Some Airports Allow for Non-Passengers to Pass Through Security

David Pflieger highlights how certain airports are allowing for non-traveling passengers to pass through security checkpoints to send off friends/family.

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Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, airports have had their gates in a vice grip. It seems like security checkpoints update their strict rules and regulations every other week. This makes travel—especially international travel—a rather difficult hassle. What is safe to go through the security checkpoint in one country is strictly banned in another. For example, in America you can have loose change in your carry on bag or purse without an issue. However, if you arrive in China with coins in your purse, you will need to fish out every last one.

These little discrepancies consume time and energy for travelers, but place an exceptional burden on security guards. This is part of why certain airports in the USA have decided to allow for non-passengers to go through security checkpoints.

Whether a non-passenger wants to see a loved one off before they leave to go abroad, or they simply want to eat at the only Potbelly’s in the state, three airports in the States have decided to open their doors to non-passengers. This is incredible news for those who want to be near those they care about when they can’t necessarily afford to buy an extraneous—or even refundable—airline ticket.

While these patrons are waived the hustle of going through the traditional security gate, they are still vetted through a specialized security system that will likely become more sophisticated as the trend spreads throughout the world. At the Pittsburgh airport for example, non-passengers check in at the specific non-departures level of the airport. Their information is then run against a secure “no fly” list, to ensure the security of everyone in the area. Then non-passengers are granted a stamp which allows them access to the areas beyond the security gates. The Seattle and Tampa airports have implemented a similar protocol.

To read the full article, written by David Pflieger, make sure to click the link.

Airline Apocalypse: Failed and Defunct Airlines

Dave Pflieger highlights a few once-popular airlines that have gone the way of the dodo.

Commercial aviation may be barely a century old, but few would argue that it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Flight is still the most efficient way to travel, and it’s shaped the way we interact with the world in truly dramatic ways. But just because air travel is here for the long haul doesn’t mean that there aren’t casualties along the way. Here are some once famous airlines that have failed to stay with us over the years.

Eastern Air Lines

Miami-based Eastern Air Lines was once one of the biggest players in commercial air, but it became a lesson in the powerful role workers can play in a company’s feasibility. The first cause for concern came in 1988, as more economical alternatives started to cut into Eastern’s bottom line, but it was the deregulation in the years that followed which served as the nail in the coffin. An attempt to freeze out protesting members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers led to a galvanization of multiple related unions, and Eastern Air Lines was left crippled. They were forced to declare bankruptcy in 1989 and finally ended operations at the beginning of 1991.

Braniff International Airlines

Few airlines had the flair that Braniff International did. Their colorful uniforms, designed by Emilio Pucci, especially made them stand apart from the competition. But it was the company’s notable confidence that got the best of it. An attempt at aggressive expansion in a time when fuel costs peaked and economy alternatives created a highly competitive market drove Braniff into deep debt and rapidly led to their dissolution.

Lakers Airways Skytrain

The problem with Lakers was in many ways the polar opposite of Braniff. They entered the market during the glut of new competitors in the early 1980s and promised tremendously low cost flights, often as much as half that of the major airlines. Unfortunately, the model quickly proved unsustainable, and they ended up as just another forgotten experiment in a boom notable for them.

Interflug

It could be argued that Interflug was a victim of geopolitics, but there had been problems with its structure for a long time. Based out of East Berlin, its planes suffered from poor fuel efficiency and noise protection. When the Berlin wall fell, a number of airlines expressed interest in purchasing Interflug, but the airline ultimately failed to find a serious buyer.

Dave Pflieger | What To Do If Your Flight Is Delayed

Dave Pflieger highlights exactly what you should do if your flight is delayed.

Dave Pflieger, aviation professional with decades of experience, explains what you should do if your flight is delayed.

Here is an excerpt:

“A flight delay or cancellation is any traveler’s worst nightmare, however that doesn’t mean that a bit of preparation isn’t going to come in handy in order to tackle these difficulties and overcome them. Knowing rules and regulations may come in handy in order to take full advantage of the situation.
Know your rights
Depending on the airlines, different rules may be in places once a flight is canceled or delayed. Free re-bookings or refunds may come into place, along with being places on a similar flight with another airline – anything to make a customer satisfied, after all. Check the fine print to make sure what the rules are so you can be ready if the time comes.

Bought the flight with a credit card?
This isn’t a well-known fact, but buying airfare with a credit card may entitle the buyer to many protections, such as receiving compensation for a delay, or special rules that kick in once a flight is interrupted. Make sure to keep all documents on-hand in order for the process to be as quick and easy as possible.”

To read the full article, written by Dave Pflieger, click here.

Virgin America Soars High for Innovation

By David Pflieger

From start-up to stardom, Virgin America recently grabbed the number-seven spot for innovation in an AirlineTrends.com ranking of airlines. Describing Virgin America as a “no-frills-chic” carrier, the website praised the airline for its forward-looking approach to airline travel.

Some of the airline’s innovations included iconic cabin lighting, power and USB outlets in all seats, and in-flight Wi-Fi on all aircraft. These perks have helped to establish Virgin America as the preferred choice among young, urban, tech-savvy air travelers. Some industry watchers refer to the carrier as the “unofficial airline of Silicon Valley.”

From its hub in San Francisco, Virgin America currently flies to 17 cities and has plans to expand to more than 30 cities in the next five years. The fleet has also grown in recent years, from 34 aircraft in January 2011 to 51 aircraft in mid-2012. The company plans to nearly double the fleet to 111 aircraft by the end of the decade.

About David Pflieger: A decorated United States Air Force officer, David Pflieger enjoys a reputation as a respected airline industry executive. His accomplishments include serving as a key member of the start-up teams for two award-winning airlines, Virgin America and Delta Song.