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When Delta yesterday announced their decision to stop flights to Tel Aviv, Israel "until further notice," they stood alone.
Within the next two hours, that move was echoed by United and US Airways, and eventually the Federal Aviation Administration themselves, who set forth a 24-hour ban on US airline flights to Israel, a ban which was extended today for a further 24 hours.
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta, stood in front of the CNBC cameras this morning to explain their early and precedent-setting action, which goes beyond the single incident of the rocket attack nearby Ben Gurion International Airport to address danger due to "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza."
Travel Alerts / Tel Aviv Travel / Israel Travel / Travel News / Airlines / Airline News / Delta / SkyTeam / TLV / War Travel / MH17 / → All Tags
Update: 12:30pm EST, July 23: Although yesterday's FAA ban on flights to Israel was originally only for 24 hours, it has been extended to last another 24 at the least. This only applies to US airlines, so flights to Israel on El Al out of JFK are still operating normally.
Update: 1pm EST: FAA has issued a notice (NOTAM) prohibiting US airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Int’l Airport for up to 24 hours.
Update: 12pm EST: US Airways, United and American Airlines now join Delta in temporarily suspending Tel Aviv flights.
At approximately 11am EST today, Delta updated their Israel travel adivsory from a warning that flights may be disrupted, to the fact that their flights from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv will not be operating at all "until further notice."
The stoppage is a temporary hiatus necessitated by escalating violence in Israel; the final straw comes with the report of a rocket attack in the vicinity of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. Naturally the danger calls to mind last week's Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, caused by a ground-to-air missile. While airlines continue to divert their flight paths clear of Ukrainian air space, there are other war zones to consider.
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Ever heard of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line? We're guessing probably not, but the Smithsonian sure has; the seaplane carrier is classified as the world's first airline, which inaugurated commercial air service in 1914 when it took off with one paying passenger. It may have been a short journey (only 23 minutes!), but the Airboat Line's impact extends to today as commercial aviation has become a $2.2 trillion dollar industry, employing over 57 million people.
In 2014, the world celebrates 100 years of commercial air travel, but that's not all.
In this last century, airlines and airplanes have evolved into a fact of everyday life for travelers, and some of the pioneering companies will mark milestones this year. Here's who to wish "happy anniversary":
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Very important cat news! Venus, the two-tone face cat and social media darling flew to the Big Apple for some TV appearances this week, including a cute cameo on Good Morning America.
Venus, who was adopted off a dairy farm where she was living as a feral stray, turned 5 this year. Her owner uses Venus' exposure on social media to promote the adoption of pets who need good homes. We became aware of her while idly browsing Instagram's #catsofinstagram hashtag one day over a year ago, and have followed this chimera cutie's adventures since.
Venus' travels aren't frequent, but she did post the photo above of her and her owner enjoying a photo op in the cockpit of a Delta plane today.
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The first thing we thought of was finally, and we hope that you’re thinking the same. It’s been a long time coming, but just the other day the gods of complimentary connectivity paid a visit to the terminals and concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Free WiFi is now a thing for one and all at the world’s busiest airport, and that means you can quickly and easily complain about your Delta delays without wasting your monthly data allotment.
Delta really wants your attention, please. Their newest in-flight safety video seeks to grab and hold your eyeballs through the important informational aspects of the flight, while giving your imagination enough candy to delight.
They've been changing it up so often recently that it's almost as if Delta is a safety video production company with a flying habit, versus the other way around. Delta's 1980s-theme safety video hasn't even been in use for six months yet, and the airline is promising yet another video to follow next week.
Mark the date on your iCal: the Delta Flight Museum at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reopens after major renovations on June 17. The buildings and Delta's historic 1940s maintenance hangars have been updated with fresh exhibits, new displays and cases, improved public spaces, an expanded store, and three more aircraft for the collection.
Furthermore, the museum boasts the US' only full-motion, official flight simulator open to the public (a 737-200). Actual aircraft on display include a DC-3, Waco 125 bi-plane (last in existence), Travel Air 6B Sedan, Stinson SR-8E Reliant, an L-1011 prototype section, and the Boeing 767 "Spirit of Delta," which was the airline's first 767 delivered after Delta's own employees banded together in the 1980s' tough times to raise money and fund the purchase.
Thanks to the renovation, three more aircraft are coming to join the fun: a DC-9, a Huff-Daland Duster, and a Boeing 757-200.
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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.
Planes are people are heading south of the border later this year, as Delta is getting ready to launch some new nonstop flights to Mexico. The plan is to link Los Angeles with Mazatlan just in time for Santa's big day, as things are scheduled to hit the skies on December 20. Boeing 737-800s will be responsible for the flying fun each and every day of the week. Things seem to be a seasonal flight at first, but it does sound like Delta will keep things flying if the demand is there. If Los Angeles isn’t really convenient to where you call home—no problem—Delta also does the nonstop thing to Mazatlan from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
It’s never too early to start planning your trip home for the holidays, and thankfully JetBlue is already doing exactly that. They have a new nonstop option scheduled to start up on November 12, as they’ll be sending their blue planes and blue chips between Orlando and Salt Lake City. JetBlue does plenty of takeoffs and landings from Orlando, and this flight to Utah is destination number 24 departing from the theme park capital of the world. To celebrate the new flights JetBlue is even offering up one-way fares for as low as $89 on certain days between November 12 and December 16, but just note that you need to book by May 15 to take advantage of the offer.
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Good news for those who travel to or through Detroit Metropolitan Airport, as the airport has just added a place for service animals to make a little pit stop during their layovers.
Over in the McNamara Terminal—the one with all the Delta traffic—airport officials have set up what they’re calling Central Bark Animal Relief Area. Basically it’s a restroom for service dogs complete with a couple patches of grass, as well as a fire hydrant to set the mood.
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Treat yourself during your next flight, as airlines are adding better beers and beverages suitable for an in-flight toast. Here’s a few of the carriers doing the microbrew thing at 35,000-feet, and their newest additions to the up in the air menu:
Delta & SweetWater Brewing Company
No offense to the Budweiser and Coors Light crew, but there’s better things brewing in Delta’s beverage cart. Last month the carrier introduced a little local flavor to their in-flight menu, as they’re offering up something from Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company. Thanks to some new canning techniques sky-high distribution is now available, and you can enjoy some 420 Extra Pale Ale on select Delta flights. These will set you back $6, but for now are limited to flights between Atlanta and New York-LaGuardia.
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Think fastBusiness Class to Europe is on sale right now, but for how much longer, who knows?
Airfares are hovering around $1,500-$1,700 for scattered dates during this summer; this is half off (at least!) the usual price of Business Class and what you'd easily pay for Economy seats during peak summer travel. United initiated the sale, but it hasn't been publicized. Reading between the lines, this means act fast. The lowest airfares come from non-hub cities, so search for departures from places like San Jose versus San Francisco, or Boston or White Plains versus New York.
We recommend paying close attention to the itinerary before booking, and trying for a routing that includes Lufthansa from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt on the new Boeing 747-8i. It showed up for us while searching Dayton to Malta!
2014 has thus far been quite the year for Delta, what with the detrimental changes to their SkyMiles frequent flyer program and an emergency landing or two, but this week has been something of a bounce back with a slew of positive news. Among the good news is the announcement that Delta is ready to give something to and not take something from economy class travelers.
Introducing Delta's sleep kits, specifically for the comfort of economy on long-haul international flights. Everyone gets an individual pack containing eyeshades and earplugs. It's very similar to JetBlue's Snooze Packs, which are handed out on red-eye transcontinental flights.