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This is How Alaska Airlines is prepping for winter storms

Everyone knows snow can make the holidays extra cozy. But it can also cause headaches for people traveling during the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’

Peek inside Alaska Airlines’ first 737-800 retrofit(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Pacific Northwest forecasts are calling for the possibility of snow beginning this weekend and continuing throughout the week. We could see up to three separate snowstorms that could span rain/snow showers to snow actually accumulating on the ground.

How should I proceed if an aircraft is about to crash?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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At Alaska, it prepared to pull every lever to get you to your holiday destination, but disruptions from the snow and ice do happen. While team is working hard to get guests where they need to go, we want to share some of the reasons why we do what we do:

Why do the impacts feel worse in Seattle?

Seattle is Alaska’s hometown, and  operations represent the largest percentage (by a wide margin) of departures and arrivals at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) compared to other airlines. Because of this, more of guests are impacted when something impacts operations at Seattle. If another airline’s main hub got hit with a snowstorm, hurricane or power outage, they would be disproportionately impacted.

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For context, SEA has a very small footprint by acreage compared to other metropolitan airports. This constrains  ability to deice entire schedule of flights in wintry weather. Because the space doesn’t allow for that type of volume, they have to thin out their schedule to keep planes moving.

Why do we cancel flights before snow arrives?

We use numerous tools and resources to help us predict the weather. When forecasts tell us to expect snow or ice, we know we need to act. Freezing temperatures and precipitation mean that we need to deice aircraft before they can safely fly. Much like putting chains or studded tires on your car before hitting a snowy road, deicing aircraft slows down operation. This means we can’t move normal number of aircraft into and out of the airport. In order to reduce traffic jams, they need to proactively cancel flights from schedule so they can keep as many aircraft moving as possible.

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If need to cancel flights, they try and let impacted guests know as early as possible. This means it could look clear and beautiful outside, but your flight tomorrow may have been canceled.

Why does an airplane need to be deiced?

Whenever there’s any snowfall or ice on aircraft, it begin deicing procedures as part of safety protocol. Aircraft cannot safely operate if there is snow or ice accumulation on the wings or tails, so it’s critical that remove it before takeoff.

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It has a full fleet of trucks, equipment and personnel across stations ready to do that work, along with a well-stocked amount of deicing solution. They work as quickly as the airport and weather conditions will safely allow. However, deicing aircraft at the gate can lead to longer wait times on the tarmac—but safety comes first.

How to be a pro winter traveler

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  • Download mobile app to check-in, pay for bags and stay up to date on any changes to your reservation—it’s like having a travel agent at your fingertips.
  • Always check the status of your flight before heading to the airport. You can do this on mobile app or alaskaair.com.
  • Allow extra time to travel to the airport and navigate security.
  • Stay up to date on restrictions for unaccompanied minors and pets flying in the cargo hold. Often during winter weather, it will impose these restrictions to keep everyone safe.

What to do if your flight is canceled?

If your flight has been canceled, you will be contacted and reaccommodated on another flight. You will be emailed a special phone number to call if you need further help with your reaccommodation.

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Airlines

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas has broadened its codeshare partnership with IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, enhancing travel options between Australia and India. This expansion allows customers to seamlessly connect from Qantas flights in Singapore to IndiGo’s services to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Previously, the codeshare arrangement enabled passengers on Qantas flights arriving in Bengaluru and Delhi to connect onto IndiGo domestic services to 21 destinations across India. Now, travelers can enjoy a more streamlined journey by transferring through Singapore.

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Additionally, the new arrangement allows customers to incorporate overnight stopovers in Singapore into their travel plans before continuing to Delhi or Mumbai. This provides greater flexibility and convenience for those wishing to explore the city or rest before their onward journey.

Qantas passengers traveling on IndiGo flights benefit from the same checked baggage allowance as their flight from Australia and receive complimentary food and beverages. Furthermore, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem points on connecting IndiGo flights (with a QF code) between Singapore and India.

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This partnership expansion comes alongside Qantas’s recent announcement of increased flights to both India and Singapore. Specifically, flights between Sydney and Bengaluru will become daily during the peak holiday season, complemented by additional flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Singapore.

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Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic finds itself embroiled in legal proceedings as over 200 former cabin crew members launch a lawsuit against the airline, alleging discriminatory practices during the period of the pandemic.

The dispute centers on accusations that the company unfairly targeted older employees for dismissal while retaining newer, less costly hires.

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The pandemic’s onset in March 2020 triggered a cascade of challenges for the aviation industry, leading Virgin Atlantic to ground a significant portion of its fleet. In response, the airline swiftly implemented cost-cutting measures, including the reduction of its workforce by over 40%, amounting to the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Additionally, it established a “holding pool” for potentially rehiring redundant staff once normal operations resumed. However, the crux of the legal battle lies in the claim that Virgin Atlantic retained approximately 350 new cabin crew members, some with minimal training periods as short as a week.

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While simultaneously letting go of experienced onboard managers, many of whom boasted an average age of 45 years and two decades of service. This perceived discrepancy forms the backbone of the lawsuit, with former employees contending that age became a determining factor in the airline’s decision-making process.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic representative stated: “Virgin Atlantic had to make very difficult decisions following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.” Regretfully, this meant a 45% reduction in the total number of employees within the company.

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End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

Qantas has officially bid farewell to its last Boeing 767 aircraft, marking the end of an era that began nearly four decades ago.

The final 767, a dedicated freighter variant registered as VH-EFR, operated its last flight on May 17, 2024. This concluding journey took it from Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD) under the flight number QF7526, closing the chapter on Qantas’s use of the 767 after 39 years.

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The Australian airline commemorated the occasion with an Instagram post on Friday, announcing the retirement of VH-EFR, their last remaining 767. According to Cirium Ascend Fleet Analyzer data, this aircraft is a little over 18 years old. It joined the Qantas fleet in 2011, having previously served Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a cargo plane.

Despite being owned by Qantas, the aircraft was operated by Express Freighters Australia under the Qantas Freight brand.

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The Boeing 767 has had a versatile history with Qantas. Initially, the aircraft was used on international routes, flying to destinations in New Zealand, Asia, and North America. Following the 1992 merger with Australian Airlines, the 767s were increasingly deployed for domestic services as well.

Although Qantas is retiring this specific freighter, the Boeing 767-300 freighter model remains active globally. Records indicate that 280 of these aircraft are still operational, serving 14 airlines around the world.

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