Top Five Interesting Stories Of The Week

12 Dec

Yes, kids, it was another interesting week in aviation.  We lost an FAA administrator but gained the right to hide aircraft tail numbers. So let’s get on with the news.

  1. I was doing my regular Twitter search when I saw someone had posted this Aviation Week story — Airbus Expects United To Place A380 Order. Written by my former colleague Darren Shannon, I first thought it was a gag.  I’ve never been quite sure about the economics of that plane, but there are people much smarter than me out there who have made it work.
  2. Right after American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the chatter about it merging with US Airways began.  Last week, I linked to a post from Brett “Cranky Flier” Snyder, who gave his reasons on why he thought this was a good idea.  And now, US Airways CFO Derek Kerr agrees with Brett, being quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying that “there is possibly room for more.” (If you get the subscribers only link, just copy the headline, paste it in Google and click on the link that has in the URL to see the full story.)
  3. The Air Transport Association of America — the lobbying group for major U.S. carriers — recently changed its name to Airlines4America.  When I first heard the name, I wasn’t impressed, thinking it was just too cute for words.  And it looks like Scott McCartney, the Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat Terminal blog agrees with me in this post — Does Cutesy Name Change Limit Credibility of Airline Group?
  4. Back when I worked at Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group, I still traveled regularly to the East Coast.  I had my choice of flying America West to Los Angeles and catching a flight to Baltimore or flying US Airways to Pittsburgh, then Baltimore. Nine times out of 10, I chose the US Airways flight to go shopping in Pittsburgh, back when it still had hub status.   But since it was dehubbed back in 2004, the airport has fallen on some tough times. So their solution?  Try and attract new turboprop service, reports Pittsburgh Live.
  5. I love it when airlines try to show the love to their very best customers.  Check out my Aviation Week Things With Wings blog post on how United Airlines showed the love to 10 million mile customer Tom Stuker in July.  So I just loved this post from Chris McGinnis’ The Ticket travel news blog — Delta picking up pax in Porsches at ATL.  So you get off your flight and a man in a suit waits in the jetway holding a card with your name.  You’re taken out the side door and driven directly to your car — in a Porsche Cayenne SUV.  How cool is that?

I had the pleasure of being a guest Saturday on Flight Time Radio with Milford Shirley and Charlie Willwerth.  I met these gentlemen back in June when they were broadcasting live from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center during Be a Pilot Day (my posts on that event are here and here).

And those crazy Taiwanese animators are at it again.  Below is a video with their thoughts on the situation with “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin.  And just ignore the fact that the “Alec” cartoon looks absolutely *nothing* like the actor!


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