Is It Back to the Future for TSA Baggage Screening?

Written by Benet Wilson @ The Points Guy

During my time as airports/security editor for Aviation Daily between 2006 and 2011, I spent a lot of time writing about how the how the Transportation Security Administration was testing checkpoint technology to help get passengers through the process as quickly as possible. So something felt very familiar when I read TPG’s aviation writer Zach Wichter’s …

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How the Apollo Program Helped Change Commercial Aviation

Written by Mike Arnot @ The Points Guy

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is this week. The historic landing and the Apollo program that made it possible inspired technological innovation that continues today and introduced millions of people to the wonders of flight. To learn more about its effects on commercial aviation, I spoke with Michael Lombardi, Boeing’s historian …

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An MD-80? The Truth Behind This Tiny American Airlines ‘Plane’ Parked at O’Hare

Written by Nicolas Avalle @ The Points Guy

Passengers with a keen eye flying out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport might have noticed a very unusual, tiny American Airlines plane on the edge of a parking lot next to taxiways.   This baby plane isn’t a failed experiment in basic-economy or a masquerading baggage cart. It’s a unique piece of American Airlines equipment …

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The TSA Is Testing Ways to Eventually Keep Laptops in Bags for Everybody

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

The Transportation Security Administration is testing a screening method that may eventually result in passengers, even those who do not have TSA PreCheck, keeping laptops in their bags. The TSA is trying out the new screening in Las Vegas and may one day expand it nationwide. On Tuesday the TSA announced that it had opened …

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Why Some Airlines Fly the A350 Long-Haul, and Others on Domestic Routes

Written by Alex Macheras @ The Points Guy

The Airbus A350 XWB has established a strong presence in the commercial market ever since its first delivery in 2015. Today, airlines operate the aircraft across the globe — including the soon-to-be delivered A350s for both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. The A350 XWB (extra wide body) is a family of aircraft comprised of only …

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Venezuelan Airline Takes On an Airbus A380 Despite Country’s Reduced Air Operations

Written by Max Prosperi @ The Points Guy

Amid food shortages, widespread blackouts and politically motivated violence in the country, a Venezuelan airline made the decision to expand its fleet. According to a post on the airline’s Facebook page, Estelar Latinoamerica received a leased Airbus A380 on Sunday to replace its A340, which is currently undergoing maintenance. Though Venezuela’s economy is in shambles, …

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How Much Do Airplane Parts Cost? From $4 Amenity Kits to $1,000,000 First-Class Seats

Written by Mike Arnot @ The Points Guy

Airplanes are expensive. Even the smallest member of the 787 Dreamliner family can set you back a quarter of a billion dollars, per the published Boeing price list below. But, like every car owner knows, just because you bought it doesn’t mean you’re done paying for it: parts and accessories are expensive, sometimes surprisingly so. …

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Air France and Lufthansa Look to Improve A340 Takeoff Safety With One Simple Tool: Math

Written by J. Scott Clark @ The Points Guy

After a number of extra long take-off rolls experienced by A340s, including one incident involving an Air France A340 departing Bogota, Air France and Lufthansa have finished a joint study of the issue, according to FlightGlobal. Back in March 2017, an Air France A340 departing Bogota experienced a low rate of rotation that effectively made …

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United Airlines Extends Boeing 737 MAX Cancellations, Again

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

United Airlines announced Friday that its Boeing 737 MAXes would remain off its schedules until Nov. 3. “United has gone to great lengths to minimize the impact on our customers’ travel plans. We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers,” the airline said in a statement. “We’ll continue to monitor the …

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How to Ride out an Earthquake at an Airport

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

A series of earthquakes and aftershocks hit the American West during the July Fourth weekend. Earthquakes have no effect on planes in flight of course, but ground transportation and infrastructure is much more susceptible to damage, which can ultimately mean delays or cancelations for flyers, too. Travelers who plan to visit earthquake-prone areas don’t need …

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Free Upgrades on Delta Are Becoming Even Harder to Come By

Written by Darren Murph @ The Points Guy

If you’ve noticed fewer Delta upgrades clearing of late, you’re not alone. As Delta celebrates a record quarter, it’s also rejoicing over a 10% increase in premium product ticket revenue and double-digit percentage increases in loyalty and mileage-related income. In lay terms, that means more people than ever before are paying up for confirmed seats …

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Why Does Inflight Wi-Fi Cut Out or Slow Down?

Written by Mike Arnot @ The Points Guy

Internet service in the air can be frustratingly spotty and there’s a good reason: It’s not easy to provide. “Wi-Fi in flight is super-complicated,” said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta Air Lines’ director of onboard brand experience, in an interview. “You’re going 500 miles per hour at 40,000 feet. And in the case of Delta, we’re operating …

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Lufthansa Expands Airbus A380 Offerings in US

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

Airbus A380 fans, rejoice! Next year, you’ll have more ways to fly the superjumbo from US gateways. Lufthansa announced Wednesday that it would start flying A380s from Munich to Boston in summer 2020 and keep the plane on its Munich-San Francisco route year-round, starting in summer 2020 as well. The airline will assess demand in …

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Southwest Switches Safety Cards to Alleviate MAX Confusion

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

Southwest Airlines, known in part for its all-737 fleet, has had to start distinguishing between the variants of the Boeing workhorses it operates. Until recently, the carrier used a single seat-back safety card for its 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s that listed both aircraft types on the cover. Now, following two fatal crashes and the …

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Video Goes Viral on Social Media After Delta Emergency Landing

Written by Zach Wichter @ The Points Guy

Emergency landings are fairly common in aviation. They can happen for any number of reasons, from a sick passenger to a minor mechanical malfunction. On Monday, Delta Air Lines Flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore had to land at North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport when one of its engines failed mid-flight. The MD-88 operating the …

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