This week’s featured link
Delta extends middle seat blocking through April 2021; Only U.S. airline to continue providing more space for customers – Delta News Hub
It was only extended one extra month this time. Does that mean the airline looked, decided demand would still suck in April, and figured it might as well extend another month? I’m really curious how the decision-making process goes, but it’s going to have to end it some day.
Image of the Week: This, my friends, is a teeny-tiny airplane that will take you from the city to an airport.
United is going to have Mesa operate hundreds of these… or so it says.
Color me skeptical that we’ll ever see this in a United livery.
Two for the road
Allegiant Announces Major Service Expansion With 34 New Nonstop Routes, Plus Nine Special Limited Routes For Sturgis Rally 2021 – Allegiant Newsroom
Is there anyone here who goes to Sturgis and doesn’t ride their bike? The best I could think of was this would appeal to support staff or others who are working the event. Also, will Allegiant have an exemption for masks on these flights? Because I think it’s gonna be tough to get people to wear them based on how last year’s event went.
Montréal Mirabel International Airport – Part 1: A Grand Vision – AirportHistory.org
Oh how I love these retrospectives. The great white elephant that is Mirabel — or at least it is a great white elephant from a passenger perspective — is covered in this first part of a multi-part series.
In Pennsylvania, many people trailer their bikes out to Sturgis as a group with a driver or two and then fly in order to keep miles off their bikes and make it easier.
I don’t know how many people fly to Sturgis, but a LOT of people just throw their bike(s) on a trailer and go.
Unfortunately, I think the end of April is the end of Middle seat blocking for Delta. As a happy Delta flyer, I finally got Silver this year, all I can say is Boo! Living in the MSP market, Delta is the best choice for my flying and I have very much enjoyed having no one next to me. Yes, the need to make money, I get it, but I would also love to have the option that either Frontier or Spirit tried, pay $50 or $60 to keep the middle seat open. That went down in flames if I remember correctly, but I would pay for it as the space makes flying more comfortable. Oh well, all good things……. unless the feds shovel billions more to the airlines, then I expect it to stay in place.
That wouldn’t fit with Delta’s focus on monetizing every seat. Obviously they’re not doing that right now, but that thought process is still there and unless the seat is empty 10 minutes before boarding ends then they’re not going to try and get the incremental revenue.
Besides, all those loan payments on their planes are going to be coming due in the near future. Delta’s counting on the conservative approach to the coronavirus to boost their revenues when they return to full flights.
Delat doe s not block middle seats.!!! I had A friend just flew from Rdu to pbi the lane was packed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to agree here. Whatever Delta is doing is more than others, I’ll give them that, but I just flew Delta on a regional jet and sat next to a total stranger on a tiny tube of a plane. In fairness, the Jet didn’t have middle seats, just a 2×2 configuration, but from a quick glance down the airplane, plenty of people seemed seated next to a stranger, I sure was.
So, if delta is going for a marketing gimmick, it works: “they blocked middle seats” since there weren’t any middle seats on this plane, but from any safety perspective they claim, that benefit was zero.
Gimmick? Semantics? Just play lying???
Oh dear, oh dear! I could put a different spin on the Mirabel debacle. I lived in Montreal at the time. There was a lot of public complaint about Dorval noise. It was led by a young guy who got in the papers all the time. Mind you, he was a law student at Harvard and I rather doubt that Dorval noise extended quite that far. At the time, Toronto handled more passengers than Dorval so you could argue they needed a new airport more than Montrreal. Even so, European carriers (except BA) were not allowed to fly into Toronto. When they were allowed, they all did and many abandoned Montreal. The city of Toronto was growing like crazy and Montreal wasn’t. The U.S. carriers refused to move from Dorval and never did. Domestic flights also continued at Dorval. So connecting traffic at Montreal dried up. Who wants to change airports? My own opinion is that the main factor was the Liberal government in Ottawa at the time. How can we pump billions of dollars of public money into Quebec and win the next election? New airport? Great idea! I remember the day Mirabel opened. I heard a noise and yelled ‘Concorde!!’. We all rushed outside and Concorde flew low right over our house. My three year old son was very excited. Oh dear again – said three year old is now 48. Another thought: I had just learned to fly, rented a Cessna 172 one day and flew over to Mirabel before it opened. I have some 8mm movie of flying along the runway at 20 feet, filmed by my passenger. They had placed barrels across the runway at intervals to stop daft bugg*rs like me doing a touch and go.
It’s hilarious the Mirabel article includes the phrase “the airport itself was a very well-planned facility.”
If you don’t actually built the transport links necessary for the airport to function, it is not “a very well-planned facility.”
It reminds me of an A/C repairman who once told me “there’s nothing wrong with your air conditioner, it’s the blower that’s broken.”
Yes, Delta is still blocking middle seats. But that doesn’t mean no one is in a middle seat. Couples and families may still sit together (which is a good thing–if they’re closer to each other, they’re farther from strangers). So when my wife and I have to fly, she may get seat F and I have seat D, but we sit in seats E and F (or A and B on the other side). This happens throughout the plane. Looking down the aisle at a plane that is only 67% full (because middle seats are blocked from being sold) at a casual glance still looks “full” when others are also sitting this way. Irritatingly, on landing people still crowd the aisle to get off despite the crew asking passengers to only stand when no one is blocking the aisle in front of you.
On regional jets, Delta still sells just 67% of the seats, but since there are no middle seats, in practice this just means that couples can book adjoining seats and single travelers should end up by themselves.
Couldn’t UA just offer a Tesla limo service to the airport to reduce emissions? The last thing I want is fly in a VSTOL operated by a regional airline pilot.
I am almost ashamed to admit this now, but this tale involves the Dorval vs. Mirabel aspect. One night back in the late Ninties, I was a gate agent for Comair (Delta Connection) at the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). I was checking in passengers for a flight to Dorval (YUL) and it was not going well. First, the flight was oversold. I got that resolved. Then, the flight had a large number of conx passengers from a Delta international flight that had arrived late into CVG. Many of those passengers did not speak English. On top of that, a number of our North American connecting passengers, and some O&D passengers, arrived at the gate in a foul mood and were not cooperating with us.
Just as things were about to go totally out of control, I paused things, picked up the PA mic, and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you on our flight to Montreal this evening, we are behind schedule and we need your cooperation in getting this flight boarded. If the flight doesn’t depart soon, Transport Canada has the option of diverting this flight to Mirabel. We all want to go to Dorval, so please work with us here. I apologize for the delay, and I thank you for your patience and for your cooperation.”
I had just told them a BIG FAT LIE ! ! ! Transport Canada would have done no such thing! But after I put the mic down, the crowd straightened up. Things went more smoothly and we got everyone boarded sooner than we would have done before. I used Mirabel’s reputation against it in order to make our situation at CVG that night better. (Fortunately, I walked on egg shells with one eye behind my back for the rest of the night, but I never did get in trouble for that!)