Tag Archive for Aviation

Flight Review: Southwest 659 and 514 ORF-BWI-BOS

Background and Ticketing

I bought these tickets as part of a return leg from a wedding in Maryland and a week in sunny Virginia Beach, VA. When I fly back to BOS from the Hampton Road area I have a choice of two airports, Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Newport News International Airport (PHF). Richmond’s Byrd International Airport (RIC) is also an option but it is an hour and half from VA Beach. Southwest and US Airways Express offer the lowest priced option from ORF and Delta Connection from PHF. Before the merger of Southwest and Airtran there was a direct flight between BOS-PHF on a Boeing 717 which began my love for that aircraft that I blogged about here. I miss that flight as it was direct, no fee for a checked bag, on a 717 and never full. This time I went with Southwest out of ORF connecting in BWI as they had the lowest price at $94 and I could check a bag for free. I rarely ever check a bag on short flights but this time I wanted to throw caution to the wind, it almost can back to bite me. I also would much rather fly on a 737 instead of cramming into a CRJ on US Air and I wanted to continue building my Southwest rapid rewards points.20141021_200546 (2)

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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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MIT AeroAstro Open House

In late April the MIT Aeronautic and Astronautics Department opened their doors to the public to celebrate 100 years of the program. In celebration, a number of special events were held in conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival. I didn’t realize it was April vacation and the event was mobbed with school children. It was inspirational to see children getting involved and interested in aviation and astronautics. The events included touring the Gas Turbine laboratory, stepping into MIT Wind Tunnel, practicing your piloting skills on a flight simulator and talking with the engineers who are building the D8 “Double Bubble” aircraft that is funded by NASA to replace the 737. Below the highlights from the day:

Crowd enjoying the engines on display

Crowd enjoying the Engines on display

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