Media

Airbus Is Considering An “A380-Plus,” With Up To 50 More Seats

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As a passenger, my favorite plane in the world to fly is the A380. It’s massive, quiet, a smooth ride, has some of the best onboard products in the world, and has a very cool tail camera.

While it’s a great plane as a passenger, unfortunately it’s a bit of a flop financially. While the A380 is the backbone of Emirates’ fleet, other airlines haven’t been as happy with the plane.

Why? Because filling as many seats as the A380 has can be difficult, at least at decent yields. Airlines would rather buy planes like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, which are also fuel efficient, but lower capacity. This allows them to achieve better yields, and also to operate longhaul routes that previously wouldn’t have been practical. Airlines also care about operating competitive schedules, so on most markets they’d rather have two flights a day on a smaller plane than one flight a day on a bigger plane.

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How JetSmarter Tries To Fine Journalists Who Don’t Write Nice Things About Them

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A vast majority of my travels are self funded (through miles & points, or through cash). Over the years I’ve had a few travel experiences that were comped in one form or another, though I always disclose it, and it’s a tiny percentage of my overall travel.

However, not once have I ever been told what I needed to write. I’ve always been told to share my honest opinions, whether those are positive or negative. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Well, it looks like JetSmarter takes a different approach. For those of you not familiar, JetSmarter is basically the Uber of private jets. While I think it’s an innovative concept, I’ve never used them, and don’t really see all that much value in it. That’s because JetSmarter gives you access to shared private jets in exchange for an annual membership fee.

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Kim Jong-Un’s Half Brother Assassinated At Kuala Lumpur Airport

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Well, we’ve certainly seen some airport “attacks” over the past few years, though nothing quite like this. The older half brother of North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur Airport this past Monday, while waiting for a flight to Macau. Per the New York Times:

“He seemed like an ordinary passenger in the departure hall of the airport for Malaysia’s capital, awaiting a four-hour flight to Macau. Moments later, he felt dizzy and was carried out on a stretcher, apparently dying from poisoned-needle punctures or perhaps a toxic liquid splashed on his face by two women who ran away.

The ruckus caused by the man’s death on Monday at the international airport for Kuala Lumpur was minor news until a thunderbolt from the South Korean and Malaysian news media a day later: The victim was Kim Jong-nam, 45, the estranged older half brother of Kim Jong-un, the unpredictable and ruthless leader of North Korea.”

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What Does Qatar Airways’ CEO Think Of Donald Trump Now?

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Qatar Airways’ CEO is known for being one of the most outspoken people in the airline industry. He has called Donald Trump a “good friend,” and back during the election claimed that Trump’s “Muslim ban” idea was just rhetoric, and that he wouldn’t follow through on it. Well, where does he stand now?

First let’s take a look at what he has said in the past. Going back to December 2015, Al Baker had the following to say regarding Trump, per CNN:

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“Cash Me Ousside” Girl Kicked Off Spirit Airlines Flight — How Bow Dah?

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Let me start by saying that some of the videos below contain bad language, so if you’re sensitive to that, I’d recommend skipping this post and the videos.

Someone named Danielle Bregoli has made a bit of a name for herself after recently appearing on the Dr. Phil Show. She’s perhaps most well known for her “cash me ousside, how bow dah?” catchphrase. Here’s the Dr. Phil segment, for those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about:

The phrase has gained so much popularity that you can even make Bitmojis with the phrase.

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Royal Jordanian References U.S. “Muslim Ban” In Latest Ad

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From Aeromexico to Air Canada, we’ve seen quite a few airlines get political lately in light of the U.S. election. Last November, Royal Jordanian tried to capitalize on the U.S. election with an ad saying “Just in case he wins… Travel to the US while you’re still allowed to!” Not surprisingly, this was in conjunction with a fare sale for travel to the U.S.

Well, in response to the recent “Muslim ban,” Royal Jordanian is back with yet another ad promoting travel to the U.S.:

Now in fairness, Jordan wasn’t one of the countries on the ban list, so perhaps the sale should really be for travel from Syria, Yemen, etc. Quite to the contrary, Jordan is known for being welcoming of refugees. Furthermore, there’s no indication that the ban will be lifted permanently, so I’m not sure it would be good advice for someone who was previously on that list to book a ticket now.

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Donald Trump Blames Delta For Airport Chaos This Weekend

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On Saturday, Tiffany wrote about President Trump’s executive order, which created chaos for many international travelers, as those with passports from seven countries were banned from entering the U.S., with immediate effect.

Regardless of how you feel about the decision as such, I think we can all agree this created confusion and chaos, given the lack of notice, and the lack of clear directives for those who were supposed to enforce the rules. Trump insisted this was necessary, because all the bad hombres could have entered the country if there were a week of advance notice:

So, what caused big problems at airports this weekend, according to Trump? Delta’s computer outage, of course… even though it just happened late yesterday evening.

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Horrible: Allegiant Flight Attendant Power Trip Prevents Sisters From Seeing Dying Father

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Ugh, here’s a sad story. We hear all of the time of people getting kicked off planes for a variety of reasons. Some of them are valid, some of them aren’t valid, and some of them are somewhere in the middle. For better or worse, flight attendants have virtually unlimited authority since 9/11. If they don’t feel “comfortable” with someone aboard, they can have them removed from the plane.

I support that concept in theory, because situations have a tendency to only escalate more once a plane is in the air. The problem is that it assumes all flight attendants are level headed, compassionate people, and sadly that’s not the case (a vast majority are, but like every industry, there are bad apples). Sometimes I can’t help but shake my head at what goes down, like this story.

Two sisters were flying Allegiant Air from Orlando, Florida, to Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday, to visit their father. Shortly before the plane left one sister received a text saying that the father had only hours left to live, and wanted to console her sister. They were understandably an emotional mess.

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Southwest Companion Pass Has A Very Bad Week

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Southwest Rapid Rewards started the year on a bad foot, when as of January 1 they changed the qualification criteria for Companion Pass without any advance notice. In order to earn Companion Pass (which lets you take a companion with you on all Southwest flights for free) you need to earn 110,000 qualifying points per year, though Southwest changed what type of points qualify towards that total.

Specifically, with this change, points transferred from hotel and car rental partners no longer qualify towards Companion Pass. The change as such was reasonable enough, though I think Southwest should do better than to make a change like this without notice, especially since some people had already transferred points in anticipation of earning Companion Pass in 2017.

Well, that hasn’t been the only Southwest Companion Pass drama this week. Earlier today Southwest sent out an email to Rapid Rewards members with the subject line “Congrats! You earned Companion Pass.”

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Lufthansa Cuts Magazines & Newspapers In Favor Of eJournals

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Airlines are always looking for ways to cut costs, and it looks like Lufthansa has a unique way they’re hoping to do so, without impacting the passenger experience too much. While Lufthansa has long offered onboard reading materials to all passengers, they’ve recently changed their policies a bit, presumably to cut costs.

Lufthansa is no longer offering magazines and newspapers in economy, but rather is giving passengers access to eJournals, which can be downloaded to your personal device.

To take advantage of this, enter your Lufthansa record locator and last name on this page and you’ll get access to hundreds of titles. You can download them starting three days before departure, all the way until the end of your journey.

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PSA: You May Get Bitten If You Try To Take A Selfie With A Crocodile

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Taking selfies is becoming seriously dangerous. We’ve heard story after story of tourists dying while trying to take selfies on vacation, which most commonly seems to happen when people take them near the edge of something, and then lose balance and fall over. That’s tragic and avoidable, though I see how it happens.

This story, on the other hand, makes me shake my head to no end. A French lady was bitten by a crocodile in Thailand after she and her husband tried to take a selfie with it on New Year’s Day.

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How Much Airplane “Networking” Is Too Much?

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All Nippon Airways has an article that’s a paid advertisement on CNBC entitled “The 3-3-3 Challenge: How a frequent flyer networks from Asia to the U.S.” In general ANA’s approach to this “article” is smart, as a paid advertisement is much more interesting to read if it’s about an engaging topic rather than just about the airline. So they’re writing about networking planes, though I’m curious if you guys think the premise of it is taken a bit too far:

“In-flight networking is a growing trend among the business set. How does traveling make it different from networking on terra firma? All Nippon Airways (ANA) invited Karl Chong – angel investor, co-founder of Groupon (Singapore) and a seasoned networker – to discern the differences.”

Let me start by saying that I’m generally pretty introverted, and am someone who will almost never initiate a conversation on a plane or in a lounge. It’s not necessarily that I’m opposed to having a conversation with someone, as I’ve had plenty of fascinating conversations with seatmates.

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Delta’s Latest Statement Regarding The #BoycottDelta Situation

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The biggest airline story of the day has been about a YouTube prankster who got kicked off a Delta flight from London to New York this morning. I shared my initial impressions of the situation, and then wrote a follow-up post about why I think it’s too soon to point fingers at/boycott Delta, given this guy’s history.

The prankster who was kicked off the plane has a history of lying about what happened on planes, and even of lying about being discriminated against.

Earlier today Delta issued the following statement regarding the situation:

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Surprising Life Advice From The “Miracle On The Hudson” Pilot

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Almost everyone is familiar with “the miracle on the Hudson,” where back in 2009 US Airways 1549 had a double engine failure shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia. They ditched the plane in the Hudson, and amazingly enough everyone survived. There has been even more press about the incident the past few months, given that the movie “Sully” was released in September, which documents the incident.

While Sully Sullenberger (the captain) has become a household name, not as many people could name the first officer of that flight, who was Jeff Skiles. Anyway, a Reddit user recently emailed Jeff, and received a fascinating response that I can’t not share.

Here’s the question that the Reddit user asked Jeff. The user is training to become a CFI (and presumably eventually wants to be an airline pilot), but has anxiety about having an engine failure after takeoff, and how it may inhibit his ability to think clearly:

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