US Airways aircraft tail close up (Photo: US Airways)

US Airways is the latest airline to make the switch to credit-card-only purchases onboard its domestic mainline aircraft, according to Today in the Sky. The switch will take effect April 2.

US Airways Express flights will remain cash-only, and US Airways will continue to accept cash and credit cards on international flights.

Nothing new here, folks. Airlines have been doing this for a while. What's surprising is that US Airways is going for a staggered approach, drawing out a process that most of its competitors have long ago finished. American recently completed its full-fleet transition in January, after switching to cashless purchases on domestic flights last June....read more»

Continental aircraft front (Photo: Continental)

Continental is the fourth airline to seek an exemption at JFK airport from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) new tarmac delay rules. JetBlue, Delta, and American have all requested temporary exemptions at JFK while the airport's biggest and busiest runway is closed.

Only thing is, Continental doesn't actually fly from JFK.

Continental is worried that delays at JFK will snarl operations at New York's other airports, LaGuardia and Newark, the latter of which is a major hub for Continental. According to the Associated Press, "Continental said if JetBlue and Delta win exemptions from the delay penalties, it's only fair that airlines at LaGuardia and Liberty get the same break."

Here's my question: You want some cheese with that whine?...read more»

British Airways aircraft front view (Photo: Airbus S.A.S. )

On the eve of British Airways' cabin crew's planned strike, Air France's cabin crew union, which is also unhappy with working conditions, has announced a concurrent "solidarity strike."

The BBC reports that "a three-day strike by Air France cabin crew over working conditions has been planned for 28 March to coincide with Unite's action. A spokesman for six French unions told the Daily Telegraph they would do anything they could to support BA's staff."

This comes as Unite, British Airways' cabin crew union, is in desperate, last-ditch talks with the airline to avoid any labor action. Despite these efforts, however, a strike seems inevitable, and people have been rebooking in droves. The strike is planned for two phases: Three days, beginning tomorrow (March 20); and four days, beginning March 27....read more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

Welcome to this week's discussion! This week I'd like to talk about the fairly controversial idea of charging passengers by the combined weight of their person and baggage. Do you think this would be a good idea? On one hand, passengers with just a carry-on would probably get a break on price, but this sort of pricing would inevitably penalize people who have a little more weight of their own.

Because this is such a controversial issue, please keep your comments civil. I'm not really interested in discussing oversized passengers per se, just the merits and drawbacks of this sort of pricing scheme. Sound good?

Now, tell me what you think! And thanks!...read more»

Virgin America plane parked at the gate (Photo: Clark County Department of Aviation)

Virgin America customers will soon be able to fly the low-cost carrier to the land of Mickey or the Hockey Hall of Fame. The airline announced today that it will begin service to Orlando this summer, and that it has filed an application to serve Toronto. The airline also plans to announce three more new destinations later this year. It has long been speculated that Virgin America will add service to Chicago at some point.

Virgin America will fly daily nonstops to Orlando from Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco starting August 19. Fares will start at $149 from L.A. and $199 from San Francisco, and tickets are on sale as of today.

As for Toronto, Virgin plans to fly one daily nonstop and one daily connecting flight from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Virgin could begin service as early as June, depending on when it receives approval for the routes. Fares are not yet available....read more»

Airport security check sign (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Stephen Finn)

As a law-abiding citizen, you have been duly adhering to the TSA's 3-1-1 liquids rule, strictly packing toiletries of 3 ounces or less and placing those containers in a clear zip-top bag, right? But wait, if you've been doing that you're actually cheating yourself out of a precious extra four-tenths of an ounce liquid per bottle. That's right, the "3" in the "3-1-1" liquid ban rule actually stands for 100 milliliters, or 3.4 ounces....read more»

Air: Baggage: Racing through Airport (Photo: iStockphoto/Chad McDermott)

United has put its Door-to-Door Baggage service on sale for $25 per bag, a pretty steep discount from the usual $149. The offer is only available for a limited time, and it's not immediately clear when that limited time runs out. (Update: The offer is valid through tomorrow, March 19.)

To access the deal, click here.

United's checked bag fees are $23 if you pay online and $25 at the airport for the first bag, and $32/$35 for the second bag. This means the limited-time price is a wash on the first bag, and actually saves money for travelers with two bags. ...read more»

Delta aircraft tail (Photo: Delta)

The pilots who overshot Minneapolis airport by some 100 miles have agreed not to fight the revocation of their licenses, but could apply to be reinstated later this year. The Associated Press (AP) reports that "under the settlement released by the Federal Aviation Administration, Timothy Cheney and Richard Cole can apply for new licenses Aug. 29, more than 10 months after they flew an Airbus A320 with 144 passengers about 100 miles past Minneapolis before discovering their mistake over Wisconsin."

People will likely be up in arms at the thought of these two getting their licenses back, but the operative word in the agreement is "apply."...read more»

American plane taxiing down the runway (Photo:  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)

American Airlines is the latest to ask that its JFK operations be exempt from the forthcoming tarmac delay rules, set to take effect April 29. The airline is worried that ongoing runway construction at the delay-prone airport will make it difficult to adhere to the new rules—and, more importantly, avoid the $27,500-per-passenger fine. The Dallas Morning News reports that "fines for a full Boeing 757 aircraft that American flies to JFK could total $5.2 million."

American said it is only seeking an exemption for the construction period....read more»

Virgin America tail (Photo: Virgin America)

Here's another tarmac delay debacle for the three-hour-limit crowd: A Virgin America flight took over 14 hours (some reports peg the journey at 19 hours) to transport its passengers from Los Angeles to New York. The flight was diverted from JFK due to high winds, and flew to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York, where the plane sat on the tarmac for six hours. Passengers finally took a 70-mile bus ride from Newburgh to New York City.

To make matters worse, Virgin America staff apparently handled the situation poorly, lashing out at increasingly frustrated passengers as the plane languished on the tarmac at Stewart. Short on food and water, passengers resorted to rationing out Pringles. Some reports say the passengers were kept on the plane, while other reports say passengers were let off. Either way it sounds like something out of Lord of the Flies. It wasn't until a JetBlue crew intervened that the passengers exited and were put on buses to New York....read more»

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