first class

In air transportation, the ultimate “opt out” is the use of private aircraft to avoid, for a very high price, the hassles of common-carrier airlines. Private charter flights are exempt from TSA screening searches, and often operate from separate “executive” terminals or even separate airports most airline passengers have never heard of, such as those in Teterboro, NJ, for New York City, or Van Nuys, CA, for greater Los Angeles.

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Our food for thought today includes whether international passengers rules should be more consistent, buying first class airline ticket perk-by-perk, and where economics should rule overbooking or customer care.

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New Boeing interiors, Bidding for first class, Airfare increases

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US Air, American drawing up proposed settlement US Airways and American Airlines are willing to give up takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National as part of an attempt to get the Justice Department to allow the merger. In a complaint filed in August aimed at stopping the proposed transaction, the Justice Department focused on […]

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I’m gripped by guilt when I get upgraded or somehow score a premium seat, which happens almost never, because I refuse to participate in those addictive airline loyalty programs. But when it does, I always cast a hesitant glance back to the economy class section, where the seats are stacked so close together that you almost can’t move, and I feel a little ambivalent – and ashamed.

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As you board an airplane, a flight attendant tells you to check your carry-on because there’s no room left on the plane. The carry-on bag has expensive and breakable gear in it. When you retrieve your checked carry-on items are missing and broken. Ned Levi discusses the problem and how you can prevent it.

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There is always something to think about in terms of flying and trade-offs. Better service is available in the front of the plane, but it is safer in the back. More and more airlines are installing Web access for passengers, but usage is a woeful 5 percent. Finally, with better Web access will airlines be changing their in-flight entertainment models?

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Two passengers decided to get off a Qantas Airlines flight when they learned that the airline did not have complimentary first class pajamas in their size available. Do you have other entitled-passenger stories?

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Turtles on runway cause NY flight delays Why did the turtles cross the runways at JFK? To get to the other side to lay eggs according to authorities. Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees operation of the region’s airports, said about 150 diamondback terrapin turtles […]

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Our air transportation system is still mired in the 15th-Century world of peasants and landed gentry. Unfortunately, the airlines have been ignoring the peasants in the back of the plane. Worse, they rub the peasants’ noses in it but only advertising upscale seating that no normal passenger can afford and then making the lower-class passengers march through the world of spacious luxury before they squeeze into their allotted space.

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