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Puckinflight

An all things aviation blog

Tag Archives: Southwest Airlines

United Airlines is bleeding and current changes in market conditions will make it likely that United Airlines will go bankrupt again.

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Teenagers aren’t know for being the most respectful individuals  especially towards authority. That’s why I am not surprised to read that some teenagers had been kicked off a flight for refusing to sit down and turn off their phones. What did surprise me when I was reading the USA Today Blog Post was that one hundred students plus chaperones had been kicked off had been kicked off of one flight.  If I remember High School traveling in a group was an ordeal but the entire group was acting up. There are always a few teenagers who flaunt the rules and authority, but I can’t imagine one hundred students acting up at one.

With out knowing more, there seems like there is more to this story. Why did they kick off all of the students? Why didn’t the chaperones have control of the students? What was the response to everyone’s favorite question “Do you want to fly today?”

I think there is more to the story.

Happy Travels

Colpuck

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You may not have heard about Mlife, but you know their properties. Mlife is the casino loyalty program for MGM. Mlife members who link their Soutwest Rapid Rewards number will now earn 600 Rapid Rewards points for each stay at any of the 12 MGM properties in Las Vegas. Those properties include: the Bellagio; Mirage; MGM Grand; Luxor; Excalibur; Mandalay Bay; Aria; Vdara; New York New York; Circus Circus; Monte Carlo; and Railroad Pass. Also Mlife members will receive some sort of bonus for take Southwest flights. What exactly that bonus will be is not clear yet. Finally, Mlife reservations booked this month will get double Rapid Rewards points.

Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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In what is almost non-news United Airlines announced to Milepoint.com and Flyertalk.com that they will be retrofitting their narrowbody airbus fleet. The upgrades include wifi internet and AVOD and power in first and economy plus. However, the upgrades are almost entirely overshadowed by the notice that United will be installing Recaro’s slimline seats. These seats have been adopted by Southwest and numerous European carriers to universal disappointment of travelers. The seats allow the airline to reduce pitch and cram in more seats into an already cramped space.

How far we have fallen from the days of more “room in coach.” You may remember the ads from TV and here is a 2000 NYT article detailing American Airlines plan to put “more room in coach.”

United Airlines has pledged to pay for extra padding, head rests, and adjusted the seat design so that travel will not be as painful as it is on Southwest or the other European carriers that have adopted the seat. However, this remains to be proven true. Based on the description provided it looks like the seat will probably look like Recaro’s current long-haul seat the CL3620 imaged below.

turntable_55

While the current design is up in the air the other development, wifi, interests me more. Again taking a page out of Southwest’s book, United is going to add wifi internet and streaming AVOD. Southwest’s current offering is described here. I think we can expect to see something similar adopted by United, just more expensive. United previously made available to its first class passengers free Direct-TV on flights with Direct-TV. This will probably not extend to the wifi equipped plane and we will start to see first class passengers being asked to pay wifi. Cramped planes, expensive wifi, no other IFE, UA’s airbus fleet will have the same experience as US Airways’ fleet, just with more pitch and worse food.

The race to the bottom continues.

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Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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Today the DOT released its decision on what to do with the DCA slot pair that Spirit Airlines returned to the DOT when it shifted service from DCA to Baltimore/Washington Airport. There were three bids for the slot pair and today the DOT awarded Southwest the slot to start HOU-DCA.

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What is Standby, basically you show up to the airport in advance of your flight and try to hop on an earlier flight. Airlines used to do this as a matter of routine because it is a win-win. The airlines fill a seat that would have gone out empty and they get an open seat on a later flight that can be used for IRROPS. The passenger wins because they get to go somewhere sooner. However, US Airlines discovered this could be a revenue stream and have changed their policies to get customers to pay for the privilege.  Some airline force customers to use the “Same day confirmed or SDC” this means for a reduced fee airlines will confirm the passenger on to an earlier flight. We’ll discuss that policy in another post. So when you see references to SDC that’s what that means.

Here is the list of US Airline policies:

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On May first, Southwest airlines agreed to a $150,000 civil penalty assessed by the DOT for violations of Federal Air Regulations. The Regulation violated mandates that a carrier providing secluded air service with aircraft with more than 19 seats respond to consumer complaints within a 30 to 45 days depending on the nature of the complaint.

Apparently in 2012 Southwest pushed out an update to their website that resulted in Southwest not receiving complaints that had been filed on the website. Out of the $150,000, Southwest has to provider refunds in the amount of $115,000 and pay the government $35,000. In case you’re wondering Southwest has to use pay.gov to tender the $35,000.

Ouch.

Happy Travels

colpuck

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