TX: Planes Clip Each Other on the Ground at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, Officials Say

May 25–Two planes clipped each other Wednesday evening while on the ground at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, airport officials said.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened at 8:22 p.m., airport officials said. Passengers on both planes were kept on the tarmac, awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to bring passengers back to their gates.

A United Airlines jet hit an American Airlines plane while one was pulling in and the other was backing out, airport officials said.

American Airlines released this statement late Wednesday, describing the incident: “The wingtip of another aircraft came in contact with American Airlines flight 2675, which had just arrived from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The American Airlines plane was stationary at the time, as it was waiting to taxi to the gate. No passengers or crew members were injured.”

According to American Airlines, their plane was a Boeing 737 that had landed in Austin at 8:13 p.m., carrying 149 passengers and a crew of 6

Few people flying into and out of the airport should experience delays, airport officials said, though people should still check the status of their flights at this website and toggling between “Arrivals” and “Departures” at the top of the webpage.

A Lyft in Business

Long Beach, Calif. — Executives from Transportation Network Company (TNC) Lyft made a presentation at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) 89th annual conference here May 8 outlining its plans to operate in more airports.

Don Griffin, Lyft’s business development manager for airports and venues, served as a business specialist for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for 12 years. “Lyft and Uber are the two most dominant TNCs, and there’s been a dramatic change in the airport space,” he said. “Overall, we went from 10 cities in 2015 to 200 today.” Lyft also serves more than 70 airports.

What’s driving that growth? “There’s been a big increase in TNC driving, which has generated more revenue for airports,” said Griffin. “We pay trip fees every time we pick up a passenger and sometimes even when we drop one off.”

Fees range from 50 cents at smaller airports to $5 at hubs, said Griffin. “It’s really based on what other ground transportation is available and the size of the airport,” he said.

More airports are offering a separate staging area for TNCs, said Griffin. “These areas are beneficial to all parties, because they reduce wait times for passengers and move traffic away from the airport.

“Passengers get their bags and use the app to request a Lyft. We have four different products: Lyft Line for shared rides, Lyft Classic (up to four seats), Lyft Plus (six or more seats) and Lyft Premier for luxury vehicles,” he said.

Lyft, founded in 2014, competed 160 million rides in 2016, compared with 53 million in 2015, said Griffin. “Fifty-two percent of passengers use Lyft to get to and from the airport,” he said. “We offer safe, reliable rides seven days a week. And customers can even schedule a ride in advance the night before.”

Griffin described three newer innovations that offer more convenience for passengers, especially those going to and from airports. “When a Lyft passenger is dropped off, our Rematch program allows that driver to pick up another passenger instantly rather than go through the staging lot,” he said. “We look at Rematch on a case-by-case basis when queue times at airports are longer.”

Lyft also does pre-dispatching of drivers based on historical trends, said Griffin. “This allows drivers to get to the curb five minutes before an expected passenger request,” he explained.

And there’s the new Lyft Amp device in vehicles, said Griffin. “The device is a light box with Lyft that can change colors. Those colors will also show up on a passenger’s app so they can better match up with their driver,” he said. “It’s rolling out now and we hope to have it completed by the end of the year.”

The biggest roadblock for Lyft in airports is legislation, said Griffin. “And Lyft is working with local governments and airports to expand service,” he said.

Two Planes Clip Wings at LaGuardia Airport

Two airliners were slightly damaged after clipping each other shortly after landing at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday morning — but no one was reported injured, officials said.

WestJet Flight 1200, a Boeing 737, and Republic Airline Flight 5899, an Embraer E170, came in contact around 8:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority.

The Republic plane’s rear stabilizer and the WestJet aircraft’s left wing were damaged in the mishap, which occurred at the intersection of Taxiway B and Taxiway M, officials said.

Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/05/11/two-planes-clip-wings-at-laguardia-airport

WV: Cargo Plane Crashes at Yeager Airport, 2 Dead

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Two people have died after a plane crashed into the hillside at Yeager Airport in Charleston Friday, a county spokesperson confirms to WSAZ.

Yeager Airport spokesperson Mike Plante says the Air Cargo Carrier crashed into the hillside upon landing. The plane is located in the wooded area off Keystone Drive so first responders are having difficulty accessing the plane.

Initial reports said there were four people on board, but that has since been changed to two. A county spokesperson now confirms those two people have died.

When emergency crews arrived on scene they reported heavy entrapment.

Read more: http://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Cargo-plane-off-runway-at-Yeager-Airport-injuries-reported-421427433.html

IL: Woman Paralyzed by Accident at O’Hare Airport Sues City

CHICAGO —  A woman who was crushed by a shelter at O’Hare International Airport during a storm is now suing the City of Chicago.

Tierney Darden spoke with CBS Chicago about how her life has changed since the 750-pound shelter fell on her in August 2015, severing her spinal chord.

“There was a sharp crack and a numbness that just went over my body,” Darden explained. “Everyday it hits home. It could have been avoided.”

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/woman-paralyzed-chicago-ohare-accident-sues-city

IL: None Hurt After Nose of Frontier Airlines Plane Tilts Up at O’Hare Airport

CHICAGO (WLS) — No one was injured after a Frontier Airlines plane tilted up while at a gate at O’Hare Airport Saturday.

The Frontier plane arrived at O’Hare shortly before 7 p.m. and came to a stop at a gate. As passengers exited, the nose of the plane tipped up.

Read more: http://abc7chicago.com/news/none-hurt-after-frontier-airlines-plane-tilts-at-ohare-airport/1936543

FL: Something About Flying Made Passengers on This Flight Sick

April 27–Several passengers off a coast-to-coast flight felt sick enough to request paramedics upon landing at Miami International Airport on Wednesday morning.

American Airlines confirmed that some passengers off Flight 1538, a Los Angeles-to-Miami red-eye flight landing at 7:20 a.m., got ill and were met by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. An NBC6 report stated one person began vomiting on the plane and later had to be taken to the hospital.

The airline said it was investigating the cause and, out of precaution, removed the 15-month-old Airbus A321 plane from service.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal


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TN: Calling All Contractors: $500M in Airport Construction Ahead

April 26–Memphis International Airport has scheduled a contractor forum May 12 at The Guest House at Graceland to connect with businesses interested in about $500 million in contracting opportunities.

MEM Exchange 2017, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3600 Elvis Presley Boulevard, will provide in-depth information about upcoming projects and guidance for doing business with the airport.

“Our goal at MEM is to be a catalyst for the local economy,” said Scott Brockman, president and chief executive officer of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “We want to form new partnerships with contractors, and we want to make existing partnerships stronger. MEM Exchange 2017 represents the beginning of a new era of connectivity between MEM and the business community.”

The biggest project on the horizon is a $214 million modernization of the B Concourse where nearly all flights will be consolidated after 2021.

Airport officials believe the forum will increase partnerships with local, minority-owned and women-owned businesses. It will provide participants networking opportunities to meet with disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) contractors to assist in forming potential bidding and subcontracting teams.

Companies and individuals can register at flymemphis.com/mem-exchange.


___ (c)2017 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

FL: ‘Suspicious’ Substance Found on Plane at PBIA Not Hazardous

April 22–WEST PALM BEACH — A “suspicious” substance found on an aircraft Saturday at Palm Beach International Airport turned out not to be hazardous, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

Discovery of the substance was reported to authorities shortly after 12:30 p.m., said Capt. Alberto Borrot, Fire Rescue spokesman. Hazardous Materials teams analyzed it and found no toxicity.

No one was injured in the incident.


___ (c)2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

United Rolling Out Cheaper, No-Frills Fares in New Cities

April 21–A lot more passengers will have access to United Airlines’ new no-frills “basic economy” fares next month.

The fares, which offer the cheapest seats on a plane in exchange for giving up a few of the perks that still come with standard economy tickets, are now available in more than 100 domestic markets, United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said Thursday.

Both United and American Airlines began selling basic economy tickets in February, but United’s were initially only available on flights between Minneapolis and seven hubs, including Chicago.

Delta Air Lines introduced its version of basic economy a few years ago. The cheaper fares are a way for major airlines to try to win back penny-pinching passengers who might otherwise fly budget carriers like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines while also getting other passengers to pay for more of the perks they value.

United’s basic economy fares come with restrictions: Without paying extra fees, passengers can’t pick their seats in advance, are in the last group to board and, in most cases, can only carry a small bag that fits under the seat.

How much passengers save depends on the flight. A basic economy ticket from Chicago to Newark, N.J., or Denver on May 9 was listed at $15 cheaper than the standard economy fare on United’s website on Thursday. Between Chicago and Los Angeles, basic economy passengers saved $20.

Start dates for actual flights vary by city, but they begin May 9 in the first markets to get the new fares.

Although United has been selling basic economy tickets since February, the first flights with basic economy passengers took off earlier this week. So far, customers have arrived at the airport aware of the extra restrictions, and anecdotally, having fewer large carry-on bags means it takes less time to get passengers on board, Schmerin said.

United has said it wants to use new fares and products — including basic economy tickets and offerings for travelers willing to pay for extra services — to bring in new revenue.


lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

___ (c)2017 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.