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Airline News - North America.

Aug 6, 2007

New York this week signed into law a passenger bill of rights, claiming to be become the first state to require airlines to provide passengers with "food, water, fresh air, power and working restrooms on any flight that has left the gate and been on the tarmac for more than three hours." Aug 3, 2007

Passengers don't want to listen to fellow travelers' calls. Airlines are cautiously expanding the ways that passengers can stay in touch with people and business on the ground. One potentially sensitive area is cell phone use. Most passengers say they would like to be able to use their phones but don't want to listen to another traveler's conversations. Aug 3, 2007

Poor customer service costly in long run. US Airlines are enjoying heady times, with planes filled to near-capacity and profits rising. Travel will slow down eventually, though, and when it does passengers will remember which carriers treated them well. Aug 3, 2007

More than a quarter of flights delayed or canceled through May. Passengers and industry analysts have been commenting on this year's dismal state of commercial air travel in the U.S. The hard data backs them up: In the first five months of 2007, 26% of flights were late or canceled. That's the worst track record since the Transportation Department began keeping tabs in 1995. Aug 2, 2007

Airlines are also selling more first-class seats at the airport, via check-in kiosks. US Airways was the first to sell upgrades at check-in a few years ago and the option has now been copied by most major airlines. For US Airways, upgrades now generate "multiple millions" in revenue every month, says Tom Trenga, vice president of revenue management. US Airways sells the upgrades for $50, $100 or $150 per flight, depending on the length of the trip. The upgrades are offered to any customer, not just frequent fliers or high-fare patrons. Aug 1, 2007

Airlines have long had difficulty selling first-class seats on domestic flights. Instead, they give most of the seats as a perk to their best customers, elite-level frequent fliers says The Wall Street Journal. But under intense financial pressure during the past five years, they've looked for new ways to boost revenue and found selling upgrades to be lucrative. Customers have latched on as flights have gotten more crowded with nary an empty middle seat and as the hassles of air travel have increased. A first-class boarding pass that may get you in a priority security screening lane and give you room to work or sleep once you're on the plane is worth a lot to travelers these days. Aug 1, 2007

Flight attendants report that morale is low due to pay cuts and tougher work. Streamlined flight schedules have led to packed planes; delays and malfunctioning lavatories have brought passengers to the boiling point, and revived profits haven't yet registered in flight attendants' paychecks. Flight attendants also report that morale is low due to tougher work and compensation issues. "I still really do love the job," says Alin Boswell, an 18-year veteran of US Airways. Airlines are trying to alleviate flight attendants' stress. Aug 1, 2007

American Airlines

An overwhelming show of support continues to pour in for American Airlines' bid to fly nonstop from Chicago to Beijing, China, effective March 25, 2009. Aug 2, 2007

American Airlines

American Airlines plans to launch a test of in-flight Wi-Fi, joining a growing list of airlines that are hooking passengers up to the Internet at 30,000 feet. AirCell LLC, based in Itasca, Ill., will provide the high-speed broadband Internet technology for use on American's U.S. flights. The test will begin next year on 15 Boeing 767-200 airplanes that mainly fly transcontinental routes, such as from New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco. American officials said Wednesday they're trying to provide what their customers want, particularly their business passengers. Aug 2, 2007

American Airlines

American Airlines will introduce ON American Airlines, a new monthly entertainment magazine featuring news and reviews on technology, games, music, TV and DVDs. The publication will be provided on all entertainment-equipped flights, including Boeing 737, 757, 767, and 777, and Airbus 300 aircraft, and will point out complete in-flight audio and video options available to passengers on board American Airlines. The 28-page magazine, produced by American Airlines Publishing, is a redesign of AAttractions, the previous guide that listed audio and video information. Aug 2, 2007

American Airlines

Airlines have expanded their offers of upgrades at check-in kiosks, priced anywhere from $50 to $300. They are also making it easier to find coach tickets that come with instant upgrades (known as Y-UP fares in industry jargon) on their Web sites. American Airlines launched a feature on aa.com a few weeks ago that lets users see Y-UP fares with one click (Hit "Search by Price & Schedule.") Aug 1, 2007

American Airlines, AirCell

American Airlines signed an MOU with AirCell to become the first US carrier to test that company's high-speed broadband capability for passengers traveling within the continental US. The test will be conducted next year on AA's Boeing 767-200s "that primarily fly transcontinental routes," according to the airline. The solution will provide passengers the ability to use Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and PDAs "coast-to-coast, border-to-border," surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail, according to AirCell. Neither FCC nor FAA has approved the use of mobile phones or PDAs for voice communication in flight. The technology, which relies on ground stations to transmit the signal, will use three antennas installed on the outside of the aircraft. Signals received inside the cabin will be 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi. Aug 2, 2007

American Eagle Airlines

American Eagle Airlines will launch six-times-weekly New York LaGuardia-Flint service on Nov. 4 aboard Embraer ERJ-135s. Aug 1, 2007

Comair

Judge rules Kentucky airport immune in Comair crash lawsuit. A judge has ruled that Blue Grass Airport, near Lexington, Ky., cannot be sued for last summer's deadly Comair plane crash because it is a government entity and therefore immune. The decision is a setback for Comair, which faces lawsuits worth potentially millions of dollars in damages. The airline's case against the airport's control tower is still pending. Aug 3, 2007

Delta Air Lines

Delta's "SiteSeer Challenge" showcases overseas routes. Members of Delta Air Lines' Skymiles loyalty club will soon be able to track the progress of five globe-trotting teams of treasure hunters. The teams will travel worldwide to destinations served by Delta. Viewers will earn Skymiles when they cast reality TV-style votes on which teams should be dropped from the competition. Aug 2, 2007

Midwest Airlines

Midwest will continue to pursue its plan of "aggressive route expansion, frequency increases and equipment upgrades" that he claimed will "enhance the value of the company for shareholders by significantly improving profitability." Jul 30, 2007

Northwest Airlines

Northwest's Flight Cancellation Rate Soars. Northwest Airlines canceled an unusually high number of flights over the weekend, blaming a spike in pilot absenteeism for the disruption. Northwest said it could not give a reason for the high rate of absenteeism, but the union representing the pilots has linked it to inadequate staffing during the peak summer travel season. A Northwest spokesman said the carrier completed about 92 percent of its scheduled flights on Friday and Saturday compared with about 99 percent which is more typical for the airline. Jul 31, 2007

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines' pattern of cancellations continued Sunday, with more than 200 flights dropped as pilots who were pushed to the limit of hours they are allowed to fly each month stayed home from work. The airline blamed the pilots, who in turn blamed the airline for failing to address staff shortfalls after it canceled more than 2,000 flights in June, many of them toward the end of the month. Passengers suffered again Sunday, especially at Detroit Metro Airport. Jul 30, 2007

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines WorldVacations is expanding the product with four new destinations: San Francisco/Napa Valley, Arizona, Florida and Jamaica. Joining Las Vegas, Cancun and the Riviera Maya, these four cities have been identified by NWA WorldVacations as top luxury destinations with an abundance of high-end product, the company said. Benefits of booking the Lifestyle Collection include first-class air and private limousine transfers, luxury accommodations and private excursions, as well as access to VIP services and amenities. "Our luxury products have been very well received by our customers and travel agent partners and have been steadily gaining in popularity since their launch last year," said Ken Pomerantz, president and chief marketing officer of MLT Vacations, a subsidiary of NWA. Jul 30, 2007

United Airlines

United Airlines, based in Chicago, appears to have jumped ahead of US competitors American Airlines and Delta in announcing the introduction of a true 180* flat bed seat [sup.3]in the fall 2007.[sup.2] Jul 31, 2007

US Airways

US Airways told the U.S. Department of Transportation today that the airline's bid for daily service to China in 2009 provides maximum competition for U.S. consumers and greater convenience for shippers, while also establishing a new gateway to China for more than 150,000 passengers annually. Aug 2, 2007

ZZ

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Publication:Airguide Online
Date:Aug 6, 2007
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