Ah, we all lived to tell the tales of another week in the wild and wonderful world of aviation. I had so many choices for this week’s top five it was hard to decide. So here goes!
- All of us true aviation geeks have been following the Boeing 787 Dreamliner since it was an idea in the head of company engineers. The aircraft has had its problems coming to market, which is why we were all glad to see this story at AviationWeek.com by my colleague Leithen Francis: “ANA 787 Validation Flights Starting Soon.”
- Ah, summer. Time to hit the road and try and cash in some of those frequent flyer miles you’ve been hoarding all year. But not so fast. You may want to read this Wall Street Journal Middle Seat blog post ranking the airlines on frequent flyer seat availability. SPOILER ALERT! No surprise, Southwest Airlines ranked number one for seats available (love you, Rapid Rewards!), while US Airways and Delta were at the bottom of the list.
- USAToday.com contributor David Grossman is filling in for our good friend Today In The Sky columnist Ben Mutzabaugh. On Wednesday, he did an interesting post on cities chasing air service throw out subsidies to get it. After writing about and working for a regional airline, the awful truth is when the money runs out, most times., so does the service, kids. Sad, but true.
- My airport soul sister Harriet Baskas (of the great Stuck At The Airport blog) has a fascinating article over at MSNBC.com on how Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport handled 10,000 stranded passengers after severe hail storms delayed hundreds of flights. And I could have been among those stranded had I been on the delivery flight of American Airlines’ first Boeing 737-800, as reported by our Twitter friend @AirlineReporter (aka David Paul Brown). But if I was going to be stranded in any airport, I’d want it to be DFW, and I tell you why here.
- I’m not a big professional basketball fan (but love me some college hoops), but I have watched a few games in the playoffs. I know that American Airlines has two arenas (in Dallas and Miami) bearing its name, and this article on CNBC.com explains just how much that’s worth to the Dallas-based carrier, especially if the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat face each other in the finals.
I must put in a quick plug for my day job. Aviation Week has partnered with Airbus to create the cool Ultimate Guide to the Paris Air Show iPhone app. My colleague Rupa Haria blogs about it here.
Speaking of the Geeks, I’ll be hanging out with them at the Become a Pilot Family Day and Fly-In June 18, 2011, 10 a.m. – 3p.m., at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center next to Washington Dulles International Airport. Max, Rob, Dan, and David will join Milford and Charlie from FlightTime Radio to broadcast live from the museum. If you’re in the area, please come out to see us. You never know what kind of swag we might have to give away!
And last — but not least — Strange But True Aviation News is back after a week hiatus. We’ve got someone trying to master his domain inflight, we see what happens when TSA holds a terrorist drill and forgets to tell a key party and more guns at airport security. Enjoy your long weekend!