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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:29 PM   #781
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Windshield cracks on California-bound Delta flight
On Thursday November 18, 2010, 7:42 pm EST
AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says a Delta Air Lines jet bound for Southern California had to divert to Dallas-Fort Worth because of a cracked windshield.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says Delta Flight 1795 declared an emergency Thursday while en route from Atlanta to John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

Gregor says the Boeing 737 landed in Texas without incident at 12:29 p.m. Central Time.

The FAA is investigating.

A John Wayne Airport spokeswoman says the passengers continued on another plane and arrived in Orange County at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:30 PM   #782
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Delta ground workers reject union
Joshua Freed, AP Airlines Writer, On Thursday November 18, 2010, 4:07 pm EST

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Unions lost their second big vote at Delta Air Lines on Thursday, with fleet service workers rejecting the union that had represented the same group at Northwest Airlines.

The voting by 13,104 baggage handlers and other fleet service workers ended with 52.5 percent of them voting for no union, according the National Mediation Board, the federal agency that runs airline union elections.

Delta is mostly non-union except its pilots. But labor got a foot in the door when Delta absorbed heavily unionized Northwest in 2008.

The election that ended Thursday was to see whether the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers would represent the combined workers, or none of them. Roughly 5,000 of those Delta workers had come from Northwest.

The IAM is also aiming to represent some 16,500 customer service workers such as gate agents and ticket-sellers. Voting for that group, which includes roughly 5,000 from Northwest, ends Dec. 7.

Voting for about 700 stock and stores clerks ends Monday.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA narrowly lost its bid to represent about 20,000 Delta workers earlier this month. The AFA has claimed that Delta interfered in the voting, which Delta denied. Union spokeswoman Corey Caldwell said the union expects to file its allegations with the mediation board next week.

Delta said it would make pay and work rules the same for workers who came from Delta and their colleagues who came from Northwest once it knows whether the IAM will challenge the election.

IAM spokesman Joseph Tiberi said the union is "investigating allegations from Delta workers of illegal election interference," but didn't say whether it would file to challenge the outcome.

Delta had mounted an extensive campaign that unions said was aimed at encouraging votes against representation.

The airline said that Thursday's result means that votes covering some 40,000 workers have rejected union representation.

Also on Thursday, the pilot union at Delta elected Detroit-based 767 captain Tim O'Malley as chairman of its Master Executive Council. O'Malley has worked for Delta since 1990, and was a F-4 pilot in the Air Force. O'Malley and other new officers for the Delta branch of the Air Line Pilots Association begin their new roles Jan. 1.

O'Malley replaces outgoing chairman Lee Moak, who was elected ALPA president last month.

Shares of Atlanta-based Delta rose 46 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $13.67 in afternoon trading, with most of the gain coming before the vote result was announced.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:33 PM   #783
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Delta adding Pittsburgh-to-Paris flights in June
On Tuesday November 16, 2010, 5:24 pm EST

IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to offer one nonstop flight daily from Pittsburgh International Airport to Paris during the summer travel season.

Delta began the service to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport last year. Delta offered one Paris flight five days a week last summer before cutting back to its current schedule of one flight four days a week.

The boost in service will begin June 1.

The airline has a subsidy agreement with the airport, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the state to offer the flights. Delta had the option to stop offering the Paris flights at the end of May 2011. Instead, Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter says the airline will offer the Paris flights through at least August.

Delta offers 31 daily nonstop flights from Pittsburgh to seven cities.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 08:12 PM   #784
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Here some news for southwest.

Southwest Airlines Attendants Approve New Rules for Larger Boeing Plane

Business ExchangeBuzz up!DiggPrint Email .Southwest Airlines Co. flight attendants approved contract revisions that will enable the carrier to buy a larger-model Boeing Co. 737 to carry more passengers on popular routes.

The vote was 3,126 to 569, the Transport Workers Union said in a statement today. The revisions provide for an additional attendant on the 175-seat 737-800 and extend the current contract by one year to 2013.

Southwest, the largest discount carrier, is considering switching existing orders for some 737-700s to the -800, which has 28 percent more seats and is more fuel efficient. The Dallas-based airline is the largest operator of Boeing 737s, the only type of aircraft it flies.

“It’s a vote of confidence in ongoing progress at Southwest,” Thom McDaniel, president of TWU Local 556, said in the statement. “We are fully involved in the growth and expansion of our company.” The union represents 9,700 attendants at the carrier.

The larger plane will let Southwest boost seating capacity even as it holds its fleet of 737s steady, taking new aircraft only as replacements for older ones. Southwest will also be able to pack more passengers on high-demand routes and fly to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Waiting on Pilots

Southwest said a final decision to add the 737-800 hasn’t been made as it awaits results of a similar vote by pilots and continues to evaluate aircraft configuration and network options. Details of any firm orders with Boeing and the timing and number of deliveries haven’t been determined, the airline said.

The changes approved today set out training and schedule and work rules for attendants on the 737-800s.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association will announce results Dec. 1 of their vote on contract provisions for the bigger jet. Both the attendants’ and pilots’ agreements provide wage-rate increases linked to Southwest’s financial performance.

Southwest rose 25 cents to $13.56 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 19 percent this year.

They are having a 59 dollar airfare sale nation wide. Book now before the fares go up.
Dont have a crummy travel week. Post your story so every one can read it. Stay flying and happy Thanksgiving.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:59 AM   #785
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Delta may consider refunds for passengers who cancel travel over new TSA screening measures
23 November 2010

DALLAS (AP) - Delta Air Lines says it will consider refunds in rare case-by-case scenarios for passengers who cancel travel plans because of new airport security measures.

Some passengers have complained loudly about the Transportation Security Administration's new screening procedures, which can include intimate pat-downs of passengers who bypass scanners that produce a virtually naked image of the body.

Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said Monday that her airline is issuing refunds on a case-by-case basis for customers worried about the new screening steps. The move, however, does not constitute a new refund policy at the airline.

At American Airlines, spokesman Tim Smith says the company isn't changing its ticket policies because it doesn't control the security procedures.

Smith says a non-refundable ticket is still just that: non-refundable if you don't use it.

Officials at Continental and US Airways said much the same thing -- customers could get their money back only if they bought a refundable ticket. Airlines usually charge more for those.

Southwest and United did not answer messages for comment. Southwest lets customers use advance-purchase tickets within 12 months without imposing an additional change fee.

Some travelers threaten to protest the new screening at airports Wednesday. They have said they will refuse to go through the scanning machines and instead force TSA employees to conduct more time-consuming pat-downs. The TSA has asked travelers not to do that because it could snarl holiday travel traffic.

The Delta and American officials said they were not seeing large numbers of cancelations related to the new security checks, but they had no specific numbers.

"I can't say no one has canceled," Smith said, adding that it's "just not a trend."
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 04:00 AM   #786
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Delta Air Lines to TSA: Let flight attendants skip new intrusive screening, just like pilots
23 November 2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. says flight attendants should be allowed to bypass tougher security screenings, just as pilots can.

The Transportation Security Administration has said it will let pilots skip the body scans and aggressive pat-downs that travelers get. Now, Delta CEO Richard Anderson has asked the TSA to let flight attendants get the same treatment. His request was included in a letter to employees over the weekend.

The CEO's letter says flight attendants are safety professionals just like pilots and should be included in the same security screening that pilots get.

There was no immediate word from the TSA on Delta's request.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #787
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Delta Air Lines says flight attendant union is claiming election interference
24 November 2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. says the Association of Flight Attendants is claiming the company interfered in a recent union election.

The union narrowly lost the election to represent 20,000 Delta flight attendants earlier this month. Union officials immediately claimed the company improperly influenced flight attendants to vote against the union.

Delta says the union is disregarding the will of the majority of flight attendants. The airline says the interference claim will keep it from matching pay and benefits between flight attendants who came from Northwest and those who have been at Delta all along. Delta bought Northwest in 2008.

The National Mediation Board will look into the claims. It can either dismiss them or order a re-vote.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #788
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Delta Air Lines Supports Garuda Indonesia's Application to Join SkyTeam
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL)
Intraday Stock Chart
Today : Wednesday 24 November 2010
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today issued the following statement in support of Garuda Indonesia's decision to join the SkyTeam global airline alliance in 2012.

"We are honored that Garuda Indonesia has chosen to link its future growth and success with Delta and our SkyTeam partners, while bringing our alliance unique access to Indonesia," said Vinay Dube, Delta's senior vice president – Asia-Pacific. "Garuda's growing hubs in Jakarta and Denpasar, and extensive network throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific, will bring our customers greater access to destinations across one of the world's fastest-growing regions."

Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a fast growing emerging market. SkyTeam is actively working to grow its presence in the region, with Garuda becoming the fifth Asian-based airline this year to join or announce its intentions to join SkyTeam. Vietnam Airlines joined the alliance in June while China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines are each slated to join by 2012.

Garuda has a broad Indonesian and regional network that will add 30 new destinations to the SkyTeam alliance network. The airline has implemented a financial and operational restructuring in recent years and was named the 'World's Most Improved Airline' at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards.

More information on Garuda Indonesia and SkyTeam are available in the SkyTeam news release.

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 348 destinations in 64 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 75,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.

SOURCE Delta Air Lines
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Old November 24th, 2010, 06:10 PM   #789
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Southwest says 'Happy Thanksgiving' with free alcohol and I say Happy Thanksgiving by saying stay away from the TSA people. Here is some happy news if you drink. Maybe if you go through TSA you may come out needing a drink or two.

Southwest is treating its travelers flying on Thanksgiving Day to a free alcoholic drink. The carrier announced via Twitter earlier today that "if you are flying on Thursday you get a free adult beverage! Happy Thanksgiving!"

In another beverage-related promotion, American announced last week it would offer its December customers an "in-flight Happy Hour" on flights scheduled to depart between 5 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. local time. During the promotion, customers can purchase alcoholic drinks for $5. That amounts to a $2 discount on liquor drinks and a $1 discount on beer.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 04:28 AM   #790
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Here is some news we can see coming from Southwest next year. We already discussed some of the topics already mention. But hear it is again.

Southwest Airlines positioning itself as national juggernaut

The discount air carrier is by far the busiest airline at McCarran International Airport, with 44.1 percent of each day’s commercial flights — in September it flew more than 1.3 million passengers to and from Las Vegas. But Southwest is still making moves to win more customers’ hearts and money.

Keeping all the balls in the air is Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly, who relishes the juggler role and is confident that his company can pull it off. By the time Southwest is done with an extreme makeover, it could well be the profit-making juggernaut analysts are expecting.

Here’s what’s on tap:

• Southwest is in the early stages of integrating AirTran, which it is buying for $1.42 billion. The acquisition, announced in September, would enable Southwest to enter the largest market it currently doesn’t serve: Atlanta. It also would give the company more gates at New York’s LaGuardia International Airport and a new presence at Ronald Reagan National Airport near the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

• After months of testing, Southwest is rolling out its in-flight Wi-Fi. The airline announced it will cost passengers $5 per flight to use it.

• Southwest will soon announce whether it will begin flying Boeing 737-800 jets, which are longer and carry more passengers than its current planes. Boeing 737-700 and -300 jets carry 137 passengers. The 800 planes have a greater range, making possible flights to Hawaii.

• The airline unveiled some details about its partnership with Volaris, Mexico’s second largest airline and a discounter in the mold of Southwest. Volaris tickets are for sale on Southwest’s website, and plans include more opportunities to connect each other’s customers at airports where both carriers fly.

• Southwest’s marketing push to emphasize that “Bags Fly Free” has been a big success. Next, the airline plans to emphasize buying on southwest.com and, after that, pressing that unlike most carriers, Southwest doesn’t charge extra for canceling and rebooking a flight. Executives acknowledge that message may be a little harder to convey.

“We want to be bold, we want to be aggressive, we want to be the agitator. We’re very pro-consumer, we’re very pro-competition,” Kelly said recently. “Without somebody like Southwest Airlines, you don’t have that. You have a very comfortable, country club-like industry.”

Buying AirTran is the biggest project on Southwest’s plate. It’s also the topic with the most unknowns because company executives can’t talk publicly yet about details such as routes and schedules.

Although Southwest will pick up 37 cities on AirTran’s route map and add 138 aircraft, it’s too early to tell how the blending of the airlines would affect Las Vegas.

Southwest has said that it and AirTran would operate independently until details are worked out and they work under one operating certificate.

Most of AirTran’s flights use a hub-and-spoke model, meaning that most of the airline’s flights go to its primary cities of Atlanta, Milwaukee and Orlando, Fla., with connecting flights to 67 airports in the AirTran system. By contrast, most Southwest routes are point to point, meaning that flights could operate randomly among any of the 69 destinations on Southwest’s map.

Most AirTran routes are in the South. AirTran’s routes in the West include cities served by Southwest with nonstop flights to Las Vegas — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver.

Prospective cities on the AirTran route map for Las Vegas include Wichita, Kan.; Des Moines, Iowa; Moline-Quad Cities, Ill.; Bloomington-Normal, Ill.; and Memphis, Tenn.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both airlines, but must be approved by AirTran shareholders and regulators with the Justice and Transportation departments, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Labor unions won’t need to approve the deal, but support it.

The different operations of the two carriers raise many questions, some of which have been answered by Southwest and some that have been deferred.

For example, Southwest has made it clear that AirTran’s assigned seating policy and two-class service on aircraft would go away as soon as the carriers are integrated. But the new cities would get service without baggage fees.

AirTran customers have mixed feelings on the changes. Although some are excited about the potential of lower fares, others aren’t happy about losing the business-class service. There’s grumbling about the Southwest boarding process, once derided by AirTran in television ads as a cattle call.

Atlanta is expected to become a huge battleground for Southwest, which will be going head to head with market leader Delta Air Lines. Southwest commissioned an analysis of Atlanta and determined that its presence could service more than 2 million passengers a year and save consumers more than $200 million with fares below Delta’s.

Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president of strategy and planning, said that when the integration is complete, Atlanta could become the airline’s busiest station, a title McCarran is barely hanging on to after growth at Chicago’s Midway Airport.

“There weren’t a lot of surprises about AirTran when we did our due diligence, but most of what we did learn was upside,” Jordan said. “We were impressed with its knowledge of Atlanta and of the Boeing 717.”
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #791
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Power outage at Atlanta airport cancels flights
29 November 2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta has canceled about two dozen flights and delayed more because of a power outage at Atlanta's airport.

Delta Air Lines spokesman Anthony Black says a power outage Monday morning in part of the B Concourse has affected some Delta gates. The airline has been forced to move arrivals and departures from those gates to other gates.

Delta had asked the Federal Aviation Administration to put a ground hold on its flights out of Atlanta until 9 a.m. By midmorning, Delta was delaying flights into Atlanta because the power was still out.

Black says Mondays are generally busy, and this Monday is particularly busy because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport spokeswoman Katena Carvajales says the outage affected the south end of the B Concourse. She says the cause of the outage wasn't immediately clear.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #792
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Virgin America, Southwest airlines praised in Zagat survey

Fliers frequently complain about the hassles of air travel, but in a survey released Monday, they also say some airlines deserve kudos.
Virgin America received the highest overall scores of any U.S. airline for coach and premium classes on domestic and international flights, according to Zagat Survey's annual poll of 8,007 frequent fliers.

The survey by the travel and dining guide publisher asked fliers to rate how well airlines delivered on comfort, service and food. It was conducted Sept. 21-Oct. 10.

Other winners in the annual poll included:

•Continental Airlines, which ranked first of big U.S. airlines for coach and premium classes on domestic and international flights. Continental is merging with United Airlines.

•Southwest Airlines, which was cited for the best website of all U.S. and foreign airlines. On domestic routes, Southwest also was cited for the best value, the best luggage policy, the best check-in experience and the best on-time flight estimates for consumers.

•Singapore Airlines, which was named No. 1 for coach and premium classes on international flights.

•JetBlue Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which ranked No. 1 for in-flight entertainment for their respective domestic and international flights.

Continuing a poll trend for several years, small U.S. airlines scored higher than big carriers. Virgin America, for example, scored 21.14 on a 30-point scale for coach class on domestic flights, followed by JetBlue, 19.01, and Hawaiian Airlines, 16.19.

Big legacy airlines Delta, United, American and US Airways each scored less than 11 for coach class on domestic flights. Continental's 14.07 score was the highest of the legacy carriers.

"The newer airlines are doing better, while the big legacy carriers with their old planes and old crews continue to do badly," says Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat. "People are saying that the newer carriers are younger, friendlier and hipper."

A disturbing trend, Zagat says, is that nearly all U.S. airlines' scores have decreased since Zagat Survey began rating airlines in 2001. Only Southwest and AirTran Airways had higher scores in 2010 than in 2001.

"People today are grousing about just about everything dealing with the airline industry," Zagat says. "Many other industries would not want their customers to feel like those in the airline industry."

Frequent fliers in the Zagat Survey poll named Portland International in Oregon their favorite airport based on overall quality. Other airports that ranked high were Tampa, Salt Lake City, Detroit and Denver.

New York's LaGuardia ranked lowest in quality for the fourth consecutive year. Other airports with very low scores were Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York's JFK.

Thanks everyone who flies on Southwest airlines and the other airlines mentioned.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 05:25 AM   #793
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Disturbed woman strips naked on Chicago-to-New York flight; flight attendants try to cover her
29 November 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Police have removed an emotionally disturbed passenger who stripped naked on a flight between Chicago and New York.

The incident happened Saturday night as Delta Flight 6562 began its descent into Kennedy Airport.

A Newsday news manager who was on the flight said flight attendants tried to cover the woman with a blanket while she yelled "No! No! No!"

The Newsday manager, David Holland, said that when the plane landed, other passengers got off before police removed the woman.

A spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the woman was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

The woman's name was not released. She is not expected to be criminally charged.

------

Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:49 AM   #794
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Quote:
Continental’s partnership with Emirates ending on March 25, 2011

Continental’s partnership with Emirates will be ending on March 25, 2011. For travel after March 25, Continental miles can no longer be earned for flights on Emirates, and all award reservations using OnePass miles for travel on Emirates need to be ticketed by March 25, 2011 (though travel can be for a subsequent date).

While Continental miles couldn’t be redeemed for Emirates first class, this is still a huge loss. Emirates actually has decent business class award availability, even on the A380. The other nice thing about Continental awards on Emirates is that Continental allows you to mix partners on an award. In other words, you can fly Emirates one way and Lufthansa (or any of their other partners) the other direction, or even just include Emirates as one segment on a larger Star Alliance award. For example, Emirates flies the A380 between Hong Kong and Bangkok, so that was a nice way to try it on an award consisting otherwise of Star Alliance airlines.

I’m kind of surprised to see the partnership end so soon. I’m not sure if it has to do with the merger or not, because United has a partnership with Emirates as well. While United’s redemption rates for travel on Emirates are much higher than Continental’s, you can redeem for Emirates first class using United miles. While it’s 220,000 miles for a first class ticket between North American and the Middle East, I actually consider that to be a bargain since you can redeem for A380 first class (yes, the first class product with the shower onboard!). It’s worth noting that United doesn’t allow you to mix partner awards, though — in other words, if you spend the 220,000 miles, you can’t even include your flight from home to the gateway as part of the award.

Hopefully the United partnership doesn’t end soon, as I was planning on redeeming miles for Emirates first class soon.
(Boarding Area, 2010)
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Old December 15th, 2010, 10:25 PM   #795
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Hey guys! Sorry for the delay for new news. Southwest is adding some more 737s to their fleet.

Southwest to Add Bigger Boeing 737-800 Plane After Pilots Approve Change

Southwest Airlines Co., the world’s biggest low-fare carrier, will add a larger model of Boeing Co.’s 737 to its fleet to carry more passengers on high-demand routes and boost fuel efficiency.

The airline’s decision to switch some existing orders for 737-700s to 737-800s followed the approval today by pilots of contract changes letting them fly the bigger jet, the Dallas- based carrier said in a statement. Flight attendants last month approved similar contract revisions.

The larger plane will let Southwest increase seating capacity even as it holds its fleet of 737s steady, taking new aircraft only as replacements for older ones. The carrier will also be able to pack more passengers on high-demand routes and fly to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“The 737-800 is the sweet spot of Boeing’s narrow-body family,” said Douglas Runte, a managing director with Piper Jaffray & Co. in New York. “If you can fill up the plane, it is far more efficient for an airline to operate than the smaller 737-700.”

The -800 has 175 seats, 28 percent more than the -700, is about 10 percent more fuel efficient per seat and should trim costs to fly each seat a mile by about 15 percent. Southwest is the largest operator of Boeing 737s, the only type of aircraft it flies.

Pilot Contracts

The carrier will complete talks with Boeing on changing an unspecified number of -700 orders, equipment options for the larger planes and seating configuration. The airline expects to take delivery of the first -800 in the first quarter of 2012.

“It is normal for customers to switch aircraft models,” said Vicki Ray, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing.

Southwest said July 29 that it had exercised options to buy 25 737-700s valued at $1.7 billion, based on list prices, with deliveries to start in 2011.

More than 75 percent of pilots voting approved changes to include the -800 in their contract, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association said today. The revisions also provide for a September 2011 pay increase of either 2 percent, or an amount linked to Southwest’s profitability, whichever is greater; and a profitability-based raise in September 2012, as well as a one- year extension of the agreement to 2012.

Changes approved earlier by the Transport Workers Union provide for one additional flight attendant on the -800s and a contract extension, a profitability-based raise and company-paid training.

Southwest will divert from its long-held strategy of flying only 737s, the world’s most widely flown jetliner, when it acquires AirTran Holdings Inc. and adds that carrier’s Boeing 717s. Southwest agreed in September to buy AirTran for $1.4 billion in cash and stock.

Southwest rose 10 cents to $13.42 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 17 percent this year.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #796
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Southwest Will Add Bigger Planes to Fleet

Southwest has confirmed that it will add Boeing's 737-800 aircraft to its fleet, after months of speculation and union votes. Southwest flies an all-737 fleet, but the -800 version is significantly larger than the versions currently in use, with up to 175 seats instead of 137.

The airline confirmed the move after its pilots union voted to approve a contract modification that would cover the larger planes. Southwest's flight attendants already voted their approval. The new planes will require a fourth flight attendant, compared to three on the airline's current aircraft.

Southwest said it will take its first delivery of the new planes in the first quarter of 2012. It will switch its orders for -700s models in 2012 to -800s.

Now the question becomes: Where will the new planes fly? Hawaii, for starters, is a likely choice. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly tipped his hand in October, when he said the larger planes make Hawaii a realistic option. But it's not necessarily because the planes fly farther. The Dallas Morning News' Terry Maxon writes, "Southwest can profitably fly to more distant markets like Hawaii and far points of the Caribbean that wouldn't be feasible on aircraft with fewer seats."

Readers, where do you think Southwest should fly with its new planes?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 09:02 AM   #797
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Delta relaunches Shanghai flights, its Asia strategy 15 December 2010
The Atlanta Journal - Constitution

Delta Air Lines is taking another stab at growing its presence in Asia --- including a recent decision to restart Atlanta-Shanghai flights next year --- after significant shifts in the industry landscape.

Although Delta launched the Shanghai route nearly three years ago amid much fanfare, only to scuttle it in 2009, the airline says this time will be different.

A global recession led to a steep decline in demand for international travel within months of the spring 2008 launch, prompting Delta to cut back on frequency and then stop flying the route altogether.

Since then, it has completed the integration of flight schedules with merger partner Northwest Airlines, including that carrier's extensive Asia network, and has expanded Chinese airline partnerships through its SkyTeam global alliance.

Now, Delta believes recovering demand for international travel and a broader network in China will make for a successful relaunch of the Atlanta-Shanghai route next June.

The economy "has picked up pretty substantially and our expectation is that it's going to continue into 2011." said Vinay Dube, Delta's senior vice president-Asia Pacific. He said the broader Chinese airline partnerships will "be a game-changer for us."

Those partners include Shanghai-based China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines as new SkyTeam members. As partners those carriers will increase the appeal of the route for travelers looking to connect in Shanghai to other cities in China.

Delta also gained an advantage with the full integration of Northwest's flight schedule with its own earlier this year, Dube said. The carrier now flies to 16 cities in Asia, from nine cities in the United States. Before the merger with Northwest, Delta flew to four cities in Asia.

Still, Delta is not launching the renewed Atlanta-Shanghai route with daily flights, as it did in 2008. When flights resume in June, they will operate two days a week.

"We've got to be cautious about how we grow our capacity," Dube said.

Coca-Cola Co. spokesman Kenth Kaerhoeg said Coke welcomes the restart of the Atlanta-Shanghai route for nonstop travel between the company's corporate headquarters in Atlanta and its business in China, where the company sells more Coke than in any other market besides the United States and Mexico.

Delta officials said they hope to later add more flights to the Atlanta-Shanghai route.

Beyond that, Dube said it's a step toward building more connections between Atlanta and Asia over the long term.

"Our restarting Atlanta-Shanghai is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the next 10 years," Dube said. "This is going to be one of several flights we have from Atlanta" to that region of Asia.

He said Delta's long-term Asian strategy is to connect Delta to the world's fastest-growing economies, including those of China, Vietnam and other nations in Southeast Asia.

Delta's rivals are eyeing the same markets. Chicago-based United Airlines has bulked up its Asia network through its merger with Continental Airlines in October. United and American Airlines have both gained stronger positions in Japan through joint ventures with All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, respectively, which were granted antitrust immunity approval in November.

Delta attempted to lure Japan Airlines to SkyTeam but was unsuccessful. Delta already has a partnership with Korean Air, but is working to find ways to bolster its position in Japan, including exploring potential partnerships with smaller Japanese airlines. Delta also plans to launch new routes from Detroit and Los Angeles to Tokyo's Haneda Airport next February.

Delta had a greater advantage through its acquisition of Northwest's Asia network before a new U.S.-Japan Open Skies agreement signed in October that further opened the market to competitors, said airline consultant Bob Mann.

"Lots of things have changed," Mann said. Delta's focus on China and southeast Asia over the long term "is really a focus on where the future revenue growth is going to be," he said.

Still, many questions about China remain, Mann noted.

With China, "To a certain degree you have to not be risk-averse," Mann said. But, "I'm not sure you'd want to go push all your chips into the middle."
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Old December 16th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #798
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Delta Air CEO Sees Pricing Shakeup
16 December 2010
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

The head of Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) said Wednesday that the airline is looking to shake up the way it prices tickets and hinted it could seek permission to impose fuel surcharges on domestic flights for the first time.

Richard Anderson, chief executive, said revising the pricing structure was a key part of efforts to improve the industry's historically tiny return on capital, and comes as rising fuel costs pose the biggest challenge to efforts to boost profitability.

A number of airlines have recently started imposing fuel surcharges on international services, but Anderson said regulators had in the past barred such a move for domestic U.S. flights. He noted U.S. rail and shipping companies are able to impose domestic fuel charges.

It is rare for an airline executive to comment publicly on pricing policy, with CEOs wary of antitrust laws and mindful of colleagues who fell foul of them during a number of high-profile cases in the 1980s.

Setting airline fares has become increasingly sophisticated, but many executives believe they are "leaving money on the table" with an approach that focuses on macro factors rather than further refinement on working out how much flyers are prepared to pay for a particular journey.

Anderson's comments came as Delta said it was targeting "solid" profit growth in 2011, leveraging cost cuts with modest capital expenditure as demand conditions moved back to pre-recession levels, especially for premium traffic.

The airline kept its 2011 capacity guidance intact with the rise of 1% to 3% focused on more international flying, with its fourth-quarter forecast also remaining unchanged.

Delta aims to cut its net debt to $10.2 billion by the end of 2012, with free cash flow focused on debt reduction and improving its product rather than heavy investment in new aircraft.

However, it plans to open talks early next year with aircraft manufacturers about replacing older narrow body planes "in the medium term," said President Ed Bastian.

Anderson also said it wants to have the balance sheet strength to remain competitive in future industry consolidation.

His remarks came amid speculation that Delta may be among airlines interested in a potential tie with Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., a move that could bring the London-based carrier into the SkyTeam global alliance.

The second-largest U.S. airline is boosting international flying, with a focus on services to Tokyo Haneda and London Heathrow airport to complement its build-up from New York's John F. Kennedy International.

Virgin Atlantic's longhaul network from Heathrow could complement that strategy, though its has been losing share on transatlantic services, while Delta has recently expanded its flying from the world's largest international hub.

A move on Virgin by Delta could herald the sale of shares by owner Richard Branson or the 49% stake held in the U.K. carrier by Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SINGY, C6L.SG), a member of the rival Star alliance.

Virgin is not a member of any of the three global alliances. Delta last year unsuccessfully sought to lure Japan Airlines Corp. (JALSQ) from the Oneworld grouping to SkyTeam, and proposed taking an equity stake in the carrier.

The U.K. airline confirmed Wednesday it had received a number of approaches from potential partners. The development was first reported by Sky News. Delta declined comment.

Delta shares were recently down 2.4% at $12.76.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #799
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GUESS WHAT?

Newark flyers who hate flying Continentenal. Southwest announced new destinations.
3 Daily to BWI
3 Daily to DEN
2 Daily to PHX
2 Daily to HOU

Today, Southwest Airlines announced ten additional daily nonstop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) with three daily nonstops to Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), three daily nonstops to Denver International (DIA), two daily nonstops from Houston Hobby (HOU), and two daily nonstops to Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX), beginning June 5, 2011. These cities join the previously announced nonstop service from Newark to Chicago Midway (MDW) with six nonstop flights, and St. Louis (STL) with two nonstop flights--which begins March 27, 2011--providing Newark a total of 18 daily Southwest Airlines departures.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 02:13 AM   #800
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Sorry for the offical annoucement. I finally found it. Here it is.

Southwest Airlines to Offer More New Service and More Low Fares From Newark Liberty International Airport

Today, Southwest Airlines announced ten additional daily nonstop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport
(EWR) with three daily nonstops to Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), three daily nonstops to Denver International (DIA), two daily nonstops from Houston Hobby (HOU), and two daily nonstops to Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX), beginning June 5, 2011. These cities join the previously announced nonstop service from Newark to Chicago Midway (MDW) with six nonstop flights, and St. Louis (STL) with two nonstop flights--which begins March 27, 2011--providing Newark a total of 18 daily Southwest Airlines departures.
To celebrate this new service, Southwest Airlines is now offering fares as low as $49 one-way, for a limited time, between Baltimore International Airport (BWI) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), in addition to great deals to other cities. Take advantage of these super low fares available only at southwest.com. These fares are available for purchase today through Dec. 17, 2010 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, good for travel between June 5, 2011, and August 12, 2011. To see the list of markets and take advantage of these special fares, visit www.southwest.com.
Examples of fares include (see additional Fare Rules below*):
$49 one-way between Newark Liberty International and Baltimore/Washington International
$109 one-way between Newark Liberty International and Denver International
$129 one-way between Newark Liberty International and Houston Hobby
$129 one-way between Newark Liberty International and Phoenix Sky Harbor International
"Southwest is proud to offer its low fares to a very popular market. This announcement is the second wave of Southwest's new schedule at Newark Liberty International to fulfill additional demand to and from New York City for our Customers," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. "More service, more flights, and more connections mean a stronger network from East to West."
This Newark service will join New York LaGuardia International Airport and Long Island Islip MacArthur International Airport in strengthening Southwest's presence in the New York-area. To read more about this announcement, visit nutsaboutsouthwest.com.
In August, Southwest Airlines announced its intent to serve Newark Liberty International through a lease deal with Continental Airlines contingent upon the closing of the already approved Continental and United Airlines merger, certain governmental approvals, and all conditions for service have been met. With this agreement, Southwest Airlines has the right to operate up to 18 daily roundtrip
flights at Newark Liberty International.
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