3 Links I Love: Mesa’s Funk, United’s Meh Expansion, The Black Box Inventor

Links I Love, Mesa Airlines, United

I’m back, and that means so is the weekly 3 Links post. This does bring up a question… did you miss it while I was traveling? Or should I just drop this entirely? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

This week’s featured link:

Airline faces criminal charges for violating Long Beach Airport’s noise ordinanceLong Beach Press-Telegram
Mesa has been absolutely pummeled lately. First it failed to meet operational requirements under its American contract and American removed two more aircraft from the deal. Mesa also says it won’t meet its goals this quarter so further action is possible. At the same time, it hasn’t renewed its expiring deals with United either. And now, it gets sued by the city of Long Beach for noise ordinance violations. Good times.

Image of the Week: I took a lot of pictures I love when I was in Hawai’i, but this is one of my favorites. I took this in the early morning light just after I landed in Hilo on this very 717. That is the mighty Maunakea looming behind.

Two for the road:

United Airlines Announces 12 New and Expanded International Destinations from Chicago, Denver, New York/Newark and San FranciscoUnited Hub
United really teased this announcement of new international routes as being something huge. It even had an embargoed conference call for the media (though I skipped that). So you can understand why I was a little underwhelmed by this. Other than new frequencies and making seasonal service year-round, it’s going to start flying from Newark to Palermo, Nice, and Curacao. That’s not to say this is a bad move by United. It’s just not particularly exciting.

This little-known inventor has probably saved your life – BBC
More than one person sent me this excellent article on the history of the blackbox. (Thanks Virginia and Brendon.) It’s well worth the read.

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45 comments on “3 Links I Love: Mesa’s Funk, United’s Meh Expansion, The Black Box Inventor

  1. In general, I’d rather read some background articles than news. Example: I’ve seen the United article at several news-blogs. The one about the black box I haven’t read yet, but that’s the type of background stories I love.

    So: no need to always post three, and I like the background articles while I hardly ever read the news articles.

  2. Keep “the weekly 3 Links post.” It directs me to interesting web sites I previously did not know about.

  3. +1 for liking the links.
    I do feel that they are a bit hit-or-miss sometimes depending on whatever has been happening (or what has been reported) in the past week, so don’t worry about sticking to 3 – just post however many you think are noteworthy.

  4. I enjoy the weekly 3 Links Post. It helps to keep me up to date with what’s happening out there. Keep it up. Also, enjoying your Hawaii stories and thoroughly enjoyed your Scotland adventure.


    Carmen Anderson andersoncd@ymail.com

  5. I don’t often read every link that you post on Fridays, as some are of little interest to me, but I do hope you continue the feature.

    However, I’ll echo Jorg’s thoughts in saying that I would prefer that you focus on providing carefully curated articles, focusing less on standard news (I imagine that almost all of your readers get plenty of aviation news from other sites), but on more in-depth, long form pieces (like the BBC piece above on the black box, or like the United piece on the Island Hopper route that you posted weeks ago), as well as any other offbeat/atypical aviation related articles that catch your idea. Links to articles like those are of far more interest and value to me than links to standard news articles, press releases, or route announcements, and much less likely to be “old news” by the time they hit your weekly publishing cadence for this type of thing.

    Of course, including the weekly “Cranky on the Web” feature that shows where you were quoted in the press goes without saying as well.

    1. Jorg and Kilroy – I can appreciate that. Usually when I post straight news like the United one today, it’s because I have a small point I want to say about it but it’s not enough for a real post. So in this case, it was the point that United talked it up but it wasn’t really anything exciting.
      Otherwise I try not to post straight news unless it’s more local (like the Mesa Long Beach thing) where people may not have caught it.

      (And HenryLAX, you’re so strangely angry. This has nothing to do with American. Like I said, it’s not a bad move for United at all. It’s quite good. But it’s just not a big and exciting PR moment as it was hyped up to be.)

  6. Love these links.  They inform me of industry news I would not otherwise get.  Please keep them.  Feel free to offer more than 3 if warranted.
    Thanks so much.

    1. I’d strongly recommend everyone read bbc even if you avoid news stuff because they often have interesting stories like the black box one.

      I’m not much of a news person anymore with all of the crap going on but the interest stories at bbc are quite good.

    1. LongForm and LongReads are two web sites are offer curated selections of long form journalism. There’s a ton of overlap between them, but both are worth checking weekly for good long form articles.

  7. I too enjoy the Friday links. Not as much as regular posts, but I totally appreciate that you’ve got enough going on to not do five full posts a week anymore!

  8. Hello!

    While I enjoy your weekly 3-link posts (I pick and choose what I read) what I really love are your travel logs!

  9. hahhahha CF’s sour grapes are so transparent by calling it “meh” – they’re up to 6 dailies in the summer straight into a rival fortress hub AMS from 5 gateway airports, with zero effective downstream feed. I’d love to see how many that worthless airline from Fort Not-Worth-It flies into AMS

    (spoiler : the answer is a paltry 2 summer 1 winter)

  10. Definitely like the Friday posts. I was really into the story about the Pan Am that had to go the long way around the world after Pearl Harbor was attacked. I even bought the book.

  11. I definitely enjoy these links. As long as it’s not too taxing on you, I’d love to see them continue.

  12. The Three Links posts are often my only exposure to airline news (other than the rest of Cranky Flyer or if something gets really big like the MAX grounding) and I very much appreciate them.

  13. Dear mr. cranky, like most of the responses given before me, I also enjoy and look forward to those three links. I specially enjoy those that aren’t so local, Long Beach, for example. Love also the travelogues, but I usually don’t read the articles in across the aisle, unless it would be an exciting airline, for me at least, like klm or el al or jal or Ana. Thanks

  14. I don’t read many of the Friday links either because I’m not interested or the link needs a username/password to read.

    Maybe mix it up a little and every other week just toss in a photo and let everyone start talking about it and relating their own story.

  15. Yes, these weekly 3-link emails are really informative and enjoyable! Keep them coming! Thanks –Scott M.

  16. I love “3 Links I Love” and particularly appreciated the link to UA’s announcement of new year-round and seasonal routes.

  17. Please keep the 3 Links, adjusting plus or minus for however many interesting articles you have.

    I really enjoyed the black box article. I hadn’t really thought about its origin story, but as an engineer really enjoyed reading about how it was invented and by whom.

    1. Oliver – Good question. I assume it’s Mesa, but there could be something in the agreement with AA where AA would indemnify Mesa or something along those lines. That, I don’t really know.

  18. No no no no noooooo. Keep it up. I read endlessly and 99 of 100 of your Friday links I somehow have net seen.

  19. Cranky, I’ll echo others in here who’ve mentioned “we get av-dork news from other sources too, y’know?” BUT I find your commenters here (yours truly notwithstanding) to have interesting input and commentary on the news articles you post. And we’d absolutely be worse off overlooking gems like that black box article that I’d legit not heard tell of before you shared. What an absolutely bonkers story (especially the Australian wink-wink-nudge-nudge “you better not tell anyone you’re working on this”).

    If you’re asking whether we missed this because it takes too much time out of your normal cycle, I’d hate to see your original posts get trimmed back for sake of a news summary. But If you’re asking just to see if we read these: yes, we do!

  20. Adding to my prior comment: I see that some people read a variety of airline sources.  They can always by-pass stories that they’ve seen elsewhere.  But for the rest of us, keeping the “routine” industry news is VERY informative.  Thanks and keep them coming.  Maybe partition them off in a separate, “In case you didn’t see this news” section.   Thanks again.

  21. Too many people have been fixated with growth from the big 3. UA had to cut ORD-HKG and now EWR-EZE because the economics of those routes just don’t support them.
    With the potential for economic weakness in multiple parts of the world, it makes no sense to keep expanding without restraint.

    Delta is simply more conservative in sustaining marginal routes or starting new ones that have a high degree of risk but United and American are doing the same thing. Southwest’s cuts show that they cannot sustain money-losing routes with their currently limited growth potential.

    The US airlines are businesses and are becoming increasingly well-run ones at that. Industry followers need to adapt to a world where the airlines see economics as more important than industry lovers want to see unbridled growth.

  22. Mr. Warren the black box inventor deserves all due credit for his life-saving innovation. I am happy that next month I will be staying in “the Black Box Suite” in the 747 Jumbo Stay Hotel in Stockholm. I will remember Mr. Warren with respect while there.

  23. Are your “three links” postings worthwhile? Mixed feelings: I’m often interested in what you forward, but I’m much more interested in what you write.

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