Emirates cutting service to U.S. Guess why.

It’s getting wild out there. Today Emirates shared news that it is reducing service to 5 of the 12 US cities it serves.

Emirates Statement:

Emirates can confirm that we will be reducing flights to five of the 12 US cities we currently serve. From 1 May and 23 May respectively, our Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week. From 1 and 2 June respectively, our Seattle and Boston operations will move from twice-daily services, to a daily service. From 1 July, our operations to Los Angeles will move from twice-daily to a daily serve.

This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to US. The recent actions taken by the US government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the US.

Until the start of 2017, Emirates’ operations in the US has seen healthy growth and performance, driven by customer demand for our high quality product and our international flight connections. However, over the past 3 months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments. Emirates has therefore responded as any profit-oriented enterprise would, and we will redeploy capacity to serve demand on other routes on our global network.

We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our US flight operations as soon as viable. Emirates is committed to our US operations and will continue to serve our 12 American gateways – New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando – with 101 flight departures per week, connecting these cities to Dubai and our global network of over 150 cities.

United is – finally – sorry. Now what?

No one will dispute the fact that it took United Airlines way too long to issue the above statement apologizing and owning up to responsibility for the events that took place on United Express Flight 3411.

Too little too late?

Definitely, agrees everyone from the Twitterverse to the 50 or so public relations experts sending me emails offering to weigh in with special insight on the event.

We don’t need experts to tell us that pretty much everyone did the wrong thing in this case.

Now come the investigations; by the US Department of Transportation, the Chicago Department of Aviation, the Chicago Police Department, lawyers galore and many others.

Heads will roll, blame will be officially affixed, reports will be made.

Will anything change?

Let’s hope so. And let’s hope some rules relating to the legal rights of airline passengers – including those on voluntary and involuntary bumping of passengers outlined on the US DOT site in a Fly Rights section last updated in December 2015 (!)  – get tightened up.

Because “This is how it’s done,” “Those are our rules,” and “I’m just doing my job” just don’t cut it.


Fresh art at SFO and Austin-Bergstrom airports

Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport

Next time you go to the airport, see some art:

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, there’s a new exhibit featuring traditional art and artifacts from Mexico and artwork on loan from Austin’s Mexic-Arte Museum.

Some pieces in “Connections & Intersections,” are on loan from the Mexican Consulate General’s office in Austin. Other pieces are from the Mexic-Arte Museum’s Changarrito program, which is a mobile art vending cart that provides Central American visual artists with an opportunity to showcase and sell their work in Austin.  Look for the exhibition through the end of April, post-security between gates 7 to 11.

And, it looks like surf’s up at San Francisco International Airport.

Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii 1975; Jeff Divine

The SFO Museum is presenting a new exhibition featuring Jeff Devine’s photographs capturing legendary surfers in the 1970s and images of surf culture.


Gerry Lopez, Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii 1974; by Jeff Divine – courtesy SFO Museum

Jeff Define: 1970s Surf Photography is on view at SFO Airport in the pre-security area of the Departures Level in Terminal 3 through May 18, 2017.


Off to work you go with Delta’s new promo

Yes, it’s a commercial, but who can resist (or not keep singing it all day long) the Heigh-Ho song from Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs once you hear it in this new Delta Air Lines commercial.

And that’s the voice of Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Winner, Viola Davis, who has signed on to be the voice of Delta for the next year.

Keep on Truckin’ at SFO Airport

The Amazing Answer Board c. 1944 Courtesy Eugene Orlando_Museum of Talking Boards_SFO Museum

There are lots of reasons I enjoy spending time at San Francisco International Airport.

Tops among them: the exhibits offered by the SFO Museum, which currently has a Ouija board – or spirit board – exhibit in Terminal 2.

On my most recent visit, I discovered one more reason to add to the list:

A shop selling Grateful Dead stickers and other groovy accessories, so travelers can take home that San Francisco vibe.