Flight Blog

Dec 15 2011 Overstuffed? BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines


suitcase"Already armed with an exhaustive list of checked bag fees, some airlines are stepping up their enforcement of weight limits for carry-ons. This may lead to aggravation if an airline agent weighs your bag at the gate and then charges you."

Read the rest from the Associated Press, via USA Today.


Dec 15 2011 Demand and Fares on the Rise BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares


wingsdollars"The nation's airline industry continues to rebound from the Great Recession with federal reports showing airline traffic and airfares on the rise. The average domestic airfare in the U.S. rose to $370 in April, May and June, up 8.5% from the same period in 2010, according to a report Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The $370 fare--not adjusted for inflation--is also 6.5% above the previous second-quarter high of $347 in 2008, according to the bureau."

Read the rest of the story from the Los Angeles Times.



"The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that pilots on American Airlines flights would be allowed to use iPads instead of paper flight manuals in the cockpit starting Friday, as reported by ZDNet, even during takeoff and landing. But, passengers are still required to shut down anything with the slightest electronic pulse from the moment a plane leaves the gate until it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet." Read the rest of the story from the New York Times.

Dec 13 2011 Viewpoint: The Southwest/AirTran Merger BY sgf-adminTAGS Southwest


One of the most frequent questions we get from the public is about Southwest Airlines, as in, "When will Southwest come to Springfield?" Our answer, in summary, "Not for a long time, our market is too small."

Recently, the question has changed a bit. Keep in mind that AirTran flies into the Branson airport, and that AirTran was recently bought out by Southwest. So, the question we get today is, "Once the merger is complete, will Southwest keep service at the Branson airport?" Our answer, in summary, "Probably not." Keeping the public's high interest in Southwest in mind, we try to share industry news about the airline. This week we have an analysis of the merger from aviation consultant Michael Boyd. Full disclosure: Boyd's firm is this airport's air service consultant. The analysis begins with this introduction:

"This analysis is a follow-up to the study done by Boyd Group International immediately after the announcement of the Southwest acquisition of AirTran. Compiled independently, the prognosis is clear: Atlanta will experience a traffic decline as a result of this merger. The simple reason is that Southwest is a well-managed company, but its operating system simply cannot take advantage of all of the revenue flows inherited from AirTran."

Here's a heads-up on jargon: "FL" is industry shorthand for AirTran. "WN" is shorthand for Southwest.

Read the entire document here.


Dec 12 2011 Passenger Advocates at Security Screening? BY sgf-adminTAGS TSA


"Two New York lawmakers have called for a passenger advocate at airports to immediately act on complaints by passengers over security screenings." That's the lede in an Associated Press story that ran over the weekend. A New York state senator, and U.S. senator Charles Schumer, want the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create the position at all airports with screening check points. The lawmakers are probably reacting to the steady trickle of passenger complaints that have received national attention.

Two of the most recent ones involve an elderly woman who says she was strip searched, and a young woman who was toting a purse with a gun-shaped applique. Here's an entertaining quote about the purse incident from gawker.com:

"Gibbs (the young woman) told Jacksonville's WJXT-TV that the TSA agent who inspected her "was like, 'This is a federal offense because it's in the shape of a gun'... I'm like, 'But it's a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'" Gibbs escaped being detained by authorities but had to check her bag so that the fake gun's invisible bullets wouldn't go off inside the cabin, theoretically killing all of her fellow passengers as they ascended into the clouds and entered an alternative universe at 30,000 feet."