Monthly Archives: July 2011

Shame on every airline – except Alaska, Hawaiian, and Spirit

This is disgusting.

Because of the House GOP having a temper tantrum and shutting down the FAA, taxes of 7.5% were no longer able to be charged to tickets purchased from the airlines.  And what did almost all of the airlines out there do?  Increased their fares by 7.5%.  That’s bullcrap.  Bullcrap, wrong, nasty, short-sighted, and just plain wrong.

But not Alaska, Hawaiian, and Spirit.  They passed the savings on to the consumers.  I actually purchased an Alaska Airlines ticket this morning.  And because the full-fare ticket (without the 7.5% tax) was less than the value fare tickets that I usually buy, I purchased a full fare – meaning more money for the company that’s being FAIR to their customers, and not just trying to make a buck.

So thank you, Alaska, Hawaiian, and Spirit.  Keep up the good work.  And the rest of you guys out there?  Shame on you!

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GOP shuts down the FAA in a bid to kill unions

This is beyond crap. The House GOP has decided to put millions of airline passengers at risk and have partially shut down the FAA. Why? Because they want to be able to kill airline unions.

Seriously.  That’s the reason.  Yes, they object to funding some of the small airports in the authorization bill.  But their real objective is to kill unions and the rights that unions bring blue collar workers.  It’s disgusting.  But it’s happening.  It’s unconstitutional (remember the part about “right to assembly”?)  And who’s leading the charge?  John Mica (R-FL).

John Mica wants to be the Scott Walker (R-WI, Governor) of the House of Representatives.  He’s in for a world of trouble, much less if one drop or blood or one person gets even remotely hurt because of the shutdown.  People should let him know he’s being an ass.

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Well, American’s decision is made

They’re going with a mixture of both Airbus and Boeing.  Stupid, really, from a purely single-fleet standpoint.  I mean Alaska and Southwest, both all Boeing 737, have basically been able to streamline maintenance and training.  Now that there’s a mixture, train half the staff one way, train the other half the other way.

I can see why they did it.  In the largest order in aircraft history, they are trying to get rid of their gas guzzling MD80s and modernize their fleet, to maximize fuel efficiency.  But still.  They’re minimizing training opportunities.  ::sigh::

Here’s the video they’ve already produced as notice to the world about the announcement.


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Filed under WTF?

Okay, so we all know that the airlines went fee-happy.  They’ve collected $5.7 billion in fees, which is “keeping the industry afloat”.  So you give them a bag to go in the cargo?  Fork over $25 or so, please!

But when they lose that bag?  They apparently AREN’T automatically refunding those fees.  I had no idea, whatsoever.  It’s just common sense that they would.  But they’re not.  At least not until new rules go into effect in August.  But Senator Schumer (D-NY) wants to go even further – if the bag is delayed, do it, too.

Alaska Airlines is pretty damn good about it, with their $20 credit or 2,000 frequent flyer miles for bags delayed more than 20 minutes after touchdown.  How about the big boys?  Wanna match it?

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Well THIS isn’t totally unexpected

The list of winners from the World Airline Awards was announced recently – and nobody in North America was even CLOSE to being at the top of the list.  Then again, I’ve flown almost every single US based airlines, and can tell you there’s really nothing to compare to an overseas airline and their service.  Hell, the 7 hours I spent on an overnight flight from Abu Dhabi to Geneva in coach beats any amount of time I’ve spent in first class for a bunch of US airlines.  ::cough:: US Airways… United…  ::cough::

The top five airlines are:

  1. Qatar Airlines
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Asiana Airlines
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Thai Airways
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Hey American Air – How about you buy your namesake?

I had an interaction with user47 on Twitter a couple of weeks ago over this tweet:

As you can tell, I wholeheartedly agreed with @user47 – a company like American Airlines (the name alone just screams American unity) looking to buy foreign planes is really disingenuous.  We have a fine aircraft maker here, and the Boeing 737 is the best selling airplane ever.  But it looks like American wants to go with Airbus.  And that sucks.

I partially choose airlines based on their aircraft.  Alaska Airlines, “Proudly All Boeing” isn’t just a slogan.  They were the launch customer for the 737-900, and are all Boeing 737 in their mainline service.  While I liked Frontier, who started out with a fleet of 737s, they’re an all Airbus airline now.  And honestly, I tend to avoid them.  Same thing with United, though now that they’re merged with Continental, and are considering replacing original UAL Airbus flights with Boeing, I may go back to them.  They just have to get their customer service straight.

So American?  Do the right thing.  Don’t order Airbus; order Boeing.  But who am I?  Just an aviation geek that plans their flights around aircraft and service…

UPDATE 07192011 @ 15:31: Apparently Boeing is doing a big-old reacharound to American to try and get the business, and not let Airbus walk away with the whole order.  Woohoo!

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Update on Yukari Miyamae

Lots of groups have cropped up on Facebook to help Yukari Miyamae, the woman who “groped back” a TSA agent, and was arrested for sexual assault.  Most importantly, there is a legal defense fund set up for Yukari.  Here it is:

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Turnabout is fair play!

In other words, good for you Yukari Mihamae!

If you haven’t heard of Yukari yet, she turned the tables on the porno grope that the TSA does (and having been through one myself, it would be classified as sexual assault, if it weren’t for the guise of “safety” — and I use that term loosely, based on the failure rate of TSA that has been released).  She groped back at a female TSA agent, grabbing both of the agents breasts.

So she’s arrested, but the TSA can continue this?  Bullshit.

I, myself, went through the enhanced procedure and can tell you – there was definitely fondling – of testicles and penis, among other body parts.  Though, personally, I will take the porno grope over the horrid full body scanners.  Got cancer?  Nope – and I want to keep it that way.

There’s a legal defense fund setup, with information listed in a Facebook fan page.  You can find it by clicking here.

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Something about the TSA’s statement…

Okay, so I went through SeaTac security, where they made 90% of the public go through the porno scanners.  It was the same day that the story came out (on, so not a fly-by-night thing) about the possible TSA cancer cluster in Boston due to the new porno scanners.  I refused to go through the scanner, even though the TSA tried their line of “It’s safe. Same amount of radiation that’s around you naturally, blah, blah, blah” (which you know is a lie, or we’d all be seeing everyone naked through their clothing in the first place).

So I was told that I would be subject to an additional screening for the new porno-groping that the TSA does.  He pulled me about 6 feet to the left, but still in view of everything going on.

Me: So, I guess you do your new porno grope in full presence of all the other fliers.
TSA: The procedure isn’t new. We’ve been doing it for years.  (Which is a lie.)  If you want, you can have a private screening, but I promise it will be much more invasive (emphasis mine).

It just didn’t sit well with me.  I mean, did the TSA just threaten me?  If I said I wanted a private screening, by this guy’s own admission, it would be much more invasive.

That’s coercion, is it not?

Then again, I put nothing past the TSA anymore.

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