Airlines and their workers have stepped up to help people affected by the recent storms and the earthquake in Mexico, delivering needed supplies and helping to move people and pets out of harm's way. Carriers are also working to raise millions of dollars in aid donations by giving donors reward miles.
David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, visited Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday, holding employee town halls and touring security checkpoints. "Every time I visit a checkpoint, I learn a little bit more about what the processes are that we use," he said.
Dogs from the Denver International Airport Canine Airport Therapy Squad were the inspiration behind 16 deluxe dog houses designed and built for the Sustainable BARKitecture Doghouse Competition. One of the houses was designed by airport staff and is on display in the Great Hall of Jeppesen Terminal, while the other 15 can be seen on the plaza between the Westin hotel and Jeppesen Terminal.
FedEx is planning to hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers and UPS will hire about 95,000 people as the shippers ramp up for the busy holiday season. Both companies say many of the seasonal jobs will turn into permanent positions.
Air Canada is keeping an eye on discount airlines and will enter the market when it settles down, said Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick. "At this point, we are readying ourselves to compete, but we have not provided additional information on routes or fares as we first need to see what these new entrants will bring to market," he said.
Southwest Airlines uses analytics to to predict how much luggage passengers will check on a specific flight, then uses the extra space to carry high-value cargo, including critical medical supplies and organs for transplant.
Airlines are interacting with travelers in new ways as they look to provide ever more helpful, friendly customer service. For example, Hawaiian Airlines uses two-way SMS to communicate directly with passengers, while Air New Zealand uses an engaging digital assistant.
A new United Airlines in-flight safety video incorporates scenes from destinations served by the carrier with information about turbulence, seat belts and oxygen masks. The four-minute video will be available on all United flights by the end of the month.
The Street's Ted Reed writes that big things are happening at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, thanks to investments from American Airlines and the carrier's strong partnership with airport officials. The airport is undergoing a $2.5 billion improvement project that will add 25 new gates, all of which is being done without any PFC tax increases on passengers. "Charlotte is the only large hub in the country that does not have the maximum PFC," said Mike Minerva, American's vice president for government and airport affairs. "The way things are done in Charlotte is that airlines and the airport get together to decide what needs to be done." Airport aviation director Brent Cagle echoed Minerva's comments about their collaborative partnership: "We add facilities when they're needed by the airlines. We've never had anything but 100% agreement by the airlines."
Officials at Detroit Metropolitan Airport said workers are removing all of the airport's soap dispensers after an unknown substance was found in some of them. The dispensers are being replaced with tamper-proof devices.
- Page 1