Southwest Airlines introduces Florida-themed plane and a Florida fare sale

“Florida One” a new Southwest Airlines plane decked out with an image of the state flag, was unveiled at Tampa International Airport this morning.

It’s now making the rounds at the five other Florida cities Southwest currently serves: Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers.

Southwest is adding service to the new Panama City Beach airport on May 23.

Florida One is the 13th themed plane in Southwest’s fleet, which includes planes that honor the NBA, SeaWorld and several other states.

To keep up the Florida festivities, Southwest announced a fare sale to and from its Florida airports, with fares starting at $49. The discounts are for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between May 11 and June 23.

The fare sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Monday, April 26.

Super Bowl attracts fewer private jets

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: rich people feel pain, too. Super Bowl weekend is usually a big one for private jet rental, but a fierce recession is forcing more to take airlines or … dare I say it … watch the game at home.

Around 750 private jets are expected to touch down in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII, down 25 percent from last year’s 1,000. The last time the Super Bowl was played in Tampa – eight years ago – 1,250 of these chariots of privilege came to town.

The sting is quite real for, a Quincy, MA company in the chartering business. Last year, the company sold 55 Super Bowl charters. This year, only 18 have been booked. And, let’s be realistic. With only a day left, I just don’t believe another 37 will be nailed down at the last minute.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of stupidity at the destination. Ed Cooley, a senior director at Tampa International who oversees aviation planning for the Super Bowl, says, “We just don’t know” the reason for the private jet drop-off.


[Via St. Petersburg Times]

Missing a laptop? Baggage handlers arrested with stolen goods

As far as I can tell, I haven’t had anything stolen from baggage in my travels. I’ve had it opened with an official notice left inside that it’s been searched. As we’ve found out by messages about baggage handlers posted on Gadling–this post has 276 comments–others have not been so fortunate. Some people, though, may get their stolen goods back–not necessarily those who have told us of their woes, but other people.

According to this article at, three baggage handlers, employees of Delta Global Services that were contracted by Continental Airlines, were arrested at the Tampa International Airport for stealing goods. From my understanding, it sounds like the police suspected baggage handling funny business because a laptop in bag that was to go to Houston was rigged. The computer didn’t make it to Houston. Instead it was sold. When the new owner turned the computer on, it transmitted a signal so it could be traced. By back-tracking from the woman who bought the computer, the police were able to find out who stole it. Good deal!

Now comes the business of finding the people so they can be reunited with their belongings. Some belongings were still in the thieves’ possession. In case you’re wonder what your electronics are worth to the person who steals them:

  • laptops: $60
  • digital cameras: $50
  • iPods: $10