Since Friday night, Sky Talk has been down because of technical problems at our vendor, Typepad.
And while there hasn't been any breaking news for American Airlines or Southwest Airlines, there has been a few newsworthy items I had hoped to share with Sky Talk readers when our blog was down.
So here's a quick round-up of what was going on in the aviation world the past few days.
-JetBlue Airways 2,500 pilots have decided to join the Air Line Pilots Association, voting 71 percent in favor of unionizing. "The aviation landscape has changed dramatically, and I believe that that was the determinant for the JetBlue pilots to organize," Air Line Pilots Association President Capt. Lee Moak said on a conference call today, this Bloomberg News article says. ALPA also represents pilots at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Envoy, the carrier formerly known as American Eagle.
-A teenager decided to take an unpaid trip on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from San Jose to Kahului, Maui, stowing away in the wheel well of the Boeing 767. The teen, who is in custody of child welfare services in Hawaii, ran away from his family after an arguement, apparently scaling a fence at San Jose's airport before hiding out on the plane, according to this CNN report.
-The average of an airline ticket rose slightly last year, up $1 to $381, the Associated Press reported. The government said that the highest average fares were in Huntsville, Ala., at $528, and the lowest were $249 in Long Beach, Calif. The average airfare at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport declined 0.8 percent to $409.51 in 2013, while airfares at neighboring Dallas Love Field rose 1.2 percent to $290.78 compared to the year before.
-Airlines continue to post low customer satisfaction ratings even as it improves its in-flight services and handling of baggage, said a new report released on Tuesday. USA Today reports that for the second year in a row, airlines earned a score of 69 out of 100 points, the lowest of any industry and only slightly higher than the IRS, subscription television providers and social media sites.
-Consumer travel columnist, Christopher Elliott says that airline ticket prices could drop if the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 passes Congress. However, the law will actually allow airlines to initially claim the ticket cost less and then add on the mandatory government taxes and fees when the consumer purchases the ticket. "Press the "buy" button online for the deceptively low airfare, and all taxes and mandatory fees would be added to your bill," Elliott writes in this column.