Monday, October 29, 2012

The Fly By and Tie Down Before the Storm

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Everyone else along the north east corridor of the United States might have been spooling up their engines into full panic mode over the weekend, but not me. Perhaps it was the Benadryl I'd been tossing back by the fist full in an attempt to keep the storm brewing inside my respiratory system at bay, but I had an invitation from my friend David Paqua to go flying on Saturday and no storm predicted for Monday was going to stop me two days prior.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Holy Matrimony! Airlines are Hooking Up All Over the World

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Qatar chief Akbar Al Baker photo courtesy Qatar Airways

Like one of those massive Moonie weddings, there were multiple commitments being made today as airlines around the world got hitched. All manner of couplings were going on but the one that caught the bouquet as far as I'm concerned is the one I attended in New York City.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Qatar? Alaska? Will Monday Be All We Hope It Will Be?

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Monday morning,
So good to me
Monday morning
it was all I hoped it would be...

The Mamas and the Papas sang about unrequited love on a Monday in 1966, but this Monday 2012 the love will be mutual as new partnerships are forged in the airline world. 

If my sources are correct, flying up the altar to join the oneworld Alliance will be Qatar Airways, one of the three Gulf carriers that have been redefining global aviation from their propitious location at the cross roads of two of the world's biggest travel markets; India and China.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

AA Shifts Attention From Pencil Whipping on Airplane Seats

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Seats at the American Airlines maintenance center in Oklahoma
It is not just the airplane seats that are shifting, American Airlines is doing its best to shift public attention away from what sure looks like failure on two levels by whoever is doing the work on the carrier's Boeing 757s.

If the economy class seats installed on the planes were not properly attached to the floor track, as American spokeswoman Andrea Hugely suggests, that would   indicate that not only was the installation work not done properly but also that whoever inspected and signed off on it failed to assure it was as properly performed - a practice known as pencil whipping.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Seats Matter, No Shifting!

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Work on a seat at American's Oklahoma maintenance center 
Passengers think of airline seats mostly in terms of space and comfort (most often noticing the absence of both) but the news today that American Airlines has grounded eight of the Boeing 757s in its fleet after some seats shifted in flight, is all about safety.

"There is the misperception among the public that the things you do to protect yourself are meaningless because there's nothing you can do. That's not true," Nora Marshall of the National Transportation Safety Board told me recently when I asked her about improvements in airplane seats. "Most accidents we investigate are survivable."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stamps Prove An Air Travel Truth

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I've written before about my affection for the photo series Earth from Above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. So I was alert when I read this quote today from Joseph Corbett of the US Postal Service. “Once you’ve seen the world from above, you never look at it quite the same way again.”

He's right of course. Corbett makes this observation by way of introducing a new series of postage stamps that show us the world as viewed from airplanes and satellites.