Apologies for the lack of content over the past few days. This whole one-handed typing thing is slowing me down more than I expected and a lot more than I want. Here are some things I’ve been reading with interest recently:
Southwest Airlines is having union issues, which is a fairly rare occurrence for them. If you’re only a casual observer of the airline industry, you might not even know they have unions. The interesting thing here is that this group of employees still have a contract. They’re negotiating for something better. Certainly, that’s the primary purpose of a union. But, Southwest employees already have a pretty good gig.
While we’re on the subject of unions, American Airlines is still having issues coming to agreement with the pilots union for their wholly owned subsidiary
American Eagle Envoy. This isn’t a new dispute. For quite a while now, American has said that they won’t place new, larger regional jets with Envoy if the pilots don’t agree to new contract terms, instead sending the planes (and jobs) elsewhere. To date, it’s mostly been bluster as they’ve only moved out a very small number of the new jets. “No, really. This time we REALLY mean we’re taking our ball and going home if you don’t agree to our demands.”
American has also been playing hardball with Orbitz again, yanking all their fares except for corporate contracts in an effort to win better terns with Orbitz going forward. I don’t view this as horrible news for me personally, nor for many seasoned travelers who can look for their fares elsewhere. The casual traveler relies on Online Travel agencies (OTAs) to see all or most of the flights to their desired location in one place. For me, I strongly prefer booking through an airline’s site. I don’t generally try to book more than one airline on a ticket and I don’t really want to introduce any hassles into my booking process.
While there can be small incentives from OTAs to book through them, they really have grown quite small. These might add up to something significant if you travel a lot and book all your travel through one OTA but the infrequent traveler is unlikely to see a meaningful financial windfall. Learn to use a tool like Matrix and most of your Orbitz needs go away.
I’m also a fan of travel providers controlling their inventory. Maybe it’s a vain hope, but if they’re more profitable because they’re not paying extra revenue to an OTA, maybe they won’t raise my ticket price quite so much (or reduce benefits, for that matter).
I like the look of a possible new British Airways business class seat. I didn’t love their current yin-yang seat on my trip home from Italy, but more on that when I can type with two hands.
A United flight is diverted because two passengers got into a fight over reclining a seat, according to Scott Mayerowitz. Maybe I was wrong about people being able to deal with phone calls on planes.
Doctor’s appointment today to check out the broken wing. Probably still not allowed to type with two hands, but maybe…