Friday, October 31, 2014

Images of American Airlines’ first Boeing Dreamliner appear

Dallas Morning News

 
American Airline’s first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner today emerged from the Boeing paint shop in Everett, Wash.
 
American’s first Dreamliner 787-8 jet is scheduled to arrive by the end of the year.
American will fly both the original 787-8 and the newer, larger 787-9 model. It has ordered a combination of 787-8s and 787-9s,  company spokesman Matt Miller said. The Fort Worth-based airline, however, has not said how many of each jet it has ordered and when it will take delivery of the first 787-9.
















American last night posted a few photos on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Other photos were taken by Seattle-based photographer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for Airways News, which provided them to The Dallas Morning News.

Overall, American has ordered 42 with an option for an additional 58. Of the 42 jets, the delivery of two are scheduled for this year, 11 next year, 13 in 2016, nine in 2017 and seven in 2018.
American plans to fly the 787-8 Dreamliner across the country first — probably between hub airports — and then dispatch it on international routes some time next spring, Miller said.

American will become the second U.S. carrier to fly a Dreamliner. United Airlines already flies the 787-8 and 787-9 models.

Last month, American tweeted a photo of its first Boeing 787 under construction at a Boeing factory, but it was only partially built. .

 

 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

American Airlines Honors Allegheny, the Number One Merger Airline

By Ted Reed
In a consolidation-obsessed business, Allegheny Airlines may have been the biggest consolidator of them all.

It merged with Lake Central. It merged with Mohawk. It changed its named to the more universal “US Air.” It merged with Piedmont. It merged with PSA. It changed its named to the more distinctive “US Airways.” It merged with America West. And finally, it merged with American.

Now, as part of American CEO Doug Parker’s longtime effort to honor airline lineage, Allegheny is being recognized with an American heritage aircraft. The A319 was painted in Roswell, N.M. It had been flying as an Allegheny heritage aircraft in the US Airways fleet, but the paint job means it shows the American logo instead of the US Airways log.

The Allegheny aircraft joins heritage PSA and America West aircraft in the American fleet. Aircraft that honor Piedmont, as well as Air Cal, Reno Air and TWA, are coming.

Allegheny was known for being generous with its employees. “The principle culture in this company is the Allegheny culture,” US Airways CEO Stephen Wolf told employees in Charlotte in 1997, according to my new book, “American Airlines, US Airways and the Creation of the World’s Largest Airline.”

“Allegheny flew monopoly routes in the East for 2,000 years at monopoly price,” Wolf said then.  “It was wonderful and profitable every day of its life and as a result of that, we are very generous with our employees.”

At the time, Wolf was addressing the issue of “swaps,” raised by a customer service agent during a question and answer period. Swaps enabled trades of shifts with other workers.

At one time, the swaps policy allowed the airline’s 4,000 reservations agents to trade up to 50% of their shifts, but the number had been cut back to 20 swaps per quarter, irritating the agents. Many of them had drawn night shifts for years.
 
Wolf called the policy “goofy.”  In 1996, US Airways was still a high-cost airline, largely because every time the airline had completed a merger, the most generous components of the two previous contracts were retained.

It was a strategy that worked well when airlines were regulated, but after deregulation, it began to fray, as Southwest and other low cost airlines invaded the East Coast. A turning point came when Southwest began to serve Baltimore, then a USAir hub, in 1993.

As Frank Lorenzo, probably the most important figure in shaping the post-deregulation U.S. airline industry, has said: “They deregulated revenues, but they didn’t deregulate costs.”
Ed Colodny was the executive who presided over four mergers at Allegheny/US Air between 1975 and 1991.

When Colodny started at Allegheny in 1957, the headquarters were in Hangar 12 at Washington’s National Airport. “The corporate officers were on the second floor of what was the maintenance facility of the airline,” Colodny said, in an interview for the book.

“To describe my office as modest would be an overstatement,” he said.

At the time, Allegheny served 8 states and about 50 communities, including small Pennsylvania cities such as Altoona, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster and Reading. It wanted to grow, and Colodny led various efforts to convince the Civil Aeronautics Board to relax restrictions on local service airlines
Colodny changed the name to USAir in 1979, and he built the airline through mergers.  As a result, Allegheny became the only local service airline from the 1950s to remain viable into the 21st century.
Now it is largely just a memory, recalled by a heritage airplane.


Allegheny (3)




 

Monday, October 20, 2014

American Airlines to introduce Bombardier CRJ900 to the DFW hub on November 6


American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will introduce the Bombardier CRJ900 to the Dallas/Fort Worth hub starting on November 6. Mesa Airlines (Phoenix) will operate the type initially on American Eagle services to Albuquerque, El Paso, Fayetteville and Greenville/Spartanburg per Airline Route.

On November 16 this operation will expand with a Huntsville, AL route. Colorado Springs, Little Rock, Louisville, Lubbock, Oklahoma City and Wichita will be added from DFW on December 2. Finally Montrose, CO will be added on December 18.

In May 2014 Mesa Airlines announced they had reached an agreement with American Airlines to operate six more CRJ900s for American bringing the total CRJ900s to 51 aircraft.

In other news, American is also introducing the Embraer ERJ 175 on additional routes. Effective November 6 the Embraer 175 will be operated from the Chicago (O’Hare) hub to Columbus, OH. On the same date from the Miami hub, the E175 will operate to Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. From New York (JFK) the E175 will be assigned to the Pittsburgh route also starting on November 6.

Finally on December 18, the Embraer 175 will be added on additional routes from the Miami hub to Cleveland, Key West and Nassau.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Mesa Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N944LR (msn 15075) is pictured at Long Beach, California.

Friday, October 10, 2014

 No Drag on Split Scimitar™ Winglet Developments
PR Newswire

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced today that it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) covering the installation of Split Scimitar Winglets for three additional configurations of the Boeing 737-800. 
View photo
.
Kulula.com of South Africa is one of the latest airlines to install APB Split Scimitar Winglets.
Split Scimitar Winglets can now be installed on all Boeing 737-800 and 737-900ER aircraft.  All remaining commercial and private variants of the 737 Next-Generation aircraft are scheduled to be certified by May of 2015.

"Our Split Scimitar Winglet program is by far and away the most successful product launch in our history," said Patrick LaMoria, Aviation Partners Boeing executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "We expect to announce another major sale to one of the world's largest airlines, later this week."

APB's Split Scimitar Winglet program is its latest fuel efficiency success and the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet, but adds new aerodynamic scimitar tips and a large ventral strake. Split Scimitar Winglets can save up to 60,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year.

"We will continue to lead the industry with innovative fuel saving solutions that benefit the environment," said Bill Ashworth, Aviation Partners Boeing president and chief executive officer. "That is what we do."

Since launching the Split Scimita

r Winglet program early last year, APB has taken orders and options for 1,657 systems.  Over the last 10 years, APB has sold nearly 8,000 Blended Winglet Systems.  More than 5,300 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide 4.5 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date thus eliminating over 47 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. 

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
www.aviationpartnersboeing.com

FAA, flight attendants square off over electronics

                    
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest flight attendants union says it wants airline passengers to return to stowing cellphones and other electronics during takeoffs and landings, but the group's arguments didn't seem to fly Friday in court.
A lawyer for the union argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that aviation officials acted improperly last year in clearing passengers to use small electronics during takeoffs and landings.

The union says the devices can distract passengers from safety announcements and become dangerous projectiles. The union also says that in letting passengers keep the devices out, the Federal Aviation Administration changed an agency regulation without steps required by law.
But the judges hearing the case suggested they won't be prying portable electronics out of passengers' hands.

"Airlines have always had discretion on how to handle this," Judge Harry T. Edwards told a lawyer for the union, the 60,000-member Association of Flight Attendants.

The FAA announced late last year that it was changing guidance that had for years resulted in passengers stowing cellphones, tablets, and music and video players during takeoffs and landings. Under new guidance, airlines can let passengers use the devices during those times as long as the plane is properly protected from electronic interference and the airlines get the FAA's approval. Cellphones still must be in airplane mode when in use.

The FAA says that since the announcement, it has cleared 31 airline operators to let passengers use small electronics on takeoffs and landings. Last year, those operators together carried 96 percent of U.S. commercial passengers.

Union lawyer Amanda Dure told the judges that "anyone who has been on a plane in the last year has seen a huge change."

But Dure argued that in greenlighting the expanded use of electronics, officials violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act. The act requires government agencies to give the public notice and the ability to comment when a rule is changed. That didn't happen properly, the union argues.
Judge Janice Rogers Brown asked about the flight attendants' concern that allowing passengers to keep out electronics leaves "more things to fly around" the airplane cabin during turbulence. But a lawyer for the government, Jeffrey Sandberg, told the judges that cellphones and other small devices are no more dangerous than books that passengers have been allowed to keep out.

The government argued in court documents that the judges hearing the case don't have authority to review the issue and that the FAA's action didn't trigger public notice and comment requirements. The FAA did request and receive public feedback before updating its guidance, attorneys wrote, telling the judges the agency considered some 1,000 responses including one from the union.

Still, the government said FAA just notified airlines that it believed small electronics could safely be used during takeoff and landing, a departure from previous guidance that encouraged airlines not to permit them during those times. The airlines themselves have long determined whether and when passengers can use electronics and that hasn't changed, the government said.
The court will issue a written ruling at a later date.
___
Follow Jessica Gresko at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

DFW, Love Field get makeovers in time for end of Wright Amendment

Posted Saturday, Oct. 04, 2014         
 
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Dallas Love Field have spent several years and millions of dollars getting gussied up for Oct. 13. When the Wright Amendment flight restrictions are lifted next week at Dallas Love Field, travelers will be able to board long-haul flights out of a brand new terminal. And 15 miles away, DFW is overhauling all of its domestic terminals with features including terrazzo floors, windows that admit more natural light and high-end concessionaires. Both airports have improved the customer experience, adding power ports for passengers to charge phones and laptops in the terminals and changing out restaurants to offer a greater variety of food and beverages.  The changes aren’t all operational either. A kinetic fine art piece hangs in the new baggage claim area at Love Field while DFW Airport offers comfort zones where passengers can take a nap or get a massage. “The airport of the future really needs to be more than just a place where you walk off one plane and get on another,” said Byford Treanor, DFW’s vice president of customer service. “You want to enjoy yourself and you want to experience the airport and then be ready to get on the plane to sit for several hours.” The end of the Wright restrictions at Love Field, which have allowed flights from the Dallas airport only to cities in Texas and nearby states since 1980, was a catalyst for the big improvements. But both facilities were also showing their age.  In Dallas, Love’s primary tenant, Southwest Airlines, agreed that it was time to update the 1950s-era terminal after Dallas, Fort Worth and other major parties, reached the historic agreement in 2006 to open up long-haul domestic fliying out of Love Field. “With or without the Wright Amendment, the age of Love Field’s terminal facilities meant it was due and we were going to have to do some kind of renovation or remodel,” said Mark Duebner, Dallas’ aviation director, who oversees Love Field. “Old facilities become expensive to maintain, so sometimes you’re better off building new facilities.” And that’s what Dallas has done, spending about $500 million and issuing bonds backed by Southwest, to build a new 20-gate terminal. The first half of the terminal opened in April 2013, and the remaining gates opened last month. Since the airport only has 7,000 parking spaces in its garage, Duebner said, the city has started planning for a new garage. Airport workers are still putting the finishing touches on concessions in the new terminal and a new baggage claim area opened a couple of weeks ago. Southwest had already moved all of its operations to the new terminal but Virgin America, which will shift its operations from DFW to Love Field this month, has yet to occupy its new gate and check-in counter. While DFW’s four original terminals were not as old as Love Field, Terminals A, B, C, and E were starting to show their age, prompting DFW to announce the Terminal Renewal and Improvement Plan in 2010. TRIP, as it’s called by the airport’s staff, is an extensive overhaul of the terminals’ heating, cooling and electrical infrastructure while cosmetically changing the interior of the terminals. “The TRIP program certainly without a doubt allows us to be more competitive in the local area. But it really is also to modernize the airport to bring it out of the ’70s,” Treanor said. The program’s budget has swelled to $2.7 billion, and it will not be completed until 2020 since it must be done in stages. The airport cannot shut down an entire terminal at one time for renovations. Two-thirds of Terminal A is expected to be completed by December, and significant portions of Terminal B and Terminal E are already complete. Creating comforts for customers For modern airports, it’s all about bringing power to the people.“Charging is the No. 1 customer issue,” Duebner said. “At the old terminal, any available plug at any available wall had someone sitting near it with their phone plugged in.” With its new terminal, Love Field purchased chairs that have a power plug and a USB port underneath the seat so travelers can plug in their iPhones or tablets. About 90 percent of the chairs in gate areas have the plugs, Duebner said. DFW also has charging stations and hopes to have about 30 percent of all gate seats with power access by the time the TRIP program is completed. Treanor added that new concessionaires in the renovated terminals are being asked to provide electric plugs at all of their tables for passengers as part of their lease terms. Both airports have also upgraded concessions to give travelers choices from a $30 steak dinner to a fast-food hamburger and everything in between. Passengers can dine at Sky Canyon by celebrity chef Stephan Pyles, savor gelato at Paciugo or sip wine at Vino Volo.  “We’re running a 25 percent increase in our concession revenue and that’s just because there are more choices,” Duebner said, noting that Love Field has added more healthy food options.Concessions revenue has also grown at DFW, partly because the airport allowed concessionaires to individualize their storefronts to make them more inviting to customers, Treanor said. For example, Natalie’s Candy Jar has large plastic lollipops to attract travelers into their stores in Terminals A and D. DFW has focused its concessions program to include more high-end retailers even in the domestic terminals. Brighton, a high-end seller of women’s handbags and accessories, has a location in the renovated section of Terminal A while Michael Kors and Coach will be going into the international Terminal D. The airport has also added more premium club space for first class and business class travelers in Terminal D. The American Express Centurion Lounge opened last year with spa services, comfy wing-back chairs, a full-service bar and an all-you-can-eat buffet. “We’re always rated as the top airport in the U.S. for customer service but as we get all the service to China and the A380s and the service to the Middle East, customers traveling on those airplanes are used to the customer service they receive at international airports,” said DFW Airport Chief Executive Sean Donohue. “We’re raising the bar so that means we have to improve our customer service.”

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/10/04/6173100/area-travelers-will-be-flying.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Delta threatens legal action against city

 

File 2013/Special Contributor
Delta’s attorney says the carrier is being unfairly squeezed out at Love Field, where it has operated since 2008.

An attorney for Delta Air Lines Inc. threatened to sue the city of Dallas unless it takes “immediate action to implement a short-term solution” that keeps the Atlanta-based airline flying from Dallas Love Field.In a nine-page letter to Dallas aviation director Mark Duebner, attorney Kenneth Quinn demanded that the city find room for Delta, which has been flying from Love Field since 2008. It flies five daily nonstops to Atlanta and had planned to add more flights after the Wright amendment expires Oct. 13.

Earlier this week, the city told Delta that it would have to leave Love Field come Oct. 13 because there was no space to accommodate it.

The new Love Field has 20 gates, 16 of which are being used by Southwest Airlines. Two others will be used by Virgin America beginning Oct. 13, and the final two are leased by United Airlines. United is subleasing one to Southwest and has told the city it will use the second to increase its flights to Houston next year.

In his letter, Quinn said Delta was under the impression “as recently as last week” that the city “had notified United by letter that it must accommodate Delta on its gates.”

Instead, United handed over one of its gates to Dallas-based Southwest, which had been looking to add to its gates at the city-owned airport.

Delta also said United was not playing fair with its second gate. While the airline is doubling its flights to Houston, it’s also going to “triple its aircraft ground times in an effort to preclude Delta from using its gates,” Quinn said.

In his letter to Duebner, Quinn included a copy of United’s proposed service levels in 2015, showing that each plane will spend about 90 minutes on the ground, which is three times longer than its planes spend on the ground now.

“It is simply not true, as the city would have it, that there is no room at the inn for Delta,” Quinn said in his letter. “The truth is, the city decided the available gate space should go to hometown favorite Southwest — which already controls 80 percent of the gates at Love Field — instead of to Delta, which would have used the gate space to compete with Southwest.”

Duebner, First Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans and City Attorney Warren Ernst did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Earlier this week, City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said, “We understand that while the situation we’re looking at is subject to some disagreement, we are going to maintain our view that we want full utilization and robust competition for Love Field.”

Quinn said that at the minimum, Delta wants the city to let it keep flying out of Love Field until January, if only to accommodate the 16,000 passengers who have already purchased tickets out of the airport. But it also wants to stay in Dallas. Anything less, writes Quinn, will probably wind up with a trip to the courthouse.

“Although we are hopeful that the city will accommodate Delta’s request,” he writes, “these attempts to resolve this matter will not preclude Delta from seeking additional relief at law or in equity.”
Delta also had asked Virgin America to find space for Delta’s flights at Virgin’s two gates. Virgin America chief executive David Cush said his carrier turned down Delta’s request.

“Our answer is: We’re fully utilizing our gates,” Cush said this week.

Virgin America will move its operations from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Love Field on Oct. 13, the day that federal law will allow nonstop service from Dallas to any U.S. airport. It begins operations with nine departures a day, going to 13 departures Oct. 28 and 16 departures in April.

Virgin America is allowing tiny carrier SeaPort Airlines to use its gates for two daily departures for El Dorado, Ark.

“We’ll accommodate them as long as we can. We’ll see how long it is,” Cush said.

“But certainly with 16 flights, we can accommodate them. With 18, it’ll be a little trickier,” he said. “But you know, they wanted two flights a day. They didn’t want the pattern of service that Delta was looking for.”

rwilonsky@dallasnews.com;
tmaxon@dallasnews.com

18 most annoying things people do in airports

 
By Karla Cripps, CNN
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014


Travelers could learn a thing or two from this dog, who knows that on the moving walkway you walk, not stop. Travelers could learn a thing or two from this dog, who knows that on the moving walkway you walk, not stop.
1. Traveling without moving
2. Carousel crowding
3. Surprised by security
4. Purposely arriving late
5. Trying to check overweight baggage
6. Holding up the immigration line
7. Overzealous duty-free sales people
8. Seat-hogging
9. Loud music/games/movies
10. Kid wilding
11. Getting hammered in the airport bar
12. Bogarting electrical outlets
13. Bringing your last puff onto the plane
14. Currency confusion
15. Bare feet
16. Gate lurking
17. Aggressive touting
18. Not opening that passport
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Airplanes aren't the only place where travelers have to face annoying behavior from fellow voyagers
  • Annoying things people do in airports include hogging seats and talking too loud
  • Sometimes the people who work in the airport can get on nerves, such as aggressive taxi tout
  • (CNN) -- Whether they're cutting their fingernails mid-flight or aggressively establishing armrest hegemony, we've already addressed the most irritating things travelers do on airplanes.
But what about the airport itself?
Shouldn't it be easy to escape your fellow fliers' antisocial behavior in a space as large as an arrival hall or a departure terminal?
Sadly, it isn't.
As this list of annoying airport behaviors supplied by CNN Travel staff, writers and readers shows, courtesy and sense (neither are as common as they ought to be) are often the first two things to fly out of the gates.
 
1. Traveling without moving
Moving walkways -- "travelators," if you want to get fancy -- are delightful.

Seriously, who does this on a flight?!

This device caused an in-flight fight
They make us feel like super people (If only we could always walk this fast!) and help us get to our gates without feeling like we just ran the New York City Marathon.
Some travelers, however, apparently feel they were designed like a theme park ride, meant to be enjoyed arm-in-arm with their amour and shopping bags as they gawk at the exotic sights passing by at 1 mph.
 
Standing to the side to make room for travelers with a plane to catch remains an unattainable skill to an aggravating number of passengers.

2. Surprised by security
Most veteran travelers glide through security checkpoints with little drama.
Even travel newbies can read directions posted at said checkpoints and readily adapt.
So what's with the people who always look like they've been told the existence of alien life has just been confirmed when their liter-bottle of water is confiscated and they're asked to take their laptop out of the bag before it goes through the scanner?
More than a decade into the era of airport hyper-vigilance, the "security stumble" remains a perplexing airport behavior
Would it hurt everyone to stand back a few feet?
Would it hurt everyone to stand back a few feet?

3. Crowding the baggage carousel
A baggage carousel is an easy concept to grasp.
You stand back a few feet, watch a conveyer belt inch along, then slip in and grab your suitcase before swiftly retreating to make room for other travelers.
Alas, retrieving luggage is rarely so hassle-free, thanks to an impatient few who press their shins against the carousel, guarding the belt like power forwards protecting the rim in the closing seconds of the NBA Finals.
Some even push aside the elderly and children with their carts to secure a space directly in front of the little door flaps the bags slide through, forcing the rest of us to shove through the scrum when our suitcases appear.

4. Arriving late accidentally on purpose
Ever show up at the airport late and have the check-in staff kindly allow you to jump to the front of the line so you don't miss your flight?
Ever do this multiple times, on purpose, knowing full well you'll be allowed to skip the queue?
Trust us.
These people exist.

5. Re-packing overweight baggage at the counter
The line at the check-in counter is so long it's starting to merge with the Sbarro line in the next concourse.
Finally you make it to the front, only to be held up by the guy who's shocked to find his 200-pound suitcase is over the weight limit and going to cost him a week's salary to check.
His next move?
Frantically shuffling a few pairs of socks and a tube of toothpaste into another bag to get the weight down -- "197 pounds is cool, right?" -- before breaking into a loud soliloquy lamenting the injustices faced by travelers on this airline that he'll never fly with again.
That cologne smells great. We don\'t want it.
That cologne smells great. We don't want it.

6. Duty-free shadowing
Sometimes it's the airport staff that does annoying things.
Example: overzealous duty-free shop employees.
All we wandered in here for was a bottle of cheap vodka.
We don't need to be followed around and spritzed with perfume as a lady with immaculately applied makeup (in fairness, she does spend her days surrounded by expensive cosmetics) tries to upsell us on the smooth taste of a $2,000 bottle of whisky.

7.Seat-hogging
Nothing beats the sweet bliss of not sitting next to someone when you're waiting for a flight.
We don't want to bump elbows with others any more than others want to trade breathing particulates with us.
But in a civilized society, seats are meant to have one thing and one thing only placed on them.
Here's a hint: that something isn't suitcases, food trays or computers.
There's a name for that one thing meant to be put in a chair -- ironically, it doubles as a description for the kind of people who take up three seats in a crowded departure lounge with their jacket, shopping bags and assorted carrion.
This is why they invented headphones.
This is why they invented headphones.

8. Videos at full volume
Nobody cares if someone wants to pass the time waiting for a plane by zoning out with the mind-numbing pleasure of Candy Crush or "Hot Tub Time Machine."
Just not on the iPad. At full volume.
There's a reason they sell ear buds and headphones at every third shop in the concourse on the walk to the gate.

9. Kid wilding
Granted, nobody knows how to parent other peoples' kids better than we do.
And even childless travelers need to chill out and stop griping while little ones burn off some energy before a four-hour flight.
But shouldn't "not allowing children to climb over seats, maul strangers with wet paws and screech at nine-second intervals" be a requisite skill for parents who travel with tot terrors?

10. Getting hammered in the airport bar
Getting a head start on a vacation is a time-honored tradition, but so is waiting until after the rest of humanity has finished breakfast before starting in with the beer-scented belching and pontificating on the referees who completely blew last night's game.
It's an airport, not a frat house.

11. Bogarting electrical outlets
You know the guy.
He's got a Kindle, laptop, iPhone and iPad in his backpack.
And he needs to charge them all before the flight.
At the same time.
Using the only two outlets within a 100-meter radius.

12. Bringing your last puff onto the plane
Some travelers need a nic fix before a flight. Fine.
But for those who don't smoke, that last ciggie huffed down 90 seconds before boarding makes a lasting impression.
A breath mint should be mandatory after a hurried puff puff session.
Even smokers shouldn't get on a plane smelling so bad the Marlboro Man would ask to change seats if he had to sit next to them.

13. Currency confusion
"Oh sorry, that's a not a quarter. Just wait, I think I have a couple dimes kicking around in here."
There's a right way and a wrong way to get rid of foreign coins before you leave a country.
The first is donating them.
The second is trying to identify each one then matching the total with the cost of three bags of candy (nice try at a souvenir, by the way) at the gift shop while six other customers stand around waiting for "The Price is Right" game at the counter to end.

14. Bare feet
If there's any need to elaborate on this one, you're too far gone to be helped, anyway.

15. Gate lurking
It's no picnic being in boarding group Z.
But fliers who lurk around the boarding gate like they're casing a mark for a robbery -- waiting for ground crew staff to announce it's time to roll so they can be the first on the plane to hog the overhead bins -- sort of force the rest of us to do the same thing.
Occasionally, there is justice.
The truly bold of this bratty bunch can sometimes be spotted feigning innocence when a gate agent calls them out for trying to board before their row is called or slipping in with the business-class passengers.
Follow the rules and we\'ll all get along just fine.
Follow the rules and we'll all get along just fine.

16. Holding up the immigration line
Immigration desks simply aren't happy places.
People who hold things up by not filling in the details on their paperwork only make the experience more miserable for the rest of us.

17. Power-tripping
It's gratifying when airport staff bust travelers guilty of the above behaviors.
But when they're just being plain miserable to everybody?
It sets the tone for a bad trip.
We know airport jobs are serious, important and, at times, incredibly stressful.
But (true story) is it really necessary to make an eight-year-old cry because she forgot to throw away her juice box before her backpack went through the X-ray scanner?

18. Taxi touting
When you've just gotten off a 12-hour flight in a country you've never been to, even the simplest acts can be a challenge.
Like finding transportation.
Everyone needs to make a living, but we shouldn't have to negotiate a phalanx of unscrupulous touts who skulk around arrival halls preying on the weary and confused, insisting on providing rides into town for quadruple the price of a regular taxi.
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Qantas celebrates debut of A380 flights to Texas

 
 
           
DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- Qantas' superjumbo Airbus A380 is now flying to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Qantas Flight 7 departed Sydney Airport for Dallas/Fort Worth Monday, giving the Qantas the honor of operating the longest A380 flight in the world.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said using the A380 offers the carrier both greater fuel efficiency and a 10% increase in the number of seats it offers on its route between Sydney and Dallas. Qantas previously flew a Boeing 747-400 on the route.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Qantas bumps out Delta for longest flight to depart USA

Joyce touted the A380 service between Sydney and DFW as offering "direct access right in the heart of the U.S. with over 50 connections to all U.S. major cities within four hours, including Orlando, Boston and Houston."

Qantas is able to offer those connections through American Airlines, a member of the oneworld frequent-flier that also includes Qantas. In addition, American and Qantas have a codeshare alliance that allows them to sell seats on connecting flights operated by the other carrier.
To celebrate the new service milestone, Qantas' A380 received a traditional water-cannon salute as it arrived at DFW.

Qantas painted the A380 operating its maiden A380 flight to Texas with a special livery: the iconic kangaroo on the airplane's featured a Stetson cowboy hat and a blue neckerchief decorated with American-style stars. A "G'Day Texas" emblem was added to the forward doors.
And through Oct. 5, Qantas' in-flight menu from Sydney to DFW will includes U.S.themed dishes, beverages and sweets.

First-class passengers can order a 28-day Nolan dry-aged cowboy rib eye, with mac and cheese on the side. Fliers in the business class can dine on chipotle port tortillas while Premium Economy passengers can munch on Texas hot dogs with chili black beans.

And through March, coach-class passengers can snack on a variety of American favorites, including Dr. Pepper, A&W sodas, Route 66 Root Beer, pulled beef sliders and Jolly Ranchers hard candy, which a flight attendant on board the flight said was quite popular in Australia.

Qantas now flies six round-trip A380 flights each week (every day except Tuesday) on the route between Sydney and DFW. The Sydney to DFW flight (QF7) is scheduled to take 14 hours and 50 minutes. The DFW to Sydney flight (QF8) is scheduled at 15 hours and 30 minutes.

The Qantas A380 has 484 seats: 14 in first class, 64 in business, 35 in Premium Economy and 371 regular coach.

Among those on Qantas maiden A380 flight to DFW was Qantas Ambassador and certified pilot John Travolta, who greeted arriving passengers as they exited the A380 in Texas.

Speaking to reporters at DFW, Travolta said he began collecting old airline tickets and old airline schedules as a child.

He said he became enthralled with Qantas early on because it "has a long history of offering some of the world's longest flights."

"It's really quiet and spacious," he said about his experiencing flying as a passenger on the A380.