Trabber News

news about cheap fares and airlines from travel search engine Trabber

News of November 2008

Low-cost US carriers top airline quality rankings

28 November 2008

Low-cost carriers topped the rankings of U.S. airlines for being on-time and uniting bags with passengers, while the big guys such as American Airlines brought up the rear.

Hawaiian Airlines was rated best at being on-time, at 92 percent for the January-June period. AirTran Airways was tops at handling baggage, and Southwest Airlines Co. best in customer complaints, at one for every 300,000 customers. JetBlue Airways had the fewest denied boardings.

AMR Corp.’s American Airlines was the worst in on-time performance, at just 63.2 percent. UAL Corp.’s United Airlines had the highest rate of customer complaints, seven times more than Southwest.

AMR’s American Eagle, a feeder airline for American, was the worst baggage handler, mishandling luggage more than three times as often as AirTran.


BA to restart flights to Saudi Arabia

28 November 2008

British Airways is to resume flights to Riyadh and Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, in March, after a four year gap in services.

The growing importance of Middle-Eastern investors to Western economies means the routes which British Airways abandoned in 2005, as oil prices started to climb, are now commercially viable.

Previously the routes had been dogged by security problems, with the airline having to suspend services at certain times in the years immediately after 9/11.

source: Times On Line

New Zealand Airline Airbus A320 Crashes Off French Coast

28 November 2008

A New Zealand airliner crashed off the coast of France on Thursday afternoon and rescuers recovered two bodies from the Mediterranean Sea.

Five other people who were aboard the Air New Zealand (ANZ) Airbus A320 are missing and are feared dead. Aboard the ill-fated plane were a captain and three engineers of ANZ, an inspector of New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority and two pilots of German charter company XL.

source: AHN

Malaysian carrier eyes European tourists with new flights

28 November 2008

European visitors are expected to flock to Southeast Asia next year as a low-cost airline starts flying from a London-based hub for European budget airlines to Kuala Lumpur in March.

AirAsia X started accepting bookings on Tuesday for its new direct flights between London Stansted and the Kuala Lumpur International Low-Cost Carrier Terminal.

source: BusinessWorld

When a nation becomes a commodity: The Country Brand Index 2008

21 November 2008

Australia recently won the top spot of the 2008 Country Brand Index. Nation branding, as it’s officially referred to, is the theory and practice of measuring and building the reputations of countries; basically applying standard commercial brand management that you’d find with commodities and using it to analyzing everywhere from Austria to Zimbabwe.

The 2008 study conducted used rankings from 30 different categories to come up with the final index. Among the categories were History, Standard of Living, Friendly Locals and Environmentalism. It’s like a beauty pageant for countries, with the most well-rounded coming out on top. Here are the top ten:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. USA
  4. Italy
  5. Switzerland
  6. France
  7. New Zealand
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Japan
  10. Sweden

source: Gatling

Obese entitled to two airline seats for the price of one, Canadian court rules

21 November 2008

The supreme court declined to hear an appeal by Air Canada and WestJet, the country’s two largest airlines, on a January 2008 decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), which gave the airlines a year to implement the policy after they failed to show that a “one-person, one-fare” structure would cause undue hardship.

By convention, the court gave no reason for declining to hear the case.

What remains unresolved is when exactly obesity constitutes a disability. The CTA said airlines must develop procedures to assess eligibility, adding that free seats need not be awarded to overweight people who are merely uncomfortable in a single seat.


British Airways launches remote check-in service

21 November 2008

British Airways has launched a remote check-in service, allowing travellers ‘on the go‘ to check-in for flights wherever they may be, via their mobile handsets. The service is quick, free and available in 11 languages – without any need to download accompanying software.

This latest initiative follows the success of the recent iPhone Apple application from BA, allowing iPhone users the opportunity to check-in via handsets. Proving to be a popular product, there were more than 16,000 UK downloads in its first month of launch alone.

source: Easier

British Airways says consolidation will speed up

18 November 2008

The chief executive of British Airways PLC said he expects consolidation in the airline industry to speed up, but he added that the London-based carrier will be extremely selective in the companies it chooses to team up with.

Speaking at an analyst conference in New York, CEO Willie Walsh forecast more airlines will falter in the coming months as global economic conditions remain tentative. But Walsh said the company will not invest in weakened companies that might put British Airways’ financial position at risk.

source: Business Week

Ryanair crew strip off for charity calendar

18 November 2008

The budget airline’s 2009 calendar features bikini-clad young staff posing next to jet engines, petrol pumps and tool kits.

Last year’s calendar raised more than £55,000 for charity, and the airline hopes to top that figure with the new shots, which feature the likes of Miss Runway, Miss Hostess and Miss Cockpit.

All the money raised will go to Dublin Simon Community, an Irish homeless charity.


More strike chaos in France

17 November 2008

France faces more transport disruption this week as the Air France strike continues. Workers are protesting against government reforms to raise the retirement age of flight crew members up from 60 to 65 years of age.

So far the strike has affected over 35% of overseas flights and is estimated to cost Air France more than 100m euros.