I’ve made my list and have checked it twice.
Now, I have to figure out how to get it to the North Pole. Which international flight over the Arctic is most subject to diversions in remote Alaska? Sounds like American to me. I’ll send it with them 🙂
I won’t ask for much this Christmas, but this is all I’m asking for from my beloved airlines (and others). Let me know if you agree, disagree, or want to add your own in the comments section:
For United to Bring Back Channel 9 on Flights
I mean, Private Screening is great and all, but am I the only one who reminisces about the days when we could listen to the ATC communications with Pilots on United flights, especially during take-offs and landings? Per United Air-Time, Channel 9 is available on most international aircraft, although I could not find it on any of the two 787 long-haul flights I took this summer from San Francisco to Xi’an or London Heathrow to Houston. However, United says that it is looking to expand Channel 9 to personal devices via the WiFi system.
For American to “Accidentally Forget” about Changes to Their 24-hour Hold Policy
We American elites, and long-time AA frequent fliers, have adored the 24-hour free, “Hold” that the carrier has allowed in the past. It is the best value for indecisive, paranoid freaks like me, and my family (cough Dad). Especially since I often can be found travel shopping at 1 AM CST, which would essentially allow me to “hold” the fare for 47 hours until 11:59 PM the following day. This could even apply towards mileage redemption or even tickets booked within 24 hours of travel.
Anyways, American announced this year that they are eliminating the free 24 hour hold, and instead deferring to the US DOT policy of allowing customers to cancel their tickets for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase. However, as of the time of this post, it doesn’t seem like they’ve actually enacted this change yet.
To Fly on JetBlue Mint
For Lufthansa Cabin Crews to Go 365 Days without Striking
Let’s be real: Lufty loves to create its own drama. Between mainline, Cityline, Eurowings, Germanwings, Jump, airberlin, attacking the Middle East carriers, etc, there are so many clashes between labor unions and management. In the end, its customers are the ones who pay the price for such divergences. It would be nice, in an ideal (and plausibly impractical) world if things were take a much more progressive turn and foster harmonious relations between these entities.
For AirBerlin to be Put Out of Its Misery
In tandem with the previous line, its becoming more obvious that the answer to airberlin’s woes is consolidation with the power-player at Frankfurt Main. We’ve had data points for several months, starting with the Lufthansa wet – lease agreement to take 33 airberlin aircraft for Eurowings and 5 to Austrian. Then, last Friday, we learned about the appointment of Thomas Winkelmann (from Lufthansa) to become airberlin’s new CEO, replacing Stefan Pichler. Finally, and most shocking, was the unexpected (albeit limited) announcement of a Lufthansa – Etihad codeshare. Etihad owns 29% of airberlin, FYI, and also announced recently it was going to cut thousands of jobs in Abu Dhabi.
Put another way, these moving parts indicate that Lufthansa, Etihad and airberlin are going to be cozying-up to each other to see if three heads together are better than none to solve the world’s problems. Well, they may not be able to solve all of them, or even make substantial headway, but hopefully, at least between Lufthansa’s and Etihad’s expertise, they can start with the mess that is Berlin Brandenburg airport.
For the Silly Anti-Gulf Rhetoric to End for Once and For All
Given the preceding point, this may become more of a possibility day by day. Lufthansa’s change of heart towards Etihad may have been precipitated by British Airways’ new joint venture with Qatar Airways. Who honestly knows? It appears that it is slowly becoming a foregone conclusion in Europe and Australia.
Here in the U.S., what we do know is that the White Paper Study conducted by U.S. carriers against the Middle East Big 3 was thrown out of the US DOT courtroom as a consideration for “fair skies” over open skies. Let’s also hope that the President-elect of the U.S. doesn’t make any more stupid remarks involving domestic or foreign aviation policy based on some of the comments he’s already made (Air Force One, anybody?)
Thank goodness for Checks and Balances.
For Alitalia to Get its Act Together, Rather than Reincarnate
Maybe it will also go the way of airberlin and become, “Lufthansa Italia II: The Sequel.”
For the Alaska – Virgin merger to mirror Delta – Northwest, and not Continental – United
Now that the DOJ has granted the blessing for Alaska – Virgin to wed, let’s just hope its not one wedding and two funerals. Nothing worse than to see two incredible airlines ruined all for the wrong reasons, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this one will be for the success books.
For Spirit Airlines (and Frontier) to FINALLY Add TSA PreCheck
Yes, I am a Free Spirit member. Yes, I fly Spirit plenty around the country. No, I will not elaborate why, because you can read all about it here. But this was supposed to happen like, yesterday, and they even announced it back in June. Let’s go people!
For Southwest to Add Faster WiFi on its Flights
It’s like, sometimes, why do I even bother? If I had a nickel for every time the connection stalled or crapped out, I’d be able to buy so many rounds of on-board drinks for $5 (oh, wait, they’re cashless). Maybe I could barter with a fellow Business Select customer in exchange for their Free Drink voucher?
Anyways, you get the point.
For Delta to Keep Doing What They’re Doing
Folks, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve issued thank-you letters and complimentary statements to Delta employees: airport agents, supervisors, call-center representatives, flight attendants and pilots, SkyMiles people.
There is something magical that the people in Atlanta are instilling in their Delta co-hearts. You will find that this airline employs some of the kindest, most helpful and gracious people in the hospitality industry.
If there is one thing that I never get tired of doing, it is writing to Delta to thank their employees for doing such an outstanding job and going above and beyond.
For Fewer Aviation Incidences and Disasters in 2017
This one is a difficult and somber one to write.
2016 was not a kind year to aviation, including those who worked in the industry.
Events that transpired included the bombing at Brussels airport in March, as well as the bombings at Istanbul Ataturk airport in June. Other tragedies included the crashes of EgyptAir 804, LaMia 2933 and Pakistan International Airlines 661, among others.
The tragic part is, most, if not all, of these incidences were either preventable, or motivated by sinister intentions.
Kudos to the brave personnel who place their lives in danger each day to protect and serve global citizens as they travel.