Archive: February, 2009
Tom BeldenThe Irish airline Ryanair is noted for very low fares and serious "a la carte" pricing, charging for certain services that not even U.S. carriers have thought of yet. Now, it's CEO says it may cost you one Euro (about $1.43) to use the "loo" on its flights. Coins and credit cards would be accepted. Read more about it here.
The Obama administration's fiscal 2010 budget calls for a doubling, to as much as $5, in the fee you pay as part of your ticket price for security. The fee, now $2.50, hasn't gone up since it was adopted in 2002. Read a little more about it here.
Tom BeldenHere's the latest on what happened to a Turkish Airlines jet that crashed short of the runway this week at Amsterdam. Investigators don't know yet why is nosedived into the ground. Read more at this link.
Tom BeldenThe fallout from our economic doldrums goes on: American says it may have to furlough more flight attendants if there aren't enough volunteers to be out of a job. Read a story from one of American's hometown newspapers here.
Investigators in the Netherlands are puzzled why a Turkish Airlines 737 jet, one of the newest models of the plane that Boeing makes, suddenly fell out of the sky just before landing at Amsterdam yesterday. Read more on that aspect of the accident, which most of those aboard the plane survived.
CNN Europe reported that only a week ago, the union representing 12,000 Turkish civil aviation employees warned on its Web site that the airline was inviting disaster because of poor maintenance practices. That full story is here.
Normally, we can't keep up with every air fare sale but this one is unusual: AirTran is offering deep discounts on its schedule into the fall. Sales are often for shorter periods of time, and don't extend through the heavy summer travel season. But the economy is so bad, so many people are saving their money and not planning to take vacations this year, that the usual patterns don't apply. Read the latest AP story on this sale here, and look for other airlines to selectively match AirTran where they compete.
Airline crashes seem to happen in bunches. In the last two months, the world has had four crashes that have received substantial news coverage, and others that were less widely reported, at least in this country. The most recent was today: A Turkish Airlines 737 went down short of Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, killing nine and injuring about 50, many of them seriously. The cause is a mystery. The mishap comes on top of the remarkable crashes of Continental and US Airways jets in which there were no fatalities, and the tragic one near Buffalo of a Colgan Air-Continental Connection flight 12 days ago that killed 50. Another article, about a lawsuit against the FAA for alleged misdeeds related to safety, can be found here.
The saga of US Airways flight 1549 continues: The crew was invited to testify to the House Transportation Committee and used the opporuitnity to warn about the loss of their kind of experience as airlines have cut labor costs. The industry isn't going to attract and keep the best -- the kind of experienced people that saved all aboard the flight when it landed in the Hudson -- in the future if it doesn't compensate them better.
A good report on yesterday's testimony in the House by the crew can be found in the UK's Guardian newspaper. The story makes the point that the tetimony was in contrast to the whining often heard in Congress by airline executives.