Tag Archives: airline fares

797 Pilot Training

We look at pilot training with guest Jason Miller from The Finer Points. In the news, more pilot downsizing, new DOT rules for canceled and significantly delayed flights, the FAA reauthorization bill, a general aviation flyover of the nation’s capital, and airport vs. tornado.

Guest

Jason Miller hearshot

Jason Miller is a CFII with over 20 years of aviation experience who has given nearly 10,000 hours of instruction. He is a member of the FAA Safety Team, an instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, and the FAA named him the Western Pacific CFI of the Year for 2009 and 2016.

To help pilots improve their flying, Jason created The Finer Points aviation podcast in 2005. His pilot training resources have grown to include a YouTube channel, a CFI Club, a ground school app, and the Airplane Camp experience.

The Finer Points logo.

Jason has long believed in raising the bar on pilot training. The concept behind The Finer Points is packaging training excellence and developing the tools and products for pilots that fill the gaps in pilot training.

The CFI Club was created as a place where instructors can interact and continuously improve their skills. The 3-day Airplane Camp events are held for pilots several times a year and include lectures, food, and survival skills.

Jason’s Ground School flight training app for private and instrument ratings is a complete flight training system built from experience.

Aviation News

Southwest to Trim Workforce by 2,000, Offer Voluntary Time Off Programs as Boeing Delivery Delays Hit Finances

Following a 1st quarter 2024 net loss of $231, Southwest Airlines is undertaking several cost-cutting measures.  By year-end 2024, the airline plans to have 2,000 fewer employees. Southwest will slow hiring and offer voluntary time off programs. Also, Southwest is leaving four “underperforming markets:” Bellingham International Airport, Cozumel International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The airline originally planned to take delivery of 85 737MAX jets in 2024, but was revised downward to 46 airplanes, and again to 20 aircraft.

Cargo airline Amerijet warns of pilot furloughs amid downsizing

Since losing contracts with the U.S. Postal Service and others, Amerijet International plans to furlough some of its 272 pilots soon. How many pilots are furloughed depends on how many pilots accept the company’s offer of fewer working hours. In 2023 the pilot union negotiated a minimum of 74 paid hours, regardless of the number of hours flown.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final Rule Requiring Automatic Refunds of Airline Tickets and Ancillary Service Fees

The Department of Transportation announced its final rule for airlines. Airlines must give passengers full cash refunds for canceled and significantly delayed flights if the passenger doesn’t accept alternative transportation or travel credits. Passengers who file a mishandled baggage report will be entitled to a refund of their checked bag fee if it is not delivered within 12 hours of their domestic flight arriving at the gate, or 15-30 hours of their international flight arriving at the gate, depending on the length of the flight. Passengers will be entitled to a refund for the fee they paid for an extra service — such as Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment — if an airline fails to provide this service.

The final rule improves the passenger experience by requiring refunds to be:

  • Automatic: Airlines must automatically issue refunds without passengers having to explicitly request them or jump through hoops. 
  • Prompt: Airlines and ticket agents must issue refunds within seven business days of refunds becoming due for credit card purchases and 20 calendar days for other payment methods.
  • Cash or original form of payment: Airlines and ticket agents must provide refunds in cash or whatever original payment method the individual used to make the purchase, such as credit card or airline miles. Airlines may not substitute vouchers, travel credits, or other forms of compensation unless the passenger affirmatively chooses to accept alternative compensation.  
  • Full amount: Airlines and ticket agents must provide full refunds of the ticket purchase price, minus the value of any portion of transportation already used. The refunds must include all government-imposed taxes and fees and airline-imposed fees, regardless of whether the taxes or fees are refundable to airlines.

Here’s what flyers should know about the bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill

Draft legislation from House and Senate committees:

  • Would codify into law the Department of Transportation rules on refunds when an airline cancels or significantly delays flights.
  • Travel credits issued by airlines in place of refunds would be valid for at least five years.
  • Commercial aircraft cockpit voice recorders would record for 25 hours.
  • The FAA would be required to hire more air traffic controllers.
  • Additional runway technology requirements.
  • Expanded legal protections for ground-based employees.

General Aviation Flyover Of D.C. Set For May 11

On May 11, 2024, about 60 GA aircraft will fly over Washington, D.C.  The General Aviation DC Flyover commemorates the first proclamation of National Aviation Day in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the creation of AOPA 85 years ago. The aircraft will follow the Potomac River to downtown Washington, fly over the National Mall, and head down Independence Ave.

The flight will be visible from the mall area and live-streamed on AOPA’s YouTube channel. Commentary by AOPA Live anchor Tom Haines and aviation journalist Miles O’Brien starts at 11:45 EDT.

See: Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area; Technical Amendment

Prohibited Area 56 (P-56) surrounds the White House, the National Mall, and the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C. The only aircraft allowed to fly in that area are specially authorized flights that are in direct support of the U.S. Secret Service, the Office of the President, or one of several government agencies with missions that require air support within P-56. These prohibited areas have been in effect for about 50 years.

Nebraska Airport Raked by Tornado

The Eppley Airfield general aviation area was severely damaged by an EF3 tornado, which produces winds of 135 to 165 mph. Four hangars containing about 32 aircraft were destroyed.

Mentioned

Life is just a Breeze at PWM

Apple Vision Pro on the subway

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

AirplaneGeeks 368 Membership Flights with Surf Air

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

We talk with CEO Jeff Potter about the Surf Air all-you-can-fly private membership air travel club. Also, an uncontained engine failure on a BA flight, low airline fares, management changes at United, American Airlines used the wrong plane, and remotely manned towers may be on the way.

Guest

Jeff Potter is the Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air, an all-you-can-fly private membership club for business and leisure travelers. Surf Air uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft on scheduled routes, currently from airports in California. However, the company looks to expand and provide service in other regions, even internationally.

Jeff S Potter

Jeff S Potter

Jeff has luxury product experience as Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Resorts. He also has an aviation background and worked his way up from airplane cleaner to President and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Airlines, as well as being a member of their Board of Directors. Jeff was also the CEO of Vanguard Airlines for a short period.

Jeff explains how the Surf Air fixed monthly fee makes the private aviation experience affordable. He characterizes it as a disruptive model that competes with commercial carriers.

Follow Surf Air on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

News

BA jet engine failure uncontained, pieces hit runway: investigators

NTSB Issues Update on the British Airways Engine Fire at Las Vegas

The NTSB reports that the engine fire on takeoff at McCarran International Airport (LAS) by British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777 with GE90-85B engines, was an uncontained engine failure.

$100 Airline Ticket Deals, as Carriers Increase Profits

JetBlue Airways can fly you from JFK to Chicago for $74. A holiday promotion at Delta can cost as little as $78. American Airlines has a $97 fare from Columbus to Washington Reagan. Is there an airline fare war? Jeff helps understand what’s going on.

Why Dump Smisek? United Wasn’t First Airline to Fly a Pol’s Route

United CEO Smisek and two other executives resigned as a federal investigation is underway about the propriety of United creating a route between Newark Airport and Columbia, S.C, near where then chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Samson had his weekend home.

American Airlines accidentally used the wrong plane to fly to Hawaii

An American Airlines A321 left LA for Hawaii, but it didn’t have the requisite ETOPS certification. American discovered the problem enroute and notified the FAA, but the plane continued to it’s destination.

Air traffic controllers for some airports are now miles away, watching the planes on camera

Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden has an unmanned tower. The controllers are 90 miles away at another airport watching by camera. The idea is being tested elsewhere, even at one airport in the United States.

The Aircraft of the Week

Guppy by NASA

David goes fishing this week for a History Segment.  He hopes to catch one of these in the wild at Joint Base Andrews for a whale of a tale.  This episode we talk about The Aero Spacelines Guppies, and the lure of the aircraft that put a man on the moon.

Guppy by NASA

Guppy photos courtesy NASA

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about customer service at United Airlines.

Mentioned

The Bristol Hercules engine startup courtesy Ian.

Listener Photos

Lamont sends this photo taken in a practice area West / slightly Northwest of San Jose, California. The photo shows the marine layer being held back by the Santa Cruz Mountain Range in the early afternoon.

Marine layer

Marine layer

Jodi Brommer sends this shot of the smallest 777. She was hanging out on the approach path of San Francisco, 2.5 miles off the touchdown markers.

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

 

AirplaneGeeks 346 Flying for the Airlines as an Expat

 

Taipei, B-757, L-R:  Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Paramount Aviation Resources Group facilitates flying as an Expat, ONE Aviation Corporation brings together the Eclipse 550 and the Kestrel K350, a bill is introduced to privatize air traffic control in the US, another Washington D.C. incursion, and dynamic pricing of airline tickets.

Guest

Michael Johnson is the founder, President and CEO, and a member of the board of directors for Paramount Aviation Resources Group. Paramount finds qualified crew members to fill vacancies, provides crew leasing services, flight services, and ferry services.

We talk about the demand for expat pilots in countries that don’t have the infrastructure found in the the US, including opportunities for both mainline and regional pilots.

We see that the greatest airline growth is taking place in Asia, and Michael helps us understand the qualities of candidate pilots that make them best suited for expat life. He talks about the three key elements of stability, quality of life, and pay.

Michael also gives us some advice about getting into a flying career: start early, fly throughout college, and follow your passion.

Michael began his aviation career as a flight instructor and then as a commuter airline pilot with Northwest Airlink before joining Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1996. In 2001 TWA was acquired by American Airlines.

Michael’s flight experience includes the BA-3100, DC-9, MD-80, 757, 767 and 747 aircraft in international and domestic operations throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East as well as North America.

Serving as the Chief Pilot in Honolulu, Hawaii overseeing DC-10 and B-747 crews for JALWays (a subsidiary of Japan Airlines), Michael’s responsibilities included crew support, contractual issues, new hire interviewing, and B-747 simulator evaluations.

Photo: Boeing 757 in Taipei, L-R: Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Find Paramount at www.paramountarg.com, and follow them on Twitter at @ParamountARG and on Facebook. Reach Michael at +1 (540) 737-4600.

News

Eclipse and Kestrel Form ONE Aviation

Previous Airplane Geeks guest Alan Klapmeier (Episode 237, Feb 2013) is now the CEO of ONE Aviation Corporation, “formed to design, develop, and manufacture a family of aircraft, each of which will be a market leader in its category and class. ONE Aviation’s core products include the Eclipse 550 twin-engine light jet and the Kestrel K350 single-engine turboprop.” The Eclipse Jet is in production and the Kestrel K350 is currently under development.

GOP files bill to privatize air traffic control

Representative John Mica (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would privatize some aspects of U.S. air traffic control. A new private corporation would oversee the air traffic control functions now  handled by the FAA.

As NextGen falls behind, Mica says, “We’ve tried reform and reorganization, and we’ve created positions like the Chief Operating Officer within the Air Traffic Organization, but unfortunately our ATC technology and working conditions for air traffic controllers continue to fall further behind the rest of the world.”

The bill would create an Employee Stock Ownership Corporation that would “allow stakeholders, including current air traffic controllers, airlines and users, to operate a new air traffic control system.”

“Gyrocopter” probably too small for radar to detect

A man was arrested after landing his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol as a protest. He was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft, and violating national airspace restrictions.

Dynamic Pricing: Which Customers Are Worth The Most? Amazon, Delta Airlines And Staples Weigh In

Consumers continue to make more and more of their purchases online. This gives businesses the opportunity to know a lot about their customers. That knowledge can be used for dynamic pricing – charging some customers more than others.

Orbitz used its customers’ demographics to charge some customers more for hotels. They found that MAC users were willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a hotel than Windows users.

Delta Airlines reportedly charged frequent flyers up to $300 more for a ticket than they charged an infrequent traveler. Why? People who travel often are probably business travelers.

Mentioned

Follow Max Trescott on Instagram as he pilots an upcoming Airplane Geeks presence on Instagram.

Photo collections from Paine Field by Ryan Hothersall:

China Sourthern Cargo-777-F1B-B-2041-13

China Sourthern Cargo 777

Burning Man:

Love’s In The Air: Newlyweds Draw Hearts In Sky

The Air Cam:

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

Peninsula Seniors Productions YouTube channel

National Museum of the US Air Force Podcasts

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.