Transportation Security Administration has released a pretty cool interactive multimedia explanation on their site. Checkpoint Evolution is an attempt to help us passengers wean ourselves off the old hurry-up-and-wait queue system and get us not only to move more easily, but also calmly, through security to help us help ourselves and also to help TSOs screen us more efficiently. The interactive map and related videos are a slow, steady barrage of euphemisms by a variety of personae including the chipper officer, suited administrator, and psychologist-type with whom you’re on a first name basis. It’s Catherine, by the way.
Aloha indeed. It’s time to wake up and smell the jet fuel. Regional carrier Aloha airlines announced their bankruptcy last week. Within days it moved from chapter 11, bankruptcy which is frequently used as the chance to get your financial house in order by numerous airlines, to chapter seven, liquidation. This signals the end for a small but significant carrier in Hawaii and the West and as of today it will suspend passenger service.
Just what does it mean for the rest of the industry?
Aloha Airlines announced Sunday that it would cease operations effective March 31, 2008. According to a news release from the airline, Aloha will run a normal schedule on March 31 with the exception of flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and flights from Orange County to Reno and Sacramento, and Oakland to Las Vegas.
Travelocity customers with plans to travel on Aloha should visit the FAQ page for more information. Travelocity agents will assist you in rebooking your flight and making adjustments to your travel plans.
United Airlines, a code-share partner of Aloha, will assist affected passengers. Customers flying on an United ticket will be rebooked on an alternate flight where space is available, for no additional charge. For customers traveling on an Aloha Airlines ticket, United offers a discounted one-way fare through the end of April.
Hawaiian Airlines has added capacity on key routes to help accommodate stranded Aloha passengers and will allow them to fly standby for no charge on the day of original travel on some flights on March 31 and on all flights April 1-3, 2008. In addition, all inter-island seats are $49 through Monday, April 7, 2008 on Hawaiian Airlines.
If you are headed to the airport and hope to fly on United or Hawaiian, bring your original ticket with you. For passengers with a future reservation on Aloha who do not wish to travel, call your credit card company and request a refund.
Aloha Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 20, in part blaming what it called “predatory pricing” by competitor go! that forced Aloha to lower fares. The Associated Press (via USA Today) also cited high fuel costs as a factor in the airline’s inability to generate revenue.
“This is an incredibly dark day for Hawaii,” said David A. Banmiller, Aloha’s president and chief executive officer. “Despite the groundswell of support from the community and our elected officials, we simply ran out of time to find a qualified buyer or secure continued financing for our passenger business. We had no choice but to take this action. “
The shutdown of operations will affect about 1,900 employees. Aloha Airlines has served the Hawaiian islands for 61 years.
Two weeks ago, I got the privilege of dog-sitting my roommate’s two heartbreakingly cute Chihuahuas. Of course, I was thrilled to play mommy to them for an entire week–but I couldn’t help feeling just a tad bit left out. After all, my roommate’s band was headed to Austin, Texas for the much-lauded South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, which took place March 7 through 16.
SXSW is an annual event that showcases hundreds of mainly “indie” rock bands from around the world. Since the nature of independent labels is, well, that they’re not major labels, most of these bands tend to be a smidge more off-the-radar than, say, Madonna or Coldplay.
The moment they announce that the flight safety video is coming on, I think, “Ah…let the nap officially begin.” I know the information is important, but I’ve been flying for 30 years and could probably recite the rules in my sleep.
Finally, the industry has taken notice of this trend. In a bid to entice you to sit up and tune in, major airline carriers are updating their videos with humor, sultry backbeats that seem better suited to ultra-lounges, and easy-on-the-eyes instructors.
This week, when Delta Air Lines released their new safety video on their corporate blog, it caused such a stir that USA Today took notice. The video features a Delta flight attendant who bears a striking resemblance to Angelina Jolie, causing fans to dub her “Deltalina.” Here, take a look, but promise me you won’t stop until the part where she playfully wags her finger at the camera, insisting in a smoking-hot way that smoking is not allowed.