layovers ✈︎ air travel and commercial aviation

004 GVA - US3 versus ME3, SkyMall, Google Glass at airports, La Compagnie

Episode Summary

Flight 004. US voices rise against Gulf airlines, SkyMall rises from the ashes, a business-only airline rises above the Atlantic, drones will now carefully rise, airside eyes rise for Google Glass and airport codes rise in complexity.

Episode Notes


We implemented a new recording method for this episode, which improves on the sound. We realize that the mixing is not yet perfect but we know that John Biggs will continue pushing us towards perfection.

I. News of the week

US airlines vs the Gulf Airlines

Open-Skies Agreements Challenged — Jad Mouawad, The New York Times

U.S airlines disclose details of booking lost to Gulf carriers — Jeffrey Dastin, Reuters

Emirates Boss Strikes Back at U.S Airlines for Hiding Behind Bankruptcies — Mary Schlangenstein and Michael Sasso, Bloomberg via Skift

Emirates Chairman Says U.S. Airlines Should Stop Complaining and Improve Their Service — Matthew Winkler, Dale Crofts and Deena Kamel Yousef, Bloomberg via Skift

The U.S Airlines' Hypocrisy on Protectionism in the Skies — Colin Nagy, Skift

Boeing reviving the 757?

Boeing Weighs Options to Reprise Aging 757s — Jon Ostrower and Robert Wall, The Wall Street Journal ($)

Boeing reject business case for 757 re-engining — Stephen Trimble, FlightGlobal

Air Lease CEO Weighs In on Boeing's 757 Dilemma — Jon Ostrower, The Wall Street Journal

AirUber or SpotifyAir?

Surf Air Founders Jet To The East Coast With New Private Flight Service Beacon — Sarah Buhr, Techcrunch

Jet Aviation Zurich signs exclusive service agreement with Take Air membership airline — Jet Aviation

Take Air

SkyMall reborn

SkyMall Will Fly Again. Get Ready for a New Pilot. — Scott Jordan, LinkedIn

Expedia buys airline-incepted Orbitz

Expedia to buy Orbitz in cash deal worth $1.6 billion — Kevin May, Tnooz

Expedia Hopes Orbitz Acquisition Will Help It Sell More Flights — Dennis Schaal, Skift

Korean Air executive goes to jail over nuts

Korean Air executive jailed in 'nut rage' case — BBC News

Parliament split over IAG' s acquisition of Aer Lingus, RyanAir driven out

Irish political storm erupts after BA is cleared for takeover at Aer Lingus — Simon Goodley and Henry McDonald, The Guardian

Government backing key for IAG's Aer Lingus bid, says City — Nick Fletcher, The Guardian

Airbus loses only A380 VVIP client

Airbus Cancels Only VVIP A380 Order — Thierry Dubois, AIN Online

Airbus Billionaire Study — Paul Papadimitriou, Layovers

The Fabulous Life Of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud — Forbes


II. Innovation in AirTech, PaxEx and Design

JetBlue introduces Apple Pay

JetBlue will soon let you buy in the sky with Apple Pay — Mariella Moon, Engadget

JetBlue's Apple Pay play begs questions about live CC processing — Mary Kirby, RunwayGirl Network

FAA proposes drone rules

US DOT issues proposed rulemaking for small UAS in commercial airspace — Graham Warwick, ATW Online

Dubai Airport briefly closed due to illegal drone activity — Aviation Safety Network

Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems — FAA (PDF)

Know Before You Fly

AMS trials Google Glass

Schiphol innovates with Google Glass — Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (video)

JAL experiments Google Glass at Honolulu Airport — Aviation Wire (Japanese)

BA goes tablet for logbook

BA first with electronic logbook for 787 fleet — David Learmount, FlightGlobal

Airplane family seating

Thomson Airways waffles on timing of Family Booth seating — Maryann Simson, Runway Girl Network

Lufthansa introduces vintage 747 livery

Lufthansa Paints a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Retro Livery — Malcolm Muir, Airline Reporter

Lufthansa's new basic 1968 Boeing 747-830 retro jet — Bruce Drum, World Airline News

Flying the 747-8 is like driving a Porsche, Lufthansa celebrates — Paul Papadimitriou, Layovers

RyanAir talks smartwatches

Ryanair to woo passengers with smartwatch technology — Natalie Paris, Telegraph

Ryanair exploring smartwatch technology to help simplify travel experience — Ryan Ghee, Future Travel Experience

SWISS' amazing footage

Breathtaking footage of a SWISS A320 slaloming the Swiss Alps — Paul Papadimitriou, Layovers

United tests a new website

Sneak peek: United nears roll-out of anticipated new website — Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today

Delta goes Starbucks

Starbucks, Dunkin & Lift - Oh My! Coffee Keeps Passengers Going — Malcolm Muir, Airline Reporter


III. App of the week



IV. Debate of the week

Can a business-only airline finally succeed?

The Rise Of The New All-Business Class Carrier — Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

Is La Compagnie a real business-only airline? — Paul Papadimitriou, Layovers

The Most Ridiculous Airline Aspiration of the Century — Ben Schlappig, One Mile At A Time


V. Question of the week

Why do Canadian airports have a Y prefix, whereas the ones in the UK are more city-related? And why is LAX called LAX? by Keir Whitaker in Bath, UK

The three-letter airport code history is both simple and complicated. The origins can be found in meteorological stations, regulations, old city names, airfield names. Listen to the segment for a run-down!


VI. Airport of the week

Paul's hometown airport. It has an unusually long runway for an airport this size (longer than SFO, HKG and on-par with LHR, just to take the airports covered in episodes 001, 002 and 003). Part of it was actually on French territory, but countries decided to exchange land to make it swiss while maintaining their respective land mass.

Geneva is home to the United Nations and many of its bodies (HCR, WIPO, WHO, ITU to name a few) but also the IATA and the EBACE aviation trade fair. Many multinationals (Nestle), financial institutions and organizations (the Olympic committee) are also located nearby, which also explains the importance of the airport relative to its size. Many countries also source the ink for their bank notes through that port of call.

If you have to go through passport control, chances are you will be bussed. Always go close to the doors on the right side of the bus, you'll exit quicker to immigration—which can get cramped at times (the zone shall be refurbished soon, we hear).

Before customs, at the baggage belts, is a machine that delivers a 80 minutes free public transport ticket. It's not well-advertised, but worth it as cabs do not all take credit cards. Take the train over the bus to go to the center of the city with that ticket. All trains stop a Geneva central station and you'll be there in a short 5 minutes. 

Leaving Geneva Airport, make sure you take a look at the security gates at the end, there's often less people than the ones people turn first at (there's a Fast Track corridor on both ends). You can also try to go through the F gates—although usually reserved for passengers traveling to France, staff might let y