Here are some news bits around the travel and running world from over the weekend that caught my attention.
New Greek Airline Coming
Supposedly, starting in April of this year, the “Athens Spirit” airline will be taking flight. They have filed for certification and are starting out with four A319 jets and two A340 jets. Compare this to the 61 aircraft in the fleet of the main airline in Greece, Aegean Airlines, or even the 10 aircraft fleet or relative newcomer Ellinair.
The A340 jets are interesting as no other Greek airline operates jets of that size. Also, I am not sure that airports other than Larnaca, Athens, and Thessaloniki would even be able to handle them (though I’m not sure) so it should be interesting to see which destinations these jets serve.
This could be good news if they run some daily flights between the two largest cities in Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki. Ryanair (who has operated a significant schedule of flights within Greece domestic routes) announced last month that they are ending their flights between Thessaloniki and Athens. It would be good for Aegean to get some competition on that route again.
Link: Greek City Times
Flight Returns to LAX 3 Times
Call this an unfortunate series of delay! An Hawaiian Air flight bound from LAX airport to Maui ended up having to return to LAX 3 times for 3 separate issues. In the end, passengers were accommodated and given refunds and $100 flight credits. Nice move by Hawaiian to keep customers from getting really upset with such a series of delays. I mean, at least they caught these problems on these separate systems but 3 different faults on the same plane seems a bit excessive!
How Often Do Airplane Blankets Get Cleaned?
This article has claims from people who said they worked as flight attendants and attest to the story that blankets are typically just folded and put away for the next customers – without being washed. They say the cleanest linens of the day are on the first flight, after that, who knows?
Speaking of catching that first flight of the day, it appears that may be the only time your tray table has been really cleaned (on flights that overnight). While early morning flights may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you want to have the cleanest plane experience, it may pay to catch that one. Or, you know, just bring your own blanket and don’t use the tray table!
Airline “Mr. Fixit” to the Rescue of WOW Air?
WOW Air, along with other very budget airlines, has been having some cash struggles. I mean, I guess we could all see this coming when they have flights for under $70 sometimes to cross the Atlantic! Yes, they make a lot more on the unbundled fees (like checked bag, food, seat selection, larger carryon, etc) but they created a culture of airline travelers that knew how to pack to really take advantage of tickets that were cheaper than a bus ticket to grandma’s house.
So now comes a new investor, Bill Franke. His equity firm owns Frontier Airlines and he wants to stop the bleeding at WOW. Can he do it? While I have never flown WOW before, I love that there is such an option for the minimalist traveler to see the world on a really cheap budget. I would fly them if they flew to my airport (it is not worth the cost and hassle to connect since I can use points for cheaper, more direct travel with an airline I have status with).
Woman Finds a Puppy and Carries it for 19 Miles of a Marathon
This story has been making the media circuit for a little bit now. A woman running a marathon in Thailand found what she reasoned to be an abandoned puppy around mile 7 of her marathon. She picked it up and ran with it for the last 19 miles and has now adopted it. Wow, to both her and the puppy being able to cover that distance together!
Link: NY Post
Runners Brave the Cold in the North for the 135 Mile Arrowhead Ultramarathon
I really feel for all of you in the northern US with the recent cold! I mean, being from NY, I have had cold but never that cold! Well, imagine this – you are that cold already but now you go out and run 135 miles in the snow and cold. 🙂 This is the very, very winter edition of the Death Valley Badwater race and runners were actually embracing the frigid conditions. I mean, this kind of race attracts runners that love the challenge of everything. When I was running with my friend at Badwater, one runner was bent over puking his guts out around mile 40. A race photographer jumped out of a car and started snapping photos saying, “This is going to cause another 100 people to throw their names in for the race next year.” Yeah, it is a different bread of runner that loves these events! 🙂
Featured image courtesy of Airbus