PEOPLExpress suspends service

PEOPLExpress, the new airline with a throwback name that recently started serving a few communities. The airline announced today it is suspending service, with a plan to re-launch “on or about Oct. 16″

From the airline’s statement:

“Recent aircraft and crew availability and maintenance issues, including an aircraft recently damaged by a vendor’s truck, an engine change and a lack of a promised spare aircraft, have made it challenging to operate a full schedule, preventing us from delivering the passenger experience we are striving for.”

The airline said it is processing refunds for passengers for flights booked through Oct. 15, which it says should take five to seven business days. “For reservations beyond Oct. 15, passengers will receive a notification by e-mail as soon as our service resumption plans are in place.”

Since launching service on June 30, PEOPLExpress has offered 817 flights and said in its statement that it still intends to launch previously announced service to Orlando and Charleston, W.Va., starting Oct. 16.

For more details about flights you may have booked contact: customerrelations@flypex.com or visit www.flypex.com.

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Bilingual Leticia helps travelers shop at Miami Int’l Airport

mIA LETICIA

You’ll see virtual assistants at a variety of airports these days, but mostly they’re programmed to offer directions and advice on making your way through security checkpoints.

Miami International Airport (MIA) is doing something different. MIA has programmed its virtual assistant – Leticia – to serve as a bilingual (English and Spanish) shopping consultant to help travelers navigate the airport’s dining and retail destinations.

The first two virtual shopping consultants are on-duty 24 hours a day and are co-located with interactive terminal directories at the connector of Concourses H and J after crossing the security checkpoint.

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Want free tickets to Bonnaroo 2015? Make airport art

Bonnaroo 2014 Wednesday-photo by David Barnum

Want two free tickets to the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival? It will help if you’re an artist.

The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place each June on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee and many event attendees make their way to and from the festival through Nashville International Airport.

To welcome everyone (and help promote the event), each year the airport features artist-made, Bonnaroo-themed artwork in five skylights on the secure side of the terminal.

Here’s a sample of the artwork from this past season on display through January 2015:

Bonnaroo

By AK Lamas

 

Proposals for next year’s Bonnaroo-themed skylight art will be taken through November 9, 2014.

Each selected artist will get an honorarium of $2,000 to create skylight art that incorporates or reflects iconic Bonnaroo festival elements (but not the full Bonnaroo brand logo), the festival location and the Bonnaroovian Code: Prepare Thy Self, Play as a Team, Radiate Positivity, Respect The Farm, Don’t be that Guy/Gal, and Stay True Roo.

Each selected artist also gets two free tickets to Bonnaroo 2015.

Good luck!

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Frying with Finnair to the UN Climate Summit

FinnairAirbus 330 HR_edited

Smell that?

The Airbus A330 making Tuesday’s Finnair flight from Helsinki to New York will be running on biofuel partly made from recycled cooking oil from restaurants.

It’s perfectly safe – and Finnair and several other airlines have done it before – but this flight is designed to coincide with the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York and draw attention to the fact that progress is being made on developing environmentally sustainable biofuel.

As Finnair reminds us, “most of an airline’s environmental impact arises from aircraft emissions during flight and switching to a more sustainable fuel source can reduce net CO2 emissions by between 50 and 80 per cent.”

But while everything from used cooking oil to plants, algae, municipal waste, recycled vegetable cooking oil, animal fat and sugarcane have been considered or tested in aircraft in search of safe, alternative, sustainable biofuels, the cost to make that alternative fuel is still at least twice as much – or more – than conventional jet fuel.

But along with Finnair, other airlines, including KLM and Alaska Airlines, airport operators, manufacturers and a variety of governments around the world are working on ways to lower the costs of creating these alternative jet fuels.

So it’s possible that soon you’ll be flying on a jet burning fuel made with old frying oil too.

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Museum Monday: Welcome to California, Jane

Winogrand_LAAirport

Garry Winogrand, 1964: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

While bands, dancers and floats filled with people dressed in traditional German clothing marched up 5th Avenue as part of New York City’s German-American Steuben Parade on Saturday, I ducked inside the Metropolitan Museum of New York and spent a few minutes in the Garry Winogrand photography retrospective.

Winogrand’s best images document daily life in New York and elsewhere during the 1950s through the early 1980s and include some shots taken at airports. Standing before the picture below, taken by Winogrand at JFK International Airport in 1968, I listened to a dad explain to his kids what phone booths were. “You had to go into this little box and put a nickel or dime into little holes above the phone before you could call anyone if you weren’t at home,” he said.

Winogrand’s photograph at the top of this post, taken at Los Angeles International Airport in 1964, is my favorite. Wish we knew the story that went along with that big sign.

Winogrand_jfk

Garry Winogrand, 1968. Collection of John and Lisa Pritzker. From the Gary Winogrand retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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