Monday, December 31, 2012

On Electronic Devices on Planes - Blogger Displays Ignorance

A few months ago, I sat across the dinner table from a very clever young woman who told me she never listened to the safety briefing when she flew because crashes weren't survivable. Yep, you've read about my conversation with her before when I was expressing pique at Michael O'Leary for saying safety belts don't matter. Apparently, the boss of Ryanair has a similar view that aviation safety is an irrelevant business.

Looking Back on a Year of Flying Lessons

There’s no better way to see the ebb and flow in the world of aviation than to go back and review the events of the past year. As I look at what I saw fit to write about in 2012, I appreciate the unconventional approach some airlines have taken in response to the rapid changes in the industry.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fatality Statistics Meaningless as Safety Measure

As certain as the ball will drop in New York's Times Square on Monday midnight, there will be a round of news stories summing up 2012 in terms of aviation safety. Oh wait a minute, it's already started. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Truly and Nearly Horrific Flights Close Out 2012

An American Airlines flight attendant had a finger severed on a flight from New York to Zurich last night. An accident report filed with the Federal Aviation Administration says the unidentified woman was working Flight 64, a Boeing 767, when the injury happened. Matt Miller, a spokesman for the airline says the plane returned to Kennedy Airport, where the cabin worker was taken off to receive medical attention and the plane departed again for Zurich. There were 176 people on board.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Faith That Moves Mountains from a Defunct Airport in Denver

Stapleton Airport is now a residential community
Last year at this time, I was in Addis Ababa to attend the induction of Ethiopian Airlines into the Star Alliance.  After the ceremony we went to the country's northwest to visit the 12th Century churches of Lalibela, carved bit by bit from the mountains.

This December, I spent a few days in Denver, Colorado, reporting for The New York Times on the transition of the former Stapleton Airport into an in-town residential community. It is a resurrection story of sorts- as an airport takes on an altogether different mission.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Twist, But Too Early to Shout About Travel-Friendly Laptop

Well I must have touched a nerve when I wrote in September about the lack of space for working on a laptop when traveling in the cheap seats on most airlines. I was back from Japan and at my desk about one minute when Lenovo offered to let me test drive its new Twist. Seems my grumbling about the travails of trying to work at 38,000 feet was, coincidentally, aligned with Lenovo's Sky Warrior campaign.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Literal Drug Bust at Barcelona International

Contending for eww story of the month, and certainly a contender with this event in Sharjah for  the 2012 "say WHAT?" award, an air traveler on an Avianca flight from Bogota to Barcelona was arrested for smuggling approximately 3 pounds of cocaine implanted in her breasts.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Movie is a Flight From Realistic to Ridiculous

Denzel Washington in Flight Photo courtesy Paramount
A selection of small servings of alcoholic beverages, flavored vodkas maybe or micro brewed beers, is called a Flight. That's something to keep in mind as you watch the new movie of the same name, staring Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman and Don Cheadle. And I say this because if you think this is a movie about the other kind of flight, the kind that takes us from place to place safely through the air in relative comfort, you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong.