Aviation Bytes — News to Start the Week

 

Need a passport, or is the one you have expiring soon? If so, the U.S. State Department urges renewal ASAP. That's because the department expects an avalanche of renewals this year and next — so many that it may take longer than the typical six weeks to get a new passport.

Why the avalanche? Passports are good for ten years. And it was about ten years ago that a new U.S. law required citizens to use a passport to travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, and Canada. All those ten year old passports are starting to expire.

 

Get the lowdown on passport renewal by clicking here.

 

ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM AIRLINES

Delta and American airlines are at war, so to speak. That's according to the widely read industry publication, Airline Weekly :

"They are the two largest airlines in the world and — in terms of total dollars — the most profitable too. And they are at each other's throats."

Well that's all fine and dandy, but what does it mean for consumers? A lot it turns out —

Among other things:

  • Delta has significantly improved its on-time performance. Last September it began offering an on-time guarantee to business travelers.
     
  • Both airlines are phasing out small jets (50-seats). The resulting bigger planes means more customer comfort and, in some cases, the return of a first class section.
     
  • American has brought back free snacks.

But something more fundamental is going on — with the return of a profitable airline industry we seem to be witnessing a return of airline civility — and we're speaking of airlines in general now. Overall, the industry seems better behaved.

Just a few short years ago, when airlines were bleeding red ink, merging, and going out of business, surly airline employees seemed ubiquitous. Sometimes flights were cancelled, at the drop of a snow flake, to save money. Airlines were so busy trying to stay alive they didn’t even seem to care what the other guy was doing.

Now days airline employees seem generally happier. Rather than cancelling flights on a whim, airlines brag on their operational performance. And rather than ignoring the other guy, airlines are actually paying attention to the competition.

Does the industry still give people heart burn? You bet it does — but things are definitely improving — and airline warfare is one of the telltale signs.

 

MONTHLY FEE, UNLIMITED FLIGHTS?

A new app launched last week hopes to upend the way some of us buy airline tickets. OneGo says it’s “the first booking app for subscription-based flying on major airlines.” In other words, get unlimited flights for a monthly fee.

It’s aimed at business travelers. Give it a look by clicking here.

 

WHY NOT MINOT?

And here’s one from someone who has WAY too much time on their hands. It’s Apex Airways — “the global carrier that touches you personally.”

With twin hubs in Minot, ND, and Branson, MO, the airline is proud of its 50-seat jet that features “an all lie-flat bed configuration in a reverse herringbone layout … [and] the first on-board shower available on a regional aircraft anywhere. Used primarily on our longer trans-Pacific routes.”

Yes, it’s the spoof that goes long and deep — it features accompanying websites, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.

Spend your time wisely: http://www.apexairways.com/

 

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