More Trouble for Boeing?

Unable to get their new 737 MAX back in the air this year so far, inspectors have recently found “wing related cracks and damage” in nearly 40 older 737s.  The cracks or structural damage has been found in the parts that attach the wings to the body of the aircraft — Boeing said  they were “looking for the root cause” of the damage?  Guess that’s Boeing talk for “we have no idea what to look for.”

Conde Nast Says Alaska Air is the Best!

Conde Nast Traveler readers have once again — 2 years running now — picked Alaska as the best US carrier! Although the TC thinks they could use some help with their checked bag programs — after the carrier recently misplaced his bag on a normally short and easy flight from Sonoma County to LAX — all ended well after the carrier found the bag in Las Vegas and delivered 2 days later —  reminding the TC to remind you “don’t put anything valuable in your checked luggage!!!

Alaska Airlines Students Invited for Delivery Flight

NASA Opens International Space Station Reservations to Tourists

NASA is, for the first time ever, allowing tourists to make reservations to visit international space stations — prices will start at $35,000 a night and do not include costs for the rocket to get you there and back.  Your nightly fee will include air, bed, water, internet and the use of a toilet — with a maximum of a 30 day visit!  The transport rocket, being developed for NASA by Boeing and Space X, will run a minimum of $60 million and could go as hight as $90 million.  No word on baggage and carry on restrictions?

US Global Entry Program in Slow Motion

The popular “fast track” US Passport expedited screening program has slowed service because of a a huge backlog of applicants and staff available to process applications.  The program, run by U.S Customs and Border Protection, has even had to close some of their airport application centers with staff being moved to help out with other priorities on the southern boarders of the US.  The agency says it could take more than 100 days to process a new or renewal application —might be worthwhile to check out other options, especially if just interested in TSA Pre-Check domestic programs??? 

The new US Customs and Border Protetion Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network kiosks are seen at Dulles International Airport (IAD), December 21, 2011 in Sterling, Virgina, near Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Watch Out for Restroom Cameras When You Fly?

Yes — it really can happen, and has recently on a United flight from San Diego to Houston. Female passenger noticed a video camera in the jets first class bathroom, but the passenger who installed the camera shot video of himself first. the FBI is now “talking” with him (seems they also found other bathroom flight videos on his camera).  Be watchful when you travel — especially of small blinking lights when using the aircraft restroom!!!

FAA Says Pitbulls OK to Fly

The FAA now says that, with proper paperwork (medical, etc.), Pit Bulls are ok to travel as emotional support animals — but bans of emotional support snakes are still in place meaning they aren’t coming on the plane with you.  Most experts agree that the pet emotional support flying program has gotten way out of hand and is really only a “ploy” by passengers to avoid paying fees for traveling with Fido and other assorted critters!

Look for record air travel crowds this fall and holidays

… And for fares to increase.  Nearly 3 million people a day took to flight over last month’s 4-day Labor Day weekend — and more to come for fall travel and upcoming holidays.  

Major carriers like American, Southwest and United are fighting capacity and scheduling issues with now long term 737 Max flight safety issues — that have forced capacity cut backs and blocked deliveries — and some route cancellations.  And all this with record setting revenue — maybe less is good for airlines — especially if they can sneak in price increases?