January 2010

Icahn buys Fontainebleau Las Vegas in auction, NextGen could ease air traffic gridlock through technology, JetBlue’s disruptions

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Air New Zealand has introduced a new sleeping seat for long-distance travel. It is called the skycouch. It is the first step up from coach. Basically, it allows two passengers to share what amounts it seems to a twin bed.

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Air France is planning to go head to head with Easyjet and Ryanair by inaugurating a low-cost network of domestic flights linking French cities. Air France has yet to comment. But its business model will make that Nice the base of operations and the airline won’t utilize Paris airports.

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Now, JetBlue is moving a step closer to the mainstream by joining ARC. This will make life easier both for travel agents and for their clients. Besides simpler refunds and exchanges, unused e-tickets can be traced in the system and record keeping will be much easier.

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Sometimes you learn things the darnedest ways. Until a USAirways LaGuardia to Louisville commuter flight was diverted to Philadelphia for an emergency, possible terrorism landing I had never heard of this word — tefillin. Evidently the flight attendant on US 3079 had never seen one either.

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Delta plans $1B fleet upgrade, Virgin America seeking a place at airports, British Airways prepares for strike

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While many of the lower-cost and mid-cost hotels do not charge for Internet connections, the most expensive still are charging for connections to the Web. But the days of Internet access are numbered. The only question is when will the charges be totally eliminated.

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Once upon a time, the only airline merchandising was via the airline magazines and the SkyMall catalogs. But today the airlines with their unbundling are beginning more and more merchandising.

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As predicted, American Airlines has matched the other legacy carriers with increased fees for checked baggage. Now, AA, Continental, Delta, United and USAirways all are charging $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second checked bag.

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Delta actually went out of their way for a client when they didn’t have to, so let’s give credit where credit is due.

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