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Craft beers become new in-flight offerings, enthusing drinkers

by amit.uniyal 3. April 2014 11:11

Airlines worldwide continue to revamp their in-flight offerings in order to attract more passengers. The attention is particularly on food and beverages front. The trends are changing now, and so are food and beverage options. Craft beers are the latest entrant as part of new offerings to the travelers on board their flights.

The airlines have perceived that more drinkers are now displaying their passion for specialty brews and significantly moving away from mass market beers. By adding craft beers as their latest offerings in the air, the airlines are going the extra mile in keeping the drinkers happier and glued to the good stuff on board their flights.

Renowned Sam Adams beer brand co-founder Jim Koch said that the drinkers were though present on the aircrafts, but there was certainly lack of quality beer. He said that the drinkers would like to have the same stuff in the air that they are already enjoying on the ground. The airlines are now moving at a frenetic pace and responding to customers tastes which are considerably changing. He said that the Americans have developed passion for craft beer, and they just love it. The craft beer retail sales are on upward trend reaching at $14.3 billion in 2013, up 20 percent as compared to last year.

Sam Adams craft beer is already being served on some Delta shuttle flights for nearly 20 years. Virgin America has also been offering craft beer procured from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco for past some years. Following suit, other airlines have also recently started pursuing the trend and offering craft beer to their customers.

The latest to join the fray earlier this year is Southwest Airlines, which started selling Fat Tire cans to the passengers on its flights and those of its subsidiary AirTran Airways. Even JetBlue is also offering Sam Adams beer on its flights during summer.

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American Airlines Group leaves Star Alliance to join Oneworld

by amit.uniyal 1. April 2014 11:48

Ever since American Airlines merged with US Airways, a new chapter is set to open. The effect of the merger would be most on frequent fliers. In a significant step indicating a new beginning, American Airlines Group has decided to leave Star Alliance and join Oneworld.

Star Alliance and Oneworld are two leading global airlines alliance with leading international airlines as their partner members.
 
With the new Oneworld membership, US Airways frequent fliers would now be eligible to earn and redeem miles on a new set of airlines. Currently, there are 16 member airlines in Oneworld. These include American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways.
The latest to join Oneworld is Qatar Airways. The airline became member in October 2013. Qatar Airways is to begin daily nonstop flights between Doha and Philadelphia starting from April 2, 2014. The airline will provide connectivity to 136 destinations in the Middle East, South America, Asia, Africa and India.

Despite the shifting of allegiance to Oneworld, US Airways will continue to retain codeshare partnership with 12 airlines that are currently not part of Oneworld. With the new Oneworld membership, the airline plans to phase out codeshare pact with these airlines in coming months. However, US Airways frequent fliers would continue to redeem and earn miles with these carriers as of now.

US Airways frequent fliers would not be able to earn or redeem miles on majority of 28 partner airlines of Star Alliance, including Swiss International Air Lines, Asiana Airlines and Lufthansa. The flights booked with erstwhile Star Alliance partners by US Airways frequent fliers are safe, but miles would not be able to be earned or redeemed for these flights.

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Tags: american airlines

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After Malaysia Airlines accident, need for GPS connectivity grows

by amit.uniyal 31. March 2014 07:26

The sudden disappearance of Malaysia Airlines aircraft from the radar and announcement of a fatal accident by country’s prime minister has rattled the aviation industry worldwide. A clamor for strict safety measures is growing ever since. The echo is now loud and clear. Bradley Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, while speaking to mediapersons recently said that the use of GPS technology for all aircrafts is the need of the hour.

Media reports quoted Tilden as saying that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 demonstrates that all the airlines across the world need to equip their aircrafts with GPS connectivity. He said that this is the paramount need of the hour.

According to Tilden, the airlines basically know only of the airspace but are little or ill equipped when it comes to surveillance of their aircrafts while they are flying. He said that the technology for surveillance is already in place and the only question remains as to when the airlines move to this ‘next generation’ air traffic control. He said that there are many airlines, including Alaska Airlines, which are equipped or ready to be equipped with the technology. In fact, all the airlines in the world need to equip their aircrafts with this new technology.

Tilden said that not much is known about what actually happen to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 ever since its disappearance on March 8. This also raises a pertinent question whether the GPS connectivity would have proved to be of great help to the officials to locate the missing aircraft.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration mandates that all the domestic carriers should make compulsory use of global positioning systems. However, the use of GPS is not mandatory for aircrafts globally at present.

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Best U.S. carriers worth considering for family travel

by amit.uniyal 10. March 2014 11:25

This is absolutely good news for traveling families who consider flying with their kids is worrisome. It is true that flying with your kids usually proves to be a troublesome experience. But, not any more now! This may sound music to your ears. And, it’s quite true.

There are some airlines that should be considered by traveling families just because of the pre-boarding and other amenities that they have to offer. Flying with these airlines ensures an enjoyable experience for you as well as your kids.

In the present era when no-frills, low-fare carriers are ruling the skies, it has become nearly impossible for traveling families to fly along with their kids. But, nowadays airlines are making their best efforts to make flying hassle free for such families.
 
Here are some carriers in the United States considered to be the best for family travel. The top three carriers for traveling families are JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin America.

JetBlue Airways offers pre-boarding for families traveling with kids aged 2 and under. All the flights are equipped with changing tables. JetBlue Airways is also among the first carriers to install DirecTV with free children’s programming.

Delta Air Lines has something else to offer to traveling families other than pre-boarding, which might not be usually available. At $5 per kid a PB&J sandwich, fruit and veggies are offered. The airline has also installed seat-back TVs on its aircraft with convenient access to kid-friendly programming networks.

Virgin America has positioned itself as a fun airline and a good option for traveling families. The airline offers pre-boarding for families flying with children under 5. The airline also offers extra diapers during mid-flight in case you need it. Kid-friendly programming and games are among the entertainment options provided by the airline.

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U.S. based airlines should expect happy times this spring season

by amit.uniyal 7. March 2014 11:14

The airline industry across the United States should look forward to some happy times during this spring. If reports are to be believed than the airlines, operating service to different destinations within the country should start preparing themselves to cater to heavy passenger flow this spring season. More passengers are expected to fly this season than in the last six years. This is an excellent opportunity for the airlines too, as these passengers will surely bring revenues and profits along.

However, not all that glitters is gold. Though the heavy passenger flow is set to bring money, on the other hand, it will set lot more challenges for them to cope with. Forecasts released by trade groups suggest that most of the airlines within the country will fly about 129.5 million passengers to various gateways between March and April this year. This number is certainly incredible. The largest number of 133.7 million for the same period was achieved in the year 2008. Last year a total of 128.2 million passengers flew to various cities during the same period.

Of these passengers, an astounding 17.1 million passengers will fly with airlines based in the country to destinations outside its boundaries. This is indeed an amazing number when it comes to international travelers on U.S. airlines for the spring period. Researchers believe that improving economic conditions and affordable airfares are two prime factors responsible for this change. Even though the air tickets prices were on the higher side last year, they are still better in comparison to bus, car, or train travel on the domestic circle. In addition, the overall condition of the airline industry improved last year and it recorded profits triggering a chain reaction.

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Regional airports in Minnesota in a resurgent phase again

by amit.uniyal 6. March 2014 09:29

Regional airports in Minnesota are once again on a path of resurgence. This good news has made the fliers in the region happier than ever. Earlier, the travelers had to drive to the Twin Cities for taking flights to Chicago and onward destinations. This worrisome phase would soon be over, according to aviation industry experts.

Starting from May this year, the travelers will not be required to drive to the Twin Cities for taking flights to Chicago. SkyWest Airlines will now start operating direct flights from St. Cloud to Chicago. The regional airport at St. Cloud was inoperable for the past three years.

The authorities at St. Cloud succeeded in convincing SkyWest Airlines and pledged revenue guarantees worth $1 million. The airline has been assured that there would be enough fliers and it would be viable to start daily flights services out of here. SkyWest Airlines has now decided to begin service from St. Cloud from May 6, 2014. The airline will now be offering two daily flights services to Chicago.

An airline industry analyst said that an emerging trend is now being witnessed in under-served communities to woo carriers by making significant financial promises. He said that more such experiments might be on the way. However, one cannot guarantee for how long this will sustain. The resumption of flights from St. Cloud is though good as the airport and people of this area suffered for past few years.

Delta Air Lines was operating flights out of St. Cloud. The airline however stopped operating from here five years after it purchased Northwest Airlines. Duluth, another regional airport in Minnesota, will also begin fourth flight to Chicago in June this year.

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Lowest average fare in U.S. continues at Atlantic City airport

by amit.uniyal 5. March 2014 09:28

The Atlantic City International Airport continues to maintain an unassailable lead in terms of the lowest average fare in the whole of United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently made public its findings saying that the Atlantic City airport has maintained its reputation for providing the cheapest fares in the country. The airport ranked among the top 100 airports in the U.S.

Passengers flying out of the Atlantic City International Airport are obviously happy at this outcome. The study indicated that the airport has solidified its reputation further and continues to do so and has emerged as a popular hub for cheapskates.

The study said that the title of cheapest fares has been held by the airport ever since Q2 2009. The recent figures have covered the outcome of Q3 2013. The study said that the average fare at the airport was $157, when compared to that of $390 for airports across the U.S.
 
Atlantic City airport has been able to maintain its position because of the discount carrier Spirit Airlines, which has been aggressively promoting its low fares strategy. It is the only scheduled airline offering flights out of the airport. Spirit Airline’s prime focus at Atlantic City has been to cater to budget-conscious leisure travelers seeking to travel to Florida’s many vacation spots.

David Smallen, U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ spokesman, said that Spirit Airlines is the only one serving Atlantic City International Airport using a low fares business model. Spirit Airlines has however declined to comment about its low fares model.

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Food fight breaks out in airline industry as passengers benefit

by amit.uniyal 4. March 2014 06:07

Air travelers never had it before as it is now! Just relax and regale over the tiff that is prompting airlines to bend over backwards to keep the passengers’ appetite satiated on board their flights. These days a food fight is currently ensuing in the U.S. airline industry.

Gone are those days when airlines only vied with each other to provide the best seats and cheap airfares. These apart, major airlines in the United States are now vigorously trying to promote many other services as well. These services in which the airlines are heavily investing of late include food, in-flight entertainment and airport lounges. The airlines in their game of one-upmanship are trying to attract more and more passengers to fly with them.

The California-based carrier Virgin America has unveiled a new menu for its premium customers traveling in first class. The new gourmet menu includes hors d’oeuvres of mozzarella skewer, olive, marinated artichoke heart and roasted tomato, served along with mixed nuts that are slightly warmed. Virgin America also introduced three options for its signature dessert – the ice cream flavor, and asked the fliers to vote and make known their preferences.

Leading U.S. carriers like United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are also not to be left behind in the food race. United Airlines introduced its new menu for its privileged customers. The airline is now providing new zero-protein dishes, which includes salad dressing. The airline is also providing nut bars and fruit, as well as snack boxes, along with these dishes.
 
In February this year, Delta Air Lines made its menu quite interesting by adding many low-calorie wrap sandwiches on its transcontinental flights. The chip cookies prepared with multi-seed coconut chocolate are accompanied with the wraps.

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Fewer passengers complaining even as flight delays in U.S. growing

by amit.uniyal 3. March 2014 06:15

Major airlines in the United States are reporting flight delays increasingly, but this has refused to dampen the spirit of the passengers and only fewer are complaining. This was disclosed in a recent study by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

According to the flight data provided by the federal Department of Transportation, only 68.9 percent of domestic airlines reported flights arrivals within 14 minutes of schedule in December 2013 as compared to 76.6 percent during the same month in 2012. The report said that flight cancellations also rapidly increased.

The report said that early December last year proved to be costly for the U.S. aviation industry. Thousands of flights were cancelled and delayed because of the freezing temperatures, ice and snow that inordinately put a stop on the operations of airlines at big hub airports in Dallas and Chicago.

Airlines were reported violating federal rules. The report citing these violations said that 10 flights were grounded during December 2013, and nine of these violations took place at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on December 8, 2013.  

Prior to these cancellations and delays, the airlines were seen making sincere efforts to stay on schedule. According to the report, the on-time rate dropped to 78.3 percent for all or 2013, a decline of 3.6 percentage points as compared to 2012.

The report said that 16 airlines, including big carriers as well as leading regional carriers, were covered as revealed by the government figures. Small but growing carriers like Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines are not included in the study.

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Collinstown Suite at Dublin Airport delves into the luxury

by amit.uniyal 28. February 2014 06:15

Traveling is a hectic and tedious experience. Whether or not you are flying business class with the carrier, you are bound to get fatigued out during the journey. No matter if you are flying on a short haul journey or have embarked on a long distance travel, somewhere at the back of your head the very thought of traveling makes you sick to your stomach. After all, it is never easy. Travel can be a gruesome experience for young mothers traveling alone with their little bundles of joy irrespective of the sector or the route.

As such, a warm and cozy experience at the airport gives that much-needed breather. Dublin Airport is an international airport catering the Irish city. Domestic and international travelers flying to and from the city use the airport’s services. The airport is fast gaining popularity amongst travelers for offering the best of services at its premises. What more, the Collinstown Suite is the place to head to at the airport before, during, or after the journey here. This place has proved its merit by deeply impressing travelers flying to/from the capital city to their respective destinations worldwide.

The ambiance, staff, amenities et al is a delight and act as a savior for the ones who wish to relax a little. Travelers encounter a royal treatment and are made to feel important during the welcome process. The reception is kind enough to deal with your luggage and documents, and ensures to hand it over to you safely. Post these tedious procedure you are guided to your private suite, where world-class champagne greets you in your comfortable zone. Then you are on your own in the company of your loved ones and the gorgeous decors of your room. The suite encompasses facilities like Wi-Fi, snacks, reading material, loaded refrigerator, tea/coffer making machine and a large TV set.

Therefore, it is not a bad choice to break your journey, relish the services, and enjoy a few relaxing moments here.

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