Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lots of Airline News...

It has been a BAD week for the airlines. Let's check out a summary:

Aloha, says Aloha
Aloha Airlines ceased regular services on Monday. The airline was having issues with too many competitors offering really, really, really low fares. There is also the fact jet fuel prices have risen 70% in the last year. The airline traces its roots to 1946 when the airline inaugurated a DC-3 service between Maui and Honolulu. The airline focused on inter-island flying for many years and added mainland flights in 2000. The airline had an alliance with United Airlines to connect passengers across the country. It is sad to see them go.

ATA, Breaks My Heart
ATA closed down today. It really hits me hard because I took ATA from Des Moines to LAX via MDW when I moved to Australia 5 years ago. When they left Des Moines in 2004 prices for flights skyrocketed, especially from Des Moines to Chicago where prices jumped from a cheap fare of $100 round trip to over $400 today.

I knew the airline would either fold or become part of Southwest Airlines (because of their code share agreement), but it wasn't expected to close down today. It is sad to see what was the 10th largest airline gone.

Southwest and the FAA
Southwest, United, American, and Delta have been having major issues with the FAA and inspections. It seems that the airlines had too close of a relationship with the FAA and required inspections weren't carried out. The airlines blame the FAA and the FAA blame the airlines. They are both idiots. Trying to save a few dollars but putting customers in danger. Wait, that is just corporate America.

Northwest Raises Fees
Northwest became the latest legacy carrier to start charging up the wazoo for everything related to flying. I understand they need to make money, but I wonder if there might be other ways. I applaud airlines for checking extra bags, but I wonder if frequent flier fees are the way to do it? Hopefully this helps with the fuel bills.

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