An Emirates A380 landing at Los Angeles Airport. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Emirates buying part of Qatar Airways? Yeah, no. – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

I spend a lot of time on this place called the Internet. You’ve probably heard of it. I will admit that I dwell within the fringes and depths of it to find interesting aviation rumors and innuendo. Sometimes, however, they are so comical it just takes a look at Twitter to find some comedy gold. My friend Ben over at One Mile at a Time (you’ve heard of him)… well, he posted a summary of an article that he found on a paragon of virtue called Zerohedge saying that rumors were flying that Emirates sought a majority or, at least, a large stake in their rival down the track in Doha.

One of Qatar's two Oneworld 777s taken through the window of a QR A320 photo by Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

Qatar Airways has friends outside the gulf. What would they stand to gain? – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Now that you’ve stopped laughing the first time, let me just say that again. There are rumors that Emirates wants to purchase a large stake in Qatar Airways.

Let me put this in big bold letters so that I can give you a summary: EMIRATES WILL NEVER PURCHASE A LARGE STAKE IN QATAR AIRWAYS!!!!

Well, why not? I’m so glad you asked.

Etihad has strength in branding, this lounge could be anywhere. This entrance is the new LAX lounge, though.

Etihad has strength in branding; this lounge could be anywhere. This entrance is the new LAX lounge, though. – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s no secret that Etihad knows how to build a lounge. They have been very busy. Late last year, they opened their fabulous New York lounge. This year it was followed by a new lounge in Melbourne and their new First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi’s terminal 3. Before their efforts go to maximum on finishing the gorgeous new midfield terminal back home, they had one more lounge up their sleeve; Los Angeles. In the two years they’ve been serving LAX, they have transported more than a quarter million guests. The premium guests were using the lovely Star Alliance lounge next door until this facility opened earlier this week. The Star Alliance lounge, however, did not say Etihad.

James Hogan, in presence of the CEO of LAWA and other Etihad executives opening the LAX lounge - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

James Hogan, in presence of the CEO of LAWA and other Etihad executives opening the LAX lounge – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

While this lounge does not have a Residence nook, yet, it does have a VIP area that could easily serve the purpose should the A380 ever grace the west coast. The public premium area, however, is fantastic.

When life gives you lemons, make champagne

When life gives you lemons, make champagne – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

Delta Air Lines likes to call itself the “the on-time machine.” Heck, they even filed for trademark protection of that term. Indeed, the airline does have a statistically high on-time performance and completion factor. But what happens when your flight is one of the minority that does get delayed? And what if I actually wanted it to be delayed? Weird, right?

Recently, I had to fly from San Jose (SJC) to New York City. San Jose is one of those oddball cities where the flights back to New York are lacking; just one non-stop exists, and it’s a redeye, which I won’t do. This meant I could get a little creative while booking. I settled on a one-hop journey through Salt Lake City, which would be my first visit to Utah.

During the booking process, the Delta website prompted me several times to upgrade to First Class. For $120, I would be upgraded on both legs of the trip, which isn’t such a bad deal considering I have paid nearly that much for Comfort+ domestically. I took the bait and selected my new seats, expecting to fly on a beat up ex-Northwest Airbus A319 and one of the older Boeing 737-800s with seatback entertainment screens.

The morning of my flight, I was minding my own business, watching TV in my hotel room when I suddenly got an email, text message, and app alert from Delta. Here we go, it’s the delay notification carpet bomb. My flight from San Jose to Salt Lake City was suddenly delayed three hours, meaning I wouldn’t have a chance at making the connecting flight (the last of the day) to New York. It was time to get creative if I wanted to get home.

Air India's Dreamliner livery - Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Air India’s Dreamliner livery – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Let’s start with the bare facts: India’s flag carrier Air India doesn’t have a great reputation. Whenever I’ve asked people about their experience on the airline, they cite inexplicable delays, poorly maintained aircraft, a non-negligible risk of food poisoning, or rude staff. Or, sometimes, all of the above. As a friend of mine put it, “If my only choice for a flight was Air India, I would just skip the trip and stay at home.”

Am I going to regret this? – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

As an American of Indian descent, I’ve always been a bit disappointed that my ancestral homeland’s flag carrier apparently doesn’t seem to have its act together. As someone who has never flown with the “maharaja,” part of me also wondered whether the airline is actually better than the reputation suggests. I decided to find out for myself.