Tonight’s Guest Host: Aunt Benét

Instead of pointing you to the work of others today, I thought I’d get a real live guest poster to come to you. It’s all about service over here at The Cranky Flier. Today we have my friend and aviation-writer extraordinaire, Benét Wilson who will point you to some stories and blog posts they’ve been working on over at Aviation Daily. I’ve always told Benét that the only way I’d let her do a guest post was if pigs flew. Sure enough . . .

I’m Benét Wilson, airports/security editor for Aviation Daily, the empress of airports and the editrix of Aviation Week’s “Towers and Tarmacs” blog, a thoughtful, informative and fun look at your first stop as you access the global transportation system. benettake3altAnd did I mention it’s on the free part of our web site? Cranky has foolishly allowed me to do the guest post on his blog today, since he’s away tending to other matters. I have to remember that Cranky has a real life outside of this blog.

Cranky and I had a chat about what I would write about, and I decided to do a week in review for airlines and airports. The week started with a black eye for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on its screening practices. First, a local Phoenix television station aired the now-infamous video footage of employees walking through checkpoints into the secure area of the airport. You can see my post on that here. And I’m not going to even get into the controversy over the “dry runs” (does anyone else squirm when they hear that term?) uncovered by NBC, which you can read about here.

Next, Virgin America’s ticket sale launch after jumping its final DOT hurdle for approval was hurt after its system was unable to handle the deluge of those wanting to buy tickets, including Cranky and my other airline geek friends who make a hobby of chasing first flights. Cranky did a great job with his review, and we covered this in a post on our “Things With Wings” blog. Don’t mind me – I’m just bitter that I couldn’t join the fun.

Remember when Seattle-Tacoma International Airport got worldwide coverage after it decided to take down its Christmas trees in order not to offend other religions? Well, the airport’s Holiday Decorations Advisory Committee recommended that airport decorations “should reflect the Pacific Northwest environment and its diverse community.” In English, that means no Christmas trees (thanks for the graphic, Cranky). No matter what the decision, the airport wasn’t going to win, and you can read my post on that here.

My colleague Lori Ranson, who writes about low-cost carriers (among other things) at Aviation Daily, did an interesting story on JetBlue’s plans to slow down its growth by cutting back on the new cities it will add and deferring aircraft deliveries. As always, I am obsessed with the airport angle, so I did a post here on how this move was not good news for the smaller- and medium-sized airports that are trying to get JetBlue and other low-cost carrier service to their communities.

Has anyone flown into or out of JFK Airport this summer? You have my deepest sympathies. Aviation Daily has been covering the deteriorating situation at that airport all summer on the delays and shut downs caused by weather, ATC, infrastructure issues and even birds. Yes, birds. My colleague Adrian Schofield did a post July 25 on how a birdstrike gummed up the works and led to multiple delays at JFK on a day that was looking to be delay-free.

And speaking of airport delays, even writing about the fuster cluck that London Heathrow has become is like clubbing a baby seal at this point. But I have anyway, in a post here because I am a glutton for punishment.

I could go on, but Cranky has only given me around 500 words, and you all have places to go, things to do and blogs to read. If you liked this post, come over and visit at the Towers and Tarmacs and Things With Wings blogs.

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Jean Giovinco
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My husband and I flew US Air flight 17 to Phoenix out of Kennedy on Sat. Aug.25th. Boarded the plane at 6 pm and were told it was on time. 4 1/2 hours later the plane took off! Lots of nonsensical excuses, flight patterns changed, refueling, one person ill, etc.,etc. We were told you can’t be held hostage so you can deplane but no guarantee you will be able to reboard. One attendant said she was working a 16 hour shift. (No happy campers on the flight). Prior to boarding I noticed at the next gate the flight to Manchester,… Read more »
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