Every time you try to make a cynical or snide remark about the state of the airline industry, griping about how unpleasant it’s become, Ryanair meets or beats that cynicism. The airline now wants to ban checked luggage entirely. Seriously. They claim — and I say “claim” because I’ll believe it when I see it — that they’ll be implementing this by 2010, the same deadline for offering inflight gambling and pay toilets. Are they that desperate for attention that they need to keep floating these increasingly annoying ideas?
Upgraded: Republic Airlines
Downgraded, eventually: Midwest Signature Service
Republic, best known for providing regional jet services to a range of carriers, has bought Midwest and Frontier Airlines. In the case of Midwest, they’re getting rid of the Boeing 717s and replacing them with Embraer 190s. That’s a narrower tube. Translation: Expect cuts or elimination of Signature Service seats at the front of the plane.
Upgraded: Holding TSA accountable
Remember the traveler who was harassed by the TSA for carrying $4700 in cash? He refused to answer questions until the TSA agents explicitly told him he was required to respond, and caught it all on tape. Now he’s suing the TSA, with help from the ACLU.
Upgraded: Continental miles
Well, not upgraded much, but here’s a quick way to earn 100 miles for “learning about” Continental-branded credit cards.
Not only is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner delayed again, but some significant redesigning is necessary in order to get it airworthy. That’s bad news for the company’s management (or shareholders), or the airlines that have to wait even longer to receive their orders. As a passenger, I’d rather have a safe plane start flying late than an unsafe plane on time. Nonetheless, some are accusing Boeing of a coverup.
Upgraded: Flight tracking
Visually cool, though not completely practical: Lufthansa has commissioned a neat representation of their flight traffic. Watch a fancy demo below. Be warned, the sound has some crazy-high-pitched sounds, which detract from the experience.
(Update: The designers deleted the video. No idea why. I’ll leave the embed up in case they bring it back. In the interim, have a still/screenshot instead.)