The New Generation of Ash-proof Aircraft

prop plane Volcanic activity is here to stay, warn scientists.  Air travel over Europe is crippled.  The volcanic ash can have an abrasive, damaging effect on just about all parts of an airplane, but the single biggest danger in internal damage as the jet engines suck in the fine particles.

It’s time we think of a new generation of aircraft, one that’s less prone to damage from the ashes. Like this one:-)


Experimental Green Flight Across the Atlantic

American Airlines is about to test eco-friendly new technology on it’s regular flight between Paris and Miami this Thursday.

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Stop the Idiotic Laptop Searches


TV news in the background – they talk about how we can expect more laptop searches at airports, agents searching for child pornography.  This is insane.  I am not supporting child pornography, but fighting it should not be the mission of airport security or customs officials.  Air travel is already bad enough, searching through today’s huge hard disks would bring it to a screeching halt.



Spot Air Trouble Easily on FlightWait

Paul Kedrosky got me hooked on FlightWait, especially as I am preparing for a trip to Boston just the day they expect snow to arrive. For now, Boston is OK, the trouble spot is clearly Chicago:

Hm… better check that conference schedule… just in case SAP moved it to San Diegosmile_sarcastic


Improving Customer Service

Jeff Nolan rants about his bad experience with Frontier and United Airlines. Nothing new there, we all have our own horror stories. (My “favorite” one is the Christmas flight to Los Cabos, which was supposed to be a 3-hour quickie and became a day-and-a-half nightmare by way of Phoenix, airport motel..etc, courtesy of Alaska Airlines.)

The reason why this rant is quote-worthy is that Jeff moves on, and comes up with some creative ideas to improve customer service.

This led me to highlight a couple of things I could wish to inflict on United:

1) United CEO Glenn Tilton has to give up his private jet and fly around the country on scheduled flights in the last row of the airplane, next to the lavatory.

2) United’s top 500 executives will get dispersed around the country to different airports for the week between Christmas and New Year’s to work the baggage handler, mechanic, cleaning crew, customer service, gate agent, and flight attendant jobs. Everyone works a new job each day until they rotate through all of them.

3) United’s top 500 executives have to greet passengers in the terminal at O’Hare, Denver, SFO, and Dulles airports one day a week until their customer service ranking moves from last to the top 3.

4) Lastly, and this one is serious, Tilton and the other execs have to personally call 5 customers a day to apologize for their shitty airline.

I love these ideas, and seriously, they would work. If United Management cared to improve service, that is… smile_sad


The Real Meaning of Red-Eye Flights

In my early years (ahhh..) I actually preferred red-eye flights, as a time-saver; nowadays I refuse to fly them. But it wasn’t until today that I found out what flying a red-eye really means:

Two commercial pilots allegedly fell asleep on a flight between Baltimore and Denver, with one pilot waking up to “frantic” calls from air traffic controllers warning them they were approaching the airport at twice the speed allowed.

(full story on MSNBC; hat tip: Kevin McDonald)

Vinnie, time to re-consider travel plans? smile_omg