Airline Information Fall 2006

The Delta Airlines chef!

Delta
will launch nonstop, year-round service four times a week from Atlanta to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on December 9, in time for winter travel and the annual Carnival in February. The flight departs Atlanta Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:50pm, arriving at 8:30pm.

American Airlines
has introduced an enhancement to online Flight Check-In at www.AA.com. Now travelers who have return flights within 24 hours of departure can check in for both outbound and return flight segments at the same time.

Round-Trip Flight Check-In is available at www.AA.com/checkin for customers traveling with domestic e-tickets. The new feature is especially helpful for passengers who want to check in for their entire same-day trip online but may not have computer and printer access at their destination.

Additionally, Round-Trip Flight Check-In provides the earliest possible check-in time for customers seeking a flight upgrade or for those who would like to be added to a standby list. Just as before, passengers are able to check in online up to 24 hours prior to departure.

AirTran
disclosed plans to add Stewart Airport in New York’s Hudson Valley to its system with daily nonstops to Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa, starting January 11 (Tampa and Fort Lauderdale begin at five flights a week and go daily in mid-February.)

Parents
will soon have a new, smaller, lighter option to take with them to secure small children in airline seats.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it has approved a new type of child-safety device, the AmSafe Aviation CARES that can be used for children weighing 22 to 44 pounds. CARES, which the company said stands for Child Aviation Restraint, uses an additional belt and shoulder harness that goes around the seat back and attaches to the passenger lap belt to provide restraint for the upper part of the body.

AmSafe said that the device weighs one pound and fits into a six-inch stuff sack. It also said it is adjustable to virtually any size airplane seat and usable in any seat except for exit rows (where a child would not be allowed anyway). AmSafe said CARES are available at www.kidsflysafe.com at a price of $74.95.

Under pressure
from some airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration is considering whether to lift mandatory retirement for pilots older than 60.

FAA administrator Marion Blakey on Sept. 27 appointed a committee to study whether to relax 37-year-old rules setting the requirement that neither pilot in a cockpit can exceed that age milestone.

The committee will study whether to allow at least one of two pilots in a cockpit to exceed the age limit, she said. “The FAA must ensure that any future rule change, should it occur, provides an equal or better level of safety to passengers,” said Blakey.

Northwest Airlines
said it ordered 72 new two-class regional jet aircraft, 36 apiece from Embraer and Bombardier. Northwest said the 76-seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet 900’s and Embraer 175s allow the carrier “to pursue growth opportunities in important markets, including the heartland of the U.S., and provide Northwest with improved aircraft economics.” Subject to bankruptcy court approval, the carrier said it expects to begin taking initial delivery of both aircraft in the second quarter of 2007.

Northwest did not disclose the value of the orders “Both new aircraft types will lower Northwest’s operating costs over the aircraft they replace, such as the Avro Regional Jet 85, through a combination of significantly lower fuel consumption along with inherent maintenance cost advantages,” Northwest president and CEO Doug Steenland said.

United Airlines
has begun using a fully automated, over-the-wing loading bridge that enables passengers to board and deplane simultaneously from the front and rear doors of narrow body aircraft at Denver International Airport. This cuts boarding and deplaning times in half. United plans to expand the dual-end jet bridge use in Denver and other airports.