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Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012, 5:37 PM

The most recent speculative story we've seen on the possibility of a US Airways merger with bankrupt American -- a possibility raised long ago in this space and flogged repeatedly here and all over the Web numerous times since -- contains more detail than has been available before. Read all about it at this link ... 

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012, 5:27 PM

As a city eager to attract more international visitors, and with a healthy amount of direct overseas flights that need filling on a daily basis, Phildelphia should welcome the announcement President Obama made yesterday at DisneyWorld in Florida, easing visa restrictions on citizens of a few countries to make it easer for them to come visit. Read more about it here ....  

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012, 5:20 PM

Catching up to yesterday's first fourth-quarter earnings report, here's the story of  how Southwest made money in the last three monhs and for the year. From this story, you can also link to a news brief about Southwest's plans to drop service to Allentown's Lehigh Valley International Airport and to Harrisburg as it restructures what had been the AirTran route network. Apparently those two cities don't fit into the new Southwest business model.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 5:13 PM

The TSA acknowledges its agents didn't follow procedure when it searched two suspicious  elderly women -- almot 90 years old --- at Kennedy Airport in New York last year, but exactly what happened is still in dispute. Read a colorful update in the New York Daily News at this link ....

POSTED: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 6:19 PM

After hoping for years that Virgin Atlantic Airways would one day fly from PHL to London, the airport could be getting the next best thing: Virgin America will start flights to the West Coast later this year. Read the full Linda Loyd Inquirer story, with a forecast for lower fares, here ...

POSTED: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:37 PM

Major U.S. airlines and those from some other parts of the world are vehemently opposed to the European Union's new plan, or scheme in European English, for offsetting carbon emissions with a permitting system. Several major carriers already have said they are planning to pass on the costs of the plan to their customers. But as this story from Europe indicates, not all airlines are fighting the plan while they work on how to live with it.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:25 PM

During tough economic times, when there are cutbacks in people's travel for both business or leisure, there are often predictions about how technological advances will mean less actual travel away from home in the years ahead. Recently, a fresh round of forecasts warn those who serve travelers to prepare for a day when there will be far less need to travel, given the ubiquity of electronic communication by laptop and smart phone, and tech solutioins to meetings like telepresence, which enables virtual face-to-face meetings for people in locations thousands of miles apart.

Yet for all the warnings, and I can remember them going back to the early 1990s, the amount of travel hasn't changed significantly. A trade publication from Britiain has a good article today about a new report by Amadeus, the big Europe-based global distribution system that links travel companies with travel agents and customers, that predicts a continued need for travel, even as technology may change how we go about leaving home and what we experience once we've left. Read more of the story in Air & Travel Business News here ....

POSTED: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 6:08 PM

It's a new year so it must be time for airlines to raise their fares again. Yes, we know, costs for all sorts of goods and services go up and we don't report them. That's because you don't  have the fare transparency in other industries you do with airlines (not to mention this is a blog about air travel). And when we talk about fare increases, we all now know that the "fare" can be only part of the cost of an airline trip these days. There are also those things called taxes and fees, both government and airline imposed. Read more about the fares in a USA Today story.

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.

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