Those that travel frequently between New York’s LaGuardia and Chicago’s O’Hare airport know that it is among the more tedious routes to fly, particularly if you’re traveling on a legacy carrier. Older, less comfortable airplanes, tiny overhead bins packed to the gills with carry-on luggage, and heavy flight traffic are all the norm, leading to plenty of stressed-out travelers.
It’s for exactly these reasons I’ve found myself pleasantly surprised in recent months by Delta’s stellar shuttle service operating out of LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal. It’s a service designed to cater to frequent travelers in key markets, concentrating only on those that fly between New York to either Boston Logan, Washington Reagan or Chicago O’Hare. The smaller, out-of-the-way terminal location means much shorter security lines and less crowds, and they’ve fitted the place out with comfy leather seats, lots of power ports, and complimentary newspapers and magazines. What’s more, the carrier announced this week that Wi-Fi is now available on all shuttle flights, always a nice perk. Pair that with complimentary beer and wine in economy class and you’ll begin to feel like you’re flying up in first.
True, there are downsides to the service. Skittish fliers that don’t like small planes probably won’t like the smaller Embraer 170’s Delta uses on the route. And for anyone not traveling to Boston, Washington DC or Chicago, you’re pretty much out of luck if you wish to try this one out. Still, for travelers looking to enjoy a little extra flying comfort leaving from LaGuardia, the airport most conveniently located near Manhattan (JFK, ahem, I’m not looking at you…) give Delta Shuttle a try.
[Photo by Flickr user redlegsfan21]
Two hours into a Tarmac delay, have you ever wondered why passengers aren’t allowed to be in the lav during taxi and takeoff? It’s actually got to do with the FAA rules for protecting a passenger during a potential crash — there have to be enough restraints in place to provide ample protection, and without a seatbelt and surrounding support a toilet-bound passenger could be in serious trouble in an emergency.
Seems like a reasonable restriction for commercial passengers, but what about high paying private passengers? Brazillian airframe manufacturer Embraer has your solution: seatbelts on toilet seats. The Phenom 100, Embraer’s very light business jet is just about to get approval from the FAA for toilet assisted take-offs and landings, meaning that luxury passengers wont have to move from their comfortable spot before leaving the Tarmac.
According to SeattlePi, current Phenom 100 owners will be able to upgrade their equipment later this year.
You might think they’re new, but you may have already flown them. They’re ExpressJet, the Houston-based regional contract carrier for Continental, often branded Continental Express (since they were spun off of Continental back in 2002).
Following in the footsteps of the now-defunct Independence Air (the former contract carrier that lasted 19 months on its own after losing its United Airlines’ contract), they’re starting service on their own, since Continental’s shifted some of their business over to their other contract carrier, Chautauqua Airlines.
Flying forty-four of the familiar 50-seat Embraer jets, they plan to serve 24 smaller regional airports, avoiding airports where the big airlines have hubs. Look for them in smaller cities like Sacramento, Spokane, Boise, El Paso, Raleigh, San Diego, and others.