Archive | 12:06 pm

Top Five Most Interesting Aviation Stories Of The Week

17 Jun

It’s the week before the Paris Air Show, and every aviation journalist worth their salt — including me — has been in full frenzy mode, whether we’re going or not (I’m not).  But I have to take care of you, my loyal readers, so let’s go!

I would be remiss if i didn’t lead you to the link — here – for Aviation Week’s full coverage of the show, including news, blog posts, photos and Twitter.  And if you want to keep up with the show via your iPhone, there’s an (AvWeek) app for that, here.  Commercials over!

  1. One of my journalist friends sent me a tweet with a link to this Middle Seat Terminal blog post on Airbus’ vision of what planes will look like in 2050.  While I love all this stuff, I also know the likelihood of us seeing it on an actual plane is slim and none. But I love engineers who dream!
  2. In a topic near and dear to my heart, my airport soul sister Harriet Baskas uses her At The Airport column for USA Today to ask a good question: Should you pay for Wi-Fi? She writes about how airports are considering offered tiered service–free for a limited time, then paid. On the one hand, I know airports are trying to boost their non-airline revenue as carriers continue to cut costs, and Wi-Fi helps with that. But on the other hand, travelers are spoiled by airports including Phoenix, San Francisco and Boston that offer free Wi-Fi, compared to those who don’t, like my hometown Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
  3. I just love listening to the Airplane Geeks podcast, and Episode 150 (congrats guys!) was one of the best ever, with aviation legends John & Martha King as the guests. Did you know they can fly blimps? Cool, huh?
  4. Speaking of fees, the general media were abuzz after the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported that U.S. airlines collected almost $5.7 billion from baggage fees and reservation change fees in 2010, reports ABC News.  Having worked for two airlines, I know why they charge these fees — because you, dear traveler, refuse to pay the higher fares they want to charge you.  But I enjoyed this article in the Atlantic on the top 12 most annoying fees.
  5. I’m a business traveler. I’m also a mother who started flying my daughter around the country when she was only 10 days old.  Which is why I enjoyed this article from BBC that asked the question: who’s more annoying: business travelers or babies?  I vote for business travelers, because babies do eventually tire.  I was lucky, because my daughter always slept, uh, like a baby on flights.  And as she got older, she was so used to flying, I still get compliments about her behavior, even now at 5 years old.

It would not be Friday without this week’s episode of “Strange But True Aviation News,” complete with a different sexting scandal, an unusual airline fee and what happens when you have a potty mouth on the plane.

And finally, for those of you living in the Washington, D.C., area, I hope you can come out to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles Airport for the annual Become a Pilot Day and aviation display on Saturday, June 18.  My favorites — the Airplane Geeks — will be reocrding their podcast, and I’ll be out there with my daughter (the self-dubbed Princess of Planes) to support them.  One of the geeks, Rob Mark of Jetwhine, has more details here.  Please come by and say hello if you’re out there!

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