Flight Blog

 

What is the flying public willing to pay for on an airline flight? An airport shuttle company asked that question of 360 people. Here are the top five things people would pay for:

  • 48 percent: Leg room
  • 33 percent: WiFi accessibility
  • 30 percent: Designed child-free area
  • 21 percent: In-flight meals
  • 13 percent: Aisle seats

See the rest of the survey here.

 


 

Airline news has been kind of slow lately, but something popped up yesterday that's definitely worth a mention...

Image of Allegiant airplaneOur friends at Allegiant are getting some new airplanes — not brand new, but new to the Allegiant fleet. Allegiant is our low cost carrier that provides our service to Los Angeles, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Pete. For years the airline has flown only one kind of airplane: McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. In the past couple of years the airline latched on to several Boeing 757s. They're mostly used on Allegiant's routes to Hawaii.

Yesterday the airline announced that it's adding 19 Airbus A319 aircraft to its fleet (an A319 is shown in the photo). This is very interesting  — mainly because A319s can do things that an MD-80 can't. As investment firm Sterne Agee noted, "The planes have significantly longer range than MD-80s and can use more difficult airports which should allow them to grow their network." Indeed. Depending on variables, the A319 can fly more than twice as far as an MD-80. Why is that interesting? Well, let's look at it strictly from our point-of-view....

Springfield, Mo sits nearly smack-dab in the middle of the country. That makes it a very long haul from here to the West Coast, or to the upper East Coast. Keep this thought in mind as you read on...

Allegiant currently flies from here to Los Angeles using an MD-80. That's about 1400 miles. That's a long stretch for an MD-80 and close to the end of its range. The point I'm making here is that 1400 miles is about as far as Allegiant is going to fly from Springfield using an MD-80. So what happens when A319s get thrown into the fleet mix? It means that Allegiant has a lot more flexibility when it comes to how far it can fly — it gives the airline the ability to fly to more far flung vacation destinations.

I'm not suggesting that Allegiant is about to add far flung destinations to Springfield's roster. I'm merely pointing out that the A319 broadens our horizons.

 


 

Have you heard the predictions that someday we'll wear clothes that have computers? And glasses. And wrist watches. And who knows what. Will we have to turn off all those things before a plane can take-off?

sony smart watch

That's the question posed by technology writer Nick Bilton, of the New York Times:

"Stacy K. Martin, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents more than 10,000 flight attendants, knows these gadgets are coming, but is not sure what he and others will be able to do about them. “We’re not policemen. We’re not going to be able to get anything done if we have to ask people if they’re wearing sunglasses or computer glasses and if their watch is a computer,” Mr. Martin said. “My hope is that we will get some relief from the F.A.A., but I don’t expect them to step up and be prepared for these issues in a timely fashion. Technology is clearly 10 years ahead of the F.A.A.”"

Read the rest of the story here.

 


May 29 2012 Tag It Yourself BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service

 

Alaska Airlines now allows its customers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to tag their own bags. Other airlines may follow — excited? Does this make flying easier, or more painful?

Read the rest of the story here.

 


May 23 2012 Catch-all BY sgf-adminTAGS How the Airport Works, Southwest

 

This is the Wednesday morning catch-all...

APRIL PASSENGERS NUMBERS

Our April passenger numbers are in and the news is good: they’re up 6.4 percent compared to the same month last year. For the first four months of the year passenger numbers are up 9.1%. This is good news. Keep in mind that last year we were down 8.1%. Why such an improvement? Several factors are at work…

Last year the airlines cut capacity (the number of seats in the air) across the board; less capacity means lower operating costs. The cuts came in response to high fuel prices, and the continuing recession. The capacity cuts now appear to be over with. The economy has improved somewhat, particularly here in Southwest Missouri, where unemployment is now less than 7%. There’s an old rule of thumb in the airline industry: more employment means more people flying.

While the news is good we’re not jumping up and down. We’re cautiously optimistic.

SOUTHWEST PLANS TO DUMP AIRTRAN FLEET

Southwest Airlines will apparently get rid of the fleet of Boeing 717s it acquired when it bought out AirTran. The planes will be picked up by Delta Air Lines. At least that’s the plan. It’s a tentative deal that depends on the outcome of several factors, including ratification of a labor contract with Delta pilots.

Read more here, and here.

TSA WANTS TO SPEED UP SECURITY SCREENING

“The U.S. Transportation Security Administration wants to speed screening for as many as three in four travelers as it absorbs criticism for procedures that have led to pat-downs of children, seniors and members of Congress.”

That’s the lede in a story from Bloomberg News. Read the rest here.