Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Archive: June, 2009

POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2009, 11:24 AM

US Airways told employees in a weekly newsletter that it will  suspend its daily roundtrips between PHL and three European cities, Milan, Brussels and Zurich, this fall, but is planning to resume the service next spring. US Airways already follows this type of schedule on several other PHL-Europe routes, suspending flights with lighter traffic over the winter, and then restarting them as the vacation season begins in the spring.

The "About US" newsletter lead this week with a celebratory piece on the arrival of new Airbus A330-200 model widebodied jets for use, primarily, on its Europe routes. The airplanes have a longer range than the A330-300 models US Airways already has in its fleet. The big jets have been used so far for service between PHL and Paris, and PHL and San Juan, P.R.

The new planes were needed specifically for the PHL-Tel Aviv, Israel, service scheduled to start July 1, which will be the airline's longest route. The A330-300 model has a range of 6,700 nautical miles. 

POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 6:13 PM
This story has been on TV today, reported in that breathless way so many anchors seem to prefer. A Continental 777 captain on a flight from Brussels to Newark died enroute of an apparent heart attack. The key thing to remember if this ever happens on your flight is that the first officer, or co-pilot, also knows how to fly the plane, all by herself or himself if needed. In this case, and on many long international flights, backup crew also were on board so there were actually two well-qualified pilots at the controls when the flight landed. Read more here.
POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 10:33 AM
US Airways CEO Doug Parker has been the airline industry's most outspoken and consistent campaigner for consolidation, allowing more carriers to merge so (most experts say) fare competition is reduced so that the enlarged companies can thrive. Parker hit on the same theme yesterday at the big airport executives conference being held this year in Philadelphia. Read beat reporter Linda Loyd's report here.
POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 10:13 AM
PHL has won awards over the years for some of its amenities, including good retail and food-and-beverage offerings. But PHL shares a dubious distinction with other U.S. airports: It never makes the list when travelers are surveyed about the world's best airports. The winners of this year's SkyTrax poll of the 10 favorites are all in Asia, Europe or New  Zealand. One travel columnist who recently flew through Incheon airport in Seoul, Korea, wrote about why it came in first in the poll. 
POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 10:26 AM
The Inquirer's Linda Loyd has a good story today that can be read with one by the AP we postred Monday on the airline industry's recession-caused troubles. This one adds additional expert opinion on why airlines, unilke automakers, are less likely to need bankrtupcy court protection this year to get through a very rough patch. Read on here.
POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 10:03 AM
Continental Airlines got doubled-whammied this week in the bad publicty department when two unaccompanied children, 8 and 10 years old, were put on the wrong flights in separate incidents. The Houston Chronicle, the airline's hometown newspaper, reported the story first, and the AP has a version of it. The girls were delivered safely to their correct destinations on the same day, and Continental says it's taken steps to make sure this doesn't happen again.
POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 5:18 PM
The FAA invited airline executives to a meeting yesterday in Washington that comes from the investigation of the Colgan Air crash near Buffalo in February. The probe into the cause has focused on pilot fatigue and training, and a concern that the captain of the Colgan turboprop had failed some proficiency tests in the past. The FAA's new administrator, Randy Babbitt, a pilot himself and former head of the Air Line Pilots Association, is seeking to make airlines check their pilots records better. Read more here.
POSTED: Monday, June 15, 2009, 4:04 PM
The results of a survey by, a popular Web site that has layouts of airliner cabins that show you where good seats are, has found lots of travelers unhappy with in-flight service. The survey results were reported numerous places today, including here.
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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