So we all managed to survive yet another week in the wild and wonderful world of aviation. Below are this week’s top story picks. I’m also testing a new feature, which you can read about after the picks. Enjoy!
- I’m one of those aviation geeks that loves stories about dominant airlines trying to drive low-cost carriers out of key markets (Lord, how I miss you, Northwest Airlines, the undisputed champ of this!). CrankyFlier.com feeds this need with his March 15 post entitled “Delta Comes out Swinging at Frontier Over Minneapolis Move.”
- My Aviation Week colleague Jim Ott wrote an interesting blog post at Things With Wings on what happens when an airport loses its hub status. He takes a closer look at what’s happening at Delta Air Lines’ Cincinnati hub.
- When the Transportation Security Administration unveiled its Checkpoint of the Future at BWI Airport back in March 2008 (my Towers and Tarmacs blog post on it is here), one of the goals was to put a human face on the screeners. So as you went through the line, you’d see profiles of the officers and what they did outside TSA, including artist and firefighter. Our good friend, Stuck At The Airport blogger Harriet Baskas, did a similar piece for USA Today on March 16, but expanded it to include all airport personnel.
- The Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat column reviews proper airline etiquette on who gets armrests on a full flight. He gets opinions ranging from Anna Post, etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute to former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, not known for being a shrinking violet. I happen to agree with responder Kirk Hanson, Santa Clara University ethics professor, who says the middle seat traveler should get both armrests.
- As someone who has covered or worked in aviation for going on 20 years, I’m always bemused by articles like this one that appeared in Huffington Post bemoaning airline fees. Yes, Mr. Fleetwood, it is what you call a “fee frenzy.” Not to be a defender of the airlines, but they are publicly owned companies that need to offer a return to shareholders. You passengers keep refusing to pay higher fares, so the airlines get that money through things like bag fees, check-in fees and inflight food.
As usual, I’ve written my “Strange But True Aviation News” column over at AvWeek’s Things With Wings blog. But this week, I thought I’d offer AviationQueen readers a bonus — “Strange But True-The Podcast.” Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder and I offer our take on four of the stories in this week’s columns. We also offer our NCAA picks. The podcast — HERE – lasts about 13 minutes. I’d love to hear what you think, and if it’s something I should continue to do.