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“Did you know…There’s money in non-social travel?”


Empty Seat Option

Anti-Social Seating on Air AsiaX

While KLM and Malaysia Airlines are offering passengers options to pick their seatmates through social network profiles, AirAsia X, in a contrarian move, is giving economy passengers the chance to guarantee that they will sit alone, stretched out across three seats.

The low cost carrier, with routes across Asia, Australia and Europe, introduced an Empty Seat Option in January in partnership with Optiontown, a Massachusetts-based revenue management specialist. Read more about Air AsiaX’s EmptySeat Option.


Ask the pilot series – part 4 of 6: Pilot shortages

Expert Flyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Expert Flyer is featuring a special six-part Hot Topic series called, “Ask the Pilot.”  Our expert, Patrick Smith, is an aviator and the author of’s popular ASK THE PILOT air travel column.  He also hosts the ASK THE PILOT resource site: Please enjoy this fourth installment of our series.

(Part 4 of 6)

Otto the Auto Pilot pictured from the movie "Airplane"

Is there really a shortage of pilots?

It’s been reported that some airlines have  cancelled  routes due to the lack of pilots to fly their planes.  In general, is there a shortage of pilots in the industry?  Why?

We often hear of the looming “pilot shortage.”  In fact there will never be a shortage of pilots, per se.  However, there is indeed may be a shortage of applicants who possess the level of qualifications traditionally sought after.  And at least in North America, this crisis, for lack of a better term, exists almost exclusively at the regional level.  It’s a problem not for United, American, Delta, et al., but for their code-share partners and subsidiaries.

If the applicant pool is not being adequately replenished, we need look no further than the $20,000 or less opening salary offered by most regionals.  In decades past, flying for a regional was considered a temporary apprenticeship, a stepping-stone before moving on to a more rewarding career at a major.  That progression, never a sure thing, is today even more of a gamble.  A position at a regional is looked upon not so much a means to an end, but as career in and of itself.  And not a very profitable one.  Although a senior RJ captain can earn close to six-figures, the prospect of investing tens of thousands of dollars for the necessary licenses, only to languor for several years earning poverty level wages, has dissuaded many from a career in aviation. Continue reading →

“Did you know…Business travelers face a changing landscape?”

Business travelers face a changing landscape

As a frequent flier, Bryndon Bay knows how the little things can improve a business trip. Take premium seating on regional jets. “It makes a huge difference,” said the president of Mel Bay Publications, a Pacific, Mo.-based music publishing company. Premium seating offers

Web tools for the flexible flier
(“You’re the Boss,” NY Times Blog)

I’m one of those people who can get a little carried away when trying to find a slightly better or cheaper flight or hotel for a business trip. Kayak is my obsessive tool of choice

“Did you know…airline-agency relationships may lead to fare hikes?”

Airline-agency relationships may lead to change in prices
(Los Angeles Times)

The recently sparked feud between American Airlines and the travel websites Orbitz and Expedia has business travel managers worried that the dispute may end up making plane tickets cost more money. Read more

Beat the crowds to up and coming destinations
(New York Times)

The upside of visiting an emerging destination is pristine landscapes, reasonable — if not decidedly cheap — prices and the rare opportunity to experience the authenticity of a place before it’s overrun by tourists. Read more

“Did you know…Amadeus launched a corporate tool for self-booking?”

Amadeus launches self-booking tool for corporations

Amadeus has announced the release of version 14.0 of its flagship e-Travel Management solution, the self-booking tool for corporations. The new version, which is available globally, includes a range of enhanced features including the new Travel Arranger Workspace. Read more…

Eight business travel tips for smart women

Business travel takes you away from home and loved ones and can cause all sorts of unexpected issues. Make your travel easier with these time-tested tips. Read more…