Virgin America will add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.
Virgin America is branching out from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The airline announced today that it wants to add 18 new flights from Dallas Love Field. For now, Virgin doesn’t have any gates at the airport, which is considerably closer to downtown Dallas than the much larger Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, but it wants to acquire from American, which is required by the Justice Department to give its gates up. (Delta wants the gates as well. So does Southwest.)
Here’s what Virgin America plans from Dallas. It’s notable because Virgin America has been, since is founding in 2007, a California airline, with just about every flight, touching San Francisco or Los Angeles.
DAL to New York (LGA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
DAL to Washington (DCA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
DAL to LAX (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
DAL to San Francisco (SFO) (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
Virgin America also would add two roundtrip flights a day from DAL to Chicago O’Hare in early 2015.
I know many of my readers are incredibly knowledgeable abut the airline industry. So I ask you this question: Will Virgin’s Dallas experiment work?
Southwest will take over Orange County to Los Cabox, Mexico flying from AirTran. Photo: Southwest.
Southwest Airlines, long-known for only domestic flights, will soon start flying its own airplanes between Santa Ana, Calif. in Orange County and Los Cabos, Mexico.
Technically this is neither a big deal nor a surprise. Southwest closed its merger with AirTran in 2011, and has slowly been ending operations for the smaller carrier. Since June 2012, AirTran has flown from Santa Ana to Los Cabos, so it was only a matter of time until Southwest took over. Southwest starts officially flying the route on Aug. 10.
AirTran also flies from Orange County to Mexico City. I don’t think anything has been announced about if and when Southwest will take over flying.
Here are the routes Southwest said it will soon fly internationally, along with the lowest fares in the market.
Atlanta to Nassau, Bahamas for as low as $127 one-way
Baltimore/Washington to Nassau, Bahamas for as low as $126 one-way
Denver to Los Cabos, Mexico for as low as $192 one-way
Orlando to Montego Bay, Jamaica for as low as $148 one-way
Milwaukee to Cancun, Mexico for $214 one-way
Santa Ana/Orange County, Calif., and Los Cabos, Mexico for $143 one-way
Pilots, like those in charge of this Southwest plane last month, fly to the wrong airport more often than you might think. Photo: Associated Press.
How often do airplanes land at the wrong airport?
More often than you might think, according to a story published Monday by the Associated Press. AP says more than 120 commericial flights have landed at the wrong airport in the past two decades, with a disproportionate number of them coming in San Jose, Calif. AP says the San Jose issues often come in bad weather, when officials are doing work on Runway 12.
In nearly all the incidents, the pilots were cleared by controllers to guide the plane based on what they could see rather than relying on automation. Many incidents occur at night, with pilots reporting they were attracted by the runway lights of the first airport they saw during descent. Some pilots said they disregarded navigation equipment that showed their planes slightly off course because the information didn’t match what they were seeing out their windows—a runway straight ahead.
Michael Barr, a former Air Force pilot who now teaches at USC in Los Angeles, tells AP that pilots sometimes get confused and convince themselves that they’re actually going to the right airport.
“You’ve got these runway lights, and you are looking at them, and they’re saying: ‘Come to me, come to me. I will let you land,’” Barr said to AP. “They’re like the sirens of the ocean.”
We haven’t heard much from Southwest since it suspended the pilots who guided the jet that landed at the wrong Missouri airport next month. Do you suppose those pilots will ever fly again?
US Airways is expecting to move to Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport next week, leaving Terminal 1, which it has shared with Southwest Airlines.
I’m being told that Feb. 12 is the targeted move date. I’ll update if that changes.
American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, has printed up posters in an attempt to make things easier for travelers. Here’s the good news: American and US Airways will run shuttle buses inside the secure area of the airport to facilitate connections between the two airlines. This means passengers won’t have to re-clear security to switch airlines. The buses will leave every 20 minutes.
That’s a big deal, because American’s Terminal 4 and US Airways’ Terminal 3 are not particularly close to one another, despite the numbering scheme. There’s also no way to walk from one terminal to the other without re-clearing security.
Here are posters you’ll see soon at Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.
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?