Tag Archives: flights

Southwest Airlines To Fly To Hawaii In 2018

HONOLULU, HI (RADIO ALICE) – Plans are underway for Southwest Airlines to offer flights to Hawaii starting sometime in 2018.

The announcement was made in a joint address to the thousands of Southwest employees by Hawaii’s governor David Ige and Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines’ President, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The airline just needs to start the public application process to get FAA certification that will allow Southwest to operate between Hawaii and the mainland. Airline officials has not indicated which cities will have connections to islands. Nor the possibility of flying between islands.

According to the Associated Press, Southwest’s Chief Revnue Officer Andrew Watterson says they cannot confirm a date of when their planes can fly over the Pacific, because it depends on when they get the certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We know we’ll get through the FAA process in time to sell tickets next year, but until the FAA gives us better indications of the authorization timeline, we’re not going to speculate and put a date out there,” Watterson says. “This has been a long time coming so there’s no particular reason for us to rush it.”

The Dallas-based airline currently flies out of all the major airports in the Bay Area, SFO, Oakland and Minetta San Jose Airport.

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Flights To Puerto Rico Resume In Aftermath Of Hurricane Maria

CHICAGO (CBS) — Airlines were resuming limited flights to Puerto Rico on Friday, after Hurricane Maria ravaged the Caribbean island and moved on toward Turks and Caicos. San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport partially reopened Friday, and the first flight from Chicago left O’Hare International Airport before dawn. American Airlines was flying team members and passengers back to an island that was utterly devastated by the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years. Maria inundated much of the island forcing people to wade through waist and chest deep water often just to get out of their homes. Trees were essentially clear-cut by winds of up to 155 mph. Boats were tossed about like toys and left stranded on land in many cases. The deadly hurricane left the entire island without power, and it could be six months before power is fully restored. That means more than 3 million people have been left sweating it out in dangerously high temperatures, with only emergency generators and car batteries to provide electricity. Some people in the Puerto Rican community were still trying to track down loved ones back home, which can be especially difficult, with both mobile networks and radio towers also knocked out by the storm.

Frontier Fined $1.5M For Long Tarmac Delays, Will Only Pay $600K

Last December, Frontier canceled 275 flights after severe winter weather disrupted operations in and out of its hub at Denver International Airport. Still, the airline was slow to respond to the storm, federal aviation officials claim, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded on planes for hours. As a result, the company has been fined $1.5 million.  The Department of Transportation announced recently that it had fined Frontier $1.5 million for violating rules prohibiting long tarmac delays. Under DOT rules, U.S. airlines operating aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats are prohibited from allowing their domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane. According to the DOT [PDF], Frontier failed to abide by this rule in 12 incidents during a severe snowstorm between Dec. 16 and Dec. 18. Specifically, 11 flights arriving at the airport and one departing were found to be in violation of the tarmac delay rules. An investigation by the agency found that during the storm, Frontier failed to properly adjust its operations resulting in gate congestion and long tarmac delays. Frontier failed to assess the gate situation during the height of the snowstorm and continued to experience gate availability issues and a ground staff shortage after the storm had passed.

Arriving Flights

While Frontier canceled many flights during the storm, it did not do so in a timely fashion to avoid congestion at Denver International Airport. The DOT found that once heavy snow began to fall, the airline started to return departing airplanes to their gates. At this point, many of the aircraft began to experience mechanical issues, rendering the gates they were located at unusable. This caused a problem for flights that were currently in route to Denver. Once these planes landed, there were not available gates for passengers to exit. In one instance, when a Frontier gate became available, the carrier made the decision to bring an empty aircraft to a gate in order to operate a delayed flight, instead of deplaning one of its long-delayed arrival flights which was experiencing a tarmac delay. To make matters worse, the DOT claims that Frontier could have prevented at least a portion of the tarmac delays had accepted services offered by the airport.

Departing Flights

As the storm continued to affect the airport, three Frontier flights preparing for departure experienced mechanical issues. Frontier quickly made the decision to return two of these flights to the gate. While the planes were unable to return within the FAA’s allotted three hours, because they began the process before that time frame, they are not subject to enforcement. As for the third flight, employees attempted to correct the mechanical issue. That was not possible, and it was decided that the plane would return to the gate. However, the decision to return to the gate was made after the three-hour mark. The plane did not receive clearance to return to the gate until the 4 hour and 14 minute mark.

Paying Up

In the end, the DOT determined that Frontier failed to adequately adjust its operations in response to the snowstorm, creating tarmac delay that were in violation of federal rules. The DOT ordered Frontier to pay $1.5 million for the violations. Frontier will only pay about $600,000 of the fine, as the agency is crediting the airline for compensation provided to customer on the affected flights. For its part, Frontier admits that the snowstorm was “much more severe and intense than predicted.” Still, it claims that it attempted to keep up with the influx of delayed and arriving flights by increasing its staffing and writing with airport personnel.

Aviation tracker with depth

I’ve grown bored of maps that show commuter traffic, but for whatever reason, air traffic maps continue to seem interesting. Add this fun experiment by Jacob Wasilkowski to the list. Like any other tracker, the aviation tracker shows where planes are at any given moment, but there’s one small twist. The plane icons are sized by elevation. So if you’re staring down from above, planes that are closer to you appear larger, and those closer to the ground appear smaller. By the way, the data comes from ADS-B Exchange if you’re interested. Tags:

Houston Residents, Supporters Try To Fly Into Texas

CHICAGO (CBS) — For some Houston residents who were out of town when Hurricane Harvey hit are now trying to get home. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli is at Midway Airport where he found some people trying to get to Houston any way they can. And for many people that means taking the long way home. Houston by way of Dallas is the quickest route for Jonette Martin who has been trying to make it home to her husband and kids for the past four days. “They’ve been canceling my flight every day,” Martin said. And with both of Houston’s airports closed, the mother of two decided to fly to Dallas where she plans to rent a car and drive the final 240 miles. CBS: Do you even know if you can get to your house? “No I don’t but I do have friends and relatives in Dallas that I can stay with until I can get there,” Martin said. “But I feel better being a little closer.” She just moved to Texas, in part, to escape Chicago’s icy grip. Now her kids are off from school for a very different reason. “Snow days we usually have so now we get hurricane days,” Martin said. So far her home in north suburban Spring, has only sprung a few leaks. But she’s worried. “Just moved in a couple of months ago. I would like to keep my house,” Martin said. Thousands of people aren’t so lucky and find themselves among the newly homeless. That’s why Ian Caruth said he plans to be helping evacuees in Dallas by late Tuesday afternoon. “I just want to help other people in case one day I need that sort of assistance,” Caruth said. Andre White’s family is caught in the flood zone. That’s why he plans to head to Houston this weekend to help out in anyway he can. “If I can get as close as I can, I have to do it for my family,” White said. Caruth remembers when Dallas needed and received support in the wake of a similar storm 12 years ago. “A lot of people came to the Dallas area after Katrina and it was a hard time, so I just wanted to help out in whatever way I could,” Caruth said. The Dallas convention center is being converted into a mega shelter at the request of the state. It can accommodate more than 5,000 people.

United Airlines Provides Relief Flights For Hurricane Harvey Victims

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago-based United Airlines continues to work to help a couple of hundred of its passengers who are still stranded in Houston because of Hurricane Harvey. United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart said there are nearly 10,000 United employees who live in the Houston area. The airline is telling them that, if they cannot make it to Bush International Airport, they should not risk it and should stay home. Hobart said there are about 200 customers stuck, for now, at the airport. “We’re bringing in additional relief flights. They’re going to have supplies and humanitarian aid that are going to work at the airport and elsewhere, but eventually we’re going to work, maybe as early as today, to get those folks out of Houston and back up here to Chicago and then work on re-booking them from there,” he said. Hobart said United put a travel waiver in place earlier last week when it was clear Hurricane Harvey would be bearing down on Houston and that a lot of customers took advantage and re-arranged their travel plans. That’s why only 200 customers are stranded at the airport, he said. “We did fly in more employees and supplies into the area to prepare for, not only the operation itself or what it was going to look like throughout the weekend, but also the eventual recovery,” Hobart added. The airline has nearly 500 flights a day out of Bush International Airport.

United Flight Out Of Houston Lands In Chicago Despite Airport Shutdown

CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the first flights out of Houston landed in Chicago late Sunday night. CBS 2’s Susanna Song has some incredible stories from O’Hare. Both Houston airports are still shut down, but United managed to get a special flight for some travelers trapped at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The plane landed at 10:37 p.m. Sunday night at O’Hare. Passengers at baggage claim were thankful to be in Chicago. They shared harrowing stories of just trying to make it to the airport from their hotels, driving through flooded streets. One woman recorded video of the flooded roadways on her cellphone. Just getting to the airport was challenging and some barely made it. It took someone two and a half hours to drive a few miles. So once these passengers got to the airport their described it nearly abandoned. “Just to see disaster in the road, babies in cars, families cannot go home, walk out in the rain, leave car stuck, very emotional – the fact that I couldn’t help,” said Sonia Agard. “I feel helpless. I want to help, but what we could do. I was just crying all the way. It’s going to leave something in my head for a very long time.” These passengers are just relieved to be in Chicago, even though it’s not their final destination. They went to hotels nearby and will be back Monday to board another plane to get to their destinations.

Machine learning to find spy planes

Last year, BuzzFeed News went looking for surveillance flight paths from the FBI and Homeland Security. Peter Aldhous describes how they did it. They used machine learning — a random forest algorithm to be more specific — to find the spy planes, which as you might expect tended to circle around more than normal flights.

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US Bars Electronic Carry-Ons From Mideast, North Africa Flights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government, citing unspecified threats, is barring passengers on nonstop, U.S.-bound flights from eight mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.