News and notes from around the interweb:
- United is updating its fare classes ‘to prepare for premium economy
- Congress passed legislation requiring the FAA to set legroom standards but don’t expect legroom on planes to change (NPR)
Forcing the airlines with the least legroom, like low-cost carriers Spirit and Frontier, to yank out rows of seats to meet any new rule could cost them millions. And Gary Leff, a travel writer and author of the View From the Wing blog, says, “these ultra low cost carriers that do squeeze seats a little bit closer together are the ones that have really been driving down the price of air travel.”
So mandating more legroom could drive up fares, Leff says.
“If you reduce the amount of pitch between seats — [reducing] the number of seats they can have on a given plane — the cost per seat for those airlines is going to be higher.”
Leff notes that while travelers like to complain about tighter seats and less legroom, they don’t seem to be flying less or paying more for extra space because of it.
“In fact there have never been more people traveling than there are today,” Leff says. “Planes are as full as they have ever been. So people certainly aren’t voting with their wallets even as airlines squeeze seats tight closer together.”
- The FAA re-authorization bill also provided for creation of a Concrete Masonry Products Board. Because Congress.
- The person giving you travel advice may be an inmate when you call North Carolina. That’s kind of cool, actually. (HT: @davidrowell)
- The Singapore market now has no annual fee prepaid Visa cards that let you spend cryptocurrency. They are metal, there’s cash back and even airport lounge access. (HT: David H.)
- Singapore Airlines isn’t offering ‘Book the Cook’ pre-order meals on the world’s longest flight departing Newark. This is a new station for Singapore (which they haven’t served since ending the non-stop to Singapore last time), and their only Newark flight, though perhaps they’ll be able to add it in the future.
They do offer Book the Cook from Houston which has only one flight, though I find the options mostly uninspiring and in business class would probably order the chicken curry and the Beef Kway Teow Soup for breakfast.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350
- “Troubled Thai Airways pursues perilous expansion” and by the way the pilots who delayed a flight two and a half hours demanding seats in the first class cabin of a flight sold without first (after passengers had been assigned those seats) have been told not to comment on the incident.
- Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker speaks to CNN’s Richard Quest. (HT: One Mile at a Time)