I was looking for a better seat on my next Delta flight (no luck there) when I happened on a smart new feature on the airline’s Web site — a link to add flight details to my electronic calendar with one click.
The feature works for Outlook, the Mac’s iCal and the Yahoo! and Gmail calendars.
I have to hand it to Delta, which has always been a leader in integrating its reservations system and its Web site. A sweet little feature like that may not be enough to win my business on its own, but every little bit helps.
Delta has announced that it will begin twice-daily flights Nov. 1 between Bradley and Raleigh-Durham, The Hartford Courant reports. Starting in October, Delta will start also flying once a week between Bradley and Las Vegas and three times a day to Reagan National in Washington. Coincidentally, this news arrived just as I was booking my daughter on one of Delta’s last direct flights between Bradley and Los Angeles, which will drop off the schedule Sept. 26. Sadly, there will no longer be any transcontinental flights out of Bradley at all.
The Department of Transportation has fined Delta Air Lines $375,000 for the way it has handled involuntary bumps of passengers, although $200,000 of the fine will be forgiven if Delta goes forth and sins no more, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The DOT’s consent decree (Chris Elliott has posted it) says that on some occasions Delta denied boarding to passengers without first asking for volunteers to accept compensation for giving up their seats, that it failed to give written notice to passengers who were bumped involuntarily and that it didn’t compensate bumped passengers in a timely way.
Delta was supposed to start flying today between Atlanta and Nairobi, but didn’t. The new route has been nixed by the U.S. government, citing safety concerns.
The last-minute cancellation has caused something of a diplomatic incident in Kenya, where the U.S. ambassador has been called on the carpet to explain, Reuters reports.
Delta is the only U.S. airline to fly its own planes (rather than code-sharing with foreign airlines) to Africa, and has been expanding its flights to the continent, AFP reports. The Nairobi flight was welcomed in Kenya, and flights had been sold out for weeks.
ABC News reports that the decision was made by Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on the advice of the Transportation Security Administration because of increased fighting in neighboring Somalia.
Last week I finally boarded a plane with on-board wi-fi but the magic moment sputtered out. I didn’t even fire up the netbook to try it out.
For one thing, I was whipped — groggy and cranky on the final leg of an 18-hour, four-airport, red-eye journey from Kauai to Hartford. For another thing, it cost too much.
Delta charges $9.95 for a wi-fi connection on flights of less than three hours and $12.95 for longer flights. I was heading from Atlanta to Hartford, a flight that takes two and a half hours. But with the ban on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing, I’d get less than two hours of connection time. At more than $5 an hour, it just didn’t feel worth it.
I might have shelled out on the earlier flight from Honolulu to Atlanta, had wi-fi been available, but therein lies another issue. Delta’s Gogo Internet service from Aircell doesn’t work over the ocean because the signal comes from land-based towers.
So, anyway, I expected to be happier about this. Maybe next time.