Another United Customer Downgraded & A Great Week for Airline Memes

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Another United shit-show : A paying first class passenger (not an upgrade) was asked to move to coach when a customer with higher status couldn’t get into an overbooked first class cabin. When the paying passenger, who was having a drink in his first class seat, was asked to move, he refused until the flight attendant told him he would be handcuffed. He was offered a refund of the difference in fares.

Let’s see what else happens with the on-going United debacle this week!



Ramping Up 737 Production as MAX debuts


Boeing will roll out the 737 Max 8 this spring, after a six-year development. The Max 8 received US Federal Aviation Administration type certification in March, and the Max 9 and Max 7 will enter service next year. The 737 Max Series updates the 737 NG with glass cockpit upgrades, new winglets plus a new engine – CFM International’s Leap-1B.

Despite building the 737 for 50 years, introducing the 737 Max into operational service will test Boeing as a company. Boeing will have to deliver more aircraft to a larger and more diverse group of operators faster than any other model in the company’s storied history. It will have to manage new technology to make sure it’s not undermined by software bugs. Amid challenges like this, Boeing is counting on cash flow from the 737 to offset declining revenue from the 777 line as it transitions to an updated version in 2020.

With production already 50% higher than 10 years ago, Boeing plans to increase current output by another 35%, from 42 single-aisles each month to 57 by 2019. That escalating rate requires the careful coordination of ramping down deliveries of 737 NG-series models while ramping up the Max-series.

“The deliveries are going to be coming so fast and so furious,” says Keith Leverkuhn, Boeing vice-president and general manager of 737 programs.

From May until December, the 737 Max will account for about 10-15% of Boeing’s single-aisle deliveries, numbering potentially more than 50 aircraft handed over to multiple customers. Boeing opened a third assembly line in the Renton hangar to directly support 737 Max deliveries this year. As deliveries increase, one of the 737NG lines will transform into a mixed line, building CFM56- and Leap-powered models at the same time. Within four years, Boeing expects to be delivering only a handful of 737NGs annually, with the 737 Max occupying the remainder of the production slots at a monthly rate of 57.

The rollout of Boeing's first 737 MAX 8 outside the 737 final assembly factory in Renton on Tuesday December 8th, 2015.

In a six-day series of flights using the fourth 737 Max 8 test aircraft, which is equipped with a full interior, Boeing launch customer Southwest Airlines conducted a service-ready operational validation (SROV). The goal of the SROV is to simulate a typical week in airline service, flying a routine airline schedule to multiple airports. Every routine function was practiced and evaluated, from towing and fueling, to line maintenance, to checking whether the ground service equipment fits around the gates of various airports.

One not-insignificant advantage of an aircraft re-engining program is a basic familiarity among operators with the 737 platform. In many respects, the 737 Max delivered in 2017 follows the same design principles and system architecture of the aircraft family that entered service nearly 20 years ago.

Despite this familiarity, Boeing’s modifications to the 737NG are more extensive than simply exchanging CFM56-7B engines for Leap-1Bs. Boeing updated the 737 Max with 787-style wide-format cockpit displays, specially designed split-tip winglets, a relofted tail cone, an extended landing gear, electronic bleed-air valves and the previously mentioned software updates. The majority of updates focus on increasing efficiency and decreasing maintenance.

After the painful lessons regarding software of the 787-8, Boeing adopted a more cautious approach to introducing new technologies into service. The company’s new process emphasized mitigating risk by introducing the new technology first on a mature platform. The 777X, for example, will be partly assembled in a new automated tool called the fuselage assembly upright build (FAUB). Boeing first introduced the FAUB on the existing 777 line more than a year ago. The experience revealed unexpected problems that, if left undiscovered, could have dramatically slowed the ramp-up of the 777X. That same approach is being applied on the 737 Max.

Boeing 737 History and Fun Facts


Boeing 737 Summary

The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing’s 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of ten passenger models with capacities from 85 to 215 passengers.

The first-generation, launched in 1967, consisted of the 737-100, -200, and -300. In the 1980s, the next generation, or “Classic” series launched, and were called 737-400, – 500, and -600; they featured added capacity, wing design improvements, and upgraded engines.

In the 1990s, the “Next Generation” 737s debuted, called 737-700, -800, and -900. They featured upgraded wings and aerodynamics, a “glass” cockpit, new interior, and larger fuel capacity. These changes permitted intercontinental service, a first for the 737.

Launching in 2017, the “MAX” 737 will be put into production, and called 737-MAX7, -MAX8, and MAX9. These new versions feature high-efficiency wingtips, the new SKY interior from the Dreamliner, additional fly-by-wire controls, upgraded LCD displays from the 787, new engines, and other changes to the airframe.


Boeing 737 History

The first 737 was the last new airplane to be built at Plant 2 on Boeing Field in Seattle, with a production run that included the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress, B-52 Stratofortress and the world’s first large swept-wing jet — the XB-47 Stratojet. While the old assembly building at Plant 2 seemed cavernous, it still wasn’t tall enough for the 737’s tail, which was attached using a crane in the parking lot.

At a ceremony on Jan. 17, 1967, the first 737 was introduced to the world. The festivities included a christening by flight attendants representing the 17 airlines that had ordered the new plane.

In 1967, the smaller, short-range 737 twinjet was the logical airplane to complement the 707 and the 727. There was increasing demand for transports in its category, but the 737 faced heavy competition from the Douglas DC-9 and the British Aircraft Corp. BAC 1-11.

To save production time, and get the plane on the market as soon as possible, Boeing gave the 737 the same upper lobe fuselage as the 707 and 727 so that the same upper deck cargo pallets could be used for all three jets.

The 737 had six-abreast seating — a selling point, because this way it could take more passengers per load (the DC-9 seated five abreast). The number of seats in the 737 also was increased by mounting the engines under the wing. This engine placement buffered some of the noise, decreased vibration and made it easier to maintain the airplane at ground level. Like the 727, the 737 could operate self-sufficiently at small airports and on remote, unimproved fields. The plane’s performance in these conditions led to orders in Africa, Central and South America, Asia and Australia.

New technology made the position of flight engineer redundant; the 737’s two-person flight deck became standard among air carriers.

On Dec. 28, 1967, Lufthansa took delivery of the first production 737-100 model, in a ceremony at Boeing Field. The following day, United Airlines, the first domestic customer to order the 737, took delivery of the first 737-200. The last 737-200 was delivered in 1988.

By 1993, customers had ordered 3,100 737s, and the company was developing the Next-Generation 737s — the -700, -800 and -900.

The 126- to 149-seat 737-700 was launched in November 1993 and first delivered in December 1997. The 162- to 189-seat 737-800 was launched Sept. 5, 1994. The 110- to 132-passenger 737-600 was first delivered in 1998, and the 177- to 189-passenger 737-900 was first delivered in 2001. Customers began ordering the -900’s replacement, the higher capacity, longer range 737-900ER, in 2005.

In July 2012, the 737 became the first-ever commercial jet airplane to surpass the 10,000 orders. By 2014, Boeing was building 42 737s at its Renton, Wash., factory every month, and planned to increase the rate 52 per month in 2018 to meet continuing demand.



Boeing 737 Fun Facts

The 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time.

In 1965, the Boeing name was synonymous with big multi-engine jet airplanes, so when the company announced its new commercial twinjet, the 737, it was called the “Baby Boeing.”

On the average about 1,000 737s are in the air at all times; one takes off every 5.5 seconds.

There are approximately 357,000 parts in 737-300/-400/-500s. About 600,000 bolts and rivets fasten these parts together.

Typically, about 50 gallons of paint are used to paint an average 737. The paint weighs approximately 300 pounds.

There are approximately 40.5 miles of wire in a 737-300.

The tires are exposed to the air since the aircraft doesn’t feature gear doors.

There is no fuel dump system, since the original aircraft were too small and it would’ve added a weight penalty to later aircraft, so 737s either circle to burn fuel or land overweight.

Because of the plane’s low design, engines are very close to the ground, necessitating non-circular air inlets.

A weight reduction of 700 pounds on a Boeing 737-800 results in 0.5% reduction in fuel burn.

The Boeing 737 Turns 50 Today!


The first flight of Boeing’s 737 took place 50 years ago on Sunday. The occasion comes just weeks before the first delivery of the newest version, the Boeing 737 MAX.

Brien Wygle, the pilot who commanded that first flight on April 9, 1967, will participate in a panel discussion at noon in the museum theater. “Fifty years ago we had no idea,” Wygle, 92, said in an interview this week. “We were hoping to eventually sell enough to break even.”

Things turned out quite differently. Boeing, as of March 2017, delivered 9,448 of the single-aisle twinjets, with 4,506 more still on order. And with the delivery of the first MAX coming soon, Boeing plans to ramp up production in Renton later this year to 47 jets per month and up to 52 per month next year.

“The 737 took the aviation world by storm and has been improved steadily since,” Wygle said. “It obviously filled an incredible need.”

The 737 changed aviation, bringing jet transport to tiny airports all over the world. “Small airlines flew it to remote places,” said Bob Bogash, a 737 engineer. “We flew off unpaved runways in the Canadian North. Many of those airlines had never had a new airplane before and never had a jet airplane.”

The 737 also transformed the economics of domestic flying in the U.S. Its swift turnaround times, fuel efficiency and ability to operate from small airports produced the concept of low-fare carriers and brought air travel to the masses.


Delta Enables More Tickets to be Eligible For Medallion Upgrades


Delta Medallion members flying with companions on the same reservation can now receive complimentary upgrades not just on paid tickets but also on Award tickets, Pay With Miles tickets, and Miles + Cash tickets. Also, SkyMiles Credit Card Companion tickets are also now eligible for upgrades.

This is a big deal, as previously, not only wasn’t it crystal clear, but after enough research Delta would say that these tickets are not eligible for upgrades with companions. This make SkyMiles more valuable, and also the companion passes from the Platinum and Reserve Skymiles cards.


From Delta PR :

A Medallion Member and a traveling companion may both enjoy a Complimentary Upgrade to First Class, Business Class or Delta Comfort+® when traveling on Delta and Delta Connection carriers, as long as that companion is a General SkyMiles Member or a Medallion Member in the same reservation.