Aviation Bytes — Up in Vapor?




An agreement approving airline service between the United States and Cuba was signed this morning in Havana.

If all goes as expected U.S. airlines should begin Cuban service this fall. Before the ink on the agreement was dry United Airlines announced its intent to start service between some of its hubs and Havana. Get more details from the Dallas Morning News.



The federal government’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) says the average round trip domestic fare was $372 in the third quarter of 2015 — that’s down 6.2 percent compared to 2014. That headline sounds great, but there’s a lot more to it. CNN Money covers most of the bases in this story.

While consumer groups, politicians, and some media outlets claim credit for forcing the average base fare down, it probably has more to do with good old-fashioned competition — especially at large hub airports such as Chicago O’Hare, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. BTS data says the average fare at O’Hare was down 19.4%. At Dallas it was down 14.5%.

The competition at those airports is fierce between the ultra-low cost airlines, such as Frontier and Spirit, and the legacy airlines, American, Delta, and United.

Speaking of fares —

The New York Times offers its take on the best way to find cheap flights, well,  … sort of —

Here’s the deal: figuring out the best way to find cheap fare is the holy grail of air travel.  If you’re trying to figure it out, good luck! You wanna know what half the problem is? What’s a “good” fare to one person is a “terrible” fair to someone else. Just what is a good fare? It depends on who you ask.

Our best advice: if you find a “good” fare you’d better buy it quick before it goes away.

You can read the BTS report here.



American hopes to make long waits a little easier for passengers with a new test program at New York’s JFK Airport that brings free food to delayed customers.” That news comes from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.

Whether the airline expands the test to other airports (including small airports like Springfield) seems to be an open question. Interestingly enough, Delta offers refreshments in Springfield to delayed customers and has done so for some time.

The takeaway: this is another sign that the airlines are making efforts to improve customer service.




Should electronic cigarettes be banned from planes? That's a hot topic right now in Congress.

No telling where this congressional argument will go. As USA Today reports, one lawmaker “argued that lawmakers would next try to ban hot air, bad breath and body odor.”





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