Browsing Tag: economy

Those are a lot of tails.

US Airways tails.

Cuts, cuts, cuts. Airlines cutting routes, planes, and people seem to dominate the airline news. However this cut, has a little positive spin to it.

In 2008 US Airways had to let go over 1,300 positions, something no company enjoys. With declining revenues, US Airways had to make additional cuts, but didn’t want to resort to laying off additional people. Instead, the airline is asking flight attendants to volunteer to take 4 to 16 months off to allow the airline to save some cash.

The airline currently has over 6,600 flight attendants among their 33,000 employees.

I wasn’t able to find anywhere if the employees would be paid, so I contacted the kind folks over at US Airways. They stated that the leave is an “unpaid furlough”, but “flight attendants will be able to keep their flight privleges during the furlough.”

US Airways are not the only ones talking about future job cuts. Air France is looking at 3000 cuts, Delta 2000, American 1600, and on and on.

Part of me wonders how many of these cuts are needed and how many are these just an opprotunity to eliminate people at a time where it is becoming more and more accepted to lay off large numbers of hardworking people.

Image: Tomcatgeorge
Air India Boeing 777-337 (ER) VT-ALK Chattisgarh

Air India Boeing 777-337 (ER) VT-ALK Chattisgarh

Air India has been having more problems than curry setting off fire alarms. The airline announced it will be paying 31,000 employees two weeks late.

“The national carrier is facing perhaps its toughest ever crisis,” said Kapil Kaul who is the chief executive officer.

The airline saw a loss of over $800 million in the last financial year and the future outlook isn’t looking much better.

Employees now are struggling to figure out how to pay their own bills, since banks won’t be willing to push off bills for another two weeks.

Hopefully this can be resolved soon since one of the biggest morale  killers is not getting paid.

Source: Indian Express Image: Thomas Becker
The good 'ol airline spork.

The good old airline spork.

Weight equals money and when a fully loaded Airbus A380 can weigh over a million pounds, airlines don’t want to be adding any unnecessary weight. The airline industry has become very creative with adding new fees to bring in additional revenue, but they are also looking at creative ways to lessen weight and save money.

Northwest Airlines (err, I guess Delta) is now cutting spoons on their flights to help save weight. Sure one little spoon might not seem to make a big difference, but a Northwest Boeing 747-400 holds more than 400 people — that’s a lot of spoons (why don’t they just bring back the spork?)

They aren’t the only airline considering utensil overhaul. Japan Airlines has decreased the size of their cutlery (which not only saves money in weight, but for purchase price of the actual product). Other airlines are cleaning their planes more (dust = weight), not supplying magazines and carrying less water on board.

I am sure this concept will catch on. From cutting pillows, to the type of fabric being used in seats, to having less gadgets (boo), to maybe even someday accounting for passengers’ weights (hopefully not, but RyanAir might be crazy enough), the airlines will probably continue to look for  cost-cutting measures, especially as they move toward better fuel-efficiency.

Source: Seattle PI Image: Ethan Hurd

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
Delta carryon only check in counters at MSP

Delta carryon only check in counters at MSP

The US Department of transportation is reporting that airlines raked in more than $1billion in just baggage fees last year. And why not, people don’t seem to be too angry or upset about this. However, two airlines are looking to up the fees even higher.

United Airlines and US Airways will $5 more for checking a bag (a total of $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second). But you can knock off $5 per bag if you check them in online.

It is great that airlines are making more money, but these fees make it more and more difficult to find a few space to place baggage in an overhead-bin due to so many people carrying more on. And for $50 to check two bags one-way…on some flights it might be cheaper just to buy a second seat for your bags!

Source: ABC Image: MSPdude