- Usually airline employees learn about cost-cutting measures via an internal company memo. Very rarely are they asked for suggestions on how cuts should be made. Which is why I really enjoyed this story — Alaska Asks Employees How To Cut Costs – written by my Aviation Week colleague Lee Ann Tegtmeier. “Since Alaska Airlines created the suggestion box for fuel ideas in 2008, it has generated millions of gallons of savings for the airline,” she writes.
- I am a BIG John Cusack fan. I will watch ANY movie he’s in good or bad. I felt obliged to watch “Pushing Tin,” which offered what can only be described as a creative picture of the work done by air traffic controllers. Scott McCartney’s Middle Seat Terminal blog in the Wall Street Journal offers a much better picture of the work air traffic controllers do.
- I’m originally from California. I still have friends and family there, and I’m always hearing about the latest budget cuts the state is enforcing to close a mind-blowing, nearly $10 billion (yes, with a B) budget gap. And in classic trickle-down economics, cities are being forced to share in the pain. The city of Los Angeles went to the Board of Airport Commissioners for cuts, and the $400,000 Travelers Aid Society budget was cut, ending services at Los Angeles International Airport after a 61-year run, reports the LA Times.
- I really enjoyed this piece on MSNBC from my airport soul sister Harriet Baskas — Q&A: What to do about overhead bin hogs. As a regular traveler, I’ve seen travelers get downright nasty about getting that overhead bin space. It seems to be much worse on airlines charging bag fees.
- Back in the mid- to late 1990s, I traveled the world — a lot. I used these trips to buy adult beverages at duty-free shops around the globe for my cabinet at home. I switched to Bombay Sapphire Gin after a tasting at London Heathrow Airport. At one point, the cabinet was filled with alcohol purchased outside the country. I’ve bought other items, which is why this USA Today article — Are airport duty-free stores still a bargain? — caught my eye. The short answer is yes — depending on where you go and what you buy.
Earlier this week, CNN ran two separate columns on badly behaving children on airplanes. Writer L.Z. Granderson was blunt in his article, Permissive parents: Curb your brats. And our good friend Brett Snyder — the Cranky Flier — writes about how business travelers can avoid the pitfalls of families traveling with children in Summer travel: Watch out for amateurs. I’m the mother of a five-year-old, and I couldn’t agree with these two gentlemen more.
Last — but not least — we have a short version of Strange But True Aviation News. Next week, I’ll be on vacation deep in the heart of Texas. But I’ve asked a few of my friends to do guest posts for me. I hope you enjoy them!!