Last updated: 09:36 AM ET, Tue June 07 2016

United Phasing Out First Class: Airline Pulse News and Notes for June 7, 2016

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | June 07, 2016

United Phasing Out First Class: Airline Pulse News and Notes for June 7, 2016

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United to Phase Out First Class
United Airlines has announced an overhaul of its business class cabins. The airline has also said that it will phase out first class on international routes, opting instead for the two-class setup that is already favored by Delta.

Democrats Question Airlines on Racial Profiling
Members of the House Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus have sent a letter to trade organization Airlines for America asking for clarity on airlines’ plans to combat racial profiling. The letter comes after a series of reports about Muslim and Arab American travelers being removed from planes because of unfounded terrorism fears.

Chicago Aldermen Move to Block Anti-Mayor Airport Referendum
Chicago’s City Council is divided on a referendum that could strip Mayor Rahm Emanuel of control over the city’s two main airports. The Department of Aviation, which is controlled by the mayor, currently oversees airport operations. The referendum would let voters decide who should oversee O’Hare and Midway Airports.

Few Qatar Airlines Passengers Actually Travel to Qatar
Delta has criticized Qatar for launching a Atlanta-Doha flight even though there was very low demand for the route. However, few Qatar Air passengers actually travel to Qatar. Most simply use the small Gulf state for connecting flights to other destinations in Africa and Asia.


Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said that within five years it will be very common for low-cost airlines to act as feeders for long-haul carriers. Ryanair is reportedly in the final stages of making such a deal with Norwegian Air. 

JetBlue and Southwest have both waived change fees for travelers whose trips could be affected by Tropical Storm Colin, which is now hitting Florida. The state’s governor has declared a state of emergency in many counties because of heavy rains and storm surges.  

Air Canada has launched service from Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia. No other airline currently serves the route, which Air Canada will fly with its Boeing 787s.

Southwest Airlines now has more than 100 daily flights from Saint Louis International Airport. The low-cost carrier has about 50 percent of the city’s market and operates out of its own terminal at the airport.


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