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…

Are There Red-Eye Flights from Europe to the US?

TPG reader Aproujan sent me a tweet to ask about airline schedules: “Do you know of any nighttime Transatlantic flights from Europe to the US?” Some people hate red-eye flights and avoid them whenever possible, but I think nighttime departures have a certain allure. There’s something romantic about boarding a plane in the evening, (hopefully) falling asleep and waking up…

Darker Windows Coming Soon to the Dreamliner

If you’ve ever flown on the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner,” you probably noticed one common airline feature is missing: the window shade. Instead, the Dreamliner’s windows are designed to tint at the push of a button — either by the passenger sitting in the window seat or the flight attendant’s control panel. Also, you’ll notice that the…