Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 138,116
2013: 330,818

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CrankyFlier.com Interviews Air New Zealand CEO

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Screen shot of the interview -- better to read on the actualy site :)

Checking over at CrankyFlier.com noticed that Brett (the cranky flier himself) got a great interview with Air New Zealand’s CEO Rob Fyfe.

An interesting tid-bit? Air New Zealand’s new check-in policy is letting people arrive 15-20min before departure and getting on the plane with no problems. Want to know how? Then…

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW >>

Two Off-Duty Cops Take Down a Passenger

San Jose Police Department’s Officer Manny Vasquez, left, and Sergeant Luan Nguyen

San Jose Police Department’s Officer Manny Vasquez, left, and Sergeant Luan Nguyen

Two vacationing off-duty San Jose police officers, Luan Nguyen and Manny Vasquez, were on an Eva Air flight from Taipei to San Francisco, when the captain came on the intercom, “I have a situation on board. If there are any law enforcement officers on board, please identify yourselves to a flight attendant.”

 The unarmed officers went to give their assistance and found a mentally ill passenger where they had to use force, straps, seat belts, and belts to restrain the man.

The passenger had attacked a sleeping women, choking her until others were able to get him off her. The flight attendants cleared the last few rows, which left the unstable man by himself and also near the galley — which had knives among other items that could be used as a weapon.

When the officers approached the man he started fighting violently, kicking everything around him, including the cabin window. The officers were able to take control of the man and worked with passengers restraining him for the remainder of the 4.5 hours to San Francisco. After landing the man was placed into police custody and the officers received a round of applause.

Although the men didn’t have any of their standard equipment an officer on the ground would have, they did have their training and that was all they needed to resolve a messy and potentially deadly situation.

Source and Image: Mercury News

Southwest Airlines Allows Pets and Adds a Few Fees

Winglet to winglet on Southwest Airlines

Winglet to winglet on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will now charge $25 for an unaccompanied minor and $25 for overweight or a third piece of luggage. They will also allow pets to fly and will charge a “pet fare” of $75. Up until last fall Southwest did not post a loss in 17 years, but it has had to post losses for the past three quarters, mostly due to their locked in fuel prices.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly stated, “We truly believe in setting the right customer expectation and not charging for those amenities that a customer would ‘expect’ to get for free.” He also points out that all other major airlines in the US already charge these fees.

Although it might be disappointing that Southwest is adding some minor fees, I think it can be understandable in the given airline industry climate.

Source: Baltimore Sun Image: Rob Speed

Airline Livery of the Week: Vietnam Airlines

Vietname Airlines Boeing 777-2Q8 (ER) VN-A149 is racing down runway 18W in front of the fire station.

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777-2Q8 (ER) VN-A149 is racing down runway 18W in front of the fire station.

Where more and more liveries are going to mostly being white and not being unique, Vietnam Airlines has a gorgeous metallic blue livery.

Image: Thomas Becker

More and More Airlines Become Cashless

Virgin American's RED where you can order food and drink right at your seat.

Virgin American's RED where you can order food and drink right at your seat.

In an age where almost everyone has an Debit or Credit Card and that airlines are charging for more things on flights than just movies and alcohol, it seems obvious that airlines should be taking credit cards in flight.

Going cashless has many benefits (not having to have cash on the plane, don’t have to ask for change, encourages people to spend more, etc), but some flight attendants are worried what happens if the card reader doesn’t work? And there are concerns that the credit cards will slow down service.

Although airlines that have already implemented the service show there is a learning curve, but once learned, service can actually pick up.

Virgin America probably has the coolest system where you can order items on the entertainment module in the seat back and actually swipe your credit card there.

Current American cashless airlines:
* United Airlines: Since late April
* AirTran
* American Airlines by June 1
* JetBlue
* AirTran
* Southwest Airlines
* Sun country Airlines
* Frontier Airlines
* Alaska Airlines
* USA3000
* MidWest Airlines
* Virgin America
There could be more — there doesn’t seem to be a full list of airlines and I tried to search down as many as I could.

Although the additional charges might be bothersome, at least most airlines are making an effort to make paying them easier.

Image: NotCot.com