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Airline Industry News – Week Ending 01.20.07

Airline JokeJoke of the Week: After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.

American Airlines is offering free first class upgrades to passengers traveling between New York JFK and London Heathrow. On April 10, 2007, they will begin year round service to Rome from both O’Hare and JFK. American is changing policy, due to a proposed “Passenger Bill of Rights” proposed after an 8 hour delay for one aircraft. Many large carriers have internal policies in place for this sort of situation.

American Eagle will begin service between Northwest Arkansas and South Florida. I’m looking for a SEC Championship rematch…

British Airways is reducing the number of free checked luggage pieces per passenger beginning next week.

Cathay Pacific Airways has a fun new promotion on their website. The grand prize winner will receive an All Asia Pass for two, allowing the winner to visit up to 23 cities in the covered area. There are also more than 500 “instant win” prizes, including digital cameras and iPods.

Continental Airlines is participating with the March of Dimes in an auction to ride on its newest Boeing 777.

Emirates is beginning new service between Houston, Texas and Dubai. Cowboys in Dubai… Hehe!

Express Jet’s ties are being severed with Continental Airlines. The carrier is beginning stand alone service in the following: Los Angeles/Ontario, Sacramento, San Diego, Austin, San Antonio and New Orleans, Albuquerque, Spokane, Boise, Tucson, Omaha, Kansas City, Mo., Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Birmingham, Raleigh/Durham, Louisville, Monterey, CA, Fresno, Bakersfield, Jacksonville, FL, El Paso, and Corpus Christi.

Frontier Airlines has received DOT permission to begin flights between Mazatlan and Dallas. Those Texans are getting all the breaks.

Hawaiian Airlines has instituted a “no cash” policy on its flights. From here on out, credit cards are the preferred method of payment. You can practically hear the sigh of relief from the flight attendants who no longer have to worry about making change from a large bill.

Iberia Airlines will begin flights between Boston and Madrid on May 6, 2007. I’ve got to tell you, Spain is fun…

Northwest Airlines is happy to announce new nonstop flights from Detroit to Düsseldorf, Germany and Brussels, Belgium. In celebration, they will award between 5,000 and 15,000 WorldPerks® bonus miles to those who register before July 31, 2007. Service for both begins in June.

Open Air is beginning new “on demand” air service from Washington DC from the Montgomery County Airpark with “luxury, non-stop, and “door to door” concierge service throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.”

Southwest Airlines has announced plans to resume service to San Francisco. Rapid Rewards members may find a surprise in the mail. Southwest has mailed out Nintendo DS(TM) Lite and a copy of Brain Age(TM) to 50 participants.

Spirit Airlines has reduced the number of free checked luggage items to 1 per passenger. Additional items are allowed on-board for a charge.

US Airways verbalized plans to file an application with the U.S. DOT to fly the next available nonstop between China and the United States. The new service will begin in 2008. Delta has already filed their application. In the funniest thing I’ve heard happen to an airline in AGES, US Airways is no longer able to serve booze in New Mexico, due to the lack of a state liquor license. So basically, the airline has been acting as a bootlegger for quite some time.

Virgin America is still begging for DOT clearance. Some US carriers object to the airlines proposed business in the United States, as reciprocal plans are not in place in Europe for American carriers.

The United States and European Union have started a new round of negotiations to facilitate air travel between the two. More on that later.

The FAA is proposing to raise the mandatory retirement age for pilots to 65. Good for them. I still believe there are 62 year olds who are in better shape than I am at 28.