Northwest Airlines takes jab at United’s bid for federal loan guarantee. United has $2.7 billion in cash and $3 billion in aircraft that it owns outright. Northwest just raised $750 million in bonds back by their aircraft. Is there any reason United can’t do the same? United wants a subsidized loan of $1.8 billion from the federal government, but the argument about lack of access to capital markets seems weak — especially when Delta has recently raised $3.5 billion on its own.
Check those airline itineraries!. A British couple bought tickets from London to Sydney over the internet — only they wound up in Sydney, Nova Scotia instead of Sydney, Australia. Their first clue was when they were asked to transfer to a turboprop in Halifax.
Airport security in Los Angeles confiscates the 2-inch plastic gun from a 7 year-old’s GI Joe. Boy do I feel safe now.
Deep Thoughts is the next winner in the More Room Throughout Coach free miles and free upgrades giveaway.
USAirways is offering 2,500 bonus miles to AAA members with their next flight by October 31 — but you have to register (so click on the link!).
A humorous take on the pledge of allegiance by Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post. (Link via The Volokh Conspiracy. The pledge itself, while only the “under God” part is truly at issue, really is a silly thing. Young people recite patriotic indoctrination without really having any idea what it means. A law professor whom I admire, John Hasnas, tells the story of “how he became a libertarian.” In kindergarten, while being told to recite the pledge, he wanted to know “who is Richard Stands, and why are we pledging to him?” (“And to the Republic, for Richard Stands, one nation…”)
Military pilots are given amphetamines and sleeping pills before and after missions, respectively. This flying under the influence may be linked to recent friendly-fire incidents.
Mourning. The inventor of clumping cat litter and white-out passed away.
A new study finds that more men than women are too stressed to have sex. Great. That just leaves more for me. -ed.
Airfare arbitrage. Frequent travelers know that sometimes different websites (and for that matter, websites versus calling an airline directly) will provide different prices for the exact same flight. What I never quite realized before today was that different countries’ versions of the same website may price differently as well. I did a bit of experimentation with United’s web site today. United has a whole bunch of local sites: United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore — just to name a few. I tried pricing out some itineraries on different United website, and I got different prices. (Naturally, each site priced in its local currency, but I used Expedia’s currency converter to normalize prices into US dollars.) One example: Los Angeles –> Sydney –> Los Angeles, October 10 outbound and October 20…