Tag Archives: I’m Black And I Travel

Top Five Interesting Stories Of The Week

20 Feb

It was a busy week, catching all the news from the Singapore Air Show and Heli-Expo.  We also saw President Obama release his FY 2013 budget and FINALLY sign the $63 billion Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill, which keeps the agency funded through 2015. So here’s what else went on.

  1. As American Airlines parent AMR Corp. continues its stay in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, its labor unions, which have a seat at the creditors table, are doing what they can to keep as many jobs as possible, despite the airline’s recent announcement of 13,000 job cuts.  As an alternative to those cuts, two of the carrier’s largest unions — the Transport Workers Union and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants — has said the company should consider offering lump sum buy-outs, reports Aviation Week.  TWU is proposing $75,000, with health insurance and other benefits retained for 9,000 employees facing the chopping blog. APFA is asking for a year’s salary and current health, travel and pension rights for members with more than 15 years’ seniority.
  2. Anyone who’s a regular reader of this blog or who follows me on Twitter (@AvQueenBenet) knows that I think allowing cell phones during flight is another circle of hell. Do you hear the chatter that starts as soon as a plane lands? Can you imagine hearing that on a DC-San Francisco flight? One provision under the newly passed FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 is that Congress is requiring the FAA to study the impact of cell phones for voice communications on aircraft where such service is currently permitted by foreign governments, reports Mary Kirby (@APEXMary) in her APEX Editor’s Blog. Here’s hoping that the study will continue to uphold the inflight ban on cell phones.
  3. Back when I was in college in the 1980s, I was always trying to find the cheapest way to fly from D.C. home to San Francisco. My savior was PeoplExpress, also fondly known as People’s Distress. They had $99 fares, you paid to check bags and for food/drinks onboard. You even paid your air fare onboard. It wasn’t a luxury ride, but it got you from point A to point B at a pretty reasonable price.  The airline shut down in February 1987 and it was folded into Continental Airlines. Fast forward 25 years later, and it may be coming back. Some of the folks from the original airline are proposing to bring back the low-cost carrier and headquarter it at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia, reports the Washington Post.  The carrier plans to initially serve destinations in Florida, New England, the Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic regions, then expand to other cities, such as Pittsburgh, Providence, West Palm Beach and Newark, where airline consolidation over the past few years has led to a reduction of non-stop air service.
  4. Like most frequent travelers, I’ve been watching with interest as the Transportation Security Administration continues to expand its PreCheck trusted traveler program. I covered the airport security beat for four years, which gave me a front-row seat to the private sector operated registered traveler program.  You can read my post on the APEX Editor’s Blog about how we got from a private RT program to an effort overseen and blessed by TSA.
  5. It’s Black History Month, and I’ve always had a particular fondness for those who were pioneers in the aviation/airline industry.  My brother from another mother — Greg Gross from the I’m Black and I Travel blog — shared the amazing story of Norma Merrick Sklarek, who died this year at the age of 85. Ms. Sklarek’s claim to fame was that she was the first black woman in America to be licensed as an architect. But her place in aviation history was secured as the leader of the team that designed Terminal 1 at LAX, which received the millions of visitors for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.  She also designed the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Not bad for a woman who began her career designing bathrooms for the New York City building department.

I was a busy bee last week, with an APEX Editor’s Blog post about JetBlue’s food choices at its flagship Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, two stories in Aviation International News’ Singapore Air Show publication (on Enterprise Florida and Canada’s Manitoba Department of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade) and a stint as guest host on episode 185 of the Airplane Geeks podcast. And last — but certainly not least — I got to be a judge, along with Henry Harteveldt and Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder in a 12th anniversary cake contest to celebrate JetBlue’s 12th anniversary, as retold on the carrier’s Blue Tales blog.

Best of Aviation Queen: 10 Aviation Blogs You Should Be Reading

27 Jul

Editor’s note: I’m in Oshkosh, Wis., this week for the EAA AirVenture show, so I’m pulling out some best-of.  We’re always looking for that great travel/aviation/airline blog to read.  Below are 10 among the many I read.  This post originally appeared on Jan. 25.  Enjoy!

I have been an avid reader since age 2 (I swear – and my Dad will confirm it).  I read books, magazines, cereal boxes, billboards and just about anything else with letters.  And for someone who loves to read as much as I do, the Google Reader is a godsend.

I have myriad interests, and the Google Reader allows me to get feeds from blogs covering those interests: aviation, business aviation, journalism, multimedia and social media.  So let’s take a look in my Aviation folder so I can tell you some of the  blogs you should be reading.  This is by NO means my complete list, and the list below is in no particular order.

  1. CrankyFlier – Brett Snyder is the little brother I never wanted but got stuck with anyway (I say that with love in my heart).  But seriously, Brett writes a humorous, yet informative blog on the whimsies of the airline business.  He offers a take that only someone who became a travel agent at age 12 and had his grandmother book a hotel at Los Angeles International Airport so he could watch the planes.  And bonus – he also writes about travel over at BNET.
  2. Flightblogger - What can I say about Jon Ostrower?  This man has forgotten more information about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner than most of us will ever know.  Did you read “The price of Boeing’s 787 sales success?” I rest my case.
  3. Delta/JetBlue/Southwest blogs – When airlines jumped into blogging, I was a bit apprehensive, because I’ve seen some really bad corporate blogs that had no personality, only regurgitating the latest talking points.  All three of these carriers tapped their own employees, who bring their unique voices to these blogs making them actual must-reads.  Delta gets bonus points for ANY post from archives manager Marie Force and Southwest gets the same for Flashback Friday posts!
  4. Air Transparency -  I heard airline employee Jesse Ziglar speak on an episode of the Airplane Geeks podcast and I was hooked.  Ziglar works his magic by explaining the good, the bad and the ugly of how the airlines work – in language my 5-year-old daughter can understand.  His topics include weather delays, the tarmac delay rule, deicing aircraft and crew uniforms.
  5. Chris Elliott’s Elliott.org - I wonder when Chris ever finds time to sleep, with writing this website and writing on consumer travel issues for National Geographic, Tribune Media Service, the Washington Post, MSNBC, USA Today and CNN.com, among others.
  6. PlaneBusines Banter/Plane Buzz - The subscriber-based Banter and free Buzz are both penned by Holly Hegeman, who offers her own unique humorous/serious take on the business of airlines.  I’ve been reading her since she was the airlines analyst for The Motley Fool, and I take her work seriously enough to pay for my own subscription to the Banter.
  7. The TSA Blog - before I moved over to the business aviation beat, I wrote about airports and airport security.  When one of the public affairs folks gave me a call almost three years ago to pitch me on the blog launch, I admit I was HIGHLY  skeptical.  I thought the blog would read like the old Soviet government update reports.  I was wrong, and continue to admit it.  This blog has done a lot to put a human face on an agency that’s more vilified than the IRS.  Blogger Bob and his team have done a good job in explaining, as much as possible, what TSA does and why.  Bonus points for allowing comments and taking the time to answer as many as possible.
  8. Swelblog/Swelbar on Airlines - Bill Swelbar is a Research Engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation.  He gets into the weeds — but always interesting — on airline/aviation policy.  A recent post, “Unbundling, Rebundling and Now De-Commoditization,” he breaks down how the airlines have been forced to adapt in things including how they sell tickets and how to keep passengers loyal to their brand.
  9.  I’m Black And I Travel - One, because I’m both.  Blog owner Greg Gross and I are kindred spirits, letting the world know of our travels and expounding on the joys of travel from our own personal experiences.  And Greg has given me access to a large community of black travel bloggers, which has helped me expand my own network.
  10. RickSeaney.com - If you want to keep up with air fares, Rick is your guy.  He’s the CEO of FareCompare.com, created to keep track of airfares for airlines worldwide.   You can also watch fares from your hometown via Twitter.  What’s not to love?

So that’s my list.  What are you reading? I’m always looking to add to my folder!  Also, in the next few weeks, I plan on doing a reader question edition of this blog. So if you any questions, now is the time to start submitting them. Thanks!

10 Aviation Blogs You Should Be Reading

25 Jan

I have been an avid reader since age 2 (I swear – and my Dad will confirm it).  I read books, magazines, cereal boxes, billboards and just about anything else with letters.  And for someone who loves to read as much as I do, the Google Reader is a godsend.

I have myriad interests, and the Google Reader allows me to get feeds from blogs covering those interests: aviation, business aviation, journalism, multimedia and social media.  So let’s take a look in my Aviation folder so I can tell you some of the  blogs you should be reading.  This is by NO means my complete list, and the list below is in no particular order.

  1. CrankyFlier – Brett Snyder is the little brother I never wanted but got stuck with anyway (I say that with love in my heart).  But seriously, Brett writes a humorous, yet informative blog on the whimsies of the airline business.  He offers a take that only someone who became a travel agent at age 12 and had his grandmother book a hotel at Los Angeles International Airport so he could watch the planes.  And bonus – he also writes about travel over at BNET.
  2. Flightblogger - What can I say about Jon Ostrower?  This man has forgotten more information about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner than most of us will ever know.  Did you read “The price of Boeing’s 787 sales success?” I rest my case.
  3. Delta/JetBlue/Southwest blogs – When airlines jumped into blogging, I was a bit apprehensive, because I’ve seen some really bad corporate blogs that had no personality, only regurgitating the latest talking points.  All three of these carriers tapped their own employees, who bring their unique voices to these blogs making them actual must-reads.  Delta gets bonus points for ANY post from archives manager Marie Force and Southwest gets the same for Flashback Friday posts!
  4. Air Transparency -  I heard airline employee Jesse Ziglar speak on an episode of the Airplane Geeks podcast and I was hooked.  Ziglar works his magic by explaining the good, the bad and the ugly of how the airlines work – in language my 5-year-old daughter can understand.  His topics include weather delays, the tarmac delay rule, deicing aircraft and crew uniforms.
  5. Chris Elliott’s Elliott.org - I wonder when Chris ever finds time to sleep, with writing this website and writing on consumer travel issues for National Geographic, Tribune Media Service, the Washington Post, MSNBC, USA Today and CNN.com, among others.
  6. PlaneBusines Banter/Plane Buzz - The subscriber-based Banter and free Buzz are both penned by Holly Hegeman, who offers her own unique humorous/serious take on the business of airlines.  I’ve been reading her since she was the airlines analyst for The Motley Fool, and I take her work seriously enough to pay for my own subscription to the Banter.
  7. The TSA Blog - before I moved over to the business aviation beat, I wrote about airports and airport security.  When one of the public affairs folks gave me a call almost three years ago to pitch me on the blog launch, I admit I was HIGHLY  skeptical.  I thought the blog would read like the old Soviet government update reports.  I was wrong, and continue to admit it.  This blog has done a lot to put a human face on an agency that’s more vilified than the IRS.  Blogger Bob and his team have done a good job in explaining, as much as possible, what TSA does and why.  Bonus points for allowing comments and taking the time to answer as many as possible.
  8. Swelblog/Swelbar on Airlines - Bill Swelbar is a Research Engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation.  He gets into the weeds — but always interesting — on airline/aviation policy.  A recent post, “Unbundling, Rebundling and Now De-Commoditization,” he breaks down how the airlines have been forced to adapt in things including how they sell tickets and how to keep passengers loyal to their brand.
  9.  I’m Black And I Travel - One, because I’m both.  Blog owner Greg Gross and I are kindred spirits, letting the world know of our travels and expounding on the joys of travel from our own personal experiences.  And Greg has given me access to a large community of black travel bloggers, which has helped me expand my own network.
  10. RickSeaney.com - If you want to keep up with air fares, Rick is your guy.  He’s the CEO of FareCompare.com, created to keep track of airfares for airlines worldwide.   You can also watch fares from your hometown via Twitter.  What’s not to love?

So that’s my list.  What are you reading? I’m always looking to add to my folder!  Also, in the next few weeks, I plan on doing a reader question edition of this blog. So if you any questions, now is the time to start submitting them. Thanks!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 141 other followers