My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. As a kid, I never missed a chance to go to LAX and pick up airline timetables. My grandmother even took me to an airport hotel for my birthday one year so I could watch the planes land. By the age of 12, I had become a travel agent. Soon after I was volunteering at Traveler’s Aid.
Since that time, I’ve worked in several places in the industry.
Back in the early days, one flight number would usually have one airplane the whole way. Heck, it was more likely for the airplane to stay the same than the actual airline!"
Don’t get too excited. I didn’t actually get to fly on one. But I did get invited to come take a tour of a 787 while it was on the ground here in Long Beach as part of a tour around North America. Of course, I was thrilled to do it."
As I mentioned yesterday, the big buzz at the APEX expo last week was around wireless entertainment."
It’s a busy week here at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) 2011 Expo"
Why don’t airlines stream black box data so that they don’t have to actually find the box itself?"
Over the years, with a lot of planning and tactical earning and burning of frequent flier miles, I’ve flown in some fantastically spacious lie-flat beds, gotten free massages in exclusive high-end lounges and raised my champagne tolerance to impressive le"
Uh oh. It looks like the DOT has found something else they don’t like about airlines with which they want to get involved. This time, it’s the refunding of bag fees when bag aren’t delivered. Guess what? I agree with the idea."
"If you’ve been watching pilot unions tell their members to decline to go through the body scanner when they go through security, you’re probably feeling concerned about your safety as well, right"
"Small Community Air Service Development (SCASD) week"
When I beg at check-in for a better seat assignment, why are they powerless?"
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo 2010"
Back at the end of April, the rule enacting massive fines to airlines who keep people on an airplane on the ground for more than three hours went into effect. The Department of Transportation just released May’s results and the numbers show that more trav"
The details of the British Airways 747 near-accident in South Africa are out, and man, was that scary for the pilots."
We’ve all heard about how awesome the new 787 is going to be, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some risks to this program."
Let’s say you’re flying on a German airline and you’re riding in style up in business class. What would you like to see in the lounge before you go?re you go?"
It’s time to look back on the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano."
It's a rare week when there isn't a strike at a European airline, but this appears to be one of them. Unhappy with this news, a big mean volcano in Iceland called Eyjafjallajokull decided to start erupting."
It’s not often that you see one airport call out another airport, but that’s exactly what San Francisco International (SFO) has done, even though they won’t admit it."
The Colgan Air accident involved a couple of pilots who were exhausted. One had just flown in on a redeye the night before and shouldn’t have been flying that plane. Thanks to this incident, commuting and fatigue are getting their time in the spotlight, a"
Cranky meets Frontier's online booking engine."
I’ve received this question in many different forms ever since my days doing airline pricing, so I thought now would be a good time to answer it."
About 10 minutes after the Wright Brothers put their first airplane into the air, American and British Airways applied for blanket codesharing and antitrust immunity. More than 100 years later, their wish has finally been granted, at least by the US autho"
Good morning. Assuming we’re on time, I should be making my way toward the California coast as this goes out. I’ll be back home soon, and I’m looking forward to a nice and relaxing weekend. But first, let’s talk UK."
It had been hinted about around the local media here in New Zealand for the last few days, but now its official. If you fly in coach on Air New Zealand, you’ll be able to lie down, well, some of you will."
I feel like I’ve approached this topic before, but in light of the airlines raising bag fees once again to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second, I thought it was worth revisiting."
Starting in March, JFK is shutting a runway down to be re-done. It’ll reopen (mostly) in July. I understand the need for this project, and the airlines and airport are preparing, but man, it’s gonna suck."
Are airlines making money on customers who choose premium economy?"
Someone tried to blow up a flight into Detroit and the TSA jumped into action. I tried to let my anger cool off for a couple days, but the more I stewed over the changes, the more angry I got."
Yesterday, the DOT decided to issue a final ruling that will effectively require airlines to have a passenger bill of rights."
A timely topic, no? The winter storm that just nailed DC, Philly, and New York over the weekend has certainly left its mark."
Let's forget about looming strikes, delayed deliveries, red ink, etc. and simply focus on the wonders of flight..."
If you’re booked on British Airways for the holidays, you might be kicking yourself right now"
Oh sure, there are probably a bunch of different routes that could win the prize of being the most overserved these days, but I think there’s one in particular that deserves the win."
Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Taxi2 (and it’s oddly-registered Tongan website taxi.to) to help passengers share cabs to their destination. This to me is a great idea, but they haven’t taken this far enough. Hopefully this is just the first step."
It’s no surprise that when you make something completely free, people use it a lot more often than if you make them pay. Duh. And that’s why it’s not surprising to see airlines scrambling to find a way to offer wireless internet for free. Just in the last"
You know the story – Northwest 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis decided that Wisconsin was a better destination. Once pilots realized they had gone too far east, they turned around and landed. As far as I’m concerned, the excuses given by the pilots seem"
Are the rules regarding no electronic devices upon takeoff and landing really necessary? Are the regulations based on science? Could an iPod or Laptop really bring down a 777?"
We’ve seen a million different boarding schemes over the years. First there was boarding by rows, then came group boarding, and now many are going to the all-at-once cattle call strategy. But Virgin America is trying something different. They want to let"
You’ll hear lots of fanfare around the Travel Promotion Act these days, but you certainly won’t hear it from me. In fact, I think it’s time for a rant."
We’ve heard people talk about biofuels for quite awhile now, and algae has always been promoted as one of the best possible hopes for mass production. It’s renewable and it doesn’t take from existing food supplies."
It looks like United and American have decided that you don’t pay enough to travel on the peak holiday travel days, so they’ve added a $10 surcharge. Is this a new fee? Nah, I think it’s just the lazy man’s fare increase."
It’s always good to see airplanes and trains coming together to make a more seamless travel experience. Now it appears that Virgin Atlantic has linked up with Eurostar to provide easy one-stop booking on Eurostar’s chunnel routes to Brussels and Paris. Un"
I really haven’t written much about bird strikes on the blog. Yes, they happen a lot, and they can be dangerous, but the hype after the FAA released its data was certainly overdone. I didn’t see a need to join in. But when someone from Tableau Software,"
I’m at the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) conference this week, and I spent awhile chatting with the folks at AirCell (provider of wifi fun) yesterday. That made me think it was a good time for a wifi update, especially since there has been s"
It was just a couple of months ago that the TSA started requiring you to use your exact name as it appears on your ID, and now, they need more. As of last Saturday, August 15, you’ll have to give your birthdate and gender as well."
Today we’ve got an interesting Ask Cranky question from a curious reader . . ."
It was only a matter of time until global carriers started following in their US counterparts’ shoes, right?"
The airlines have been busy lately trying to hike fares on domestic routes, and so far it looks like they’ve been successful."
Last year, when then-Senator Obama was busy criss-crossing the country in support of his presidential bid, he ran into some trouble on one of his flights"
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary loves to spout off about his dreams about the future of Ryanair, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. We’re still waiting to see those pay lavs, right? But I think O’Leary’s head is in the right place here."