Here’s an interesting inside the cockpit video from Air Tahiti Tui, the airline that serves four continents — North America, Europe, Asia and Australia — with a fleet of only five Airbus A340s.
The video can be a bit jarring because no shot seems to last longer than a second. But it’s still compelling. And you can try to count how many times LAX makes an appearance.
H/T to News.com.au
If you haven’t already heard it, NPR did a nice piece over the weekend about mileage runners — those folks who take extra flights in December just so they can achieve elite status on an airline. My guess is that many of my readers are knowledgeable about how this works.
The mileage runner at the center of the story — a man named Travis MacRitchie — was flying from Los Angeles to Bahrain to earn frequent flier miles. As I noted a few weeks ago, the fares were cheap — around $700 round trip. And there were oh so many miles to earn. NPR said about 36,000 miles in total.
“I’m going off on a pretty ridiculous adventure, so fingers crossed that it’ll go okay,” MacRitchie said before he left.
I tried to convince my editors to let me go to Bahrain in search of a mileage run story, but it didn’t work out. So you’ll have to stick with NPR’s story.
Listen or read the NPR story here.
Airlines are closely watching a proposed budget deal that seems likely become law, saying a possible increase increase in Transportation Security Administration fees is not necessary.
The security fee that airlines collect would go up to $5.60 each way on every ticket. Now, passengers pay $2.50 for each segment, though that fee is capped at $5 for every one-way ticket.
So passengers with non-stop flights would see the biggest increases — from $2.50 to $5.60
“This tax increase which will provide no new benefit whatsoever to travelers comes at a time even when TSA is doing less with more resources,” said John Heimlich, chief economist for industry lobbying group Airlines For America, in a conference call Thursday with reporters. “That is not the direction we would like to see. We would like to see better use of existing tax dollars.”
Then Heimlich shared a slide showing that the TSA’s budget and staff levels have increased even as the number of travelers it serves has decreased.
The Federal Communications Commission signaled today, by a 3-2 vote, that it could be open to allowing phone calls on airplanes. But despite some occasionally excited media coverage, it didn’t do much else than that. Nothing is imminent.
Neither U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, nor U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was particularly amused by this FCC development. In a statement, Foxx said his department wants a say in what happens, along with the FCC.
“As the FCC has said before, their sole role on this issue is to examine the technical feasibility of the use of mobile devices in flight,” Foxx said. “We believe USDOT’s role, as part of our Aviation Consumer Protection Authority, is to determine if allowing these calls is fair to consumers. USDOT will now begin a process that will look at the possibility of banning these in-flight calls.”
Feinstein and colleague Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., also introduced legislation today to prohibit airplane cell phone conversations.
“Flying on a commercial airline—in a confined space, often for many hours—is a unique travel experience that is, candidly, not conducive to numerous passengers talking on cellphones,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This bill recognizes the use of cellphones to make calls during flights can be disruptive and irritating to other passengers and would prevent such communications during domestic flights.”
What do you think? Should calls be allowed on airplanes?
As USA Today reported recently, many international carriers, includes Aer Lingus and Etihad already permit calls.
The number of passengers expected to travel over the holiday season is expected to rise slightly this year compared to last, according to John Heimlich chief economist for Airlines 4 America, an industry trade group.