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There was an interesting piece on the NY Times about unintended (or maybe it is intended) casualty of the airline ancillary fees in the United States that is the FAA. You can access this article here. I wrote a piece about airlines’ love affair with fuel surcharges that you can access here.

faa-fees

The airline tickets are subject to 7.5% Federal Excise Tax that is collected on the airfare and used to fund the FAA. The recent change, how the airlines price tickets (more fees), has had an effect on the FAA funding. The ancillary fees like baggage, food, drinks, premium seats, premium boarding etc. are not taxed at all. [click to continue…]

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This is one of those unbelievable news stories in the past week. Apparently, the cockpit crew of Air India flight from Bangkok to Delhi let two cabin crew members to control the plane (on autopilot), while they took a 40 minute rest in the business class cabin.

telegrapgh-air-india

Something happened and the auto pilot was turned off. The cockpit crew rushed to the to take control of the plane. [click to continue…]

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The Indonesian aviation safety came back to spotlight last month, when Lion Air’s flight overshoot the runaway in Bali and ended up in the water. Luckily nobody died in that accident. You can read my piece about the crash here.

ny-times-lion-air

Now, NY Times has an article on their website that was published on the International Herald Tribune about the state of the Indonesian’s low cost aviation and you can access it here. It is a good read. [click to continue…]

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The new strain on bird flu has been on the news a lot here in Asia in the past week after Taiwanese, who had not been in direct contact with birds, contradicted the virus. This was believed to be a human to human transfer of the virus.

bbc-news-tv-bird-flu

There has been quite a few reported deaths in China and this is believed to have a effect on the Golden Week travel in China that starts on May 1. [click to continue…]

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The FAA issued new air worthiness certificate to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner on Thursday allowing them to return to commercial service.

787-et-bbc

Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline to fly commercial flight from Addis Abeba to Nairobi on Saturday morning after grounding of the entire 787 fleet and ANA has done a test flight in Japan. You can read more about this on BBC’s website here. [click to continue…]

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There was an interesting news piece last week about the new US Customs & Immigration preclearance location that is being planned to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. You can read more about this on WSJ (here) and on USAToday (here).

us-pre-clearance-auh

This would be very interesting move. The US currently has preclearance posts in Canada, the Caribbean, and Ireland. You can access the list of these current locations here. [click to continue…]

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This issue has been covered in the European media quite widely in the past week, but it doesn’t seem to have made it elsewhere yet. Here’s piece from the Daily Telegraph about it.

airbus-fat-passengers

Airbus is going to offer an option for airlines to order the A320 aircraft in a configuration that shrinks the window and middle seats by an inch and gives the extra space for the aisle seats to better accommodate the larger passengers. Airlines in turn could charge higher price for these wider seats. [click to continue…]

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When I first saw this photo, I thought that someone had passed away during a flight and they had put the body inside a plastic bag. But this was not the case here, however.

travel-inside-plastic-bag

Apparently, some orthodox Jews are forbidden to be in touch with dead people or even fly over a cemetery. The solution for this problem is to bag yourself inside a plastic bag during a flight. [click to continue…]

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Lion Air plane overshot the Denpasar runaway in Bali this Saturday afternoon and landed on water. The flight was from Bandung in West Java to Bali. Surprisingly, there has not been any casualties. You can read more about this incident on Jakarta Globe’s website here.

lion-air-crash-photo

The Indonesian airline safety has not been very good in the past. Due to number of crashes in 2007 all Indonesian airlines were put on the EU’s black list of banned airlines. The national airline Garuda and three other Indonesian airlines were removed from the list in 2009, however. [click to continue…]

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The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) based on the 2012 data is out for 23rd time. This report uses publicly available information that airlines are required to report to Department of Transportation and then applies formula (some magic) to come up with the ratings. You can access AQR’s website here.

airline-quality-rating-2013

The findings are nothing new to those of us that have had a look at the DOT’s monthly Air Travel Consumer reports. The Virgin America was on the first spot and the United was dead last. United had a disastrous year in 2012 complaints and operation wise. [click to continue…]

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Last night, I was watching BBC News and saw this news piece about Samoa Air that has started to charge for flights based on the combined weight of the passenger and the luggage. You can access BBC’s news article about this here.

samoa-heavy-bbc

Pacific Islanders are known to be heavy set, but I didn’t see as many heavy people in Apia, where this airline is based, as I saw in Nukualofa, the capital of Kingdom of Tonga, few years ago. [click to continue…]

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When I was replying to the comments that readers of LoyaltyLobby had left and emails that I had received over the weekend, I started to think that maybe these programs have become overly complicated and almost impossible to understand by reading the terms and conditions.

terms-and-conditions-spg

(Terms and conditions of SPG program. 16 pages and more than 8000 words)

Have program become too complicated? Leave your opinions/comments below.

Here are two examples: [click to continue…]