Flight Blog

Aug 27 2012 PED Alert! BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service, FAA


Way back in March the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was going take a fresh look at its own rules that forbid you from using electronic gadgets on airplanes. The decision to review the rules was prompted, at least in part, by a couple of things: 1) In December of last year the FAA said that pilots could used iPads during take offs and landings (but passengers couldn't), and 2) the Alec Baldwin affair.

Today the FAA made the review more or less official with this press release:

"Given the widespread consumer use of portable electronic devices (PEDs), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is forming a government-industry group to study the current PED policies and procedures aircraft operators use to determine when these devices can be used safely during flight.  Current FAA regulations require an aircraft operator to determine that radio frequency interference from PEDs are not a flight safety risk before the operator authorizes them for use during certain phases of flight.

“With so many different types of devices available, we recognize that this is an issue of consumer interest,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Safety is our highest priority, and we must set appropriate standards as we help the industry consider when passengers can use the latest technologies safely during a flight.”

The government-industry group will examine a variety of issues, including the testing methods aircraft operators use to determine which new technologies passengers can safely use aboard aircraft and when they can use them. The group will also look at the establishment of technological standards associated with the use of PEDs during any phase of flight. The group will then present its recommendations to the FAA...."



"Airfares are going nowhere but up for the rest of the year, industry analysts are predicting in the wake of another successful fare increase by U.S. airlines to offset high fuel costs."

That's the gist of a story in today's Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle reports that, "Southwest Airlines hiked round-trip fares by $10 on 30 percent of its routes on Friday. The nation's four other major carriers - United, American, Delta and US Airways - matched the increase within hours."

The rest of the news is not surprising: nearly everyone expects more fare hikes before the end of the year. Read the entire story here.



Here's an interesting tidbit from Information Week:

"TSA, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has issued a request for information for a "hologram imaging, computer-generated imagery and video projection" system. The system would be used "to assist passengers in navigating through security checkpoints as efficiently as possible," according to the RFI, which was posted on FedBizOpps.gov earlier this month."

Read the rest of the story here.


Aug 16 2012 Listen to the Sound of FiFi BY sgf-adminTAGS History, Misc.


As many of you know the B-29 bomber nicknamed "FiFi" was in Springfield the past couple of days. It's a World War II vintage bomber and the last of its kind that still flies. We thought you might like to see some of our home video of the old warbird. While the plane certainly looks good, be sure to listen to the old beast. Hard to imagine that a machine of war can sound almost like an old farm tractor... And how about those squeaky brakes?





Suppose you had 1500 frequent flyer miles. Which would you rather spend them on: air fare or a digital music download? With today's introduction of the MileagePlus Digital Media Store, United Airlines is betting that some of you will say music. Or a movie.

You can spend 1,375 miles and get Blown Away. That's the name of an album by Carrie Underwood. Or how about a movie called God Save My Shoes? You can rent it for 460 miles, or buy it for 2,545 miles.

The director of United MileagePlus, Krishnan Saranathan, says the media store, "Offers the perfect complement to our other non-air award options such as hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. This is one more example of our commitment to expanding the world’s most rewarding loyalty program for our members.”