7 Hours on the Tarmac in 100 Degree Heat Without AC and Inside the Air France-KLM Split

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Qantas passengers stuck for 7 hours on the tarmac with no air conditioning in 100+ degree heat. Flight QF2 was cancelled in Dubai two days in a row.

  • Inside the Air France KLM culture clash and power struggle between Paris and Amsterdam (HT: Joe Brancatelli)

  • According to the Government Accountability Office,

    TSA could not provide a single example of its elite [Behavior Detection] corps thwarting a threat to civil aviation. However, TSA proudly cited one case “where TSA’s behavior detection activities led to the identification of an individual attempting to conceal illegal drugs at an airport screening checkpoint.” Since this particular program has cost more than a billion since 2007, this could be the most expensive drug seizure in U.S. history.

    …Since TSA was created in 2002, Americans have perennially been assured that the agency is smarter than it looks. Last week’s GAO report is a reminder that there is often nothing behind the curtain of harebrained policies except for bogus claims and hackneyed oped pieces.

  • Remains from Air India crash 50 years ago found in French alps

  • Southwest will fly to Hawaii and they won’t serve meals.

    Kelly said there would be operational challenges for the airline, but didn’t expect that those would involve snacks or entertainment. He said Southwest will evaluate whether Hawaii might need a strategy different from other markets, but expected the service to look familiar.

    “We haven’t made any decisions obviously about Hawaii at this point, and my belief is that when we do — it’s not if we’re going to go, it’s when we go — we think it’s an important strategic offering that Southwest needs to make,” Kelly said. “When we do that, it’s my belief that it will be off-the-shelf Southwest Airlines.”

  • Why the Boeing 747 Is the ‘Most Popular Airplane In History’

    Gary Leff, a travel expert who pens the “View from the Wing” blog, points out another first: the flight of stairs that led up to the smaller upper deck above. “There was something grand about climbing that 747 staircase,” he says. Flying on the upper deck was a thrill, he says, and “it created the feel of a private jet, despite the giant size of the plane.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Southwest has to fly to Hawaii. Simple, fares to Hawaii are too high. Southwest will bring down the fares. Will it be long lasting? Maybe. Better it happens than not.

  2. Uh, WTF is Gary talking about. Perhaps he is not aware that SWA flies a range of transcon flights? SWA didn’t say they were flying from IAD to HNL, but tomorrow you could fly LAX BWI on Southwest (2300 miles, transcon, 737, no meals, no seats – and THREE direct flights). Or OAK-BWI, even longer!
    So imagine the HORROR of SWA flying LAX HNL – you’d have to go a whole 200 more miles without a meal! I mean HOW could anyone do it? WHY would anyone do it? Did you know on a flight that long (FIVE hours!) people have actually DIED because the airline didn’t serve a meal? Or that someone was actually paralyzed because they had to sit in a coach seat on a flight that long – without a lie-flat first class cabin they could not avoid suffering permanent neurological trauma. I mean what’s next, will Gary suggest SWA is engaged in human trafficking? That a Southwest 737 is the modern day equivalent of a slave trading ship?
    And don’t get me started on Norwegian (hint: people have died on those flights because they forgot to buy a meal ahead of time!).

  3. Agree with your comment about the 747 upper deck, Gary. Since I (in ignorance) was for the first time assigned an empty upper deck C seat by Pan Am from LHR-IAD, I’ve always made a strong effort to be upstairs on 747s. As you say, it had similarities to flying in a private jet — it almost always was quiet, it had dedicated flight attendants with a greater staff-to-passenger ratio than the rest of C, and it had its own restroom with less demand and use than those on the main deck. LH even put its F class on top. I’m sorry to see it go — this is a case where there is a notable price for progress.

  4. Southwest will fly to Hawaii and they won’t serve meals. Just like Untied! Their 11-hour flight from EWR to HNL did not include a free meal because uh domestic and spending $1.77 on your passengers to ensure they’d ever want to continue flying your airline uh and the rest is history

  5. KLM is right on many accounts WRT Air France and French business culture in general. Anecdotally speaking they are dealing with decades of Gaullist Dirigisme.

  6. Lucky me. For the time being, each time I fly from Seattle to Europe, I sit on the upper deck of my Lufthansa flight. It really is quieter. And for some strange reason, there never seem to be any infants sitting up there. The service appears to be better than the larger business class section below.

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