Senators Demand Answers from Airlines after Recent Outages

Over the past month, there have been large system outages at two of the largest airlines in the nation. Now, a couple of US Senators are demanding answers. Yesterday, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey sent letters to the largest 13 US-based airlines asking what they’re doing to fix the problems causing these outages. A copy of…

Experts Predict More Airline Outages due to Carriers’ Aging Technology

Recently, there have been lots of airline computer/technical “glitches” leading to massive delays and hundreds — or even thousands — of canceled flights: Delta (August 2016): Delta Power Outage Leaves Thousands of Passengers Stranded Southwest (July 2016): Southwest Airlines’ Computer Glitch Causes FAA to Issue Ground Stop on Its Flights American (September 2015): American Airlines Flights Grounded Due to Technical Glitch United…

Alaska Airlines Might Keep Virgin America Brand After Merger

Love the Virgin America brand? We have some good news for you: Alaska Airlines might retain the Virgin America name after the merger. Love the Alaska Airlines brand? Don’t worry, it would be kept as well. During a speech to The Wings Club yesterday, Alaska Airlines’ CEO Brad Tilden discussed the possibility of keeping both brands post-merger. In the months…

How to Engage With Airlines on Social Media

Social media is an effective (and speedy) way to engage with airlines, and many carriers see Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as vital parts of their customer engagement and support strategies. Here, TPG Contributor Sid Lipsey shares some of his best tips for engaging with airlines on social media. Great news for flyers with something to say…

Further Transportation Strikes in France Beginning Tomorrow

Update: French air traffic controllers have called off their strike for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, however the strike will move forward for Thursday. In the words of the poet Yogi Berra, it’s like déjà vu all over again. For the third time in three weeks, French air traffic controllers (ATC) are going on strike. The precise timing and…

Should Overhead Bin Space Be Assigned to Individual Seats?

TPG reader Peter sent me a tweet to ask about carry-on luggage: “Do you think overhead bin slots should be assigned to seats?” Boarding a commercial flight in the US sometimes reminds me of the Oklahoma land rush, since the competition to stake a claim to overhead bin space can be fast and fierce. To avoid checked bag fees, many…

Airbus A350 Update: Which Airlines Are Flying Which Routes

Since Qatar Airways became the launch customer of Airbus’s next-generation A350 at the end of 2014, several other airlines have taken delivery of the jet. Today, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen gives us a status update on orders and deliveries of the new aircraft — and how you can get aboard. Meant to compete with…

French Air Traffic Controllers Striking Again Starting Tonight

Although there hasn’t been a strike of US Air Traffic Controllers since 1981 — when 11,345 controllers were fired for refusing to return to work — today will mark the 43rd strike day since 2009 for French Air Traffic Controllers. The strike is scheduled from 7pm Central Europe Time Wednesday until at least 6am CET Friday. There is very little published about which…

When Can an Airline Give My Seat Away Prior to Departure?

TPG reader Jenny sent me a message on Facebook to ask about boarding rules: “I checked in online the day before an Alaska Airlines flight. A long security line meant I arrived at the gate about 15-20 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The gate was still open, but they refused to let me on the plane, and said my seat…

Amazon Leasing 20 Cargo Planes to Boost Delivery Network

Amazon announced this week that it has leased 20 Boeing 767 freighter aircraft for the next five to seven years, beginning April 1. While this isn’t a shocking development — after all, very similar plans were leaked in December — it’s a major move by Amazon. This should help the world’s largest retailer provide stability to its delivery system, while also cutting costs. Likely…