Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: July, 2008

POSTED: Thursday, July 31, 2008, 3:33 PM

For the almost-dog days of August, there sure is a lot of airline news this week. I'm catching up on several stories that are of interest to travelers, both international fliers and those who just use the big carriers domestically.

  First, Delta revamped its frequent-flier progam, and this is something you need to pay attention to even if you're not a member of that program. Delta's changes boil down to one fact: It's going to cost most travelers more miles to get the flights they want. Why should all airline customers care? Watch for the other carriers to mimic Delta's move. If your favorite airline doesn't adopt similar higher requirements for award tickets, count yourself lucky and continue to patronize it. Read the most complete story we found on this topic here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/business/31delta.html?_r=2&scp=3&sq=airlines&st=nyt&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 3:34 PM

This sounds like the kind of thing that used to happen routinely at PHL, until US Airways got its act together: A conveyor belt system at JFK broke down today, slowing or halting the process of bags getting on the same flights as their owners. If you are flying on American out of JFK in the next few days, use carry-on bags or face the possibiity of seeing luggage take days, at best, to get back to you.

Here's this morning's AP report:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/business_breaking/20080731_American_cancels_JFK_flights_over_baggage_issues.html

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2008, 5:40 PM

The Inquirer had an update this morning on the story over the weekend, about a Qantas jet enroute to Australia that had to make an emergency landing after an explosion ripped a hole in its side. Experts say the oxygen tanks involved are completely different from those that caused a ValuJet Airlines crash in 1996. Read yesterday's story here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation_world/25977609.html

And this morning's story here:

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2008, 9:17 AM

The White House receives a letter, signed by more than 140 companies and organizations, asking the president to call a special session of Congress just to deal with energy issues. Read the details and why it's a good idea in this morning's column:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20080728_Winging_It__Writing_Congress_to_solve_oil_woes.html

POSTED: Friday, July 25, 2008, 11:12 AM

Low-cost airlines, those like Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue that have experienced rapid growth in recent years, are victims of high fuel prices as much as major carriers are. Read more about their problems here:

http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1216981950.html

POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 6:20 PM

House Democrats were defeated today on a measure to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a way to try to stop oil price increases. The airline industry had lobbied hard in favor of the legislation. A majority of House members supported the bill, but it lost on a procedural issue explained in this story:

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/business/25862339.html

POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 10:58 AM

Southwest reported better earnings than some analysts expected in the second quarter. Read more about it:

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/breaking/20080724_Fuel_hedging_lets_Southwest_post_another_profit.html

POSTED: Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 10:45 AM

The AP has a good story today detailing how US Airways and other carriers are using fees to help offset high fuel costs. US Airways CEO Doug Parker even says it's possible the industry could make money next year because of capacity and staffing  cuts, and if fuel prices stabilize. That's radically different from what we've been hearing for months, based on the assumption that oil prices were going to continue to go up.Read the story:

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/business/25771044.html

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 tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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