As it promised several months ago, the Transportation Security Administration last week officially kicked off its new open enrollment process for any U.S. citizen to apply for membership in the PreCheck trusted traveler program.
Air Travel News
United Airlines has finished the overhaul of all 15 Boeing 757-200s that operate its “p.s.” (Premium Service) flights between New York JFK-Los Angeles and JFK-San Francisco. The company said that makes it “the first and only airline” to offer premium cabin flat-bed seats on every transcon flight — but that’s a distinction that won’t last too long, as 2014 is set to become the Year of the Transcon Business Traveler in terms of service improvements.
In U.S. airline news, the sale of Frontier Airlines has finally closed; JetBlue adds a domestic partner; Delta keeps adding more routes to its growing Seattle base; and Hawaiian Airlines adds a transpacific frequent flyer/code-share partner.
In agreeing to drop its civil antitrust suit against the American Airlines-US Airways merger, the Justice Department said it wanted low-cost carriers to acquire the takeoff and landing slots that the merging airlines had agreed to give up at New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National. The results are in for LGA, and Southwest and Virgin America are the buyers.
Life continues to get a little easier for U.S. citizens returning from international trips, as two more airports are installing self-service passport control kiosks to speed up Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checks; meanwhile, membership in CBP’s Global Entry trusted traveler program has hit a milestone.
Within days after the Federal Communications Commission said it would review its ban on in-flight phone calls with an eye toward lifting it, a groundswell of opposition to that possibility has risen, making it even harder for individual airlines to decide whether to permit such calls if and when the policy is changed.
Did you fly last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving? Historically, that day is the busiest of the year for air travel — and a new report suggests that without significant improvement and expansion of the nation’s airports, travelers will see Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving-type crowding and congestion becoming routine year-round.
In airport news, Philadelphia International has a bunch of new concessionaires in its Terminal F; a website releases its list of the world’s top airport restaurants; and Chicago airports get their own radio station.
A new study of U.S. air fare trends conducted by USA Today found that the change in the number of seats available at a given airport had a lot to do with fares rising or falling there over the past eight years.
Getting past what appears to be their final significant legal hurdle, American Airlines and US Airways have set a date when they expect their corporate merger to take effect — and it’s not far off at all.