American finds $2.9 billion: more routes added

It’s hard to see how the machinations of Wall Street affect the end consumer, sometimes. In the case of American Airlines and its recent pickup of $2.9 billion, you can draw a straight line from the money to the exit row.

The hefty infusion, a risky move because revenues are down and this is not a trivial amount of debt, has already prompted announcements of schedule changes … for the better. American is planning to increase flying in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami, though there will be fewer flights in Raleigh/Durham and St. Louis. Look for 57 new daily flights at O’Hare, six more from JFK, two in Los Angeles and anther 19 in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The news comes at a time when most airlines are cutting back service as a way to control costs due to reductions in passenger traffic.

Since we’ve seen what fewer flights can mean – more crowded flights, less legroom and higher odds of getting stuck in a middle seat – the financial breathing room that American has gained could actually give you more actual breathing room the next time you fly. If American fill these extra seats (at the expense of your throwing up the armrest and claiming two), it will generate more revenue, which could turn into real growth. Maybe some of that cash will be used to bring back some amenities.

Blankets, anyone?

Man can’t wait for plane to reach the gate – opens door and jumps down slide

It’s starting to look like we’ll soon need a “stupid passenger of the week” segment here on Gadling, because there certainly does not seem to be a shortage of material.

The stupid passenger for today was on his way on American Airlines from Charlotte to Dallas Fort Worth when the plane was waiting for a spot at its assigned gate.

Apparently this wait was a bit too long, so instead of grumbling and complaining loudly like most of us do, he got up, ran to the front of the plane and opened an exit door.

Of course, if you have paid attention on your flights, you’ll know that doors are still “armed” until the plane is at the gate, so when the door was opened, it deployed the emergency slide.

This handy getaway was just what this idiot needed to get off the plane and walk to the terminal.

The man has not yet been charged with any crimes, as the airport police are awaiting the results of his psychological evaluation, because apparently you have to be pretty insane to pull a stunt like this.

If he is deemed “sane”, he may be in for a whole bunch of nasty charges, varying from tampering with safety equipment to trespassing on the ramp. Then of course the is the matter of American Airlines presenting him with the bill for replacing the slide, which will run anywhere from $15k to $35k, depending on any damage he caused.