Southwest Preboarding Scam, TSA Checkpoint Grenade, DCA Slots & More [Roundup]

Southwest Preboarding Scam, TSA Checkpoint Grenade, DCA Slots & More [Roundup]

Happy Weekend! This week was a volley of good news, including a 5-year reauthorization of the FAA bill, new routes becoming available to DCA, and airlines seem to be pulling back from certain Pacific routes.

It's no hidden fact that airlines have had a rapid expansion all over the globe, from domestic routes, to rapid overseas expansions. However, with the travel bug cooling off, airlines are fighting to keep their expansion plans in place. Including Etihad, who has started offering up to 2 night stays in Abu Dhabi if you have a connecting layover in the country.

Etihad offering a free stopover in Abu Dhabi - Live from a Lounge
Etihad Airways has launched a new stopover programme, where they offer complimentary stays for up to 2 nights in Abu Dhabi for those flying on Etihad.

And while the CRJ200 is gone, the need for a smaller aircraft to serve small cities is on the top of Delta's list. We got confirmation this week that the CRJ550, a 50-seat CRJ700 will commence operations with the airline in a premium heavy config. The CRJ550 has a benefit over the CRJ700 as it only needs one flight attendant to operate the aircraft instead of two, making it more profitable to fly to small cities.

Delta Planning to Fly Premium-Heavy CRJ-550s |
While Delta hasn’t officially announced that it will operate the type, the carrier has since added the CRJ-550 to its website’s fleet page

When ever I'm flying I always try to pick the window seat if at all possible. I agree with Ben on many of his points, including the fact that you can control the window shade. I always seem to have bad luck and whenever I end up in an aisle seat the window seat passenger always puts the shade down for takeoff and landing.

I am #TeamWindowSeat!

6 Reasons I Prefer Window Seats When Flying
There’s lots of debate about whether aisle or window seats are better on airplanes. Here’s why I have a strong preference for window seats.

In the list of things NOT to bring through a TSA Checkpoint, grenades are on the top of that list. Even if its rusted and looks completely harmless it still looks like a grenade and could have unexploded ordniances inside. Not only that, but even if it was fake the TSA still won't allow it as it looks like a weapon that could be used to fool passengers.

Passenger Tries to Bring Grenade Through TSA Checkpoint; Airport Evacuated
A passenger’s attempt to bring a grenade through a TSA checkpoint led to a temporary airport evacuation. Read more about this unusual incident.

Also, in another reason why I avoid Southwest like the plague. More and more people are catching on to Southwest's generous preboarding policy and have started to abuse it to preboard early and get good seats. I personally witnessed this myself recently, eveyone seemed to have an injury and I saw close to 50 people preboard before everyone else.

Anyone Can Get Away With The Southwest Preboarding Scam - And The Airline Just Shrugs - View from the Wing
A Southwest passenger complained on social media about four young girls and their parents pre-boarding their flight despite “not need[ing] assistance or extra time” and Southwest responded that “many disabilities aren’t visible” so they are “unable to question preboarding requests.” We regret any frustration, Stephanie. As many disabilities aren’t visible, we’re unable to question preboarding requests. -Brytani— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) May 14, 2024 Here are the ‘disabled’ passengers in question that the airline was responding to.

With the passing of the FAA reauthorization bill, it opens DCA to more slots. Alaska and American seem to be front-runners for the new slots, wanting to add routes from San Diego and San Antonio.

The Battle is on for DCA Slots: American, San Antonio Pursue Nonstop Flight - ATX Jetsetter
American Airlines and the City of San Antonio have partnered with one another to pursue a direct flight to Washington, D.C.

Finally, a much beloved country, Singapore has opened automated immigration gates for all passengers. This should allow for easier entry into the country and reduce the time waiting in lines for those who need special services. Singapore is a country that I want to go back to time and time again, so it's nice to see a much more streamlined entry process. Everything about the Singapore airport is streamlined for easy connections, I love it.

Singapore Rolls Out Automated Immigration For All
Singapore has fully automated immigration for visitors from all countries, which is the first time in the world we’ve seen this.

Question of the Week:
Are you Team Window Seat or Team Aisle Seat?