Best aviation stories of the week

Remember those fake Asiana Airlines pilot names read on the air by a San Francisco-area television station? As it turns out, Ho Lee Fuk was not a member of the four-person cockpit crew. So the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that at least three producers at KTVU-TV have lost their jobs in connection with the incident. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney checks in on the premium class arms race among major airlines, United, Delta and American. All are moving to improve their product between San Francisco and Los Angeles and New York. The route is very lucrative for carriers, especially in first and business class.

United will drop service between Newark and Istanbul and Newark and Buenos Aires this fall, reports USA Today’s Ben Mutzabaugh.

When they merge, US Airways and American are willing to give up one flight between Philadelphia and London Heathrow, reports the Dallas Morning News. The European Commission has noted that when the carriers merge, there would be no competition on the route.

Spirit Airlines has some fun with New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his sexual transgressions, via USA Today.

The always thorough Brett Snyder of Cranky Flier breaks down the second level of management at the new American Airlines. It’s relatively balanced between former American and former US Airways executives, he writes.

And finally, a shout out to Brad, a major airline first officer who blogs at  His blog is a bit under the radar, but it’s excellent, especially when he posts about favorite layover cities and the difference in landing the 737 versus the MD80.

Happy reading.

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Anthony Toth built a Pan Am 747 mock-up — and you can visit for dinner

Anthony Toth built a 747 replica inside a warehouse. Here, he stands in front of the first class cabin.

Anthony Toth built a 747 replica inside a warehouse near Los Angeles. Here, he stands in front of the first class cabin.  Photo by Stephen Carr.

Ever since I wrote about Anthony Toth, the man who recreated the interior of a Boeing 747 inside a warehouse near Los Angeles, people have asked me how they could tour it.

I finally have some good news. Brett Snyder, a Long Beach-based aviation blogger, is organizing a night of dinner and drinks on this wonderful Pan Am 747 mock-up.

It’ll be Sept. 28 at Anthony’s 3,000 square foot City of Industry warehouse. And you’ll be served “real” airline food by former Pan Am flight attendants in uniform. (Anthony has contacts in aircraft catering).

Tickets go on sale Friday at 9 a.m. (Pacific) on Brett’s website — There will be 28 of them, ranging from $100 to $150, depending on your class of service. (First class is pricier.) If I had to guess, I’d say the event will be sold out by 9:01 a.m., if not earlier. Brett’s going to be accepting money via PayPal.

The tickets are expensive, but I suspect it’ll be worth it. I’ve dined with Anthony before — in first class, no less — and it was one of the highlights of my journalism career.

Good luck!

Tickets for the "Clipper Class" cabin will be $100 -- or $50 less than first class.

Tickets for the “Clipper Class” cabin will be $100 — or $50 less than first class. Photo by Stephen Carr.

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