Hello and happy Tuesday. These are some stories I have enjoyed of late.
Have you read these aviation industry stories yet? If not, you probably should.
“Balky Wi-Fi Above the Clouds,” in which the New York Times checks in on the race for faster, more reliable internet aloft.
“Be Very Afraid: The 27-Inch-Pitch Airline Seat Is Coming.” Blogger Tim Winship says low cost airlines are trying to cram even more seats on planes. According to Seat Guru, Spirit’s pitch on its A320s is now 28 inches.
LAX begs your patience for the next several years as it modernizes. This from AP reporter Justin Pritchard.
You’ve probably already seen pictures of Etihad’s new “apartments” and “suites” on its A380 airplanes. But if you haven’t, this Mashable piece is your best bet. “The Best Airline Seat That $21,000 Can Buy.”
Want a double bed on an airplane? Ethiad might be the airline for you. Photo: Associated Press.
Something to think about the next time your upgrade doesn’t clear. Prince William flies American Airlines coach. So says the New York Daily News.
And finally. Jaunted has a nice piece on “The Instagram Travel Hashtag That’s Worrying the Airlines.” The hashtag? It’s #crewlife. Search for it on Twitter or Instagram and you’ll find dispatches and pictures from pilots and flight attendants, some of whom complain about the tough parts of the job. The honesty of these posts is refreshing. And some posts do make flying seem like a great job. But I can’t imagine that employers like this candidness.
Here are some aviation stories I have enjoyed in the past week.
- Where is MH370? As of this writing, the New York Times has one of the most updated stories. “The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner was set back on Monday by a number of false leads that seemed to underline how little investigators knew about the whereabouts of the plane, which vanished on Saturday,” the Times writes.
- An interesting AP article says that it’s not surprising a jet possibly lost in the middle of the ocean is difficult to find. “”The world is a big place,” said Michael Smart, professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Queensland in Australia. “If it happens to come down in the middle of the ocean and it’s not near a shipping lane or something, who knows how long it could take them to find?”
- The Wall Street Journal asks whether now is the time to live stream data from commercial airliners. “Discussed for many years but never implemented because of the costs, the concept of automatically transmitting data would involve using satellite links to send critical safety information from an airliner to the ground during extreme emergencies or just before a plane goes down,” Andy Pasztor and Jon Ostrower write.
- Qatar Airways cabin crew are banned from getting married for their first five years on the job, Reuters reports. The airline also keeps pregnant women from flying and essentially makes it hard for them to keep their jobs during pregnancy.
- Boston Logan Airport has added five new international flights in the past two years. Dubai starts tonight, and Istanbul soon. What’s behind the growth? The local NPR station investigates.
TSA found more than 1,800 guns at checkpoints in 2013, according to the Washington Post. Photo: TSA
Here are some of the most interesting stories I’ve read on the web in the past week or so:
Have you ever why airlines bump passengers? Many of my most ardent readers might already know the economics behind bumping, but Brett Snyder of the Cranky Flier blog. Brett actually argues that overbooking is good for airlines and passengers. Do you agree?
There will be a glut of private jets in New Jersey for the Super Bowl — far more airplanes than Teterboro Airport — the most popular airfield — can handle. Forbes reports on what we might call “high class problems.”
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker wrote a letter to employees telling them exactly how much he will make in 2014 and why. It’s a base salary of $700,000 (less than peer CEOs make, he says) with assorted incentives and stock.
TSA recovered 1,813 guns last year at airport checkpoints. But don’t worry. Only 1,477 were loaded. The worst offending airports, according to the Washington Post: Atlanta (111 guns), Dallas (96), Houston (68), Phoenix (66) and Denver (51).
We’ve poked some fun at Modesto for wanting flights to Los Angeles so much that it has organized a pledge drive in which it asks local businesses to commit to buy plane tickets. But the Modesto Bee reports that the drive “gaining altitude.” So there.
And finally. How about this blast from the past, via Twitter.
Among my favorite stories was Sassy Stew’s ranking of the top 15 flight attendant uniforms. Here are the duds sported on Air Canada’s “Rouge” brand.
What’s news in the world of aviation? Read on to see some of the stories I’ve found interesting the past week or so.