Oh, Alec! You’ve gone and done it now. When you got kicked off that American Airlines flight on December 6 because you didn’t want to turn off your phone and stop playing Words With Friends and got mad at the flight attendant and slammed the bathroom door, well, you exposed the airlines’ dirty little secret, didn’t you?
You would think that by now JetBlue would have learned its lesson from the February snowstorm of 2007. After all, how many airlines have the distinction of prompting a rulemaking barring them from holding passengers hostage for more than three hours or face fines up to $27,500 per passenger?
From time to time Rocky and I entertain friends. Generally, as a 14-year-old golden retriever, he shows a lot of enthusiasm when someone first arrives but before long he ends up lying on his back in his semi-comatose, tongue hanging out, nap mode with his paws twitching in response to dreams of birds long ago retrieved. This time was different.
Taxes. I would like to pay fewer taxes, or none at all, but I accept why societies need them. I know some folks think we should do away with taxes altogether, but I can’t see how that could work. Like death, taxes are inevitable. On that cheery note, there is one tax I believe the aviation community needs to keep and support, if for no reason other than to avoid its alternative. The tax is the one on aviation fuel; its alternative is user fees.
At face value, the December 1 departure of Pier Francesco Guarguaglini as chairman of Finmeccanica should herald a new dawn for the Italian aerospace and defense group. But his successor Giuseppe Orsi, who continues to serve as chief executive too, faces a monumental task to rebuild the company’s business plan in the face of third quarter losses of €324 million ($422 million).
You’ve got to hand it to Boeing. After only a month and a half of negotiations with its machinists union, it reached a deal that not only appeared fair to its workers, but also relieved the company of a potentially lengthy and costly litigation related to its effort to head off any further labor disruptions by building a new 787 plant in North Charleston, S.C.
The news that FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Saturday (December 3) raises some interesting questions.
One of the pleasures of attending the many aviation trade shows on our annual to-do list is the opportunity to see new aircraft, products and people. I’m sure many of the “new” exhibitors that I run across every year have probably been exhibiting for years and I just haven’t noticed them, but it’s still fun to meet new people, like Maxim Antonov of Avioconversiya (no relation to the Russian aircraft designer).
The self-admitted “father” of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is driving another nail in the coffin of his “bastard child.” But this time he has other House chairmen and subcommittee chairmen working with him.
A small uproar in pilot forums and AOPA “safety” blogs greeted the criticism by some former FAA and NTSB experts of the American and United pilots’ decisions to land at DCA when the sole air traffic cont