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

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Fifth Freedom Under Attack? Italian Government Does a Flip-Flop

On February 20th, Emirates Airline took delivery of their 85th Boeing 777-300ER. Photo via Emirates. CLICK FOR LARGER.

An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER - Photo: Emirates

In October of 2013, Emirates Airline became the first “Fifth Freedom” carrier to fly between New York City and Milan in Italy.  This allowed a stop between New York and Dubai in the Italian city would help to increase services between not only Italy and Dubai, but also the United States and Italy.

Unfortunately, that service has barely been in operation seven months, and Emirates has come under fire from competing airlines, leading to the possible cancellation of the route.

Continue reading Fifth Freedom Under Attack? Italian Government Does a Flip-Flop

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?

How to Write an Airline a Complaint Letter

Delta Boeing 777 - Photo: Bernie Leighton

Delta Boeing 777 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

One of the “benefits” of running an airline website are all the emails that I receive from people complaining about their airline experience. Many have an expectation that we will run a BREAKING story about how a flight was delayed 30 minutes and the person should be compensated. Honestly, many of the emails are just that ridiculous. From time to time I get an email with a legitimate concern, but the way they go about it is all wrong.

BONUS: Breaking News: OMG, Flight Delayed One Hour – Thoughts on the Airline Hate Mail I Receive

They will yell and scream at the airline and demanding things change and it just always rubs me the wrong way. Recently, I was sent an email by a concerned passenger who had contacted Delta, and I thought it was pretty right-on with the tone and explanation of what happened. I wanted to share it as a “how to” guide for writing an airline a letter.

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What is Delta Air Lines Up To? The Good, Bad & Ugly

Delta unveils special "Spirit of Seattle" livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle. Image: Delta.

Delta unveils special “Spirit of Seattle” livery on a Boeing 737 in Seattle – Photo: Delta

There has been a lot of talk over the last few months about Delta Air Lines.  They have been doing many good and smart changes, a few not so good things, and some crazy things that makes me wonder what the heck is going on. I wanted to take a look at the last few month (and maybe a bit beyond) to try and figure out what Delta has been up to.

If you wind the clock back a few months, what Delta was up to seemed to make a bit more sense than they do now.  Expanding their west coast presence was a good thing.  Turning the Los Angeles to San Francisco route into the equivalent of the Delta Shuttle on the west coast was smart.  Adding more services to Seattle to turn it in to a new focus city is good as well, but also a little crazy.  Why crazy? Well, Delta is partners with Alaska Airlines and it seems the two of them have decided to publicly show their competitive side, while still trying to be “friendly” towards frequent fliers.

Continue reading What is Delta Air Lines Up To? The Good, Bad & Ugly

Saying Goodbye To The DC-9 on its Final Scheduled Flight With Delta

Delta Flight 2014, the final scheduled DC9 flight, pushed back from the gate at MSP. (Photo: Chris Spradlin)

Delta flight 2014, the final scheduled DC-9 (reg N773NC) flight, pushed back from the gate at MSP – Photo: Chris Spradlin

It was a cold day in Minneapolis, the coldest in decades. Despite the bitter temperatures, spirits were high at Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP) as Delta Air Lines was preparing to operate their final scheduled McDonnell Douglas DC-9 flight. As the aircraft touched down after the first flight of a two-leg ceremonial routing, the sendoff began and the DC-9 would soon be history.

A small gathering of Delta pilots, flight attendants, and tech ops were on hand to say goodbye to an old friend. A banner commemorating the DC-9 was hung on the wall for all to sign as passengers and employees indulged in the decorative DC-9 cakes. Before boarding, a ground operations employee shared some final thoughts about the DC-9, slipping up and saying “on behalf of Northwest Airlines,” which really sums up the history of the DC-9 at Delta.

Born 48 years ago, the DC-9 has outlived many other fleet types since its introduction with Delta in 1965. The DC-9 was once before retired from the Delta fleet in 1993, but was introduced again in 2008 after the merger with Northwest Airlines. Northwest also inherited their DC-9s via a merger, this time with Republic Airlines in 1986. The airframe which operated the final flight, N773NC, started its life with North Central Airlines in 1978.

Continue reading Saying Goodbye To The DC-9 on its Final Scheduled Flight With Delta