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.
Here’s a roundup of some of the week’s best aviation stories and blog posts.
There are some darn good – and very dedicated – aviation bloggers out there. Here is some of the blog items of the past week or so.
“13 Secrets Airline Pilots Won’t Tell You” from ABC News and Readers Digest. Among the secrets: “The two worst airports for us: Reagan National in Washington, D.C., and John Wayne in Orange County, Calif. You’re flying by the seat of your pants trying to get in and out of those airports. John Wayne is especially bad because the rich folks who live near the airport don’t like jet noise, so they have this noise abatement procedure where you basically have to turn the plane into a ballistic missile as soon as you’re airborne.” - -Pilot, South Carolina
Some astute frequent fliers noticed Wednesday morning that American Airlines was charging new fees on some award tickets. They got very upset. But it seems it was all a technological mistake by the airline. The blog “View from the Wing” explains what happened.
What does international first class look like? The supremely talented @onemileatatime reviewed an ANA first class flight from Chicago to Tokyo. His trip reports – and there are many of them – are very detailed.
And finally, @crankyflier tells us that Delta is giving smartphones to its flight attendants so they can help travelers. Among other things, the wifi enabled phones will allow the airline to process credit cards in real time. Most airlines only upload data after flights land.
The inimitable Cranky Flier breaks down Delta’s new strategy in Los Angeles, saying the carrier is happy to be No. 3 here in traffic but wants to raise its profile to attract new high-yield customers.
Southwest is no longer the driver of low fares across the industry that it once was, writes Charisse Jones of USA Today.
What’s next for American and US Airways if the merger does not go through? The AP’s David Koenig fills us in.
Japanese carriers JAL and ANA are locked in a fierce battle over 20 slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport, which is considerably closer to downtown than Narita Airport, Reuters reports.
In one of the best stories about the US Airways/American merger anti-trust lawsuit, the New York Times breaks down some of the legal issues in the case. The idea that the airlines would win in court is no slam dunk, legal experts say. That could be where the case is headed if it does not settle.
American is doing all it can to promote the fact that it is adding a new plane – the A319 – to its fleet. The airline invited media to Dallas last week to see it. Gary Leff, who writes the blog, View from the Wing, has pictures.
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.
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 airlinepilotchatter.com. 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.