Archive: May, 2010
My travel schedule prevented me from posting this earlier:
The airport and Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau have teamed up the last few years to honor those who work at PHL, for the city, airlines or other vendors, for examples of outstanding service. We hear enough complaints, so we should also hear when airport patrons believe someone has done good things as well.
The best way to understand why these particular individuals won the award this year is to read the entire news release on the PHL Web site at this link.
How do you choose airlines and hotels when you travel? Besides considering where you're going, fares and room rates, and previous experience, do you consider surveys of travelers or rankings by travel experts? What about customer-review sites, such as www.tripadvisor.com, for hotels?
Recent weeks have brought announcements of awards, based on surveys, for the "best airline," measured in various ways, in the world, in North America or just the U.S., and probably in other regions that no one has told me about yet. I plan to report in more depth about rankings of airlines and hotels in next week's Winging It column and welcome your thoughts on the subject.
In the meantime, here are two of the award announcements, one for the SkyTrax "people's choice awards" for the world's best airlines. Carriers from the Pacific Rim and the Middle East have been winning this one for years, which is based on international passengers' votes and takes into account business- and first-class travel. Another ranking, of U.S. carriers, by editors at the www.SmarterTravel.com travel-information site, gives top honors to JetBlue, with Southwest just behind. Airlines are only one of the categories of travel services ranked.
Here's another reminder why you keep your seatbelt buckled while in your seat on an airplane. Ten people, nine passengers and a crew member, were injured when a United 777 enroute from London to Los Angeles hit severe turbulence. The flight landed in Montreal, the injured taken off for treatment and the plane taken out of service. Read a little more here.
The most recent news about the cabin crew strike against British Airways is not good. Read about it in the UK media here.
That headline up top should suggest to you that this is only one of many similar posts. I plan to throw as much news and commentary on airline mergers onto this blog as I can find. If you find enlightening information you want to share on airline mergers and industry consolidation, please use the handy comment form at the end of every post.
First up today: Analyst Bob McAdoo of Avondale Partners commented in a note to investors on what US Airways would bring to a marriage to American Airlines. Guess what? The contribution of the PHL hub would, he thinks, add more trans-atlantic connecting traffic to American's than it's going to get from its much-vaunted codeshare with Japan Airlines. You may need a glossary of terms to understand the report: He uses stock symbols for airlines, as in LCC for US Airways (the rest you can figure out). Here's what McAdoo says:
"U.S. East Coast/European capacity offered by the AMR/British Airways/Iberia oneworld alliance is 50% of the CAL/UAUA/LCC/Lufthansa Star alliance and is 60% of the DAL/NWA/Air France/KLM SkyTeam alliance. The city-pair connections served by oneworld, off the East Coast, comprise an even smaller percentage. If alliances exist, among other reasons, to offer seamless travel from anywhere in the U.S. to anywhere in Europe, oneworld is clearly deficient.
Flight attendants and American Airlines management are waiting on the National Mediation Board to determine what they do next in long-running talks about a new contract. The company wants to keep talking; the attendants' union wants for the NMB to declare an impasse and allow a 30-day cooling off period to start, after which the union could strike. Read more about it here.
UPDATE: The original story, in the Dallas Morning News, drew reaction from analyst Michael Derchin. I didn't read the original the way he did but I'm a journalist and he's an analyst, so that's that. In the menatime, here's another post from the News' Web site with his comments.
Here's the latest information on how the cabin-crew strike at British Airways will affect the two daily roundtrips the airline normally operates between PHL and its London Heathrow hub.
Among the goals of this blog and its more limited sister, the Winging It column, is to supply information to anyone who wishes to read about all sides of controversial issues. The big issue right now is airline consolidation and whether the traditional lords of the U.S. industry, the legacy carriers that existed prior to deregulation in 1978, will eventually become three mega-carriers. Almost daily, someone or some group weighs in with an opinion about the wisdom of this trend, which should be of great interest to PHL fliers because US Airways is among the legacy carriers.
I intend to post as many articles and essays on consolidation as I can find. Today I'm posting here a link to an "expert blog-Transportation" maintained by National Journal, one of the most respected policy publications I know of. Politicians, consultants, ex-airline CEO Robert Crandall, current US Airways CEO Doug Parker, Business Travel Coaltiion chairman Kevin Mitchell and numerous others, for and against the United-Continental deal, have posts or articles quoting them
For those who want to read all opinions all the time on this topic, I sugest you bookmark this blog and return to it once a week or so as long as the consolidation issue continues to be in the news.