Tag Archive for Airlines

Plane Ticket Buying Process

How we buy plane tickets has certainly changed over the years. In the early days of flying just finding a carriers schedule required a significant amount of effort. Say you wanted to fly from Boston to Chicago, you would have to call up the airlines that fly out those airports, line up the days you need to go and hopefully buy the ticket. You could also consult a travel agent who would have an OAG schedule guide to figure out which flight they can get you on and then call up the airline and buy the ticket on your behalf. Now the process is much simpler and can be done completely online.  Today I wanted to share the ways I buy plane tickets, my methods and process. I would also like know how our users go about buying tickets and what works best for them. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Photo Credit @NY Times

Photo Credit @NY Times

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The Boarding Process Examined

This week I am going more the op-ed route and expressing my opinion (like I don’t already) rather than providing factual insight into the travel industry. For any of you that have traveled extensively and can’t afford the business or first class treatment, boarding is a grueling processes.  In the US, a domestic route almost always involves an infuriating boarding process. Now much of this can be blamed on the airlines. With the institution of checked baggage fees the mission of many passengers is to see how much they can stuff into their suitcase, get it passed the gate agents and slam it into the overhead bin. It is quite frankly astonishing what people think is an allowable size for a carry on these days. I have been on very few domestic flights over the past few years where I haven’t had to assist someone lift their bag into the bin because they got a little over zealous with their bag size. In some respects the passengers are to blame but I get the mind-set, you never know if you will need that pair of fancy clubbing shoes when your on a remote beach in Panama, I get it. I try to travel light to avoid such situations but we can’t all be great travelers.

Photo Credit: Cathryn Jakobson Ramin.

Photo Credit: Cathryn Jakobson Ramin.

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Jennifer From the Deals We Like Blog

Deals we like JenToday we are very excited to present a guest post with Jennifer from the Deals We Like blog which is featured on the very popular travel blog roll BoardingArea. As a child she learned the frequent flyer ropes from her father, who often got their family upgraded and many times they flew for free. Her passion for travel deals and points started over nine years ago when she graduated college and took a job in consulting. She spent her weekdays hotel hoping and embarking on flights eagerly building her points. Since she was traveling all the time, she decided to master and take advantage of the points and miles game which has morphed itself into an outstanding resource on finding the best travel deals. She is a mother to a baby girl and married to Mr. Deals a fellow deal hound, together they love to travel and grab great deals! If you would like to get in touch with Jennifer you can email her at dealswelike@gmail.com, on twitter @DealsWeLike and via her Facebook page.

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Bluetooth Enters Airport Space

If you have a smartphone chances are you have used Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth by definition is a standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of cellular phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Bluetooth can be used to link you smartphones to a compatible device such as a portable speaker or your car to make calls. There are many benefits to Bluetooth tech, it’s inexpensive, standardized, has low interference and is completely wireless. The technology is handy and has been expanding to retailers and now to a major airport in the US.

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A New Southwest Airlines

As many of you may have noticed Southwest Airlines has debuted their new livery colors in an effort to launch a re-branding. Southwest which was established in 1971 has risen from a lowly inter Texas carrier to a domestic giant serving 93 destinations in 40 states. The airline operates more than 3,600 flights a day, transporting more than 100 million customers a year with the help of 45,000 employees. While other airlines have suffered bankruptcies and layoffs, Southwest has remained profitable for 41 consecutive years, which is remarkable considering the recent economic downturn other airlines failed to handle. With the near completion of the Airtran integration there was a need for a new look to reinvigorate the passengers and the workforce. I have to say I enjoy the paint scheme and am excited to see what Southwest has in store for the future.

Southwest side logo

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Biz Plan: Low Cost Caribbean Airline

I am going out on a limb for this weeks blog and swerving away from my usually industry and airport analysis. I have been contemplating writing a business plan for a of a low-cost airline in the Caribbean. What business do I have trying to create my own airline? In truth, not much? I have worked in aviation and travel but never directly for an airline. Lets just say if I ever get my MBA, the lack of competition in the Caribbean commercial airline market might be my thesis. My idea for a low-cost airline in the Caribbean isn’t new but to date there has been no successful attempt due to a very difficult operating environment. Could I be the first? 

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The Ghost Airport of Spain

One hundred and forty miles south of Madrid on a wind-swept desert plain just outside the city of Ciudad Real lies a ghost airport. The terminal buildings are empty as sand slithers through the hallways reminiscent of a abandoned old west mining town. Signs depict an airport “under construction”, but the reality is much more grim. Construction has halted and workers are nowhere to be found. Today the airport goes by Ciudad Real Central Airport, previously known as South Madrid Airport or Don Quixote, but locals view it more as rubbish dump and an eye soar. So just how did this modern-day airport become a wasteland?

Outsie gate

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Delta Shuttle and the Boeing 717 Saga

The BackRowFlier is back at it with a piece of nostalgia and business insight. This week he brings us his take on Delta’s decision to launch their newly acquired Boeing 717‘s on shuttle routes from New York City LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD) and Washington, DC (DCA). The 717 will increase capacity and be outfitted with in-flight wifi and complimentary snacks. Also of note is his fondness for the 717 and their powerful rear mounted Rolls Royce engines that boom throughout the cabin on takeoff. The 717 is making a comeback and Delta is hoping it aid in increasing profits in the 100 seat market.

To view BackRowFliers complete story click here!

Delta 717 exp

The Re-Launch of PEOPLExpress

The trend of reviving failed airlines continues with the re-launch of PEOPLExpress on June 4. Many people of my age (pushing 30) have never heard of the airline PEOPLExpress. They existed as low-cost carrier, with a no frills model from 1981 thru 1987 when they merged with Continental Airlines. They were based out of Newark and had a very retro 80’s paint scheme. They grew rapidly in the early 80’s, offering flights from Newark to Gatwick for only $149 one way which was paid in cash on-board! They were a pioneer low-cost carrier, being the first to charge for a check bag at $3.00 per bag. Can you imagine that type of service today, I would love to go to the airport and try my luck.

To read BackRowFliers full blog click here

PEX3

New Fleet VS Old Fleet

Two weeks ago Boeing rolled its 8,000th 737 off the line and delivered it United Airlines, who was the first airline ever to order a 737. This is a great demonstration of how successful the 737 program has been. When Boeing first implemented the program in 1967 it was another seven years before Airbus delivered their first aircraft. This got me to thinking about how old are the airplanes we fly on? What is the average age of airline fleets in the US and how their age affects the passengers experience?

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-300

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