Further Transportation Strikes in France Beginning Tomorrow

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 impact of this strike will be announced Wednesday, but the ATC strike will affect air traffic across Europe this Friday-Sunday (June 3-5) 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…

Do Airline Mergers Cause Fare Hikes Between Hubs?

With a handful of high-profile airline mergers occurring over the last several years, many flyers may be wondering what effect they’ve had on fares — specifically between former hubs due to decreased competition. TPG Contributor JT Genter explores the data below. The last decade has seen tremendous consolidation among the US-based airlines: Delta merged with Northwest, United…

An Airbus Vision for the Future of Airplane Seating

When it comes to airplane seat arrangements, Boeing and Airbus have been filing a lot of patents, from 12-across in business class to stackable seating and “saddle seats.” We can add another one to the list. Airbus recently filed a patent application for another unique style of seating arrangement, the “Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat.” In theory, it makes…

“SEAT Act” To Set Minimum Sizes for Airline Seats

If you’ve been annoyed at how economy seat sizes and legroom have gotten smaller over the years, you certainly aren’t alone. There’s even a lawmaker who wants to reverse the trend. This week, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced the Safe Egress in Air Travel Act of 2016 or “SEAT Act” (H.R. 4490): To direct the…

Iran Air Could be the Next Carrier to Operate A380s

The A380 is considered by many to be the pinnacle of luxury air travel, with perks ranging from Shower Spas on Emirates to the super-luxe Residence on Etihad Airways. It’s also one of the largest planes in the sky, with the capacity to fit more than 600 passengers on some of the world’s busiest routes. Now, following…