Saturday, August 29, 2015

Archive: June, 2010

POSTED: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 12:17 PM

The natives are growing restless. A group of 50 air travelers, mostly business people, filed suit in San Francisco in an effort stop the merger of United and Continental because of what the plaintiffs (and a few members of Congress and an untold number of consumers) say will be its anti-competitive result. One of the plaintiffs is from Las Vegas, and here's a local newspaper story about the suit.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 10:50 AM

Airline executives, led by US Airways' CEO Doug Parker, are unhappy that the Obama administration has moved aggressively to protect customers from the industry's worst habits -- things like stranding planeloads of people on airport tarmacs for hours. Don't you realize, the airlines say, that we're still fragile flowers that could implode if the government doesn't get off our backs? Here's a good read on the complaints.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 9:52 AM

American Airlines and its Transport Workers Union, which represents ground workers, are back at the bargaining table after the rank-and-file rejected a tentative agreement that the company and union negotiators had worked on for two years. Now, the union has asked the National Mediation Board to declare an impasse, the first step in a long process that could -- with emphasis on could -- allow the union to call a strike. Read more here ...  

POSTED: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 4:18 PM

UPDATE: The FAA has challenged the wording of this post. See the third paragraph below.

THE ORIGINAL: Over the years I've followed airlines and aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration has repeatedly shown an unfortunate, no make that scary and at times unconscionable, lack of urgency about long-identified safety issues. Here's yet another one. It seems that the windows in some Boeing jets occasionally catch fire because of overheated wires. FAA has known about the problem since 2002.

No one's died yet, but one full load of passengers enroute to PHL from San Juan, P.R., in 2008 on an American 757 thought they might when the wiring overheated and smoke filled the cockpit. As the jet approached Palm Beach, Fla., for an emergency landing, passengers were told to prepare to wind up in the ocean or for a rough landing. Read a good AP story about the FAA's laggardly ways here. 

POSTED: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 11:18 AM

Most of us don't have to worry whether a meal served to us by an airline was prepared in a large, institutional and unsanitary kitchen. For those who haven't flown since 2001, domestic coach passengers, and many in first class, don't get meals. But for those who do and international air travelers should be concerned about what USA Today found after asking the Food and Drug Administration for copies of airline-prep kitchen inspection reports. Read more about it here with a strong stomach. 

POSTED: Monday, June 28, 2010, 9:38 AM

The one airline route many Philadelphia-area travelers have eagerly awaited for yearswas launched yesterday: PHL to BOS Logan nonstop by Southwest. The planned launch of five daily roundtrips sent nonstop fares on US Airways plunging when it was announced in the spring. If you are flying PHL-BOS any time soon, let us all know what you think about the service and the price you paid by adding a comment to this post. Thanks for your feedback.

POSTED: Monday, June 28, 2010, 9:16 AM

Today's Winging It column reports on the latest in videoconferencing technology, called telepresence, a significant advance on the previous generations of older, slow and jerky video transmission. If you have a "pimple on your face, you're going to see that pimple," as one recently converted fan of telepresence put it.The column can be found here ... and read to the end for a brief report on the question I posed in last week's column: Is the TSA no longer enforcing its rule about keeping small bottles of liquids in a separate plastic bag and removing it at checkpoints.  

POSTED: Friday, June 25, 2010, 9:37 AM

US Airways said today it has signed a code-share agreement with Spain's Spanair, which the airlines say will make it easier for travelers to use one ticket to go beyond Madrid and Barcelona. US Airways flies to the major Spanish cities nonstop from PHL; Spanair serves other destinations in Africa, Spain and other European countries.

About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at Reach Tom at

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