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There are certain travel topics that are guaranteed to rile up the Internet. Overweight passengers and children on planes are always reliable, but so is anything that has to do with airport fashion choices (pajamas, travel pillows, flip flops, and so on).
It turns out that blaming people for things they don't like is also not very popular. Go figure.
Last week Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View's veteran economics columnist, posted an article making a very basic point about how the airline industry works. She explained that, since airline customers purchase their tickets based on cost, airlines will be driven to cut costs.
The headline was a little provocative: "Hate Flying? It's Your Fault." But the argument shouldn't have been very controversial. As we've explained before, the profit per passenger really is wafer thin.
The Internet disagreed and its culture of outrage went into overdrive.
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Newport News-based budget airline PEOPLExpress flew for only three months in the middle of 2014, and was itself a re-launch of a 1980s airline. They abruptly ceased operations on September 26, and were finally evicted from Newport News Airport in late November. We booked a ticket and flew with them from Boston to Newport News and back before that untimely end, and this is the flight review we wrote at that time.
PEOPLExpress. What it sounds like: A new social media network for Adderall fans. What it is: An ‘80s-born, revived low-cost airline brand that launched direct flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, where the company is based. In September we scored a sale fare of $39 (inclusive tax and fees) each way; the standard fee was $79.
There’s certain poignancy to connecting Boston and Williamsburg, Virginia. Boston is, after all, where the American Revolution began. (Shot heard ‘round the world, and all.) And it’s down in the so-dubbed “Historic Triangle” of Virginia, which is anchored by Williamsburg, where the war wrapped up: Specifically at neighboring Yorktown Battlefield, where we kicked British booty and finally got them to surrender. #MURRICA.
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Around 5pm EST, their US website finally went live, advertising specials and bookable deals in US Dollars, with some flights as low as $99 and $125 one-way. Despite those unbelievable numbers, the airline is a reputable one. WOW has been flying between Iceland and Europe since 2011, and we didn't think twice to book them earlier this year for a trip to go waterfall-spotting and hot spring-soaking in Iceland.
Think fast and have your credit card ready, and here's what you need to know to score WOW Air's cheapest US deals:
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We hope you are sitting down, because the long-awaited budget flights between the US and Iceland are finally happening and already on sale.
Icelandic low-cost airline WOW Air has been serving up spicy low fares from their home at Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport to Europe since 2011. This morning they announced their next destinations: Boston from March 2015 and Washington DC from June 2015, with flights from $125 each way.
Deep breaths. Notoriously expensive Iceland is indeed about to become a much more affordable hotspot for 2015 travel, but the deals don't stop there. WOW Air is also offering specials from their new US destinations to continue on to Europe and the UK, including £99 each way on over to London or Copenhagen.
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It's been nearly three weeks since fledgling airline PEOPLExpress announced they'd be putting a temporary stop to both flights and new bookings, and there's still no solid news on when the budget carrier will again take to the skies. There is, however, some odd activity on Facebook.
A notice on the flypex.com website appeared on September 26, explaining the shutdown as a result of "recent aircraft and crew availability and maintenance issues." The initial promise was to resume flights "on or about Oct. 16" and celebrate inaugural service from their base at Newport News/Williamsburg, VA to Orlando and Charleston, WV on the same day. Of course, as the calendar today flips to October 20 and PEOPLExpress remains grounded, that goal won't be met.
In case you haven’t finished your Halloween shopping just yet—note that there’s only 17 days until the big day. Southwest Airlines is very much aware of the timeline, as the carrier is looking for suggestions on how to dress up their CEO.
Over on the Nuts About Southwest blog they’re entertaining offerings on Halloween costumes for the big boss. As a reminder, the airline really LUVs—ha—Halloween, and each year CEO Gary Kelly dons a costume. Last year he went as Phil from Duck Dynasty, the year before he dressed up as Woody from Toy Story, and who could forget the time he was Frankenstein?
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Never heard of Nok Air? You're about toa lotas the low-cost, Thailand-based airline embraces innovation to soar beyond other airlines, while still keeping ticket prices low and flights fun. We've even flown 'em, but this time around we dispatched special correspondent Kinny Cheng to check out their latest news: the arrival of free in-flight WiFi.
A lover of spectacles, Patee Sarasin, the outspoken CEO of Nok Air, stood and addressed the room overflowing with journalists. His big announcement would mark a first in Asia, and certainly a revolutionary development for Nok, which describes itself as “Thailand’s homegrown premium low-cost airline.”
That announcement? Free In-Flight WiFi. Not only would Nok be the first in Asia, but they'd join a precious few carriers (like JetBlue and Norwegian Air) willing to let their passengers surf the net for free at altitude.
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Above: Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary with his 'girls' for the 2012 calendar
It's the end of an era, folks. Irish ultra-low-cost airline Ryanair has declared an end to their popular flight attendant bikini calendars, and none will be produced for 2015.
To be frank, they weren't that well produced anyway; the themes were thin and reminiscent of the opening scenes of a porn movie, and heavy makeup didn't help the image. Nonetheless, the calendars did sell both online and onboard Ryanair flights (for 10 Euros each), even seeing some of the proceeds over to charity since the first printing in 2008.
Ryanair flight attendants will be keeping their clothes on this year (and for the foreseeable future) since the schlocky calendar doesn't fit with Ryanair's fresh and friendly approach, an approach which has already shown to be successful; The Telegraph UK reports that Ryanair has recently seen a 5% jump in bookings.
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Update: If you've had your PEOPLExpress flight cancelled and it was to a destination also served by JetBlue, JetBlue has relief options. Read their notice and call 1-800-JETBLUE.
A mere three months after getting off the ground both literally and figuratively, the US' newest airline, PEOPLExpress, has already returned to the hangar.
Just this morning, the low-cost carrier based in Newport News/Williamsburg, VA posted an alert on their website, stating a notice to the effect that all flights are cancelled through October 16, and no new bookings taken for future flights. In fact, clicking the "book a flight" link redirects to the full text of the stoppage notice, viewable on their website.
Passengers will bookings through Oct. 15 will be automatically refunded, while those will future reservations will be notified upon resumption of service. The key words as to when this will occur lie in the notice: "on or about Oct. 16."
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This may sound weird, but our New Years resolution for 2014 was to fly WOW Air, a low-cost airline based in Iceland. Its awesome name aside, WOW intrigued us for its fleet of pink A320s, humor on Twitter, and promise of cheap flights to the notoriously expensive Reykjavik.
To complete that resolution, we booked Flight WW 201, departing Reykjavik-Keflavik at 6.45am and arriving London-Gatwick at 10.50am. That early flight and mid-morning arrival into Gatwick was ideal to then catch the train into town in time for lunch with a friend, followed by an afternoon napthe best way to ease back into London.
So here’s how it went...
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What's yellow and black but turns faces red?
Spirit Airlines yesterday unceremoniously unveiled their new aircraft paint job, posting the unflattering image above to Twitter. The bold yellow-and-black scheme is a massive change from their most recent clean look, and it's already being dubbed the "Pikachu plane," although Spirit themselves like to describe it as "unique, bold, fun & clearly identifiable even at 35,000 feet."
It's also ugly, but you know what? Spirit don't care. It's all about making money, which they happen to do at the expense of none-the-wiser budget travelers who think they're getting a good deal, only to be nickel-and-dimed all the way to the destination (and made to drink wine-in-a-can). The new look is so visible, so eye-searing, that no doubt flyers onboard other planes will spot Spirit's birds on the runway and remember that name for future bookings, and that's the whole idea.
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We were just young travelers back when Air Florida stopped doing its thing in and out of Miami International Airport, but now there are some rumors that the airline could take to the skies once again.
Air Florida is just the latest carrier trying to resurrect and restart a former name, as others like Eastern and PEOPLExpress have thought about—or have—done the same.