First pretzels, now power ports.The latest good news for frequent fliers came Tuesday, when US Airways said it will keep the power ports in its Airbus jets activated.
The airline had considered discontinuing the ports to save costs, but after frequent fliers complained, the airline switched course. (The snacks returned after being yanked in September.)
The power ports supply only 15 volts, so passengers hoping to plug in their laptops or MP3 players will have to buy a voltage converter to use them.
Some frequent fliers crowed on Internet message boards Tuesday when US Airways said it's considering adding new ports on the Airbus planes in the former America West fleet.
US Airways reached agreement on how to merge the seniority list for its 9,500 reservation-agent and passenger service employees, the first of four major work groups to do so. The Communications Workers of America represented workers from the old US Airways, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represented former America West workers.
Such negotiations have been sometimes contentious between workers at the two airlines, which merged in September and kept the US Airways name. Former US Airways workers generally have more seniority.
Included in the agreement are increases in top-scale pay for passenger-service workers, to $18 an hour from $17. The former America West workers will also see pay raises in April as they move to the former US Airways pay scale.
US Airways reported its traffic dropped in November, compared with the same month last year, as the airline continues to pull older Boeing 737s from its fleet.The decline came entirely from the former US Airways side, which is shrinking its fleet. The former America West side saw passenger traffic rise in the month.
Overall, the airline saw revenue passenger miles -- an important statistic that represents one paying passenger flying one mile -- drop 6 percent. Available seat miles, a measure of overall capacity, fell 7.4 percent.
With the shrinking fleet, cabins were a bit more full in November, with 75.2 percent of seats filled, up from last year's 74.1 percent.
The airlines together had 373 planes at the end of September, down from 411 in June.
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The latest adjustments could affect everyone from leisure travelers to those enrolled in multiple programs who will have to watch them more carefully.
At Philadelphia International Airport America West will give up the ticket counter and single gate in Terminal D that it has leased from Continental Airlines.