- The FAA issued an airworthiness directive requiring U.S. airlines to ground Boeing 787 Dreamliners until the aircraft is proven safe to fly. Meaning, United must ground its current fleet of six 787s until the battery issue (and possibly others) are resolved.
- Meanwhile, the FAA is seeking to ban pilots from using their portable electronic devices at any time during flight. This doesn’t include iPads and other devices necessary for their job function (United, among other airlines, issues iPads to their crews to replace traditional paper flight manuals).
- Virgin America announced new nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I’ve seen some criticism online as to their need to enter such a heavily serviced market by other airlines, but I think it’s a very “Vegas-mentality” airline to serve the route. Now if they can only fill up the planes profitably.
- United Airlines is offering bonus miles on their new San Francisco to Taipei route (“hat tip” to the linked site). Redeemable bonus miles can be earned for even the cheapest fares when traveling 4/9/13-6/30/13.
- Don’t get too excited, but free breakfast (think “continental”) is now being offered at Extended Stay America locations. It’s reportedly “to-go” only, offering oatmeal, fruit, muffins and beverages.
- American Airlines is very close to revealing a new livery, according to reports. And I have to all but guess that means a decision on a merger with US Airways as well. I sorta think they’d be announced at the same time. American’s first Boeing 777-300, currently naked-ish, begins flying January 31 from Dallas to Sao Paulo.
- United launched a new airfare hike today, yet to be determined if it’ll stick. As of 4:00 p.m. EST, no airlines have matched the increase ranging from $4 to $20 round-trip on domestic airfares.