Your Aviation Weekend Reads for January 26, 2017

An exterior shot of Kansas City International Airport. Photo courtesy of Kansas City International Airport

An exterior shot of Kansas City International Airport. Photo courtesy of Kansas City International Airport

During the campaign, one of the big priorities for President Donald J. Trump was major spending on infrastructure, including airports and air traffic control. More details of what he wants to do were released in an exclusive document –with $137 billion and 50 projects — revealed by McClatchy D.C. The include $10 billion for NextGen air traffic control system, a new terminal for the Kansas City International Airport and a high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston.

Speaking of Trump, the Big Three U.S. legacy carriers — American, Delta and United — are hoping that the new president will be more sympathetic to halting expansion by the Big Three Middle Eastern carriers — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways — reports Skift. The U.S. carriers have been fighting this expansion, and the latest shot fired was an announcement that Emirates was launching a Dubai-Athens-New York flight. The  Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, a trade group representing United, Delta and American, called the move a violation of the Open Skies agreement.

Staying in the Middle East, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths has offered to give advice to President Trump on how to fix America’s airports, reports Skift. During the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, candidate Trump echoed sentiments expressed by former Vice President Joe Biden, saying “Our airports are like from a third-world country. You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, LAX, and you come in from Dubai, China, you see these incredible airports and you land, we’ve become a third-world country,” according to NewsMax.

Sometimes I get slightly peeved with how the media reports on the airlines. An example is how they reported the Basic Economy fares announced by United and American to compete with ultra-low-cost carriers. With these low fares, travelers can’t put anything in the overhead bin, they can’t choose their seats in advance and there are no refunds if a flight is canceled. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is unhappy that “one of the last sacred conveniences of air travel” is being eliminated, reports Fortune. He wants to fight back by pushing to expand the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights in the upcoming FAA bill to ban the practice.

Whenever I fly these days, I make sure that I have magazines and at least two movies downloaded on my iPad. While I appreciate that airlines offer inflight movies, unless you’re flying out of the country, the selection is usually limited and it’s cut to hell in order not to offend passengers. The Runway Girl Network issued a statement explaining why it won’t offer seatback screens in its new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX jets. “More than 90 percent of our passengers already bring a device or screen with them when they fly. So it makes sense for American to focus on giving customers the best entertainment and fast connection options rather than installing seatback monitors that will be obsolete within a few years,” the airline said.

A United Airlines Boeing 747. Photo courtesy of United

A United Airlines Boeing 747. Photo courtesy of United

Anyone who knows me knows that I am 100 percent in love with the Boeing 747, the jumbo jet dubbed “The Queen of the Skies.” I love this plane so much I made it a part of my Aviation Queen logo. I knew it was coming, but long-time operator United Airlines has announced that it will retire the 747, with the last flight scheduled for Oct. 29, 2017, reports Airways magazine.

Travel is uncivilized enough these days,with cramped flights and airports getting on our very last nerves. I wrote a post on my Aviation Queen blog on rules passengers should obey to keep things calm while traveling. And now Lizzie Post — the great-great-granddaughter of the legendary etiquette expert Emily Post — has offered her own air travel etiquette tips in Budget Travel magazine.

My apologies for skipping the past two weeks. I moved during that time, and lots of things fell by the wayside. So please enjoy reading these five stories over the weekend.

17096557489_f0c56cdd15_kEDITOR’S NOTE: Benét J. Wilson is a freelance aviation/travel writer based in Baltimore who is available for your writing and branded content/content marketing projects. She’s the Air Travel Expert for About.com. Follow her travel-related magazines on Flipboard: Best of About Travel, a joint curation venture with her fellow About Travel Experts; Travel-Go! There’s Nothing Stopping You, all about the passenger experience on the ground and in the air; and Aviation Geek, a joint magazine sharing everything you need to know about the commercial aviation industry. Check out her travel-related boards on Pinterest and follow her on Twitter at @AvQueenBenet, on her Aviation Queen Facebook Page and on Instagram at aviationqueen.

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