Connectivity seems to be this week’s theme in airline news. The big switch to a new reservations system is our main news, with minimal coverage due to minimal hiccups (thankfully!). Southwest is getting connected with plans to offer WiFi on their planes over the next two years. Delta, meanwhile, officially pulled the plug on Northwest this week, connecting their reservations systems as one of the final steps in the merger.
While everyone was busy flipping switches, market reports for airline stock prices showed January closing at a loss, with fear of a slow return from the economic recession as the main cause. Another slow return became apparent this week as airlines pad their schedules to allow for increased on-time arrivals.
Many fights were not on time, or flying at all for that matter, this weekend, with massive storms that dumped upwards of two feet of snow on the mid-Atlantic region. Unrelated, Qantas is dumping the majority of their first class seats in efforts to redefine their model and maximize revenue. And Frontier is looking to maximize revenue by adding routes, including departures from Long Beach.
Pilot error, as cited by the Buffalo crash, has yielded findings about the lack of safety training on part of certain, other pilots and led to new investigations by the FAA into how to better improve safety by fining airlines that fail to meet set standards. Two U.S. mechanics are on trial beginning this week for the Concorde that crashed near ten years ago, and Skycaps across the country are suing for the right to earn tips for curbside checked baggage after a $2 fee imposed by American Airlines stomped on their ability to collect as such. American is simultaneously looking to train other workers to replace flight attendants that are threatening to strike.
As always, an eventful week in the airline industry! Happy Jetting!