Archive: May, 2009
An article today about U.S. airports that are adding rail links for passengers barely mentions PHL, one of the first airports to have a rail line that connects directly to a metro area's public transport system, but still includes some useful inforrmation for travelers. The USA Today story mentions PHL last in a list of eight of the 20 largest airports with rail links similar to what's available at many airports in Europe and Asia.
Airlines whose profits depend on a small percentage of long-haul international travelers paying for first- or business-class seats are in trouble. Business class fares have fallen sharply as the recession has reduced demand for the premium cabins. It's reached the point where British Airways and Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, have removed some first class seats, expanded the number of "premium economy" seast available, or plan to stop selling first-class tickets and use the space to upgrade some customers. Read more about the developments in an article about BA's financial woes and a separate piece about Qantas's action.
Speaking of code-sharing, Southwest and WestJet of Canada say they have put on hold their plans to work together. Read more.
Today's Winging It column asks why not all airline experts, including a former CEO, say alliances between big international carriers aren't all they're cracked up to be. Read on at this link.
According to USA Today, citing the Airline Routes Update blog, Delta will stop flying between PHL and Boston after Aug. 17, leaving US Airways with the only nonstops on the route.
What does this mean for fares? My guess is, not much, since prices can't go a lot higher than they are now with just US and DL on the route. Perhaps Southwest, wihich starts service at BOS Logan this summer, will step in, or AirTran, a former competitor between the cities, will return.
The Wing Man had another hectic week and let slip the posting of several articles and other bits of information that relate to PHL and travel. So Monday's column is now done and there's time to catch up.
On Tuesday, the Inquirer's Linda Loyd reported that Philadelphia held its own last year, and even moved up one notch, in the number of international visitors who came to town. Those are the folks the hospitality business loves because they tend to stay longer and spend more money than domestic travelers. Over the last eight years, Philly has moved up in rankings for visitors from abroad, from No. 21 of all U.S. destinations to No. 11 last year. Read more here.
Item 2: US Airways this week started its nonstop service between PHL and Oslo, Norway. Details about the service can be found in a US Airways news release. The new service is in addition to nonstops between PHL and Birmingham, England, that were launched last week.