Back in July 2008, I was attending an airports conference in Chicago. As part of the conference, we got to take a great tour of Chicago Midway Airport. I saw a lot of the Southwest Airlines fleet there, and I was lucky enough to get a snap of two Boeing 737s, including the one dedicated to the State of Maryland. Enjoy!
Back in April 2008, I was speaking at an event hosted by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. As part of that event, our hosts took me, along with a nice group of airport communicators, on a tour of their facility. Nothing makes me happier than trolling around in the underbelly of an airport, the parts the traveling public normally doesn’t get to see.
The shot below was taken in Terminal B. A United Airlines Boeing 737 sits at the gate, waiting to make its turn. Enjoy!!
It was a rainy, dreary week, but the news marched on. And so will I, with my picks for my top stories.
- Surprise! The Boeing 737 MAX was not a surprise to Airbus, writes my Aviation Week colleague Guy Norris. “Airbus says Boeing’s decision to develop a re-engined 737 rather than an all-new aircraft was a predictable lower-risk move, but believes the European manufacturer’s head start with the A320NEO puts it in pole position for market dominance,” he writes.
- 10 years after the 9/11 attacks and nearly 10 years after Richard Reid attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami using a shoe bomb, we are still required to take off our shoes at airport security checkpoints. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, with Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano telling NPR that airline passengers in the future will no longer be instructed to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints. I’ve traveled the world, and only the USA still requires shoe removal.
- The Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney looks at 10 years of airport security, noting that “the costs of increased transportation security run to tens of billions of dollars a year world-wide, and authorities still are groping to close obvious vulnerabilities a decade after the 2001 terrorist attacks.”
- In airline WiFi news, Delta Air Lines used its blog to announce that it was putting Gogo inflight WiFi on all 250 of its Delta Connection regional jets. And in related news. Gogo released this cool infographic on mobile WiFi usage in the air.
- And finally, US Airways CEO Doug Parker chats with TheStreet.com’s Ted Reed on how his airline has changed since 9/11. Parker had just become CEO 10 days earlier. And the Dallas Morning News’ Airline Biz Blog published my 9/11 story, here.
Do you live in Chicago or will be there by September 25? I encourage you to go to the DuSable Museum of African American History to check out the exhibit Black Wings: American Wings of Flight. The exhibit uses a narrative arch that uses the Tuskegee Airmen as a jumping off point to tell the untold story of African American aviation in the last 65 years.
I hope you all have a great weekend!!
Budget Travel magazine last week did an interesting poll: Are quick trips abroad worth the travel time? Having done many of them myself, I say yes, wholeheartedly.
Having worked for 2 airlines and being friends with those still working for different carriers, these little 1 to 3-day trips are just the tonic I needed for a change of scenery.
Back on Dec. 18, 2004, I heard a story on NPR describing how an ice skating rink had been built on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. One of the people they interviewed mentioned that he made the trip over the weekend, because he was an airline employee.
At the time, I was working for Delta Air Lines, and my friend Stevie was working at US Airways, so we decided to leave Friday night and come back Sunday afternoon. Paris was unusually warm for January, and we had a grand time ice skating.
Later in the month, we had an unusual cold snap in Atlanta, which led to me and Stevie, along with some other airline geek friends, to fly down to St. Martin overnight. The trip was so quick I didn’t even have to pay the departure tax.
We hung out at the Sunset Beach Bar for some truly amazing planespotting and I even managed to get a bit of color. The bar is right across the street from the airport. If you’re an airplane enthusiast like me, this place is Shangri-La, because the planes literally are less that 20 feet above the beach when they land. And when they take off, the freaks are usually hanging horizontally on the fence or across the street on the beach, all to catch the jet wash.
You haven’t *lived* until you’ve stood on the beach as an Air France Airbus A340 takes off. Brings a whole new meaning to the word exfoliant!!
So I throw the question to you — have you done quick international trips? Where? And why?