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United giving up in South America?

Wow, this is a shock. According to various reports, including Flyertalk.com member “JOSECONLSCREW28”, a United (sCO, the “Continental” internal subsidiary that is still a separate operating division) flight attendant, UA is killing off the East Coast US-to-Argentina flight, leaving only a Texas-Argentina flight. They are just bailing out and giving up.

United Fleet Site banner

If you’re a serious flight geek, you can find more details of United cutbacks, including this one, on the United Fleet Site, an unofficial website that I believe he (and others) maintain. Continue reading »

Boeing: further flights of fantasy on Dreamliner battery problem

Boeing: Dreamliner battery tests should be done soon. From Boeing’s chutzpah-laden pronouncements at Friday’s press briefing in Tokyo:

Boeing says it still doesn’t know why batteries failed, but the fixes they have developed will cover any possible future problem, and the airliner should be back flying shortly.

(emphasis mine)

ANA 787 smokelinerWell, that’s a relief! They know that any possible future failure will not be a problem. No need worrying about those pesky root causes.

Look, I don’t pretend to be an aeronautical engineer. But I was a software engineer (yeah, I know, “not real engineers”), and I’ve been involved in plenty of QA, root cause analysis, risk mitigation, and similar failure post-mortems. Continue reading »

The Americas Get Their First 787 – in South America

As a new resident of South America, and a semi-regular on LAN, I’m excited by the news that today (31 Aug 2012 US West Coast date), LAN Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Though not the first Dreamliner to reach the Americas, it is the first by an American Airline, LAN Airlines, of Chile, South America. “American” referring to the single supercontinent of The Americas, taken together, as it is commonly considered by most of the non-North American world.

The "dome" upon entry to the LAN 787 - photo credit USA TodayThe Everett, Washington (main Boeing assembly location) Weekly Herald reports on the delivery. United will be the second Americas airline, getting a 787 later this North American fall, and running a new Denver to Tokyo route and other “long and narrow” routes, after some US-domestic familiarization flights. United’s partner in Star Alliance and in its deeper bilateral Trans-Pacific joint-venture revenue share deal, is already flying 787s to the USA, as is their competitor JAL.

But nobody from the Western Hemisphere is yet flying them. LAN starts the onboard party. Just look at the photo (credit USA Today) with the high-ceiling, bright mood lighting, open airy feel as you board. This isn’t an artist’s rendering or a mock-up, it’s what LAN actually got from Boeing. Sadly, United cheapened out Continue reading »

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Written by former Breckenridge Historical Society guide Lisa Marie Mercer.

Books by Travel & Fitness Writer Lisa Marie Mercer

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