Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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Why Can’t Airlines Just Add Extra Room?

Why can't we make this JetBlue Airbus A320 a bit wider? Photo: David Parker Brown.

Why can’t we make this JetBlue Airbus A320 a bit wider? Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter.com

I recently saw a comment on an older AirlineReporter.com post; it referenced a bad experience with a seat being too small.  The person posed the following: “If planes were just one foot wider, seats could be as wide as first class.  Would that kill Boeing or Airbus?”

I have seen this question come up quite a bit.  Sure, for some of you, the answer to this might be pretty obvious.  However, I don’t think that the majority of passengers really understand why this seemingly-simple change of adding more room to a plane is not simple at all.  And in the end, it is not what passengers really want anyhow.

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Test Run: Alaska Airlines to Fly Q400s at Home in Alaska

Alaska Airlines Bombardier Q400 on proving flight in Juneau, Alaska - Photo: AirlineReporter.com

Alaska Airlines Bombardier Q400 on proving flight in Juneau, Alaska – Photo: AirlineReporter.com

Alaska Airlines (AS), through their wholly-owned subsidiary Horizon Air, recently announced that they would deploy some of their Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft to the State of Alaska.  While Dash-8’s have long been a fixture in Alaska Airlines’ pacific northwest network via Horizon (I was flying them within Washington as a child), this marks their first major deployment up north.

Why would AS begin flying Q400s in Alaska?  For the same reasons other carriers have moved towards regional jets and turbo props – operating costs, frequency, and flexibility.  On the operating cost side, Q400s are extremely efficient, particularly compared to the Boeing 737-400s that are a mainstay of the AS fleet in Alaska.  Bombardier estimates savings in examples like this to approach 40%.  From a frequency and flexibility standpoint, more flights on a smaller plane can meet passenger demands, maximizing load factor while increasing service frequency, to the benefit of passengers.

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Interview with an Airline Reporter

David Parker Brown touring Singapore's new Boeing 777-300ER - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

Touring Singapore’s new Boeing 777-300ER, just last week

Given the success and growth of AirlineReporter.com, I thought it would be both fun and informative to check in with David Parker Brown (@ARdpb), Editor-in-Chief and Founder of the site.

It is possible that many of you have found AirlineReporter.com recently and discovered more AvGeek goodness than you could possibly imagine.  Some of you have been reading and commenting for years.  A small group of early adopters have been reading since the early days.  Undeniably, AirlineReporter.com has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and it’s all because of amazing readers, dedicated writers, and a unique focus on airlines, airplanes, travel, and the interesting parts of the industry.

I don’t remember exactly at what point I found AirlineReporter.com, but it was in the early days.  I remember taking the time to go back and read all the archived posts, fascinated that someone was writing stories about topics I was so interested in.  Once I commented on a post, David realized he and I had a connection – we had mutual friends in college and lived in the same residence hall for two years.  After my 77-hour trip to Singapore experience, I started writing and editing for the site; most of my work is done behind-the-scenes to help our team bring you excellent content, and help David formulate and refine story ideas.  I pitched him the idea of this story, and he (reluctantly) agreed! Here is our interview…

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Why Iceland is Not Just a Stopover, But a Destination – PART 2

The summer’s ever-persistent sun over the Perlan (the Perl), a hot water storage facility turned museum and mall

The summer’s ever-persistent sun over the Perlan (the Perl), a hot water storage facility turned museum and mall

This is a continued story about AirlineReporter.com visiting Iceland, via Icelandair. Be sure you first check out: Review: Traveling from Seattle to Keflavík on an Icelandair Boeing 757 & Why Iceland is Not Just a Stopover, But a Destination – PART 1.

We spent the next day touring the Golden Circle, which took us about 185mi up into central Iceland and back.   The first stop was Gullfoss (the Golden Fall).  Walking down the path through misty spray reveals the breathtaking two-stage falls.  Unlike falls in the US, there’s nothing but a little rope keeping onlookers from wandering too close to the edge. It felt a little dangerous and I liked it!

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Touring Denver International Airport: Preparing for the Future

South Terminal Construction at Denver International Airport - Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter.com

South Terminal construction at Denver International Airport – Photo: Blaine Nickeson | AirlineReporter.com

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with staff at “my” airport, Denver International Airport (known amongst flyers as DEN, but locally as “DIA”).  DIA is the 5th-busiest airport in the US, and 13th-busiest in the world.  During the few hours I spent with them, I got an up close and personal view of the massive expansion project in progress; the largest construction project at the airport since DIA was originally built 20+ years ago.

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