From the trivial to the hypothetical, here’s what’s being talked about in the world of air travel. Southwest bans peanuts; TSA considers eliminating screenings; and Delta expands trans-Atlantic, North American partnerships.
Southwest Bans Peanuts
Better refresh that low fare calendar. Southwest deals are the only peanuts you’re going to get (to pay for) from now on. The airline has discontinued the snack on all flights starting August 1 in effort to protect those with allergies. According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, peanuts are one of the eight most allergenic foods, and carry potentially lethal consequences for affected passengers.
“[The] ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight,” the carrier said in its statement. “We hope that our free pretzels, served along with our legendary Southwest Hospitality, will please customers who might be nostalgic or sad to see peanuts go.”
TSA Considers Security-Free Airports
Come again? The Transportation Security Administration is considering discontinuing security screenings at some 150 airports across the country, reports CNN. If the proposal is accepted, some small and medium-sized airports serving planes with less than or exactly 60 seats will no longer screen passengers or luggage before boarding. The estimated 10,000 passengers affected daily will be screened at major airports if connecting. Proponents say it could save $115 million annually to bolster security at major airports. Opponents say, are you crazy?
Delta Spreads Trans-Atlantic Wings
Three’s company; four’s a crowd. Delta is chasing a coveted spot in the trans-Atlantic air travel market by forming an expanded joint venture with Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM. Alitalia, which is a part of Delta’s current trans-Atlantic partnership, isn’t invited. Arrivederci. (And good luck with the Italian bankruptcy procedure.) The airlines in the future partnership account for 25 percent of the U.S.-U.K. market, and plan to compete with low, low-cost airlines such as Iceland’s WOW Air. Stay tuned for competitive fares, increased flight routes and shared mileage and lounge access, they say. Meanwhile, in North America, Delta and Canada’s WestJet have expanded their trans-border partnership, sharing 68 Delta routes to 32 Canadian cities and 193 WestJet routes to 83 U.S. cities.