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Posts Tagged ‘US Airways’

February could very well become Facebook-month for airline travelers in US as seven airlines will be providing free Facebook access for the month on their Wi-Fi networks.

The service will be provided on North American flights of –

  • Virgin America
  • AirTran
  • US Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • United Airlines
  • Alaska Airline.

The promotion will be sponsored by Gogo Inflight Internet and Ford.

Earlier, Gogo had offered free Wi-Fi on holiday flights on Virgin America, AirTran, and American Airlines.

Happy Facebooking all!

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US Airways is reported to be in talk with United Airlines with regards to a merger that will create the world’s second largest airline (after last year’s Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines merger). This is not the first time when US Airways and United Airlines have talked about merger which failed in 2000 amid antitrust and labor opposition.

US Airways and United Airlines Meger: How would the combined airline look?

Both US Airways CEO Doug Parker and United Airlines’ CEO Glenn Tilton, have been champions for the need to consolidate capacity and hubs within the U.S. Parker even tried an unsuccessful attempt to merge with Delta Airlines some 6-7 years back.

So, how would the combined airlines look –

  • Hubs Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, O’Hare International Airport (Chicago), San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles
  • HeadquartersTempe, Arizona or Chicago, Illinois (Tempe if Parker remains the CEO)
  • Fleet Size702 (+154)   – from 343 (+104 orders) and 359 (+50)
  • Fleet – 
    • Airbus A319-100 (93+6), Airbus A320-200 (70+48), Airbus A321-200 (48+17), Airbus A330-200 (7+18), Airbus A330-300 (9+1), Airbus A350-800 (0+18), Airbus A350-900 (0+4), Boeing 737-300 (24), Boeing 737-400 (40), Boeing 757-200 (26), Boeing 767-200ER (10), Embraer E190 (19+23)
    • Airbus A319-100 (55), Airbus A320-200 (97), Airbus A350-900XWB (0+25), Boeing 747-400 (24), Boeing 757-200 (96), Boeing 767-300ER (35), Boeing 777-200 (19), Boeing 777-200ER (33), Boeing 787-8(33)
  • CEODoug Parker or Glenn Tilton

  • Alliance Star Alliance
  • Frequent Flier ProgramDividend Miles or Mileage Plus
  • Name – United Airlines (most probably since it has a bigger brand value)

There are speculations that this might trigger talks between United Airlines and Continental Airlines, which, if successful, would mean that US Airways seems to be the right catalyst for merger talks for “other” airlines!

Both US Airways stocks (around +20%) and United Airlines (around +8%) stocks were up due to rumors.

via Mizozo.com

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Last year US Airways started charging $2 for non-alcoholic beverages ($1 for coffee/tea) on board their flights. The charge was started during the crude oil’s rendezvous with $150/barrel, but was not followed by any other airlines. Recently, US Airways’ CEO Chairman, Doug Parker, announced that they are withdrawing the charge and resuming free beverages on the flights.

It is a common practice by airlines to start some charge (or withdraw) them and see if other airlines follow the initiative (or not). This is specially important since the airlines are not supposed to talk with each other on these initiatives or fare prices due the laws against price-fixing.

Good for all of us, except for US Airways’ flight attendants :).

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It is a scary video, but this is probably what happened with the US Airways flight 1549 that crash landed in the Hudson River –

Details from youtube –
Wide Body, Blade-Out Jet Engine Test
Short video showing what
happens when a foreign object such as a large bird is ingested in a jet
engine. You don’t want to be onboard!!!!
The joke during training
was that you could ingest a 5 lb. bird at 250 kts………. or a 250 lb
bird at 5 kts. They actually have a “chicken gun” they use to fire the
chickens into the engines for these tests.

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First the food, then the bags, then no-pretzels, then the beverages and now pillow and blankets ($7 in-flight and online)? US Airways seem to be moving to a charge for everything. Gone are the days when US Airways was headquartered in Arlington VA and was one of the nicer legacy carriers. Though, there are some advantages to charging for everything for US Airways –

  • The pillow and blankets will be cleaner and of better quality (JetBlue started it)
  • The beverage service is much faster
  • Coffee and Tea are $1 each and with unlimited refills.
  • Flight attendants are much nicer (and so much better dressed!!!)

Earlier I use to justify these charges on fuel prices but now the economy? It is true, airlines are still losing money, same as I am losing money on my house. But my problem is once, the economy turns around, will these changes be rolled back? Or there will be another reason not to?

I think most of the airlines pray for the following –

  • Seats are filled more than 100% times without the change in airfare.
  • Crude oil stays low at around $40 or lower
  • Economy booms back for high paying corporate clients
  • Weather never hits their hubs – maybe come up with a weather machine 🙂
  • People keep flying to exotic places, maybe even make some week as “Exotic Travel Week”.
  • Add a couple of more long weekends (they make a killing with most of them).

Am I missing anything?

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US Airways announced that it has sent a check of $5000 (for lost possessions) to each passenger that were on the flight 1549 that crash landed on the Hudson river. The airline also included the check for reimbursement of the ticket price. Though they did mention that the passenger’s possessions might not be returned for months (checked for weight and balance) till the investigation is complete.

The letter mentioned (from CNN) –

“The National Transportation Safety Board has now begun their
investigation of this accident, and we are offering our full
participation and cooperation,” airline executive Kerry Hester wrote in
a letter accompanying each check.

“Investigatory protocol
requires that the aircraft and all of its contents must be examined and
weighed prior to releasing any items onboard in order to verify the
weight and balance on the aircraft. … The process is to weigh all
items in their current state, dry them for eight weeks and then weigh
them again,” Hester wrote.

“This means we cannot return your items to you until the NTSB
recovers and releases them, a process that will likely take several
months. It is also possible that some items may be unrecoverable.”

The airline
also included checks to reimburse the 150 passengers for the costs of
their tickets. “This is an obvious reimbursement that we wanted to make
quickly to each of you,” the letter says.

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Flight number 1549 that was scheduled to fly from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte’s Charlotte-Douglas Airport at 3:20pm, had to crash land into the Hudson river after both its engines failed due to a run in with a flock of geese. There were around 150 people on flight. According to reports, the pilot maneuvered a soft landing on water after he told the passenger to “brace for impact”. Eye witness say that they saw a large splash in water. Five minutes after landing, passenger were seen on the wings of the aircraft while ferries dropped life jackets. Casualties (if any) are not known yet.

From Mizozo.com

“There is a speculation that the plane hit a flock of geese that
disabled both the engines forcing the pilots to land the plane on
water.  There were 144 passengers and 6 crew members on the flight. “

From Village Voice Blog

“People were standing on the wings of the plane” waiting for rescue,
says Harry Martin at My9 News. The rescue scene is alleged to be
visible from the 42nd Street shore of the Hudson. The water temperature
is 42 degrees. Roosevelt Hospital is alerted to receive between 25 to
50 injured passengers. Witness Jayme Lewis says the touchdown was
smooth: “It looked like it wanted to land on the water… very gentle
and very controlled”

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