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Thursday Roundup: JetBlue to Trinidad; Aer Lingus Flat Beds?; Virgin America Safety Video Fine, and More

Been a bit of a crazy week here at OTR HQ (work trip, sick child, first week of school, etc) so let’s boil the news down into some tasty bits:

- TSA is planning to adopt a 3-tiered screening system for passengers and baggage, assigning you and your bags to either an “expedited, standard or enhanced” security system at the airport. If you’re signed up for Pre-Check, you’ll go through the expedited process. TSA is opening Pre-Check to the general public this fall, which would allow everyone to go through a 1-time initial background check and, for $85, gain access to the incredibly wonderful Pre-Check lines at airports nationwide.

- How congested is LaGuardia? I flew US Airways 4121 from LaGuardia to Philadelphia (on my way to Cincinnati) on Monday and the flight was scheduled for 1 hour and 18 minutes. Amtrak’s “slow” Keystone Service train from New York Penn Station to Philadelphia’s 30th Street station is scheduled for, ahem, 1 hour and 18 minutes.

- Because Virgin America did not want to put captions for the hearing impaired over its beautiful in-flight safety videos, the DoT has fined the airline $150,000.

- Wyndham will begin an overhaul of its Howard Johnson properties next year which will involve eliminating the Howard Johnson Inn, Express Inn, and Plaza brands.

- JetBlue will launch service to Port of Spain, Trinidad, (likely from JFK) beginning summer of 2014.

- Aer Lingus will roll out lie-flat business class seats for its long-haul (or really medium-haul) aircraft beginning in 2015. That 50,000 Avios point award from Boston to Dublin in Business Class will really seem like a bargain at that point.

- Frontier Airlines canceled service from Wilmington (DE) to Houston, and then made passengers pay the fare difference when they re-routed them through Denver. Even Spirit Airlines wouldn’t have pulled that (as far as I’m aware).

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  1. That’s great news about Aer Lingus!

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