Delta statement on flight 30 from Atlanta to London

Delta flight 30 from Atlanta to London returned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Wednesday after an issue with its number 2 engine. The flight landed without incident and airport response vehicles met the aircraft upon arrival. The airplane was towed to the gate, where customers deplaned through the jetway and will be accommodated on a different aircraft. The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we apologize to our customers on this flight.

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Alaska Airlines introduces new rules for emotional support animals

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 SSWL N526AS (msn 35196) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941630.

Alaska Airlines has issued this statement:

For tickets purchased on or after May 1, guests traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals must provide animal health and behavioral documents, as well as a signed document from a medical doctor or mental health professional, at least 48 hours in advance of departure. The change does not apply to Alaska’s policy for traditional service animals.

“Alaska is committed to providing accessible services to guests with disabilities and ensuring a safe environment for all flyers,” said Ray Prentice, Alaska Airlines’ director of customer advocacy. “We are making these changes now based on a number of recent incidents where the inappropriate behavior of emotional support animals has impacted and even injured our employees, other guests and service animals.”

In recent years, the overall number of emotional support and psychiatric service animals traveling on Alaska Airlines has increased dramatically. Every day, approximately 150 emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel on Alaska Airlines.

“Most animals cause no problems,” said Prentice. “However, over the last few years, we have observed a steady increase in incidents from animals who haven’t been adequately trained to behave in a busy airport setting or on a plane, which has prompted us to strengthen our policy.” Alaska Airlines consulted with its disability advisory board and disability advocacy groups to ensure that the expanded policy accommodates guests with disabilities.

New Policy

For new bookings made on or after May 1, 2018, guests traveling with emotional support and psychiatric service animals must email or fax Alaska Airlines three completed documents, which will be available on alaskaair.com starting April 30:

  1. Animal Health Advisory Form – On this form the flyer acknowledges Alaska Airlines’ recommendation that all emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel with a veterinary-issued health certificate.
  2. Mental Health Form – Currently required, this is a letter issued by a mental health professional or medical doctor approving the use of an emotional support and psychiatric service animals.
  3. Animal Behavior Form – A signed affidavit affirming the emotional support or psychiatric service animal is trained to behave in public and that the owner accepts all liability for any injuries or damage to property.

Additionally, just like traditional service animals, emotional support and psychiatric service animals must be well-behaved in a public setting and under the control of their owner or handler at all times.

Guests with tickets purchased after May 1 who do not submit the required documentation 48 hours in advance, will be offered to fly with their pet under existing policies for travel in the cabin or in the temperature-controlled cargo compartment. Existing fleet and breed restrictions, as well as health certificate requirements, will apply.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 SSWL N526AS (msn 35196) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941630.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing, current livery): CLICK HERE

WestJet to drop three trans-border routes

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8CT SSWL C-FWJS (msn 39076) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941120.

WestJet starting on June 27, 2018 is dropping three trans-border routes according to Airline Route:

Calgary – Chicago (O’Hare) on June 28

Calgary – Dallas/Fort Worth on June 27

Montreal (Trudeau) – Boston on June 27 (WestJet Encore)

Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8CT SSWL C-FWJS (msn 39076) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941120.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

British Airways starts Airbus A320neo operations

First Airbus A320neo for British Airways, delivered on April 10, 2018

British Airways on April 15 put its first Airbus A320neo (G-TTNA) into revenue service on the London (Heathrow) – Lisbon route.

The new type will also fly to Budapest, Madrid and Warsaw from LHR this summer season according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL F-WWIV (G-TTNA) (msn 8108) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 941328.

British Airways aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Trans States Airlines and Frontier Airlines announce new pilot flow agreement

Trans States Airlines pilots now have a direct pathway to the Frontier Airlines flight deck.  An agreement inked by the two airlines guarantees participating Trans States pilots a First Officer position with the Denver-based Airbus operator after as little as two years of service with Trans States.

The agreement comes on the heels of a major order announcement by Frontier in November of 2017, in which it announced its intent to triple the airline’s fleet size over the next 10 years growing the airline’s order book to nearly 200 aircraft.

“Given Frontier’s considerable order book, imminent growth and financial stability, we believe that this new flow program will be immensely popular with our pilots,” remarked Trans States Chief Operating Officer, Fred Oxley.  “A guaranteed pathway that allows for quick progression to a major carrier of Frontier’s caliber will be a huge asset to Trans States’ pilot recruiting efforts.”

“Additionally, judging by the popularity of our growing Denver crew base with our crews, we expect Frontier’s significant presence in Denver to be very attractive to our pilot group,” added Lee Stelzner, Chief Pilot at Trans States.

“With forecasted retirements, it’s no secret that the demand for highly qualified pilots will grow over the next several years,” says Frontier Chief Operating Officer Jim Nides. “This new partnership helps address our future pilot staffing needs while providing pilots entering the workforce a certainty for their careers.”

Current Trans States pilots with the requisite time in service will be eligible to apply for this program immediately, while new Trans States pilots may apply as soon as they have completed training.

To learn more about this program, please visit transstates.net or contact a Trans States pilot recruiter at pilothiring@transstates.net.

Alaska Airlines to take the next step in the retirement of the Virgin America brand

1st Airbus A321, named "Neo kid on the block"

Alaska Airlines made this announcement on its blog:

As of April 25, you will:

  • Check-in using one website (alaskaair.com).
  • Use one mobile app (Alaska’s).
  • Call one call center (Alaska’s).
  • Look for Alaska flight numbers.

At the airport, check-in takes place at Alaska’s ticket counters and kiosks. Regardless of where you’re flying, you’ll head for Alaska gates.

On the night of April 24, we’ll complete physical changes at 29 airports around the U.S. and Mexico that are served by both Alaska and Virgin America. The only branding and signage will now be for Alaska Airlines. Signs and screens will all change to Alaska branding at curbside locations, lobbies, ticket counters, gates and baggage areas. While there will be some Virgin America painted aircraft still flying for a period of time after April 25, tickets will be sold only under the Alaska name.

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are now one airline – and with our regional carrier Horizon Air – we’re one family, all under the Alaska name and brand. Whether you’ve flown on Alaska for years, or on Virgin America, or you’re new to us – we’re proud to be your West Coast airline with great service, low fares and generous mileage awards.

Like most things at Alaska, we do things a little differently – with you in mind. Even when it’s things you don’t see.

As you can imagine, fully integrating two airlines takes time. We’ve already started painting some of Virgin America’s Airbus planes in Alaska colors. In the fall, we’ll begin installing new interior cabins in these Airbus jets. (For a period of time, a guest may board an Airbus plane with an Alaska exterior and a Virgin America interior). It’s expected to take until the end of 2019 for the completion of a single brand experience on all Alaska aircraft.

Our journey continues – painting airplanes, upgrading cabin interiors, installing satellite Wi-Fi and launching new food onboard. We’ll keep offering flyers the good stuff, like free texting and movies during flights, incredible people and plenty of hometown pride.

Copyright Photo: The repainting of the Virgin America Airbus fleet (Alaska is no longer “Proudly All Boeing”) will take some time. Virgin America Airbus A321-253N WL N921VA (msn 7589) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 937921.

Virgin America aircraft slide show:

Hawaiian publishes new Airbus A321neo routes

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321-271N WL N202HA (msn 7917) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940198.

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding Airbus A321 coverage as more aircraft are delivered.

According to Airline Route, the carrier will start the following new routes with the new type:

January 1, 2019:

Honolulu – Phoenix
Honolulu – San Jose
Kahului – San Jose
Kona – Los Angeles
Lihue – Los Angeles

March 31, 2019:

Honolulu – Sacramento

In other news, on April 12, the airline celebrated its 10-year anniversary of service between Oakland and the Hawaiian Islands. Guests boarding the airline’s flights from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to Honolulu and Maui were treated to Hawaiian music, hula, and 250 bonus HawaiianMiles offered by its World Elite Mastercard program.

Hawai‘i’s flagship carrier first introduced its authentic Hawaiian hospitality to Bay Area travelers in 1986 when it launched service at San Francisco International Airport. Hawaiian expanded operations in 2005 with flights at San Jose International Airport, followed by OAK in the spring of 2008.

In the past decade, Hawaiian has carried more than 1.5 million guests on over 6,000 flights departing OAK toward Hawai‘i, with nonstop service to Honolulu and Maui, as well as seasonal service to Līhu‘e on Kaua‘i and Kona on the Island of Hawai‘i.

In January, the airline introduced its new Airbus A321neo aircraft on its Oakland to Maui route.

Starting July 15, 2018 Hawaiian will launch nonstop service between OAK and Kaua‘i operated by the A321neo.

Copyright Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321-271N WL N202HA (msn 7917) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940198.

Hawaiian Airlines aircraft slide show: