It was just another interesting but busy week in aviation, so let’s get right to it.
- I don’t think anyone was surprised with American Airlines’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing. You can read my quick take on that over at the Business Journalism blog. But every time there’s an airline bankruptcy filing, there’s the inevitable airline merger speculation. And in my humble opinion, no one did it better last week than Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder with his post — Why I Want US Airways to Buy American.
- Regular readers know that my idea of the first circle of hell is travelers being allowed to chat on their cell phones while on a flight. But I do like to have my electronic toys — iPhone, iPod, iPad, Kindle and DVD player — available while flying. And I always wonder why we’re told we have to power down our electronic devices at take-off and landing. But the New York Times’ Bits blog says it’s not clear why we have to do this.
- After covering airport security for four years, I still have a strange fascination with all the speculation on what the future is for the Transportation Security Administration in general and the traveling public specifically. This CNN story takes a look at what security checkpoints might look like in the future. But this speculation has been going on for quite a while. Check out my Aviation Week blog posts from 2008 on this topic here and here (the program has since been dismantled).
- On the business/general aviation side of the house (which is now paying my mortgage), the industry won a major victory on maintaining the privacy of aircraft owners, reports AIN Online. After Congress restored the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, the Dept. of Transportation and FAA decided not to move ahead and respond to a lawsuit filed by organizations including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (my employer), the National Business Aviation Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association. For those critical of aircraft owners wanting their tail numbers blocked, I ask you this — would you want the government or anyone with a laptop to be able to track you by your license plate number? I’m just asking…
- I’m one of those people who has a germ phobia. I keep hand sanitizer, baby wipes and a portable can of Lysol in my purse. And after reading this Budget Traveler article — 6 Places Germs Breed in a Plane — I want to encase myself in a hazmat suit on my next flight. Hint — I’ll never look at those tray tables the same again!
I also had a few media appearances last week. I was a guest on the Airplane Geeks podcast, talking about my new job at AOPA (if you join, tell them Aunt Benet sent you!). And I was also interviewed by the fine folks at National Geographic on the seven most extreme airports (although I’m sorry St. Maartin wasn’t included on the list).
We’ll end the week with two last items. First, my former Aviation Week colleague Madhu Unnikrishnan had an item about how the Air Transport Association’s name change — to Airlines 4 America — yielded some “interesting” results on a Google search. And last, the folks over at Taiwan’s NMA.tv have me on their mailing list, and sent this YouTube video on American Air’s Ch. 11 filing. Enjoy!