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Trump's Budget Calls for Privatizing Air Traffic Control

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/17/2017, 4:00 AM

One of the travel-related items in President Donald Trump's budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 is a provision to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system.  Right now, air traffic control is one of the functions of the Federal Aviation Administration. Trump would like to turn that duty over to an "independent, non-governmental organization."  Privatization has the approval of the...

Two U.S. Airlines Halting Flights to Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/15/2017, 4:00 AM

Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways are both stopping their flights to Cuba, the carriers announced this week.  Frontier, which has been operating one daily flight between Miami and Havana since December 1, 2016, will halt service to the island on June 4. The company cites lack of customer demand as the reason. Silver currently flies to nine Cuban cities from Fort Lauderdale, and the ...

The New World's Longest Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/07/2017, 5:00 AM

If aviation were an endurance sport, there'd be a new reigning champ.  As of this week, the longest flight in the world is now operated by Qatar Airways, whose new 9,032-mile service between the carrier's hometown of Doha and New Zealand takes 16 hours and 10 minutes to reach Auckland, and a tush-mushifying 17 hours and 30 minutes to come back.  That beats the previous record-holder, E...

Two New Reasons to Join TSA PreCheck

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/03/2017, 5:00 AM

There are several good reasons for enrolling in the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program.  If accepted, you get to take advantage of an expedited screening process at airports, during which you don't have to remove your shoes, belt, or jacket, and you can keep your laptop in its bag. Recently, two more incentives have been added:  First, 11 airlines serving mor...

American Airlines Begins Phasing Out Seat-Back Entertainment

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/30/2017, 5:00 AM

Given that the vast majority of airline passengers now fly with one or more portable smart devices (phones, tablets, laptops), it has become clear that the days are numbered for those little screens embedded in the backs of airplane seats. And sure enough, a new batch of 100 Boeing 737s that will be entering service for American Airlines by the end of the year will not have seat-back enter...

American Airlines Announces No-Frills Basic Economy Fares

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/19/2017, 5:00 AM

Joining other major carriers including Delta and United, American Airlines has announced that it too will soon begin offering low, no-frills "basic economy" fares on certain flights.  Customers can expect to start seeing the new rates—which will be cheaper than those for any other seats in the cabin—in February, when the company will introduce them in 10 cities, with more locations expecte...

JetBlue Now Offers Free Wi-Fi for All on Every Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/13/2017, 5:00 AM

JetBlue has good news for passengers terrified of spending a single solitary second away from the internet: The carrier now offers free high-speed Wi-Fi at every seat on every flight within the contiguous United States.  Introduced in 2013, the airline's Fly-Fi network has finally been expanded to the entire fleet of aircraft. What's more, you don't have to wait until the plane reaches a c...

Airlines with the Best and Worst On-Time Performance in 2016

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/11/2017, 5:00 AM

FlightStats, an aviation insights company, has released its highly regarded annual analysis of international airlines' on-time performance records. Topping the rankings for 2016: Dutch-based carrier KLM. Book a flight with that airline and your chances of being delayed are only about 11%. Contrast that with the airline with the worst on-time record, Israel's El Al, whose passengers are...

Flight Attendants Union Files Grievance Over New American Airlines Uniforms

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/28/2016, 5:00 AM

At least 300 American Airlines flight attendants say that their new uniforms—issued by the carrier in September—are making them sick.   The flight attendants' union filed a grievance letter with the company last week, asserting that the new duds, which have been rolled out to 70,000 employees, have caused health problems ranging from skin irritation to headaches. The union wants American t...

After Facebook Flap, Delta Air Lines Changes Policy for Dealing with Medical Emergencies

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/23/2016, 5:00 AM

Responding to public pressure, Delta Air Lines has announced a policy change in how flight crews deal with medical emergencies. As of this month, flight attendants are no longer required to verify the credentials of physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who volunteer to help passengers having sudden health problems in the cabin. The move comes two months after a Delta-rel...

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