Archive for the ‘Airplane’ Category

TSA Precheck Program = Sensible Security.

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

TSA’s new precheck program is in early stages and not available to everybody, but if you are asked to join it’s probably a good idea. Here’s David Pogue, the New York Time’s technology writer, favorably reviewing the process:

Although TSA’s PreCheck is free you will have to “opt in” and only certain flyers are offered this opportunity at this time.
Look for a popup when visiting your airline’s Web site.

Pogue reports that “you can also get in to eCheck by joining a similar program like Sentri, Global Entry or Nexus”.

Read more here from David Pogue about the TSA Precheck Program

TSA Precheck Program from TSA

TSA Pre™ is currently available for eligible passengers flying on participating airlines that have opted in at the following airport checkpoint locations:

  • Atlanta (ATL): T-South Checkpoint (Delta only)
  • Chicago (ORD): Terminal 3, Checkpoint 8 (American only)
  • Dallas (DFW): Terminal C, Checkpoint C30 (American only)
  • Detroit (DTW): Checkpoint 2 on the ticketing level (Delta only)
  • John F. Kennedy (JFK): Terminal 8 Main Checkpoint (American only)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA): Delta Main Checkpoint (Delta only)
  • Las Vegas (LAS): D Gates First Class Checkpoint (American and Delta)
  • Los Angeles (LAX): TSA Pre✓™ screening lane (American only)
  • Miami (MIA): D2 Checkpoint (American only)
  • Minneapolis (MSP): Lindbergh Terminal, Checkpoint 4 (American and Delta)
  • Seattle (SEA): Checkpoint 5 North (Alaska only)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC): Terminal 2 Checkpoint (Delta only)
  • Washington D.C. (DCA): Terminal B, South Checkpoint for gates 10-22 (Delta and Active Duty U.S. Military only)

In 2012, TSA plans to expand TSA Pre™ for eligible passengers flying on participating airlines at the following airport locations:

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

TSA plans to continue expanding the TSA Pre™ concept to include additional airlines, as well as airports that participate in CBP’s Global Entry program, once operationally ready.

 

 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics – a great online resource

Friday, November 18th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am often amazed at the resources that pop up online without much fanfare.  One for Transportation is the Research and Innovation Technology Administration, thankfully shortened to  “RITA” , which is part of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics at BTS.gov .     Here you’ll find flight, airline, and airport statistics provided by the US Government that include everything from flight delays to jobs in the industry.   If you are a researcher this is an essential resource, and even travelers will find the information very interesting.   Did you know, for example, that extra baggage fees were $887 million – almost a billion dollars –  in the second quarter of 2011.  This is a lot of extra revenue for the airlines and also suggests an obvious budget cutting travel tip – travel light and use a carry on rather than checked baggage!     You won’t save $887 million, but one of the reasons that number is so high is that the extra baggage fees have become exceptionally high over the last few years as many flights do NOT provide any free checked bags.   My personal experience has been that travelling light has many, many advantages.    For example on our 2010 family trip to Venice, Italy we decided to walk to our hotel from the train station rather than hire a water taxi.   This was a charming walk because we only had one bag each to roll along, with more it would not have been possible.

 

Air Health Travel tips from … AirHealth.org

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Frequent (and infrequent) flyers will want to review the excellent Air travel health tips at AirHealth.org.   You’ll find information about warning signs during air travel that can indicate serious health conditions as well as general tips on keeping healthy during long flights.

A few general tips are to exercise during your long flights using “isometric” exercise where you pit one muscle against another, pushing your hands together for example.  Another approach is to “walk” in place, pushing down on the floor with one foot after another.  You’ll also want to take a few walks up and downthe isle during your flight, perhaps adding a few ‘laps’ during trips to the restroom.

Also be sure to keep hydrated – it’s easy to dry out during the flight, so make sure you drink at least as much as offered by the flight attendants.  Note that you can always have a beverage *and* a glass of ice water – just ask politely.

Sleeping on the plane is another important health issue, especially on very long flights.   I find that neck pillows and earplugs are a great sleep aid.   Dramamine or an antihistamine like Sudafed will also help if you have trouble sleeping.

Delta Airlines Fleet Map

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

From the Delta Airlines blog we have a great picture of the entire Delta Airlines Fleet, though you’ll need to click on the picture to get the whole thing:

Delta Airplanes

Picture of all Delta Airplanes

I’d noticed this great graphic flying home from the trip to my family reunion in Bridgewater Virginia and my history trip to Richmond Virginia.    Richmond is one of the USA’s most interesting historical cities, and I’ll be posting a lot more about that with some great photos over at TravelandHistory.com

For more technical information about the Delta Fleet click on the links in this table  (Table courtesy Delta Airlines Website):

Fleet as of March 31, 2011

Aircraft Type Current Fleeta,b Average Age
Owned Leased Total
B737–700 10 10 2.2
B737–800 73 73 10.2
B747–400 4 12 16 17.4
B757–200 93 75 168 18.1
B757–300 16 16 8.1
B767–300 9 5 14 19.7
B767–300ER 50 8 58 15
B767–400ER 21 21 10.1
B777–200ER 8 8 11.2
B777–200LR 10 10 2.0
A319–100 55 2 57 9.2
A320–200 41 28 69 16.1
A330–200 11 11 6.0
A330–300 21 21 5.6
MD–88 66 51 117 20.7
MD–90 19 19 15.1
DC–9 34 34 33
CRJ–100 18 31 49 13
CRJ–200 6 6 11.9
CRJ–700 15 15 7.4
CRJ-900 13 13 3.3
Total 587 218 805 15.1
a Excluding Delta’s grounded planes:  five DC-9, six SAAB 340B+ and 10 CRJ-100/200.
b Excluding 175 CRJ-200, 51 CRJ-900, 36 Embraer 175, 20 SAAB 340+ and 12 CRJ-700. These planes are operated by partner airlines.

Carry-on baggage, luggage rules

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

As the convenience of checked baggage diminishes even as the cost skyrockets to check your luggage,  most people now opt to use the “carry on” baggage rules and bring a small suitcase on board the aircraft, usually along with a large purse, backpack, or laptop bag.     Careful packing and planning means that most people who don’t require a new outfit every day can fairly easily fit everything they need – even for a trip of a week or more – in their carry-on luggage.

For most airlines the dimension of a carry on are 45 inches in total – meaning you simply add the highth, width, and depth of the  bag.   For example a bag with dimensions 12x12x21 should be OK as well as a bag of  14x14x 17 inches.  Technically any airline can can reject bags for many reasons, but in practice you are going to be just fine sticking with the 45 inch rule and probably even fudging a bit over these measurements.    However bringing large bags may get you some glares from the other passengers as you stuff your oversized luggage into “their” bin.    A major challenge of flying now is that with so many carry on luggage folks using the overhead bins, there is little or no extra room in those bins or under seats.  Often the carry-on bags need to be stowed in bins away from your seat or handed over to flight attendants, slowing the boarding process.

It is surprising to me how poorly organized the baggage and boarding process has become – I’d suggest to the airlines that more effective use or design of the overhead  bins is immediately in order.   Flight attendants, for example, know how to most efficiently stow bags yet they generally are not helpful as flyers tug, push, crunch and smash their and other bags into the dwindling available spaces.   Another innovation might be to redesign the bins or bin doors so they can hold more, or find ways to use the massive cargo space that must now exist below as flyers increasingly turn to carry on options rather than checking bags.

Another aspect of Carry-on rules are “Prohibited Items”.    Generally for that you’ll want to observe the 3-1-1 rule we discussed earlier.   More details are here at the TSA Transportation Security Administration‘s official site.  The link takes you to the “prohibited items” section.

Airbus 380. Now THAT’s an Airplane!

Friday, June 1st, 2007

The new Airbus A380 is the largest commercial passenger jet in the world, and it is BIG with 555 passenger seats compared to the 416 of a Boing 747. The Airbus is only about 5 feet longer than a 747 but the wingspan is much greater at about 250 feet, and the height is about 75 feet!

Today the first of what will be many flights landed in Paris, France.

Sign on San Diego has the maiden flight of the Airbus to Paris scoop.

Check out some Airbus A380 pictures here.