News of the Day 8-11-10 – Air Rage Update

Virgin Multiplies Miles

Virginmeister Richard Branson has announced a new deal for passengers of Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, V Australia and Virgin Blue:

Starting now, fliers on any of the above can earn miles for their flights that can later be redeemed under any of the four airlines’ frequent flyer programs. 

Which means a quicker way to earn your way to elite status and all the extra comfort and privileges that entails (though, as a personal aside, “steerage” on Virgin is pretty good).

Win a Holiday on Branson’s Private Island

And to kick it all off, there’s a cool sweepstakes: just fly two of the four Virgin branded airlines between now and December 31, 2011, and you could win a week’s stay in the British Virgin Islands on Branson’s private island Necker. One can only hope Sir Richard will be in residence at the time.

See any Virgin website for details. 

Fewer Tarmac Delays

The latest figures from the always informative Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) show that in the wake of the government’s recent “3 hour rule” for airlines – there have been fewer lengthy tarmac delays.

In fact, in June there were only three delays that were longer than three hours, compared to 268 such flights in June of 2009. Now that’s an improvement.

And, the three that were delayed earlier this summer were stuck in Chicago due to raging rainstorms.

Not Too Many Canceled Flights

Critics of the 3 hour rule were concerned that it could mean lots more flight cancellations, as the airlines tried to avoid the hefty $27,500-per passenger fine for a three-hour plus tarmac delay, but so far – that does not seem to be happening.

Overall in June, airlines reporting to the BTS said they canceled 1.5% of their scheduled domestic flights – which is the exact same percentage of cancellations for June of 2009.

Maybe it’s a little early, but it would seem the 3 hour rule is working out pretty well. So far, anyway.

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Published: August 11, 2010