FAA

How a 747 design change proposal spurred the ’60-foot rule’

United Airlines’ final charter flight to say goodbye to the airline’s fleet of 747 airccraft, was quite a party and you can see my story and photos on the event on the Runway Girl Network.

But during all the hoopla, a representative of the flight attendant’s union mentioned to me that debate over a change in the 747 design back in the mid-1980s spurred an important safety rule – the FAA’s 60-foot rule – that applies to just about all airplanes today.

The short version of the story is that in 1984 Boeing proposed taking out a set of exit doors on the 747 jumbo jet to make more room for seats. Flight attendants and pilots – and their unions – raised concerns over the ability to get everyone off the plane in an emergency without those doors and pushed back.

The Federal Aviation Administration ruled on the side of safety.

Read my full story on how this came about in my Runway Girl Network story here.

Photo courtesy Boeing Company

DOT, FAA ban air transport of fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices

Kelowna firefighter

Fire alert!

 

Travelers with those fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones have been being urged not to put them in checked baggage or turn them on or charge them when on planes. But on Friday the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an emergency order banning the Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones from being carried on planes altogether – not in checked baggage, not in carry-ons, not in cargo.

Here’s the notice:

The U.S. Department of Transportation, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), announced today it is issuing an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices from air transportation in the United States.  Individuals who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device may not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States.  This prohibition includes all Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices.  The phones also cannot be shipped as air cargo.  The ban will be effective on Saturday, October 15, 2016, atnoon ET (9 a.m. PT).”

 

Travel Tidbits: FAA vs. Southwest +Air New Zealand at LAX

southwest

After failing to come to a settlement, the Federal Aviation Administration has filed a $12 million suit again Southwest Airlines over allegations that repairs made to 44 airplanes by a contractor did not meet safety standards.

 

Air New Zealand Hobbit plane2

Starting December 3, 2014, AIR New Zealand will switch terminals at Los Angeles International Airport from T2 to the lovely Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). That, of course, means ANZ passengers will be able to enjoy all the new art and amenities in the revitalized terminal. But it also means that qualified ANZ passengers will able to use the swanky Star Alliance lounge in that terminal, which is operated in partnership with Air New Zealand.

LAX TBIT STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE OUTDOOR TERRACE - BASKAS

FAA lifts ban on flights to & from Israel

Simon Schwartz

 

On Wednesday evening – July 23 – the Federal Aviation Administration lifted the restrictions it had placed on U.S. airline flights into and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. The announcement was effected as of 11:45 PM EDT.

Technically that means U.S. airlines could resume their flights to and from Israel on Thursday, but each airline is now free to make the decision to fly on their own.

Given that the travel advisory Delta posted regarding the unrest in Israel says flights to Ben Gurion International Airport are suspended “until further notice” and both United and US Airways have travel advisories offering a wide window for no-fee changes, it’s possible that one or more of these airlines, as well as many of the international airlines that have announced suspension of service to Israel, will choose to delay resuming flights.

Should they?

 

 

 

 

Alaska Airlines joins gate-to-gate electronics club

Alaska Electronics

On Saturday, November 9, Alaska Airlines joined the club of airlines that allow passengers to use their personal electronic devices from gate-to-gate.

Already in the club: United, American/American Eagle* JetBlue, Delta and US Airways.

We’re still waiting to hear when Southwest and Virgin America will get FAA approval.

Horizon Air passengers should be able to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flight next week.

But beware: the rule does not yet apply on US Airways Express, United Express, Delta Connection and *American Eagle flights operated by some of its regional partners.

Stay tuned.