Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: December, 2008

POSTED: Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 9:41 AM
Airlines and Christmas cheer don't always go together but The Inquirer had a story last Sunday that did. I was remiss last weekend in not posting for my blog readers this informative piece by staff writer Linda Loyd on USA 3000, the hometown airline serving mostly leisure travelers, that is facing a tough time in a recession but is sticking to its game plan. Read more here.
POSTED: Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 9:31 AM

As we have mentioned several times before, airlines are hanging on to their fees for checked-baggage and other services that once were included in air fare, despite the steep drop in fuel costs. Happy New Year! The latest version of the story, including words from US Airways CEO Doug Parker, can be found in this AP story.  

POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 10:52 AM
The Department of Tranporation just started collecting data on long tarmac delays from the airlines but has already found a flaw in what was reported for October. A complete story can be found in the trade magazine Travel Weekly., which notes that a consumer group that was formed to push the government into requiring reporting of the data pointed out the problem. A note about the flaw has been added to the stats, available at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Web site.
POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 10:37 AM
Southwest has made no secret of its desire to start international service and has an agreement to provide code-share flights with WestJet, a low-cost Canadian carrier. Now Southwest has filed an application with the Department of Transportation to operate flights itself to Canada if that's what it decides to do. Read more here. 
POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2008, 8:56 AM

Today's Winging It column takes a look back at how PHL's customer-service reputation imrpoved in 2008, and at other important events that affected airline service during the year. Find the column here.

In response to the column, one reader has e-mailed me this morning, citing a US Airways problem at PHL that others have complained about as well. As I said in the column, the number of complaints has gone down, but two or three others have mentioned this in recent months: A flight arrives at Terminal A but inbound checked bags are sent to Terminal B. OK, so far, but US Airways personnel don't always know what's going on or where the find the bags. The overhead information screens that should detail which carousel bags from each flight will arrive don't always display the flight that has docked at Terminal A. We await word from the airline on why this happens and what's they're doing about it.

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2008, 8:45 AM
We know we're late catching up with Saturday night's Continental Airlines accident at Denver International Airport. For those who come here to catch up on airline news, here's the latest AP story on the mishap, when a 737 jet slid off a runway and caught fire, injuring at least 40 but killing no one.
POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2008, 9:31 AM
Fuel surcharges are coming down on more international airlines as carriers try to stimulate traffic in a recession. Read a little more here.
POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2008, 9:25 AM
Another air-travel, aviation blog I recently discovered, Jetwhine, has an informative post today about how Southwest Airlines studied human engineering -- how we do things -- to come up with its unique boarding process. Like many blogs, including this one occasionally, it takes author Robert Mark a few paragraphs to get to the point, but keep reading. It's a great example of how Southwest has processes in place to think through everythig it does and continuously innovate.
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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