American Airlines issued new uniforms to its front-line employees in September, the first such redesign in decades. Almost immediately, though, flight attendants reported hives and headaches, and despite AA claiming that three separate tests had revealed no issues, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants has filed a grievance (2-page PDF) demanding that employees be given the option to wear the old uniforms. AA executives have responded by wearing the new uniforms themselves. Union representatives are not amused.
Ever wondered what the break down of an (average) airline ticket cost is? "Flying is expensive, really expensive, but only kinda, and it's only partially the airlines' fault." [more inside]
If you leave your boarding pass in the seat-pocket in front of you after your flight has landed, someone else could upload it to this site, and you might be surprised at how much they could find out about you.
The New York Times is reporting this morning that crash of the Germanwings plane on Tuesday in the French Alps that killed 150 people "most likely happened" because the co-pilot crashed the jet deliberately, [more inside]
Johan Grimonprez is a Belgian multimedia artist, filmmaker, and curator. He is most known for two 'not-quite documentary' films which use experimental forms to explore the relationship between media, politics, history, identity, and manipulation in the second half of the twentieth century: 1997's dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y , which traces the history of skyjacking throughout the 20th century using montages, and Double Take, which explores the Cold War through the lens of real and imagined versions of Alfred Hitchcock and Folger's instant coffee commercials. Both are available online. [more inside]
And if you're traveling with small children, we're sorry. Flight attendant gives the obligatory safety talk, with a twist.
All these grown-up monsters for my grown-up mind, they are there in the nights I wake up terrified and taunted by death. When I feel so small and broken, when despair and terror take me, I have a secret tool, a talisman against the night. I don’t use it too often so that it doesn’t lose its power.[more inside]
Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash Ever How two jetliners nearly collided over the Pacific, why no one knows about it, and what it means for safety oversight aboard airplanes
How do you cram a bunch of strangers into an airborne metal tube, charge them a lot of money for the privilege, and get them to rave about it? Hire people like James Park to attract the one percent. [more inside]
I write for SkyMall (SLTP)
Why an airline that travelers love is failing. Virgin America, named the "top overall airline in the U.S." with a huge wow factor is having financial problems and experiencing cutbacks. Meanwhile, deep discounter Spirit Air is imposing $100 checked-bag fees, is wildly profitable, and has high bookings. [more inside]
Kind of, sort of, "holograms" have been popping up on election night and (previously) have resurrected famous musicians. The next step may be the pre-boarding kiosk. The only questions that really remains is how close are we to having a time-traveling, Victorian era Guy Pearce in our midst?
Food and drink menus from the international airlines, railways, and cruise ships of decades past (Click "Digital Images" link in each carrier's thread). Courtesy of the Northwestern University Transportation Library's Menu Collection. [Via]
Have we hit 'peak travel'? Recent studies have suggested we may be approaching the limits of global capacity to sustain growth in human movement at current rates, or that we may already be at the structural limits of that capacity: the theory of "peak travel." Does it matter? What is our responsibility as travelers? Is there an upside? [more inside]
The Daily Patdown - Your daily Dose of Security Theater. Some pictures of groping therein. [via mefi projects]
Nov. 24 is National Opt-out Day from airport back-scatter scanners Time to call BS on TSA's kabuki theater of airport security: "As public anger grows over the TSA's body scanners and intrusive new airport pat-down procedure, a Web site is urging travelers to "opt out" from the body scanners and instead choose to have a pat-down in public view, so that everyone can "see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens." OptOutDay.com declares November 24 to be the day when air travelers should refuse to submit to a full body scan and choose the enhanced pat-down -- an option many travelers have described as little short of a molestation."
Forget cosmetic upgrades—Air New Zealand has been working on improving the actual flight experience, first introducing In-Flight Concierge Service, and now, the Skycouch - a row of seats that convert to a bed—in Economy Class.
via mathowie's delicious
via mathowie's delicious
Were they arguing? Were they asleep? It's not clear yet why two pilots overflew the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles before turning around in Wisconsin. What is known is that they dropped radio contact over Kansas, that Air Force fighters were put on alert, and that, according to MN Public radio, passengers saw cops and stern-looking men in suits waiting on the jetway when they were finally allowed off the plane. MSP alt-weekly City Pages aggregates info about the flight as it comes in, and discussion on local sites is spirited.
Oh, it's a big, pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels; why, it looks like a big Tylenol!
Mark takes us on the A380 (warning: image heavy) from Dubai to New York with meticulous photographic detail. For $7300 you can fly the A380 with access to amenities like showers and a full-service bar, and stroll down to see the plebs in steerage. Arguably the last time a flying hotel was tried in earnest was the post-WWII Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a staple of Pacific routes until jet-powered 707s appeared on the scene.
It smells like dirty socks, wet dog, oil, chemicals, gymnasiums, burning, vomit, and more. It induces blurred vision, disorientation, shaking and tremors, vertigo, seizures, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, depression, sleep disorders, salivation, nausea and diarrhoea among other symptoms. Is "toxic airline syndrome" the new Gulf War Syndrome? [more inside]
The TSA wants you to know, dear American, that if you don't pack your bags neatly, the terrorists have already won. This busiest Thanksgiving travel week ever, why not Simplifly? [more inside]
Airway Robbery. Another summer, another disaster for British Airways. The company has just received the largest fine ever issued by Britain’s competition agency (nearly £270m / $547m) for price fixing on fuel surcharges. BA admitted to colluding with rival airline Virgin Atlantic (who won immunity in the UK) on at least six occasions. The allegations are thought to be linked to the resignation of commercial director Martin George and communications chief Iain Burns. Although BA said fuel surcharges were "a legitimate way of recovering costs", in May 2007 it put aside £350 million for legal fees and fines. Criminal proceedings against individuals in both countries are a distinct possibility.
What does everyone called Gary Smith, John Williams or Robert Johnson have in common with Saddam Hussein, the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, the President of Bolivia, and the dead 9/11 hijackers? They're on the No-Fly List, that's what, even if they're babies. But the 11 British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up airliners with liquid explosives were not on it, despite the fact they were under surveillance for more than a year. They were deliberately left off the list. in case it fell into the wrong hands.
AirPower Wiki looks like its just getting off the ground, but if you travel much, you know the hassle of finding a power outlet in an airport. Hopefully it grows fast and furiously.
All US Air Passengers to be Profiled, and 1% Will be Banned from Boarding. In the most aggressive -- and, some say, invasive -- step yet, the federal government and the airlines will phase in a computer system next year to measure the risk posed by every passenger on every flight in the United States. Up to 8 percent of passengers who board flights will be coded "yellow" and pulled for additional screening. An estimated 1 to 2 percent will be labeled "red" and will be prohibited from boarding. These passengers also will face police questioning and may be arrested. [More Inside....]
Southeast Airlines has plans to install digital video cameras throughout the cabins of its planes to record the faces and activities of its passengers at all times. Furthermore, the charter airline will store the digitized video for up to 10 years. And it may use face recognition software to match faces to names and personal records.
"If your name is David Nelson you can expect to be hassled, delayed, questioned and searched before being allowed to board aircraft anywhere in the United States for the foreseeable future."
The Queen of the Skies retires Undoubtedly the most elegant plane out there, Concorde is being put into retirement, some say too early. She flies over my office every morning and it's a beautiful sight. I feel very sad - is it normal to miss a machine?
Is this so called heighted security? Why are we permitting people to bring on carry on luggage at all? If the airlines are unwilling to put a skymarshal on every flight then they need to arm the pilots. We really need to take much stronger steps in this area than the feeble attempts taken thus far.
Mileage Run! Not sitting at the front of the Airbus? Then maybe you need to pack a light bag, book a tight itinerary and rack up those miles. Here's a nice tool for finding efficient flights. Otherwise the terrorists have already won.. ha!.
Pee on a plane and get 20......years. After consuming alcohol, prescription sleeping tablets and cocaine, Rodrigo Deambrosio urinated on seats and threatened to bring the plane down. He may now face 20 years if convicted. Mr. Deambrosio insists it was the drugs he consumed but we all know it was the United Airlines service that drove him to his fit of rage.
Egyptian plane crashes and U.S. says pilot a suicide Egypt denies suicide as cause of plane that crashed just off our coast. Any connection to WTC?
Fear of flying? New security measures are being discussed. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says, "These terrorist acts are designed to steal the confidence of Americans. We will restore that confidence."
Boeing is upping the chance you'll be able to surf while you fly.. Question is: will more of these devices also mean a lower price?
Boeing's new boat will be able to fly 6,000 nautical to 10,000 nautical miles nonstop which means it could circle the earth having to only refuel twice. The linked page includes a nice rendering of what the plane will look like (with concords permanently grounded, boeing might actually pull this off)
Going down? NPR's Savvy Traveler did a bit on this site; apparently it tells you the odds of a crash on your chosen flight. Question is, do I want to know?
Hey! What's this thing suddenly coming toward me very fast? Very, very fast. So big and flat and round... Are you one of those people in search of a new extreme sport? Have you considered spacediving?