This week: some good, some bad and a baby

On the negative side, this week we found bankruptcy and strikes dominating the global airport news; yet on the positive side, helpful Singaporeans and a new born traveller in the USA made the headlines. Plus we’ve been very busy too as you might have seen with the release of our newest story on Wednesday where we wrote about the hidden “backstage action” of refuelling planes.

Righty, let’s get this week’s biggest news out of the way: On Tuesday American Airlines filed for reorganization under the United States bankruptcy chapter 11. In an email to it’s frequent flyers the airline wrote the following: “We took this action as part of our efforts to secure our long-term success in delivering the highest standards in air travel. We are committed to meeting your travel needs with outstanding customer service and safety, and it will be business as usual at American throughout our reorganization process. More than 80,000 people at American appreciate your loyalty and look forward to continuing to serve you.” It yet remains to be seen what impact this action has for many of AA’s frequented airports and in particular for its largest hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW).

The second big topic of the week was the public sector strike in the United Kingdom on Wednesday. Many news sites (including LateDeparture) drew gloomy pictures of what would happen to the country’s largest airport, London Heathrow (IATA: LHR) that day. Towards the end of that day, the Financial Times, however, reported that fears of long delays […] proved unfounded […] as passengers reported that border controls were operating faster than usual. According to the article a combination of higher than anticipated levels of UK Border Agency staffing and lower passenger numbers meant that queues at passport checkpoints were often small.

Back to the States where we received news from PassengerTerminalToday that San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO) has become the country’s first airport to receive a “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) Gold certification for its new 64,000 ft2 Terminal 2. The city’s Mayor Edwin Lee said “this is yet another remarkable reminder that San Francisco is leading the way as we welcome visitors to our city in one of the greenest airports in the world.”

Then over to Singapore where our favourite Changi airport (IATA: SIN) made it into the news twice this week. First up was a report in the Manila Standard quoting that six Singaporean airport experts from Changi Airport have arrived to inspect Terminal 1 of the Manila international airport (IATA: MNL) and to identify the areas and facilities that need improvement. The airport is in desperate need of improvement after it was voted the world’s worst airport in October (we wrote about it).

The second news story about Changi then was more home made as the airport revealed its Christmas decorations. According to the airport’s press release, giant topiaries in the form of iconic world landmarks are now on display in both the public and transit areas of Terminals 2 and 3. The topiaries, which stand up to nine metres tall, include the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Temple of Heaven, and Singapore’s very own famous Merlion. At the biggest topiary display site at the Terminal 3 Departure Hall, where the Merlion topiary is located, quaint miniature figurines of the Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Egypt and other famous world landmarks complete the travel road map around the world. More information can be found on the airport’s Christmas website.

To finish off, we want to leave you with a story from Baltimore, USA. There Reuters reported that a woman gave birth in a restroom at the 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Washington, D.C. located Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (IATA: BWI) after arriving on a flight. Quoting an airport spokesperson, the article continued saying that police and emergency medical personnel were called to the restroom and a Maryland Transportation Authority police officer assisted at the birth. The woman and the baby were transported to the Baltimore-Washington Medical Center and are in good condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Have a great week everyone!

[Picture from Flickr – Some rights reserved by loop_oh]