United is contacting passengers who flew in and out of Dulles with Duncan and telling them how to contact health officials. United officials decline to say how many passengers were on the flights. The Brussels-to-Dulles flight used a Boeing 777 with 266 seats and the flight to Dallas used an Airbus A320 with 138 seats. United did a routine overnight ‘thorough cleaning’ after the flights:
Including cleaning of lavatories and galleys with heavy-duty all-purpose cleaners and wiping tray tables and armrests with disinfectant … We continue to clean and route the planes throughout our network as usual.
Some 2,500 flight attendants are accepting offers to retire early. The payments received are as high as $100,000. Approximately 400 more workers than expected took the severance offer. According to a company memo, the departures will begin on November 30.
Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport, which is operated by United, is scheduled to receive a $120 million makeover. Some 6,000 Apple iPads will be available for customers to place orders at restaurants. The first changes will be made within weeks, and the makeover is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.
United Airlines and Orbitz file a civil suit against Aktarer Zaman, 22, who develops the website Skiplagged.com. The website allows travelers to find cheaper flights using “hidden city” ticketing. The strategy is to buy a ticket with a layover, where the layover is the traveler’s actual destination. Zaman:
(Hidden city ticketing) have been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers.
Severe turbulence on a flight bound to Hawaii injures seven people, six flight crew and one passenger. Two crew members declined medical attention, while the other people were transported to a hospital. United is investigating the incident:
Our primary focus is helping our passengers and crew, and our flight safety team will review what happened.
Multiple bomb threats are made against U.S. airlines in five major cities. Government sources:
The TSA Operations Center in Washington, DC had received a phone threat stating that there was an explosive device on the plane, [flight from San Diego to Philadelphia]. Out of an abundance of caution the airport declared a bomb threat and moved the plane to a remote area. In addition to the U.S. Airways flight, threats were made on a Delta flight to Atlanta, a United flight to Chicago O’Hare, a Korean Air flight to San Francisco and a Volaris Air flight to Guadalajara, Mexico, according to government sources.
A flight to Boston from Denver is diverted because a man refuses to stop smoking in the lavatory. The flight returns after about a half hour of flying. The man is taken to a hospital for detoxification, and the flight cancelled because the crew would have exceeded the maximum allowable flight hours if they took off again.
A computer system glitch grounds and delays 3500 United Airlines flights, causing a ripple effect of heavy delays throughout major airports. Aviation experts said that delays of even 90 minutes could have a snowball effect triggering flight delays at each late flight’s destination. The FAA specifically blames the ground stop on “automation issues”. Passengers complain of system backups and long lines. Gate agents at some locations are forced to write tickets by hand.
We experienced a network connectivity issue this morning. We are working to resolve this and apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.
The US Department of Transportation is investigating five airlines (Delta, JetBlue, American, United and Southwest) for increasing fares following the Amtrak 188 crash of May 12th. The letter is due in 30 days and there is a separate investigation by the Justice department. According to a copy of the letter sent to Delta’s chief counsel the DOT wants a spreadsheet of the average fare by market, day, and fare class for flights on routes in the corridor from April 28th to May 26th. It also wants the number of tickets sold and passengers carried, as well as comparison data from last year, as well as ten other requests. Transportation Secretary Foxx:
The idea that any business would seek to take advantage of stranded rail passengers in the wake of such a tragic event is unacceptable. This department takes all allegations of airline price-gouging seriously, and we will pursue a thorough investigation of these consumer complaints.
The airlines have denied wrongdoing and have pledged to co-operate.
American, Delta, and United ban the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo, animals known in Africa as the “big five”, because they are the hardest to kill on foot. Delta, the only American airline to fly directly between the United States and Johannesburg, will also review policies on accepting other hunting trophies with government agencies and other organizations that support legal shipments.
Munoz suffers a heart attack and is taken to a Chicago hospital. United directors are waiting to hear back from Munoz’s family and his doctors about the severity of the attack, then decide whether the big airline needs an interim leader.