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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F’d Up Issue of the Week ending 04/24/10

This week’s winner for f’d up issue of the week is actually something behind the scenes.  Let me paint the picture, using my own horror stories from the past weekend, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Chicago O’Hare. Famous for delays and such, right? Move in a little bit of weather, and one of the worlds busiest international airports comes to a crawl. Same with Atlanta. Same with many other airports.  Why?  Because it turns out that most airlines don’t use the most accurate system for takeoffs and landings.  You know that TomTom or Garmin hand held GPS system that you can get with car rentals?  Yeah – that’s more advanced than some of the planes that you fly on.

Airlines know this, as do airports.  Alaska Airlines, Delta, and UPS all fly planes that are GPS capable, and have for quite some time.  Back in 2007, there was an article in the New York Times about what Alaska, Delta, and UPS are doing.  Two of the most telling statistics in the story are:

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines said its jets take off an average of 10 minutes after pushing back from the gate — three minutes faster than in previous years.

Of the approximately 3,600 flights the airline operated in and out of Juneau last year, 754 could not have been tried in years past.

We can make air travel safer, have fewer delays, and save the airlines BILLIONS, but it’s going to take the leadership of the tech savvy airlines, and a mandate by the FAA to get this done.

The reason I bring this up, of course, is that I was one of those people stuck going in to Chicago O’Hare this past weekend.  And even though I was flying Alaska Airlines, without full-implementation of the GPS system by all airlines flying into O’Hare, we were delayed 3 hours.  Nice, eh?  But TOTALLY avoidable.  So that’s why the slow moving behemoth FAA and the travel delays that it’s 50 year old legacy system causes earn the F’d Up Issue of the Week.

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