Browsing: Travel Insight

US President Joe Biden signed sweeping aviation legislation that aims to boosting air traffic controller staffing, to speed up refunds for canceled flights, and prevent close-call runway incidents.  After signing the legislation, Biden said, “The bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization is a big win for travelers, the aviation workforce, and our economy.”  He added, “It also builds on my Administration’s efforts to improve the travel experience for airline passengers, affirming the Department of Transportation’s rule that mandated automatic refunds when flights are canceled or significantly delayed.” Sweeping Aviation Legislation The $105 billion sweeping aviation legislation passed Congress on Wednesday and…

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After a safety review in March, United Airlines announced that it received a go signal from the Federal Aviation Administration to start adding new aircraft and routes.  A series of flight mishaps earlier this year resulted in United receiving an FAA safety review. In a note to employees, United said, “Today, we got some good news: after a careful review and discussion about the proactive safety steps United has taken to date, our FAA Certificate Management Office has allowed us to begin the process of restarting our certification activities, including new aircraft and routes, and we will continue to coordinate…

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US Airlines are suing the Department of Transportation over its new fee disclosure rule. Trade group Airlines for America filed the lawsuit Friday claiming that the new fee disclosure rule “will greatly confuse consumers.”  The lobbying group represents US airlines including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Alaska Airlines.  Airlines for America noted that consumers are already aware of the extra fees.  The group wrote, “Airlines go to great lengths to make their customers knowledgeable about these fees. In addition to the disclosures required by existing DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations, airlines engage in…

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The Federal Aviation Administration is launching an investigation into the recently discovered falsified records concerning 787 Boeing Dreamliner planes. A source puts the number of affected 787 Dreamliners to approximately 450. This includes around 60 that are still in the company’s production system.  Boeing reported that workers at its South Carolina plant committed misconduct by reporting checks as completed even if it wasn’t the case. The documents showed that there is sufficient bonding and grounding of fasteners that connect the fuselage to the wings. The test ensures that the plane is properly grounded against electric currents, such as during a…

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On Monday, Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie called the airline industry a ‘rigged game.’ Christie claimed that the profits are “concentrated around two companies.”  On a call with analysts on Monday, he said, “The smaller non-legacy carriers scrambled to restore profitability in what seems ever more like a rigged game.”  He added, “The Big 4 are the beneficiaries of this new normal, American consumers are the long-term losers.” The top four US airlines that Christie was talking about are American, Delta, United, and Southwest.  Failed JetBlue-Spirit Merger He also added that until recently, Spirit Airlines thought that the branding of…

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Under the new federal law, airlines are required to give cash refunds for canceled or seriously delayed flights.  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Passengers deserve to get their money back when an airline owes them — without headaches or haggling.” This means that under the new federal law, passengers who refuse travel credits and other types of reimbursements get cash refunds from the airlines.  The Biden administration said that this new rule applies to flights that have undergone a “significant change.” The term “significant change” is characterized by both departure and arrival that are three or more hours delayed for…

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United Airlines claims that it lost $200 million during the first quarter of 2024 because of Boeing’s issues. United grounded its Boeing 737 Max 9 fleet three weeks after part of a Boeing plane blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight.  According to the airline, its pre-tax loss was $164 million in the first quarter of the year. The airline said that United would have “reported a quarterly profit” if not for Boeing’s safety-related issues. On the bright side, the loss was smaller than what Wall Street expected.  After the announcement, United’s shares jumped by more than 5%.  79 Boeing…

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The Allied Pilots Association said that it noticed a spike in safety issues. It has urged its members to be vigilant.  In a memo on Saturday, the pilots union said “While United Airlines is currently under public and government scrutiny, it could just as easily be American Airlines.” The union reminded its members to not feel pressured to do something if it doesn’t pass the “smell test.” The union added, “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it safe.”  Problematic Trends in Safety  The APA spotted “problematic trends.” This includes tools left in wheel wells and even collisions between planes as…

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According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a maintenance issue caused the engine cover of a Southwest Airlines plane to break off during takeoff at Denver International Airport last Sunday. The engine cowling or cover fell off the Boeing 737-800 and then hit a wing flap.  NTSB chairwoman Jennifer Homendy talked to reporters after a US Senate hearing on Wednesday. She said that the plane was in maintenance overnight before the engine cover broke off. She said, “It’s a maintenance issue.” Homendy also added that Southwest is already looking into the situation.  NTSB is not going to have a formal…

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The US Senate Commerce Committee announced on Thursday that it will hold a hearing on Boeing’s safety culture report. The US Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday comes amid Boeing’s safety crisis. Last January, a panel blew off mid-flight on a 737 Max 9 aircraft.  Safety Issues The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the whistleblower’s claims that the 787 Dreamliner has improperly assembled parts on its main body that could potentially break apart.  In the report, engineer Sam Salehpour claims that the fuselage parts don’t fit since they were manufactured by…

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