Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 137,829
2013: 330,818

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Is Delta Angering Passengers in Seattle Over Bag Tags?

The tags found on bags coming into Seattle on Delta flights

The tags found on bags coming into Seattle on Delta flights

Over the last few days I have heard some rumblings about luggage tags that have been showing up on luggage of passengers who have flown on Delta Air Lines (DL) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). They will be waiting for their bags at baggage claim, and when they show up, find a Delta / American Express advertising tag on them.

Some frequent fliers, on sites like Flyertalk.com, have not been so happy about the tags. Others on sites like HackMyTrip.com, title their story Delta Pisses Off Seattle Customers. The complaint was their bags were already taking long enough, why does Delta need to delay them more by putting unwanted advertising on them?

My first thought, honestly, was to be a bit annoyed as well. That would anger me if I had to wait longer for my bag just to find ads on them. I decided to give Delta a call and find out some more information on these tags and what the purpose was (I figured surely it wasn’t to anger passengers).

Continue reading Is Delta Angering Passengers in Seattle Over Bag Tags?

Photo Tour of the Turkish Airlines Flight Training Center

Who wouldn't want a pool like this for themselves? Part 737, part A340/330/310 this is used for crew training at Turkish Airlines - Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter

Who wouldn’t want a pool like this for themselves? Part 737, part A340/330/310, this is used for crew training at Turkish Airlines Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter

What has pools, slides, and airplanes? Okay, well the Evergreen Wings and Wave Waterpark does, but also the Turkish Airlines Flight Training Center in Istanbul. But this facility is not about fun and games – it is all serious business to make sure that passengers arrive safely to their destination.

Notice the smoke coming out of the back of the Airbus A320 trainer.

Notice the smoke coming out of the back of the Airbus A320 trainer

Recently, during a trip with the airline, I was invited to tour their facilities and I am never one to turn down such a tour. On the same day we were able to tour Do & Co, Turkish Airlines’ catering facility and then both the flight simulators and the crew training area. I already shared about the catering part of the trip and this story will highlight what I found during the rest of the day.

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The Lockheed L1011 – Saying Goodbye to Another Trijet

The twilight of the L1011. Refueling U.S. Navy aircraft as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo -U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Erik Etz

The twilight of the L1011 – refueling US Navy aircraft as part of Operation Enduring Freedom Photo: US Navy by Cmdr. Erik Etz

While 2014 may have been the end of commercial DC-10 services, many forget that the RAF (Royal Air Force) has been operating Lockheed L1011s (called “TriStars” in their parlance) as air-to-air refueling aircraft. Unfortunately for trijet enthusiasts, today marks the end of their service in the RAF. Even worse, they will be broken up in Bruntingthorpe.

As the resident Trijet Enthusiast – I was hoping for a little more notice from the RAF as to when the last RAF Tristar flight would happen. Thankfully, we have someone else who will be able to take the last flight and produce a fine report for AirlineReporter.  As we await that final dispatch, let’s take a look back at the L1011 – an historical aircraft that even could have changed the pace of the Cold War.

Continue reading The Lockheed L1011 – Saying Goodbye to Another Trijet

The Fascinating and Turbulent State of Hawaii’s Airlines

An Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 in Maui - Photo: Ben Granucci

A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 in Maui – Photo: Ben Granucci

When it comes to places with an abundance of short-haul flying, it is hard to beat Hawaii. Many of the islands are small enough not to have all of the essential services that their residents may need, though within the chain of islands they are available. And in a place where tourism is the number one industry, there must be a way for visitors to access the majority of the state, even though the vast majority of flights to and from the islands arrive at a single airport.

Many island chains have ferry service, however in Hawaii that service remarkably doesn’t exist today. A short-lived high-speed ferry system that opened several years ago took hours to transit the roughly 100 mile distance between Oahu and Maui. It closed after a judge ruled that the permitting process was flawed and the operator went bankrupt. Inter-island flying is now the only way to go.

In Hawaii, flying is king and competition is fierce. The last decade has seen both the entry of new carriers into the marketplace and some high-profile failures. Historically, there were two tiers of airlines providing service between the islands: large commercial airlines that flew to both the mainland and to major airports within the state, and commuter airlines that linked the major airports with smaller outlying airports. However in the last ten years, those lines have become blurred. Today, the air transport industry in the state finds itself in a state of flux.

Continue reading The Fascinating and Turbulent State of Hawaii’s Airlines

Behind The Scenes: How Honeywell is Changing the Flight Deck

Honeywell Aerospace has a beautiful property. Photo -  Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

Honeywell Aerospace has a beautiful property – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

After experiencing what it was like to fly on the Gulfstream G650, it was time to explore the engineering advancements Honeywell was developing at their Deer Valley lab.

What I was shown would put aviators that finished their careers even fifteen years ago in absolute awe.

Honeywell has a four-step approach to designing cockpit avionics:

  • Give the pilot what they need
  • Give the pilot only what they need
  • Give the pilot the information only when they need it
  • Give them the information in a way that is intuitive, unambiguous, and easy to understand
Primus Epic, called PlaneView on Gulfstreams is the current state of the art flight deck. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

Primus Epic, called PlaneView on Gulfstreams is the current state-of-the-art-flight-deck – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Primus Epic system on the G650 was designed with those four principles in mind. The positive response from flight crews has been overwhelming. Clearly the real-world use is matching up with the testing. This positive response has allowed Honeywell to go even further in their exploration of pilot-aircraft interface.

Continue reading Behind The Scenes: How Honeywell is Changing the Flight Deck