Archive: October, 2009
Tom BeldenAmtrak has announced that a Norfolk Southern Railroad freight train derailment has forced suspension of Keystone service between Harrisburg and Lancaster. UPDATE: Limited alternative transportation via bus is currently available. But Amtrak said it did not expect full restoration of service between the cities before the evening rush hour, so travelers need to think about alternatives. For more information and updates go to www.amtrak.com.
Tom BeldenThe International Air Transport Association reported that September passenger traffic was up a fraction but said the figures were misleading because yield, representing what customers are paying, remains weak. Read a little more here.
Tom BeldenAmerican Airlines is closing its Kansas City maintenance base that it inherited when it bought TWA in 2001, another effect of major carriers' shrinking aircraft fleet. Read more here.
You may recall the saga of Dave Carroll, the Canadian musician who created a YouTube sensation with his song "United Breaks Guitars," after the airline wouldn't pay him $1,200 for damaging his guitar during a flight transfer at Chicago O'Hare Airport. The original can be heard here. If you view it, you will be among more than 5.8 million who have seen and listened. It's all about how United was indifferent to his plea for compensation.
Carroll, who I met in Washington last month when he endorsed efforts to get Congress to approve passenger-rights legislation, now has the fodder for more songs and videos. He flew United from Saskatchewan to Denver on Sunday -- and guess what, his bag is still missing. No guitar gone this time, but his bag did contain CDs of his latest version of the United series. Irony of ironies, Carroll has become a speaker on the topic of good customer service, and he had gone to Denver for a speaking engagement. Read more of the latest chapter.
Tom BeldenThe National Mediation Board, which oversees labor relations in the airline and rail industries, is set to make it easier for unions to win approval of airline workers by changing voting rules. Read more detail here.
Tom BeldenThe Obama administration is worried about distracted driving, and now about distracted flying -- of big Airbus jets. Read the latest in the ongoing saga of the Northwest pilots multitasking in the cockpit here.
Tom BeldenUS Airways made a major announcement today about realigning some of its service, including cutting some PHL flights to Europe, giving up for now plans for PHL-China service and eliminating 1,000 jobs. Read the details in Linda Loyd's story found here.
Tom BeldenU.S. hotels in the third quarter continued to see occupancy fall, prompting them to lower room rates and thus hurt their revenue per available room, the key measure of good health. Read more about it here.
UPDATE at 6 p.m. Philadelphia time: The Federal Aviation Administration revoked the licenses of the two Northwest Airlines pilots in this now-famous incident. They have 10 days to appeal the revocation to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Here's another very good story, from Bloomberg News, raising many questions about the Northwest flight crew that overshot their destination because they said they were distracted by poring over their laptops. Read it here. One other possibility for their mistake that's not in this story: Were the pilots actually playing spider solitaire on their computers?