IAG Is Serious About Growing Its Low-Cost, Long-Haul Airline

IAG Is Serious About Growing Its Low-Cost, Long-Haul Airline

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IAG

A Level plane. Parent company IAG is planning to make the virtual airline an official one. IAG

Skift Take: IAG’s testing of the low-cost, long-haul market with a virtual airline seems to have paid off. Its success shows that the model is here to stay. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this affects the legacy carriers, including those in IAG’s own brand stable.

— Patrick Whyte

When IAG launched Level, its low-cost, long-haul airline in March this year, nobody was quite sure whether it was something the company was genuine about or simply an attempt to outmuscle airlines like Norwegian, which were already active in the segment.

The fact that it was launched so quickly — and that it operated under Iberia’s air operator’s certificate, or AOC — gave the impression that it might not last long, especially as some previous airlines within airlines had largely been failures.

Seven months on and IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh says the brand is “doing extremely well” and will shortly get its own air operator’s certificate, a dedicated CEO, and a second operating base. The company said in its third-quarter results released last week that the trading performance for Level was “positive” but did not give a specific revenue figure.

Level currently flies to four destinations – Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic – out of Barcelona, using two of Iberia’s aircraft. Another three jets are being added to the fleet, at least two of which will go to the new base, which will either be Paris or Rome.

“We will announce the new destinations – where the aircraft go – we’ll probably do that at the end of November, certainly the first week in December at the latest, Walsh said in an interview at the Airport Operators Association Conference in London. “We’re finalizing the recruitment of the CEO to run the business and the AOC will follow after that so there are a couple of decisions to make.”

He continued: “We’ve not yet decided where we will base the AOC; we have options open to us, and we felt it would be better to allow the CEO when appointed to have some say in that.”

Permanent Revolution

The success of Norwegian has persuaded legacy airline groups such as IAG that low-cost, long-haul can work. The growth in the segment has been aided by advances in aircraft technology as well as the trend for unbundling fares.

New aircraft such as the Boeing 737 Max are making transatlantic flights on single-aisle planes much more attractive for airlines thanks to their greater fuel efficiency. These can be used to connect smaller airports directly.

Then there is the willingness of airlines to strip fares down to their basic level with passengers then give the option of whether they want to pay extra for things like in-flight meals. The problem for consumers is that the headline-grabbing lowest price is often elusive.

In a world where low-cost, long-haul is a reality, what does the future hold for legacy airlines that have often traded on their premium image? IAG airline British Airways has been heavily criticized for its apparent move down market under CEO Alex Cruz.

Walsh believes the industry is becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to understanding consumer behaviour.

“There are people who are solely influenced by the price, but there are others who are influenced by other factors,” he said. “And when we segment the market, we see there is a market that can be served by a number of different business models.”

Said Walsh: “The challenge is in the past we’ve tried to serve all the segments with one business, and that’s impossible. So I think you’ve got to be clear in terms of which segment you will operate in, and that’s the beauty of IAG in that we have multiple brands, multiple operating companies so we can look at the market and segment it and use different brands to serve different segments of the market.”

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November 1, 2017 at 04:33AM

Last Chance: Amex Starwood Business Sign-Up Bonus Worth $945

Last Chance: Amex Starwood Business Sign-Up Bonus Worth $945

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Application link: Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

If you’ve been putting off the application for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express, you’re almost out of time. In order to get the special 35,000 sign-up bonus, you must apply for the card by Wednesday, November 1.

Sign-Up Bonus

Here’s how the limited-time offer is structured: You’ll earn 25,000 Starpoints after you spend $6,000 on the card in the first three months from account opening. To maximize the bonus, you’ll need to spend another $4,000 in the first six months to earn an additional 10,000 Starpoints. That means you’ll need to spend $10,000 for 35,000 points total.

In a time when 50,000-point sign-up bonuses seem to be the new minimum, 35,000 points may sound a little low, especially for $10,000 in spending. But at 2.7 cents per point, Starpoints are the most valuable currency on TPG’s points/miles valuation list. That means the 35,000-point sign-up bonus is worth around $945.

Thanks to the 1:3 transfer ratio between Starwood and Marriott, you can also think of this sign-up bonus as 105,000 Marriott points — which puts you even closer to those super valuable Hotel + Air packages that get you a 7-night hotel stay plus airline miles.

While the $10,000 combined spending requirement is steep, this card offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Based on TPG valuations, only the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express offers a better return on general spending. Even if you spend all $10,000 on non-bonus spending, you’ll end up with more than a 12% return: 45,000 points (worth $1,215) from $10,000 spending.

Card Features and Benefits

This card earns you two Starpoints per dollar at Starwood (and now Marriott) properties and one point per dollar everywhere else. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, plus no foreign transaction fees. Also, this card offers Sheraton Club access with eligible rates and discounts with FedEx, Hertz and more through the Amex OPEN Savings program.

Not to mention the boost toward Starwood Preferred Guest elite status. If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to Starwood Preferred Guest gold status. If you do earn SPG status, make sure to match it to Marriott Rewards to enjoy perks across both programs.

Featured image courtesy of the JW Marriott Cancun.

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November 1, 2017 at 12:57AM

New “Cannabis Is Legal” TSA Bins Being Used in California

New “Cannabis Is Legal” TSA Bins Being Used in California

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The next time you go through security in a California airport, you might be surprised by what you find in the bottom of your plastic bin. New “CANNABIS IS LEGAL” ads are now running in TSA security lines in Ontario Airport (ONT) outside Los Angeles, California.

After years of broad use under medical marijuana laws, recreational cannabis will be wholly legal in California for those 21 years of age and older starting January 1, 2018. However, as the bin educates in smaller print: “Traveling with it is not. Leave it in California.”

Unsurprisingly, Organa Brands, the company behind the public service-style advertisements as well as one of the largest cannabis brands in the country, is heralding this as a landmark move.

Image by Organa Brands.
Image by Organa Brands.

“We have long known that California is about to become the biggest recreational cannabis market in the world, and as [one of] the largest brands in the space, we feel a real responsibility to educate consumers,” company co-founder Jeremy von Heidl explained to The Points Guy. “There’s obvious confusion surrounding cannabis laws — even the TSA at times has been confused as to these policies.”

The security bin idea is the brainchild of company PR manager (and self-professed TPG reader) Jackson Tilley, who had to get the idea past von Heidl first. “He thought I was crazy. I’m pretty sure he still thinks I’m crazy,” said Tilley.

In the end it all worked out. After Sacramento Airport (SMF) initially backed away from the ad campaign, Ontario Airport agreed to the idea. Organa expects over 15 million impressions in ONT alone — which we’re guessing will create quite the buzz among travelers.

What do you think of the new bins?

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November 1, 2017 at 12:16AM

Motorist in New York City Mows Down Pedestrians, Leading to Fatalities

Motorist in New York City Mows Down Pedestrians, Leading to Fatalities

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Andres Kudacki  / Associated Press

Heavily armed police stand guard near the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people October. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki / Associated Press

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight and injuring 11 others in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”

The 29-year-old driver was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” officials said. His condition was not immediately released.

The driver barreled along the bike path for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus.

The attack set off panic in the neighborhood, with people screaming in fear and the bike path left strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered over with sheets.

“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

Police closed off streets across the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River and officers rushed into the neighborhood just as people were preparing for Halloween festivities, including the big annual parade through Greenwich Village.

The driver’s identity was not immediately released.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

A law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity said witnesses told police the attacker yelled, “Allahu akbar!” — “God is great” in Arabic — as he got out of the truck.

Asked about that at a news conference, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill replied: “Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle.” He said the statement and the method of attack led police to conclude it was a terrorist act.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump called it “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and declared, “NOT IN THE U.S.A.”

Cities around the globe have been on alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.

Police said the vehicle, a rented Home Depot truck, entered the bike path at about 3 p.m. on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center — the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history — and mowed down several people. The truck then turned at Chambers Street, near the trade center site, hitting the school bus and injuring two adults and two children.

In addition to those killed, 11 people were seriously injured, police said.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

At least two covered-over bodies could be seen lying on the path, and the front end of the pickup was smashed in.

Tom Gay, a school photographer, was on Warren Street and heard people saying there was an accident. He went down to West Street and a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”

Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running southbound on West Street holding a gun. He said there was a heavyset man pursuing him.

He said he heard five or six shots and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.

“So many police came and they didn’t know what was happening,” said Eugene Duffy, a chef at a waterfront restaurant. “People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs.”

The right side of the school bus was bashed in, and firefighters surrounded it and worked to free those inside.

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

This article was written by Colleen Long and Jake Pearson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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November 1, 2017 at 12:04AM

Pandering Never Builds a Legacy

Pandering Never Builds a Legacy

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nathan-shipps-186557

I’m as guilty as anyone else who says that to build a business, or a blog, it’s good to ask people what they want and then give it to them. It works!

But there’s another side to this thinking, and I heard the counterpoint presented beautifully last week by Paula Pant. I wrote about Paula in the appendix of SIDE HUSTLE—she’s my go-to expert on rental properties, a topic I know little about, but one that often comes up in the small business world.

For years, she’s published a popular blog about personal finance. But as she shared in a talk, after starting down the familiar path of “Hey everyone, what should I write for you?” she realized that maybe it was better to ask herself what she wanted to do.

Here’s some of what she said that resonated with me:

“The revolutionaries who came before us – the people who shook the worlds of architecture and music and food and art and technology – they thought bigger than the crowds, and that’s why their work … outlives them.

Do you want your grandkids to remember you for writing articles on “5 ways to save on car insurance?”

If your goal is to leave a legacy – not just make a buck or two, but to leave behind work that represents your time on this earth – you cannot follow the crowd.

You must ignore the crowd and serve the craft. I’ll repeat that: You are here to serve the craft, not the crowd.

Pandering never builds a legacy.

As online content creators, our legacy will not be the number of Facebook likes we’ve left behind.”

By the way, I heard her say this at Fincon, an event I also spoke at. I spoke after Paula and before Darren Rowse, another friend. Small world!

###

Image: Nathan

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October 31, 2017 at 11:30PM

Halloween Snacks at Tokyo DisneySea

Halloween Snacks at Tokyo DisneySea

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In Japan, eating kawaii foods is a national pastime. Tokyo DisneySea is basically the New York Yankees of that, with a star-studded lineup including the Gyoza, Ukiwa Bun, Potato Churro, and Chandu Tail batting clean-up. For Halloween, TDS has upped the ante, presumably for an October playoff run to get it to the WORLD SERIES […]

This is a post in the Disney Tourist Blog RSS feed. For tips on Disney vacation planning, including dining reviews, tips & tricks, and other guides, check out Disney Tourist Blog!

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October 31, 2017 at 10:13PM

Both of These Hotel Programs Offer Bonus Miles for Point Conversions to AAdvantage Program

Both of These Hotel Programs Offer Bonus Miles for Point Conversions to AAdvantage Program

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American Airlines AAdvantage members can convert their hotel points from not one, but two programs with a bonus right now. Starwood Preferred Guest offers a 20-percent conversion bonus, and Marriott Rewards program offers a 30-percent conversion bonus on transferred points to the airline.

SPG members have until Oct. 31 to transfer Starpoints. Marriott Rewards members have until Dec. 5.

What Are Conversion Rates?

Don’t forget that converting Starpoints in chunks of 20,000 earns another 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points transferred, plus the bonus. After all the math, SPG members can end up with 30,000 AAdvantage miles for every 20,000 Starpoints converted. Forty thousand Starpoints will yield 60,000 AAdvantage miles, and 60,000 Starpoints will yield 90,000 AAdvantage miles.

A secondary bonus will net you another 10,000 AAdvantage miles for every 100,000 miles received from the transfers.

Marriott Rewards points do not transfer at a 1-1 ratio. The conversion rates are as follows:

10,000 points = 2,000 miles + 600 bonus miles = 2,600 AAdvantage miles

20,000 points = 5,000 miles + 1,500 bonus miles = 6,500 AAdvantage miles

30,000 points = 10,000 miles + 3,000 bonus miles = 13,000 AAdvantage miles

70,000 points = 25,000 miles + 7,500 bonus miles = 32,500 AAdvantage miles

140,000 points = 50,000 miles + 15,000 bonus miles = 65,000 AAdvantage miles

It’s important to note that Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages are excluded from the bonus, which makes this transfer deal less lucrative than some others we’ve seen.

Which Points Offer A Better Deal?

Because SPG gives an additional 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points converted, transferring Starpoints offers a better deal in most cases. Additionally, Marriott Rewards points can be converted to Starpoints at a 3-1 ratio, which comes into play here.

For example, if you transfer 10,000 Marriott Rewards points to the AAdvantage program, you will wind up with 2,600 American Airlines miles. Transferring the same points to Starwood and then to AA will net you 3,333 Starpoints and then 4,000 AAdvantage miles after the 20-percent bonus is applied. I recommend playing with some numbers before making a transfer.

Should You Transfer?

Now, this is a personal question only you can answer. Generally, Starpoints are worth a lot more than AAdvantage miles, even with a transfer bonus. Not to mention, finding decent SAAver availability has become a tall order in the recent months. Generally, I do not recommend making speculative transfers. However, if you have an award in mind, there’s available space and you’re short on points, go ahead and transfer a few thousand points to meet your travel goals.

Will you take advantage of one of the transfer deals? Do you have a redemption in mind?

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October 31, 2017 at 10:04PM

Sabre Stays Profitable After Layoffs as the Company Vows to Become Nimbler

Sabre Stays Profitable After Layoffs as the Company Vows to Become Nimbler

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Sabre

This summer, Sabre CEO Sean Menke did a listening tour of major markets. This photo is from a stop in Kraków, Poland. Sabre

Skift Take: Investors liked Sabre’s third quarter revenue and profit report. But the verdict is still out on whether the company is relying on cheap fixes like layoffs to hit its targets or if it is laying the groundwork for sustainable growth.

— Sean O’Neill

Has Sabre’s executive team embarked on a brilliant pivot that returns the company to its former reliable status as a cash cow? Or, during a transitional period, does the company have underlying cracks in technology and talent investment that have undermined its foundations?

In releasing third quarter earnings Tuesday, Sabre reported that it expects to meet the revenue, profit, and cash-flow targets for 2017, but is it now heading on a path toward sustainable growth?

The Southlake, Texas-based company beat analysts’ consensus estimates for the third quarter, and investors bid up the price of the company’s stock.

That seems to be an expression of confidence in new chief executive Sean Menke. Menke has been selling investors on a narrative that his new leadership team understands how to lead the the company in retaining its profitable middleman status as an airline and hospitality technology vendor and distributor.

All this, though, comes despite suppliers talking about using new technologies to drive more direct sales.

But can Menke make the hard choices to drive long-term growth?

In the third quarter, Sabre saw its revenue rise to $900 million, up 7.3 percent from the same period a year earlier. This revenue gain came despite the hurricanes reducing passengers boarded by 1.3 million during the quarter. Sabre’s profit rose $91 million, a 122 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

Lowered Expectations

But a significant chunk of the profit came from the layoffs of about 900 employees, or a tenth of the workforce, over the past several months, chief financial officer Rick Simonson acknowledged on a call with investors Tuesday. Another $27.5 million of the profit was from a one-time $43 million litigation settlement of a case with insurance carriers.

The company said in a statement that the layoffs and the trimming of products have “aligned the business to achieve expected growth opportunities.”

Based on trends, the tech vendor said it was on track to meet its outlook for 2017. Menke and Simonson said they expect the company will achieve the high end of its 5 percent to 7 percent annualized growth forecast for the year.

But the forecast set at the start of the year was a downward adjustment in what investors had previously expected. Investors often focus on cash flow as a signal of company health; Sabre downshifted the 2017 projection from $500 million to $350 million.

In short, the cynical take would be that the company’s lowered guidance earlier this year to make third and fourth quarter targets beatable.

One issue Menke will have to deal with is tax-related payments to Sabre’s former private equity owners; analysts estimate the payments will total about $350 million over several years.

Customers to Gain and Lose

Looking ahead, much depends on the company winning more contracts while it retools its technology to adapt to changing customer needs.

The outlook is hazy.

In October, news came out that Sabre had lost a chance to win Air Canada’s business when the airline went instead with its rival Amadeus. Menke used to be a top executive at Air Canada.

A game-changer for Sabre would be winning either United or Delta as customers. The two airlines currently rely on a mix of platforms.

But these airlines are said to have complained to Sabre that it tends to give preference to large customers like American Airlines and Etihad — two competitors that United and Delta compete fiercely with.

In a possibly negative signal, Delta recently persuaded code-share partner Virgin Atlantic to move over to Delta’s reservation system rather than opt for Sabre or another technology vendor. That may suggest that Delta is committed to its own system instead of considering Sabre’s.

On a call with analysts Tuesday, Menke noted he has been having conversations with the top officials at major carriers who are champions of the so-called New Distribution Capability, a set of messaging standards. Menke said he is still trying to convince them that the drive to downplay third-party vendors like Sabre comes with potential pitfalls.

Menke’s comments could be interpreted as suggesting that potential customers like United and Delta — which back the new distribution standards — are not sold on Sabre’s vision.

The other major U.S.-based champion of the New Distribution Capability is American, an airline that is in ongoing litigation with Sabre that some say is an effort to try to gain more leverage in its contract negotiations with the company. A verdict favoring American in the case, under appeal, could mean that it and other airline customers might be better able to argue for more favorable contracts.

Another cause for concern regarding Sabre is that it is at risk of losing contracts.

Our sources suggest that JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and Copa Airlines have had heated negotiations with Sabre about their contracts for using Sabre to handle key technology systems. Sabre executives Tuesday did not have commentary on upcoming contract renewals. They noted that their 2018 forecast will come during the next quarterly call.

Menke also dropped two hints on the call that online travel agencies have indicated they may want to rely more on Sabre to handle the technological burden of interacting with airlines. Menke did not mention the company’s largest online agency customer, Expedia, Inc. But if that is a client considering throwing more business Sabre’s way, that would be a long-term plus.

Sabre also recently won the business of Flight Centre, a large travel agency based in Australia.

Alleged Technical Deficit

The backdrop for the airline turmoil is that many observers believe that Sabre has under-invested in its technology for several years and now appears to be caught in a game of catch-up with its rivals Amadeus and Travelport. To help reverse this, the company recently named a new chief technology officer and a new chief information officer, and deputized them to research the sequencing of new technology investment.

The company has not yet determined how it may shift its distribution business’ heavy reliance on IBM mainframes to one using more open-source methodologies and cloud-based systems. It is also still reviewing which products its Airline Solutions division will emphasize and which will be cut.

Simonson only said, “There is a sharper focus on investing for higher return.”

Simonson said the company plans to make the necessary investments, at least in the short term, by shifting the focus of its existing budget money to higher priorities rather than add more spending overall.

The caveat in that remark is that Sabre had already raised its planned estimate for capital expenditures at the start of the year.

Sabre confirmed its capital expenditures would be in the $335 million to $355 million range for 2017. That range is notably above the $328 million spent in 2016, the $287 million spent in 2015, and the $227 million spent in 2014.

Investors bullish on Sabre will take the increased spending as a sign that the company can grow steadily through this transformational period without a significant change to the attractiveness of its stock performance and dividends.

Cynics will say that to catch up with its peers Amadeus and Travelport, the company would need to start investing more — perhaps about $450 million a year — in capital expenditures to get back on track.

 

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October 31, 2017 at 08:46PM

The 5 Craziest Things Passengers Tried to Sneak by the TSA in October

The 5 Craziest Things Passengers Tried to Sneak by the TSA in October

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Another month, another list of crazy things passengers tried to sneak by TSA when traveling. The TSA’s Instagram includes cheeky posts about all things people attempt to take with them on their flights, either by carrying on or checking it in their bags, that are obviously not-TSA-approved items. At least some of the ones we’ve rounded up for you were trying to get in the Halloween spirit. All in all, it’s just another month of confiscated deadly weapons and explosives at US airports.

1. Loaded Firearm…Hidden in a Wheelchair Cushion

Well, that’s one way to attempt to sneak in a loaded gun. I’ve heard of people sneaking in mini bottles of alcohol into football stadiums via wheelchair cushions. But guns through airport security? That’s a bold one. Next time, just follow regulations and properly check your (unloaded) gun.

This loaded firearm was discovered concealed inside a traveler’s wheelchair cushion at the McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Tennessee. … While firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, you can pack them in your checked baggage as long as you meet the packing guidelines: http://bit.ly/travelingwithfirearms … As a refresher, carry-on bags go into the cabin of the plane with you. Checked bags go into the cargo hold of the plane where passengers have no access. … When firearms are discovered at the checkpoint, we contact law enforcement and they decide what happens based on background checks, interviews and local laws. … A firearm at the checkpoint could lead to fines, arrests, missed flights or all of the above. As far as what happens to confiscated firearms, that’s up to each local police department.

A post shared by TSA (@tsa) on

2. Spooky Spider Knife

We’ll give this person the benefit of the doubt and say they were channeling Halloween when they thought it’d be permissible to bring a knife through security. Or maybe it was a part of his/her costume and that’s why they checked in on their carry on. Either way, packing a knife is only allowed in checked luggage that follows certain guidelines.

3. Inert Prototype Projectiles 

While these are just prototypes, I can assure you that If I saw these on an airplane I would sound a few alarms. The United Nations defines an ‘inert projectile’ as “cartridges for weapons…ammunition consisting of a cartridge case fitted with a centre or rimfire primer and containing both a propelling charge and solid projectile(s).” This definition alone scares me enough into fully supporting the TSA’s decision to not allow these on aircraft.

4. Brush and Comb Daggers

I’m all about traveling stylishly, but I value safety even more so; I commend these TSA agents for discerning between style and safety. I wonder what it looked like when it was getting scanned in security — a lethal comb or a knife with bristles? Hopefully these agents didn’t give these brushes back to their rightful owner, and hopefully their rightful owner was using them for style and not safety.

5. Gunpowder and Fuse

You have to wonder what someone is thinking when he or she packs a pound of gunpowder and a fuse (separately, at least), and checks that bag. Maybe the owner mistook the canister and cord for their protein powder and phone charger? I can only hope they were going to use it recreationally, whatever that might entail.

Feature image by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

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October 31, 2017 at 08:15PM

Royal Jordanian Became Profitable After Struggling for Years

Royal Jordanian Became Profitable After Struggling for Years

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Christian Junker  / Flickr

A Royal Jordanian aircraft. The struggling airline has posted a quarterly profit for the first time in years. Christian Junker / Flickr

Skift Take: At a time when Gulf airlines are flagging, Royal Jordanian seems to have turned things around. Whether it remains profitable in 2018 is another story, and that may depend on stable regional politics, and increased demand from flyers.

— Andrew Sheivachman

Royal Jordanian says it has turned an operating profit this year for the first time in more than a decade, as part of a multi-year overhaul meant to turn the national carrier into the number one airline in the Levant.

CEO Stefan Pichler said Tuesday that Royal Jordanian won’t compete with larger carriers in the Gulf.

He says Royal Jordanian hopes to become reliably profitable after “many years of losses” by luring new customers with fare promotions, adding more destinations and aircraft and turning Amman into a regional hub.

Pichler says Royal Jordanian achieved an operating profit of 5.4 million Jordanian dinars ($7.6 million) in the first nine months of this year, compared to a net loss of 2.7 million Jordanian dinars ($3.8 million) in the same period of 2016.

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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October 31, 2017 at 07:21PM