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Airline News / US Airways / American Airlines / New American / PHL / 767 / Airlines / Airline Mergers / Travel News / → All Tags
Way, way back in 2010, a Jaunted writer asked the question, as part of a rant, "US Airways, do they still even exist?"
Five years later and we can only answer that with "well, kinda."
The airline known as US Airways continues to merge with American Airlines and flew its final 767-200 revenue flight yesterday, from Philadelphia to Charlotte. This is but the first of many lasts for US Airways, and indeed we've already seen US Airways planes fully painted in the #newAmerican colors out on the tarmac.
TSA / PHL / Airport Security / Airline Security / → All Tags
You guys don't like to hear this, but most of your complaints about TSA are kind of bullsh*t. Sometimes the stories are true but silly: it took an extra 5 minutes to get through line, the TSA agent didn't smile enough, etc.
Other times the tales come from conspiracy theorists who are looking for a way to finally prove that airport security is part of a secret plot to domesticate the American sheeple in preparation for a takeover by black United Nations helicopters. Those descriptions all but universally turn out to be questionable.
Then there's the story that's currently making the rounds, which has now reached legitimate news outlets like the Associated Press. Roger Vanderklok is a runner in his late 50s who was going through security at PHL two years ago on his way to a Miami half-marathon.
Naturally he was carrying energy bars and a sports watch, which he had wrapped in a PVC pipe so they wouldn't get crushed. Something happened at the checkpoint, he didn't like it, he asked to file a complaint, and he ended up arrested and in a holding cell for around 20 hours without being allowed to contact the outside world (including his wife, who couldn't find him).
A judge eventually dismissed the case, and of course there's a lawsuit in play now. That's not the interesting part.
Airline News / Airplane News / A380 / 787 / British Airways / British Airways 787 / BA A380 / Philadelphia Travel / Washington DC Travel / PHL / IAD / → All Tags
As if the shiny British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner isn't cool enough with their service between Newark and London, new and especially exciting routes to more North American cities were just announced this morning.
Currently, British Airways only flies their 787s from Heathrow to Newark and Toronto. Beginning next year, however, two more lucky destinations will join the list: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from March 3, and Philadelphia International Airport from June 5.
To score a seat on the 787, you'll want to book flight numbers BA 191/190 for Austin, and BA 68/69 for Philadelphia on or after the start dates mentioned above.
Airport Restaurants / Airport / Airport News / PHL / LGA / DCA / Food Travel / → All Tags
It’s been a little bit of time since we ran through the country’s airports to check out what’s new in the world of airport dining. Sbarros are closing and Starbucks are opening all the time, so we want to keep you up-to-speed regarding your opportunities for airport eats.
New York City's LaGuardia Airport has been pretty busy for the last few months (really, years), as the airport continues to upgrade and improve their offerings.
One of their most recent openings is that of the airport’s beer garden. Over the summer the airport debuted an almost 3,000-square foot spot simply known as Biergarten. Local brewers are the stars here with options chosen by the master brewer—Garrett Oliver—from Brooklyn Brewery. Expect lots of local options from breweries like Blue Point and Ommegang. Sausages are a plenty when it comes to their non-beverage options, and there’s a bunch of small plates to nibble on while you kick one back.
Travel Rants / US Airways / Travel Hell / DEN / PHL / Airports / → All Tags
We know a good traveler has tons of travel horror stories to share, some of which are no doubt hilarious, but have you ever boarded the wrong flight? Jaunted Contributor Will McGough successfully failed recently in Philadelphia, finding himself on a flight to Orlando when he wanted to go to Denver. How can this happen? He gives his first-hand account:
In all honesty, I never thought it possible. I mean, really. Between the terminal and desk monitors, the ticket scanning, and general awareness, how the hell could you get on the wrong plane? So many things would have to go right, err, wrong, for it to happen.
Which is why I was so confused. Granted, I was running a little late, but I was on time. I checked the terminal monitors upon clearing security, and saw my flight, US Airways 483 from Philly to Denver, gate A10. Having only about 10 minutes until the gates would close (it was about 8:30ish, flight left at 8:55), I hustled up, slowing my pace upon seeing the flight information on the monitor behind the desk and a line still formed at the gate.
Travel Tech / PHL / US Airways / Social Media / Travel Rants / Technology / Airline Security / Airplane Security / → All Tags
We were going to use this post to turn today's US Airways meltdown at PHLluggage left in the rain, flights boarding at random times, etcinto a Teachable Moment about travel social media. Telling people to work with your on-the-ground reps is pretty much the definition of using Twitter wrong. But we're so blindingly furious at the airline right now that it's probably better for everyone to count to 10.
Maybe next week, after our blood pressure has returned to sub-heart attack levels, we'll have a group discussion about why telling people that they should know better than to wait in your airline's airline lounge isn't a great idea.
Anyway, this storyabout how Android phones might be able to hack airplanesis, first, real news, and second, interesting. So we're going to put aside our theory that US Airways reps are sadistic travel trolls determined to ruin our lives. Instead, how about how an Android app may or may not be able to "modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane"? Added the hacker who wrote the software: "that includes a lot of nasty things."
Videos / Window Seat / SLC / PHL / SFO / → All Tags
In case you needed any more confirmation that the United States is a massive, gorgeous land worth exploring every inch of, we present the short film "DRIFT" by Tim Sessler.
Flying from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, and on to Philadelphia, Tim captures all that "purple mountain's majesty" and "amber waves of grain" boasted about in the National Anthem, just from the altitude of 35,000 feet and in dramatic shades of black, white and gray with some tilt-shift action.
Set down your phone. Open up your laptop or slide on your tablet to properly appreciate this film, and enjoy. We'll be over here daydreaming of our next transcontinental journey.
TSA / BOS / PHL / IAD / LAX / EWR / LGA / Full-Body Scanners / Airport Security / → All Tags
Yes, the new Travel + Leisure survey of "Most Annoying Airport Security Checkpoints" is sort of kind of egregiously shameless link bait. Publishing top 10 lists on the Internet (or in this case top-14 lists) is basically cheating, up there with posting pictures of boobs and cats.
The only thing that's less subtle is putting in something that doesn't quite fit, so that people will argue about the list. Theoretically that's impossible to do on surveys, but that doesn't mean we can't still complain about the rankings. Can you believe they put Dulles TSA checkpoints as more annoying than the ones in Logan? Whoever thinks that's right has either never been to the airports or is an idiot or is a troll.
Also: well played, T+L.
Social Media / Travel Deals / Virgin America / Twitter / American Express / Credit Cards / PHL / → All Tags
Trust the fun new social media stuff to be released during the SXSW Interactive Festival these last few days. The one we're most immediately excited for can actually benefit people outside Austin, but ya gotta be an American Express card holder and a Twitter user.
Got an AMEX in your wallet and a Twitter handle? Okay, great. Read on:
Register your AMEX with the short online form here, get a confirmation email (see sample image below), then go about tweeting specific hashtags to score automatic AMEX statement credits based on your purchases at participating vendors...like Virgin America, the first travel brand to experiment with this technology.
New Routes / Virgin America / Travel News / PHL / → All Tags
Hollywood screenwriters rejoice. When you are needing an authentic cheesesteak to relieve writer's block you can hop on Virgin America and take one of three daily nonstops to Pat's (or Geno's if you swing that way) starting April 10th.
Furthermore, Virgin America will be offering two daily nonstops from SFO to PHL. So if Niner fans want to make a pilgrimage to the Rocky statue if and when they complete their improbable Super Bowl run, now they can. Here is what the Cusher had to say about the latest VX destination:
When more airlines compete, consumers win – with lower fares and better service. Travelers deserve more options than just the typical legacy airline cattle car, and we hope our unique brand of low fares and inventive service will be a breath of fresh air for Philadelphians.
Here is an interesting line in the release, possibly foreshadowing things to come:
Currently, only legacy carriers serve the West Coast-PHL routes nonstop. When entering markets that offer little low-fare competition, Virgin America has historically seen fares drop by up to one-third.
Hmm, sounds like a direct assault on US Air and other lagging legacy carriers. We see a possible 2012 scenario where VX launches in CTL (US Air), ATL (Delta), and Houston...all direct to SFO and LAX of course...stay tuned...
In honor of its newest city, Virgin America is also launching a system-wide “The City of Brotherly Love: Just Got Lovelier” fare sale, with PHL-LAX fares from $129 and PHL-SFO fares from $149* (restrictions, taxes and fees applying). Tickets are available for purchase now at www.virginamerica.com and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN.
Btw, if you guessed the right city on Facebook, start planning your trip because you just won yourself 20 percent off a flight!
Coffee Travel / PHL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
A single international airline can serve upwards of 50,000 cups of coffee every day. The proof is here. In the sky, coffee is a whole other ordeal, seeing as how it's universally complained about ("brown water") and whatnot. At least the quality, or lack of, has an excusethe fact that you're flying through the air at 500mph+ over god knows where, with an extremely limited galley and overstressed flight attendants.
Down on the ground, however, no such excuse exists. Which is why we do not understand why airports haven't been paying more attention to craft coffee roasting. Starbucks, schmarbucks. When will airports have pour over coffee bars?
Politics Travel / Airport Security / Airline Security / TSA / Airports / Travel News / Airport News / PHL / → All Tags
The Reuters headline for this storykeeping in mind that Reuters has to remain at least somewhat professional and objectiveis "Crazy Bunny Lady Irks TSA, Gets Arrested." Just from that, you can already tell that everyone involved in this airport security dust-up is going to be very special indeed. There's even confetti involved, because why wouldn't there be?
The video below provides more extensive background, but the basics are straightforward enough. Valerie Baul is a professional clown who dresses up as a gigantic green and pink rabbit and juggles eggs at parties. While going through a PHL checkpoint with a basket of fake eggs, she was asked by the airport's TSA agents to explain the purpose of the colorful trifles. Perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate that purpose, Ms. Baul cracked open one of the fake eggs on the agent's forehead, spraying confetti everywhere including the poor agent's clothes and hair.