News and notes from around the interweb:
- The Republican leader of the New Jersey state assembly is complaining about retail prices at Newark airport. Passengers are a captive audience, but lowering prices would also mean lower revenue for the Port Authority. Populism of course knows no bounds, you can’t lose grandstanding against airlines and airports, though I doubt this is the most pressing issue for investigation even if it underscores the way that the business of airports is not designed to serve passengers.
“The prices are outrageous. Bottled water, $4 or $5. TSA takes your water away, and then you have to pay $4 or $5 for bottle water. Sometimes you’re stuck at the airport out there for hours,” Bramnick said.
…“They have self-checkout and self-serve, and they charge you five times what water should be charged for a customer,” Bramnick said. “I think this is a consumer nightmare.”
…He said he wants to know why “the vendors can charge that much and why the price is similar between all the stores.”
…Bramnick said he realized just how high the prices have become when he recently stopped in the airport and picked up cough drops and bottled water for $9.42.
- Free LAX parking due to lack of enforcement.
- Star Alliance carrier ANA, which already has some of the best food in the sky, will be introducing new meals, sleepwear and amenities to business and first class.
- Delta partner Jet Airways is getting a government bailout. Their US$1.2 billion shortfall is being covered by the government taking an equity stake in the carrier (State Bank of India is the lead bank doing a debt-equity swap), while the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (sovereign wealth fund 49% owned by Indian state, also backed by Abu Dhabi ironically enough) will infuse cash for a 19.5% stake. Government interests will be majority owner of the airline.
- Meanwhile Delta may team up with easyJet and the government of Italy to own Alitalia. Weren’t we supposed to be concerned about government subsidies for airlines, and ‘airlines having to compete with governments?’ I forget.
- Jimmy Carter greets customers on a Delta flight. Rumor has it Carter picks up Delta 360 passengers and drives them across the tarmac on tight connections (not really).
One of our favorite onboard presidential moments with Jimmy Carter.
— Delta (@Delta) February 18, 2019