isn’t quite Sir Richard Branson yet, but the guy is loaded and ready to start an airline. He is teaming up Philippine Airlines for the new venture, and the new carrier will be called Cambodia Airlines. Just be sure not to confuse the new carrier with a current carrier, as Cambodia Angkor Air is already flying around the region.
Before you ask, we checked twice to make sure that this Economist story was published April 2 and not April 1. We can't vouch for when the actual webpage on which the story is based went up - maybe it went up April 1 and The Economist plus some other papers got nailed - but it's still alive today so that would be a really dumb way to do an April Fools' joke. Plus there's the video at the bottom.
So here you go from Samoa Air: they are going to start charging passengers by weight. The more you weigh, the more you pay (or as they're putting it, the less you weigh the less you pay; LCCs use the same obnoxious 'pay only for what you use' logic when they add fees). Listen - we, as much or more than any other site - know that debates over overweight passengers can get contentious. But there has to be a balance between preserving people's dignity on one side and forcing them to account for the space they're usingor the arm rests they're not putting downon the other.
Airline News / Armavia / Airlines / Airline Industry / Armenia / Armenia Travel / Airline Bankruptcy / Batavia Air / → All Tags
Rewind back to a couple of years ago and it seemed like an airline was cancelling flights, stranding passengers, and going out of business, like, once a month. Thankfully the global economy has kind of stabilized, and any bad bankruptcy news hasn't come down the pipeline for a while. Of course the good times must come to an end. The flag carrier over in Armenia is shutting things down.
Yesterday was the day in which Armavia officially ended its run and, just a few days earlier—March 29 to be specific—was when the carrier filed for bankruptcy and stopped flying. As this wasn't a well-planned exit from aviation, quite a few passengers were less than pleased with the news and some even decided to head to the airline’s office at Zvartnots International Airport to picket and demand answers.
Airline Industry / Europe / Europe Travel / Travel News / Airline News / Ryanair / Airline Fees / → All Tags
The European Union is considering changing the regulations that govern how airlines have to compensate/assist/not-screw-over passengers that they've stranded. Whether it's because they don't like their airline industry or because they do like their passengers is an open question, but changes they're nonetheless making.
The E.U. is already a relatively OK place to be a passenger. Under EU261, airlines have to refund ticket prices for cancellations and long delays, plus there are all kinds of rules about how geographically close airlines have to get their passengers when flights are diverted to alternate airports.
The implementation of those rules is admittedly imperfect. The refund rule sometimes ends with passengers taking airlines to court, and the geography regulation has its own loopholes (Ryanair once kind of hilariously met the rule by dropping passengers off on a nearby island rather than the one they were bound for. Close enough!) But at a minimum, the E.U. has been trying.
Very quickly: an Air India pilot dressed himself up in his uniform, and then filmed himself rapping about how Air India sucks, and then put the video up on YouTube. How do you think that went for him? No cheating.
If you answered "obviously he was forced to write an apology and now will face disciplinary action, because employees don't get to post themselves trashing their employers on YouTube," congratulations, you're a more astute observer of organizational dynamics than is this guy. Who has flown airplanes. Filled with people inside of them. For a living.
Weather / Airline Industry / Travel Hell / Snow Travel / Travel Tips / Delays / Winter Travel / → All Tags
Good God in heaven. It's getting worse. 2,792 cancellation this morning have become 4,500 flights canceled since Thursday, with numbers still "likely to grow." As we told you this morning, the New York airports are pretty much shut down, and have now reached more than 1,800 total flights canceled today and another 640 shut down for tomorrow. In Boston Nemo is scoring a perfect 10/10 on the Weather Channel's Winter Impact Index. If you were thinking of traveling to New England in the near future, make other plans.
Also be ready to make other plans if you're traveling to any airports with airlines that have New England hubs. It's not just people trying to get to and from the East Coast any more. It's anyone who was going to pass through, or anyone who needed a plane that's currently there. Houston's already had 100 preemptive cancellations and Miami's up to 90. A "ripple effect," is how we believe the airline industry refers to it. Flightaware's cancellation page is where you want to go to see if you've been personally screwed by Nemo, or whether it's just everyone else in the country.
Airline Industry / Ryanair / Airline News / Travel News / LCCs / → All Tags
Ryanair does not necessarily have the best PR and communications shop in the airline industry. The Irish LCC has been known to respond to negative press by throwing childish hissy fits, and its understanding of social media outreach involves insulting customers.
Part of the problem is that Ryanair PR is one of the hardest jobs in the world, since they've got to justify nonsense like instituting intentionally grating fees and selling heart attack-stricken victims soda. But it's hard not to suspect that another part of the problem is simple bad staffing. No one says the job is easy, but surely this stuff isn't helping. Right?
Southwest Airlines has long had a problem with travelers abusing the airline's no-fee ticket change policies. Customers would purchase multiple tickets for the same destination, choose the outbound flight they wanted, and then bank the money for future flightsbut not cancel beforehand. The result has been a lot of unused seats and a lot of lost revenue for Southwest.
To deal with the problems created by the "no fee" policies, Southwest has come up with a fairly straightforward solution. They're going to take away the no-fee policy and replace it with one that imposes a "no show fee" on passengers who bought super-cheap "Wanna Get Away" tickets and cancel before not showing up. Oh, and they're also going to start charging higher fees for travelers checking in more than two bags. And also for travelers checking in bags that are too heavy. And also for travelers who want to move to the front of the boarding line. So at least they're ambitious.
Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Airline Industry / Travel Industry / TSA / JFK / Airport Hell / → All Tags
You're a non-union employee responsible for some security at an airport, and you're trying to win public support on a controversy involving, first, your immediate working conditions and, second, your broad campaign to unionize. You need to walk the fine political line between asserting your rights and showing that you can be responsible. So what do you do?
If you're about 100 workers at JFK Terminal 3, apparently you vote to strike over the holidays starting December 20. You do this while your union supporters proudly retweet stories about disrupting family holiday plans. We're not experts in the travel industry or in public campaigning or anything, but it doesn't seem like they've thought their brilliant plan all the way through.
Airline Industry / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / FAA / FCC / Technology / Travel Tech / iPads / → All Tags
We were going to spin an entire post out of a throwaway line published in The Hill last week, where the journalist dropped in a half-sentence about how "most passengers" want to use cell phones in the air. Polls have over and over again shown the exact opposite, with almost the only exception being a Fly.com poll that seemed more about publishing a press release than figuring out what people believe. But we're not sure it's fair to inflict our travel-journalist-nerd-bravado on you guys just because we can.
So instead we're going to point out what is true in that Hill story, which is that the FCC is pushing the FAA to permit more in-flight electronics use.
There might be some moving and shaking in the airline industry this week, as it looks like one carrier is interested in a slice of another carrier. Don’t worry, as this isn’t going to be another merger, but if things go through there might be some subtle changes on the horizon.
Singapore Airlines owns around half of Virgin Atlantic, but maybe not for much longer. Apparently Delta is pretty interested in grabbing that share, as rumors are swirling they’re looking to pay up for a 49 percent share in Virgin Atlantic. They might not be the only ones getting a stake in Virgin Atlantic, as there are some indications that Air France-KLM could chip in as well to grab part of Sir Richard Branson’s airline.