Planet DMC

News and tidbits from the travel industry

Category: USA Today Page 1 of 8

JetBlue agrees to buy Spirit for $3.8 billion, ‘but for now nothing is changing’

A merger with JetBlue is going to be a big change for Spirit’s passengers. JetBlue competes more directly with legacy full-service carriers than the ultra-low-cost airline it plans to buy. That could mean higher fares in some markets.Zach Wichter (USA Today)

The newest subscription service: flights. Would you do up to 24 roundtrips a year for a monthly rate?

Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday the launch of Flight Pass, a subscription service with two tiers to be redeemed for 6, 12 or 24 nonstop trips a year “to eligible destinations” in the Western U.S. Notably excluded: flights to and from Alaska’s home base in Seattle. Flight Pass subscribers can choose between two annual plans: the “Flight Pass” starting at $49 per month or “Flight Pass Pro” starting at $199. The difference between the two plans is the length of time required for booking. While the “Flight Pass” plan requires members to book at least 14 days in advance, the “Flight Pass Pro” allows for same-day booking (up to two hours before departure); both plans allow members to book 90 days in advance.Josh Rivera (USA Today)

Drinks on planes will have to wait: American Airlines won’t resume alcohol sales in economy this year

We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft.Stacey Frantz (American Airlines)

Boeing 737 Max returns to US skies with first commercial flight on American Airlines

American Airlines’ Flight 718, the first commercial 737 Max flight by a major U.S. airline since its recertification on Nov. 18, departed from Miami shortly before 10:30 a.m. ET and is scheduled to arrive at New York LaGuardia a little early at 1:18 p.m. ET.Jayme Deerwester (USA Today)

FAA certifies troubled Boeing 737 Max to fly again, but critics fear jetliner’s ‘basic aerodynamic problem’

The troubled airliner’s return to the skies won’t be immediate, even with the ungrounding order. The planes will need to be refitted with improvements ordered by the FAA, and pilots will need to be retrained in procedures. American Airlines, one of the largest operators, plans to have the planes flying again on Dec. 29 starting with a single round trip between New York and Miami. The airline recognized some travelers may be hesitant.Chris Woodyard (USA Today)

737 Max: House blames Boeing, FAA for mistakes that led to crashes

Boeing failed in its design and development of the Max, and the Federal Aviation Agency failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft.House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Virgin Atlantic airline files for U.S. bankruptcy protection, tries to survive pandemic losses

Virgin Atlantic’s court moves follow bankruptcy filings in the U.S. by Latin America’s two biggest airlines, Latam and Avianca, and by Mexico’s Aeromexico since the start of the pandemic. Virgin’s sister airline Virgin Australia filed for protection from creditors in its home country in April.Susan Haas (USA Today)

Airlines were finally starting to see passengers return. Then coronavirus cases spiked

American, which has been more aggressive than most of its competitors in adding flights back for summer vacation season, filled 45% of its seats in May and nearly two-thirds of its seats in June as coronavirus cases eased and more states reopened their economies, Parker said. That compares with 15% in April. This month, bookings are down “markedly” as travelers opt not to travel due to quarantines and closed businesses, the airline says. Net bookings are currently down 75% to 85% from a year ago, compared with year-over-year declines of 35% to 40% in some Sun Belt markets after they reopened. Net bookings are new bookings minus trip cancellations.Dawn Gilbertson (USA Today)

Airbnb lays off 25% of its workforce due to the coronavirus fallout

We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill. Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019.Brian Chesky (Airbnb)

Southwest Airlines CEO says flyers needed soon to avoid drastic steps

If things don’t improve dramatically over the May, June, July time period, we’ll have to prepare ourselves for a drastically smaller airline.Gary Kelly (Southwest Airlines)

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