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29 Nov 2011 11:03


Biz: American Airlines parent files for bankruptcy: Will keep normal schedule

  • They were the only major airline to avoid bankruptcy in the past decade: In 2003, American Airlines parent AMR, which also operates the American Eagle airline, managed to stave off bankruptcy by scoring an agreement from its unions. The country’s third-largest airline, however, wasn’t able to get past it this time around. With the company’s stocks in freefall (down 45 percent since September) and a recent wave of pilot retirements playing harbinger, it seemed like signs were pointing towards bankruptcy. Here’s what their financials look like, according to their Chapter 11 filing, which they submitted to a New York court today:
  • $24.7B the amount in assets American Airlines parent AMR has on hand
  • $29.6B the amount in liabilities the company owes to creditors
  • $4.1B the amount of cash the company has on hand source
  • » What this means for consumers: The company says it plans to honor its reservations, keep its normal schedules, continue its frequent-flyer program, maintain its Admirals Club lounges and pay employees their normal wages and health benefits. So outwardly, there should be no obvious signs that the company is trying to reorganize itself. (photo by Clara S. on Flickr)

28 Nov 2011 10:51


U.S.: Guy watches child porn on plane, story ends as you’d expect

  • cause A University of Utah professor took a ride on a plane over the weekend; during said flight, he watched child porn on his laptop, in view of other passengers. Sickening. And a bad idea, because said passengers told officials about it.
  • reaction Now, Grant D. Smith is stuck in a Massachusetts jail after he was arrested after the plane landed. The school placed Smith on administrative leave. And many are confused as to why someone would do something like this. source

27 Nov 2011 20:11


Tech: Electronic gadgets on planes: Why can’t you use ’em during takeoff?

  • Surely if electronic gadgets could bring down an airplane, you can be sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, which has a consuming fear of 3.5 ounces of hand lotion and gel shoe inserts, wouldn’t allow passengers to board a plane with an iPad or Kindle, for fear that they would be used by terrorists.
  • New York Times reporter Nick Bilton • Going in for the kill with his story regarding the use of electronic devices on planes — specifically, why can’t they be used as a plane’s taking off or landing? According to FAA spokesperson Les Dorr, the agency chooses to err on the side of caution, despite evidence that the usage of electronic devices have no effect on a plane. “There have never been any reported accidents from these kinds of devices on planes,” Dorr said, reluctantly. So, why the policy? Good question. source

27 Jan 2011 22:42


World: China airs clip from Tom Cruise film, claims it’s military training footage

  • claim China Central Television aired footage of fighter jets shooting one another down and exploding spectacularly in mid-air, claiming it was taken from a air force training exercise.
  • reality A closer analysis of the footage reveals that, far from a military training reel, it’s actually just a bunch of clips from “Top Gun,” the beloved 80’s classic. Oh, China, you’re so adorable. source

09 Jan 2011 21:21


World: Iranian plane crash: Blame ancient fleet for latest accident

  • Iran’s had trouble with planes recently. Part of this is due to an ancient fleet and little way to get new supplies for the aircraft. So, as a result we have scenes like this one, where 72 people die (and 33 are hurt) in a plane crash. On a ground covered with snow. In the dark. This isn’t even the worst aviation disaster Iran has had in the last decade. Sigh. Can we offer a word of advice, Iran? Perhaps, instead of putting so much energy into building a nuclear facility, maybe you should build some new planes. It might help save some lives. (We retract this for the reasons explained here. See? We’re not made of stone.) source

02 Jan 2011 11:09


Biz: Is American Airlines screwing over online travel sites?

  • It appears American Airlines is burning online travel bridges. In recent weeks, both Orbitz (who couldn’t reach a contract with the airline) and Expedia (who voluntary took them out) have ditched the airline. Is it possible that these sites have been so successful at their mission that they’ve actually forced airlines to make their flights cheaper? Well, to test this theory, we looked online at American Airlines’ site for travel deals to from DC to Dublin (where we’re taking our girlfriend in the next few months). The average cost at a site like Orbitz was roughly $650 per person for a flight and hotel. The lowest price at $1260 per person. It’d be way harder to figure out that was an awful deal if we had to go to every airline to compare prices. AA’s efforts to strongarm online travel sites are simply bad for consumers and should not be supported. Who else has good deals to Dublin? (photo by lrargerich) source

05 Dec 2010 22:36


U.S.: Today in random-plane-crash-in-residential-neighborhood news …

… a plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in Roy, Utah. Nobody has died, but the pilot took the brunt of the crash and is severely injured. source

06 Nov 2010 11:38


U.S.: Waste of time: The TSA’s coming ban on printer ink cartridges

  • Let’s admit a basic fact here: If you’re a passenger carrying a printer ink or toner cartridge on a plane, you’re probably a terrorist. It’s such a weird thing to be carrying on a plane in the first place that we can feel safe in saying this. This will inconvenience nobody except printer and printer ink manufacturers. Even so, when the TSA bans this device, it’s going to be a huge waste of time, because now that al-Qaeda knows that the TSA knows about it, they’ll never use it again. This, friends, is called security theater and won’t actually keep anyone safe. source

10 Aug 2010 23:27


Offbeat: Disgruntled flight attendant’s mom: It was a “very small meltdown”

  • I don’t think he’s going to be in trouble very long. I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserves to be able to have that meltdown if you saw the egg on his head where he got smacked.
  • Diane Slater • Discussing her son’s memorable meltdown. Flight attendant Steven Slater’s quitting – getting into a fight with a passenger, grabbing a couple of beers, and escaping through the plane’s inflatable chute – was perhaps the most bizarrely random thing to ever happen on an airplane, ever. It’s good to know that his mom has his back on this, but she may understand it better than most – she’s a retired flight attendant. source

09 May 2010 11:59


World: #(&@(&! volcano: Iceland’s ash causing more airline problems

Italy, Spain and Scotland, among others, have had to shut down their airspace as a result of Iceland’s continuing ash problems. source