Tag: Airport Delays

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Breaking: Spirit Airlines is Hand-Writing Boarding Passes After Nationwide Computer System Crash

November 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM | by | ()

Oh noes! Of all the things that could go wrong today—billed as the "busiest travel day of the year"—we thought it'd be airport security gridlocks with Opt-out Day or a mass revolt against checked baggage fees, but nope; it's worse. Spirit Airlines' computer system crashed!

According to CNN, the reservations system outage is causing long lines at all Spirit Airlines ticket counters, as the airline is hand-writing boarding passes. In addition, the website has been down since before 4:30am this morning, and passengers are unable to access their flight information online. At least they're getting personalized service:

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Happy Happy Joy Joy: JFK Airport Reopens Their Major Runway

Where: JFK International Airport [map], New York, NY, United States
July 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM | by | ()

Our recent view from the JFK runway

Hooray! The main runway at New York's very busy JFK International Airport has just reopened after being closed for repairs since March 1. In that time, the Government passed the hotly debated Tarmac Law and airlines that fly into JFK pouted at it, but ultimately had to follow the ruling that passengers couldn't be kept onboard a plane sitting on the tarmac for over three hours, lest the airlines face a hefty fine.

During the three months that JFK limped along without their major runway, travelers faced minor delays resulting from longer waits. But in the end it was all worth it, since now renovated runway 13R-31L—all 14,572 feet of it— has emerged from its $204 million dollar makeover with fewer bumps.

Since it seems like Jetblue practically runs JFK these days, the airline's Flight 65 to Tampa was the first to take off from the rebuilt runway on Tuesday. We wonder if the passengers onboard even gave a crap?

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Prepare for Delays at JFK as a Major Runway Goes Under Repair

Where: JFK International Airport [map], New York, NY, United States
February 23, 2010 at 1:55 PM | by | ()

They told us it would happen a year ago and we put it to the back of our mind, but now's the time to start panicking: JFK's main runway will close for 3 months from March 1 to June. Don't worry; all air traffic won't come to a grinding halt while the 14,572-foot long runway 13R-31L undergoes its $204 million makeover, but it will cause more delays and longer waits on the tarmac than usual since JFK will be operating on its other three runways.

According to USA Today, this runway handled 143,000 takeoffs and landings in 2008, so with the increase in flights (specifically looking at you, Jetblue), you can imagine how that number has grown, a significant amount of which must now be shifted onto other runways.

So let this be a warning to anyone flying into or out of JFK over the next few months: make sure your iPod battery is charged, that you've got a couple magazines to keep you busy and don't be surprised if your plane is number 25 in the cue to takeoff. Delays are very much expected.

Related Stories:
· New York JFK Runways to Close for 4 Months [Today in the Sky]
· JFK's longest runway to close in '10 from March to June [NewYorkology]
· Airport News [Jaunted]

[Photo: LiveMap screen showing Cathay Pacific landing at JFK, by Jaunted]

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Meet Tarmac: the Travel Media's New Favorite Word

August 29, 2009 at 1:26 PM | by | ()

I don't know why, but I've always liked the word tarmac. Before I even knew what it meant, I knew it was something important, a place where powerful people went and big things happened. Maybe it was from snippets of the TV news I'd overhear about presidents being greeted on the tarmac, or my airline pilot father making conversation with his friends about a recent flight, but I was sure that a tarmac was far more exciting than my suburban backyard. When I finally figured out that tarmac referred to the runways, aprons, and ramp areas of airports, it lost none of its allure. Sure, the golden age of flight is over, but big things still happen in airports, journeys begin and end. And for some reason, the word tarmac perfectly describes the big, flat open space that serves as as a mini-purgatory for fliers, whether coming or going.

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United Having Rough SM Year: First a Broken Guitar, Then a Stranded DJ

August 4, 2009 at 6:21 PM | by | ()

Ok, we're using the word "celebrity" loosely here when talking about Samantha Ronson but the DJ is often in the headlines thanks to her famous-for-being-a-wreck girlfriend, Lindsay Lohan. Still, despite what some folks think, Samantha is a rather in-demand DJ, always jetting off here and there to spin at some party, club or private event.

Last week, her work took her to Dallas where she played a party at the W Dallas. It should have been a quickie in and out but thanks to airport delays, her United flight got grounded. And apparently, even dating Lindsay Lohan will not get you special treatment when rescheduling your flight. Samantha tweeted:

yeah it really sucks- they told me they could get me there tomorrow- hmmm- f*ck you very much UNITED.

She then went on to tweet that she prefers American over United and that she learned her lesson a long time ago about checking musical instruments as an Italian airline once lost her guitar. Oh, if only she made a clever YouTube video about it she could have been reimbursed!

Join the travel twitter conversation, follow us here.

Related Stories:
· Twitter stories [Jaunted]

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Chinese Airport Travel: New Solutions for Hydraulic Problems

September 26, 2008 at 8:45 AM | by | ()

Here's a Friday joke for you: How many Chinese airport workers does it take to push a 20-ton plane with 69 passengers and 7 crew? The answer: 30.

If you're not laughing yet, it's because it's not actually a joke, but a true story. This week in Zhengzhou a CRJ7 plane landed with a faulty front hydraulic system, which apparently meant it couldn't be attached to the tow truck. So airport officials sent out 30 staff to push the plane instead.

Two hours later, the 30 exhausted workers had pushed the plane less than half a mile but it was neatly out of the way and the passengers could disembark. And at least the airline didn't ask the passengers to get out and help push. Perhaps that's what they'd do on a low-cost carrier?

Related Stories:
· Airport Workers Get the Push [Ananova]
· China Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Ananova]

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State of Emergency Travel: Tourist Troubles in Thailand

Where: Thailand
September 2, 2008 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Usually unspoiled romantic trips to Thailand have been messed around this past week as anti-government protests close down airports and roads. Although the Phuket Airport has been reopened and thousands of stranded vacationers are now on their way home, it's far from being over--a State of Emergency has been announced.

People's Alliance for Democracy protesters are now threatening to blockade not just Phuket, but seven airports across Thailand unless the Prime Minister resigns. Tourist hotspots like Krabi, Samui and Phuket are among the seven.

There's a good way and a bad way to experience airport shutdowns like this. The good way is what hundreds of tourists on Phuket just experienced--four extra days on a tropical island at the airline's expense. That's what we're rooting for.

Related Stories:
· PAD Warns of More Airport Closures in the South [The Nation]
· Aussies Tell of Thai Airport Scramble [SMH]
· Thailand Travel Guide [Jaunted]

[Photo: adaptorplug]

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Mythbusting: The Real Deal with Rule 240

February 6, 2008 at 11:00 AM | by | ()

Blame Peter Greenberg. About a week ago, the travel guru wrote an article hyping Rule 240, which used to govern interline agreements on airlines. Basically it said that airlines couldn't keep you captive in the terminal if they cancelled your flight; they had to put you on the next one out. But the rule no longer exists in that form, as Greenberg himself admits in his story.

That didn't stop the piece from getting picked up elsewhere, with people claiming that "invoking Rule 240" would solve all your canceled-flight woes regardless of the airline you're on. Wrong. Your trip on any given airline is always governed by a contract--called the contract of carriage--and if you act like a jerk, there's no way you'll get anything more than what that document mandates.

So what's a flyer to do? Know your stuff before you get to the airport.


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British Airports: London Gatwick's a Loser

August 14, 2007 at 9:15 AM | by | ()

If you're not sure which airport you should fly into the next time you head to Britain, check out the UK Flight Delays website. It tracks the average times for check-in, security and immigration at airports in the UK, according to information that website users plug in.

While the numbers are still based on a small sample, you can already see that London Gatwick is doing badly: each stage takes more than 30 minutes on average. Smaller airports like Cardiff and Birmingham are higher up on the league table. Travelers can also leave notes about their experiences, and the Travellers' Comments page reads like a soap opera of bad airport experiences. If you need to vent after experiencing some airport frustration--or you want to praise a good experience--this is your site.

Related Stories:
· Fresh Stats on the Summer of Flight Delays [Jaunted]
· Yotel Gatwick Airport Hotel [HotelChatter]

[Photo: bob the lomond]

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More On Milan's Linate Airport Bunnies

Where: Milan, Italy
June 18, 2007 at 4:45 PM | by | ()

As we told you earlier today, if you are flying into or out of Milan today, watch out for the bunnies with stars in their eyes. Linate airport runways have been stormed by hares who are interfering with radar. What are these rabbits doing? Mostly taking part in mating competitions that include chases and "boxing," in which females hit males to test their stamina (and readiness for fatherhood?)

Yesterday, some 57 hares were shooed off the runway. How do you say "Get a room!" in Italian?

Sunday's hare-speed-dating event caused a 3-hour delay and left the airport grounds littered with oyster-flavored carrots and Marvin Gaye albums.

[Photo: Alberto Pellaschiar/ Dave Windett]