Your Weekend Reads for March 3, 2017

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer screens an international passengers arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport Photo by Glenn Fawcett/CBP

You may have heard of a recent incident when passengers on a flight from San Francisco to New York were asked to show “documents” to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents as they deplaned. The big question was whether Customs could require U.S. citizens to produce documents on demand that shows their citizenship. This article in the Atlantic says no, but with further explanation, because the answer isn’t quite so simple.

And on the heels of that, airports and civil rights lawyers are preparing for the next travel ban coming from President Donald Trump, reports Skift. Reports have the revised travel ban coming in the next few days with a promise that it will be rolled out in a more orderly way. It is expected to focus on six of the seven original countries (Iraq was removed) banned, but won’t target  travelers who already have visas to come to the U.S.

A first class Etihad Airways suite with the seat transformed into a lie-flat bed. Photo courtesy of Etihad

A first class Etihad Airways suite with the seat transformed into a lie-flat bed. Photo courtesy of Etihad

Thanks to my work, I’ve had the opportunity to fly in some great first class cabins. But as airlines worldwide have focused on upgrading their business class offerings, it leads to this question from APEX Media: Is the First-Class Cabin Becoming Obsolete? It was noted by attendees at the recent Business Travel Show in London that first-class products from the airlines were “conspicuously underrepresented.” The magazine noted that first class is effectively disappearing as airlines go through their fleet replacement processes.

Eighty-five percent of people who traveled by air in 2016 said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their air travel experience, up from 80 percent in 2015 according to a study by Airlines for America, reports Marketwatch. And a new study by The Points Guy reveals that Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based ultra-low-cost-carrier Spirit Airlines is the worst carrier in America. The study looked at factors including price, convenience, headaches like lost baggage and extras like lounges and frequent flyer programs.

Scott Hamilton of Leeham News and Comment posts about AirAsia X’s long road to becoming profitable. Started in 2007, the long-haul unit of AirAsia was stymied after choosing the Airbus A330-200 and A340-300, two thirsty aircraft during a time when fuel prices were at record highs as it struggled to become profitable.  

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It was big news when Delta Air Lines announced it was adding the Airbus A350 to its fleet after Boeing lost its battle to sell the Atlanta-based carrier its 787 Dreamliner. Delta recently gave the public a sneak peek of the A350-900 taking shape at Airbus’s assembly line in Toulouse, France. The A350, expected to be delivered this fall, will have 32 Delta One suites, 48 seats in the Delta Premium Select cabin and 226 Main Cabin seats, reports the Delta News Hub.

On March 20, 2012, Arkansas’ Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission voted to rename the city’s airport the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport to honor its former governor and his wife, the former Secretary of State. And now state Rep. Jason Rapert (R) has filed a bill that could remove their names from the airport, reports NPR.  The bill would forbid the state from naming facilities built with public money after people who are still alive.

Here are my four picks for more stories you should read over the weekend. Enjoy!

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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