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A BRIEFING FOR JULY 22-AUGUST 5, 2010
By Joe Brancatelli
· Now You Can Get to Tokyo/Haneda From Here
· JetBlue Cuts a Feeder Deal With El Al for Tel Aviv
· Think Pink's: LA's Famous Dog Now Sold at LAX
· The Next BA Strike Watch: Think Early September
· The Construction Is (Mostly) Done at San Jose · Eight New Gates Open at Miami's North Terminal
· The Inventor of the Airline 'Black Box' Dies at 85
Everything Old Is New Again: Haneda's International Comeback
It's been a generation since Tokyo's close-in Haneda Airport was allowed to handle flights to and from the United States or any international destination. But since everything old is new again--and flyers are infuriated by the chaotic conditions at and long drives to Narita Airport--Haneda returns to the international stage in the autumn. On October 31, Japan Airlines will fly to Haneda from San Francisco and Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines will also ply the Honolulu-Haneda route beginning October 31. On the same day, All Nippon Airways will launch flights from Los Angeles and Honolulu. Two more U.S. carriers--American and Delta--jump into the Haneda market early next year. Beginning January 20, American launches a daily flight from New York's Kennedy Airport. The next day, Delta begins Haneda flights from its Detroit/Metro and Los Angeles hubs. Since Haneda is much closer to central Tokyo than Narita, you might want to brush up on what the airport offers and the transportation options here.
Everything Old Is New Again: JetBlue Becomes a Feeder Airline
It's been more than two decades since a former Pan Am and Eastern Airlines executive named Martin Shugrue tried to create a domestic carrier at New York's Kennedy Airport to serve passengers using the dozens of international airlines that operate at JFK. A decade after its launch at Kennedy, JetBlue Airways is doing a Shugrue, making its extensive domestic network available to international carriers and passengers at JFK. JetBlue today (July 22) announced an "interline" agreement with El Al that will allow flyers to purchase a single ticket for domestic JetBlue flights to/from JFK and onward connections to/from Tel Aviv on El Al. In recent months, JetBlue has also forged similar alliances with South African Airways, Aer Lingus and Lufthansa, which owns a minority stake in JetBlue. The El Al partnership begins in September. Virgin America says its flights to Orlando will now begin on October 6. Flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco had been scheduled to launch on August 19. AirTran Airways says it will launch twice-weekly flights from Atlanta to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on February 16.
Everything Old Is New Again: Pink's Opens at LAX's Bradley Terminal
Seventy years after Paul Pink started a hot-dog stand that developed into the legendary Pink's of Hollywood, a branch of Pink's opened this week at the Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International airport. As with most airport branches of real-world restaurants, Pink's at LAX will be operated by a third party, in this case Delaware North, a large airport concessionaire. Unique to the airport Pink's is the LAX International Dog, a 10-inch hot dog with chili, shredded cheddar, sauerkraut, bacon and chopped tomato. (This is why I stick to a Nathan's Famous with brown mustard, by the way.) Eight gates have opened at the mile-long new North Terminal at Miami International Airport. The other eight are due to open in September and all are part of American Airlines' MIA hub. Attention India-bound travelers: Terminal 3 at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is due to open for international flights on July 28. Computer and software glitches have delayed the official opening by several weeks, so check with your airline for exact details. What seems like the endless construction at Mineta San Jose Airport in Silicon Valley has largely ended. The aging Terminal C has closed and the first phase of the new $1.3 billion Terminal B has officially opened. Three carriers--Alaska, Delta and Southwest--use Terminal B. All of the other airlines at San Jose use Terminal A. A new consolidated rental-car facility has also begun operation. For more details, check the SJC Web site.
Everything Old Is New Again: British Airways Faces More Strikes
To the surprise of absolutely no one except, apparently, British Airways management, the airline's cabin crew overwhelmingly rejected the carrier's latest contract offer. As you surely recall, the dispute began last year when BA unilaterally imposed new work and staffing rules that the airline claims will save 62.5 million pounds per year. Twenty-two days of strikes, more than $200 million in direct costs and perhaps another $2 billion in lost revenue later, the union is preparing for another series of strikes. Most likely timing: September. The union is required to hold another strike vote, which takes a month after balloting begins, and then give a week's notice of any work stoppage. The most ridiculous development from this week's union vote: BA management's response. Even though two-thirds of the flight attendants who voted turned down the deal, BA bosses claimed the union had lost "the moral authority" to speak for the cabin crews. It even urged the union bosses to "come back to the table and sign the agreement" that the rank-and-file employees had just rejected. Needless to say, things are different in Britain.
Business-Travel News You Need to Know
Southwest Airlines flyers take note: The carrier has tightened its policy on unused tickets. Southwest, which does not charge a change fee, has allowed flyers to apply the price of unused tickets to any future purchase. Effective on January 28, however, travelers can only use the residual value for future tickets written in the name of the original flyer. Speaking of Southwest, it spent more on advertising ($44.9 million) in the first quarter than any other carrier. American Airlines spent $40.6 million, followed by Delta Air Lines at $32.4 million. US Airways spent just $4.4 million and United Airlines invested just $10.4 million. I guess if you don't have much to say, well Twenty-one travelers were injured after severe turbulence hit a United Airlines jet traveling from Washington/Dulles to Los Angeles. The plane was diverted to Denver. David Warren, inventor of the airline "black box," died this week at 85. The Australian scientist came up with the concept of crash-proof and fireproof devices to record flight-deck conversations and instrument data after a 1953 crash involving the Comet, the world's first commercial passenger jet. He created the first prototype of a "black box" in 1956.
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ABOUT JOE BRANCATELLI Joe Brancatelli is a publication consultant, which means that he helps media companies start, fix and reposition newspapers, magazines and Web sites. He's also the former executive editor of Frequent Flyer and has been a consultant to or columnist for more business-travel and leisure-travel publishing operations than he can remember. He started his career as a business journalist and created JoeSentMe in the dark days after 9/11 while he was stranded in a hotel room in San Francisco. He lives on the Hudson River in the tourist town of Cold Spring.
THE FINE PRINT All of the opinions and material in this column are the sole property and responsibility of Joe Brancatelli. This material may not be reproduced in any form without his express written permission.
This column is Copyright ฉ 2010 by Joe Brancatelli. JoeSentMe.com is Copyright ฉ 2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.