Travel News: August 16-22 (Uber, Biofuel, ASL, Seahawks and More)

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline travel news – from Uber, biofuel, and ASL, to Air Force 757, customer complaints and Russell Wilson. Enjoy!

United Airlines to Offer Uber Rides on its App

United Airlines has partnered with Uber to offer ground transportation to travelers using its iOS or Android app. The new feature will mean United can display pickup times, fare estimates and trip history. Once customers select a ride, the United app will transfer them to Uber to complete the transaction.

British Budget Airlines Receiving Fewest Customer Complaints

It seems that budget airlines across the pond are doing something right. Last year they received the fewest customer complaints – for every million fliers there were just 33 complaints (EasyJet), 25 complaints (Ryanair), and 29 complaints (Aer Lingus). Perhaps U.S. carriers should be taking note?

Air Force 757 Breaks Down

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, found himself hitching a ride on a United Airlines flight from Honolulu to Washington last week after his scheduled Air Force 757 experienced a delay due to mechanical problems.

Boeing and South African Airlines Developing New Biofuel with Tobacco

In an attempt to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, Boeing and SAA have partnered to develop a renewable jet fuel made from a South African tobacco plant. But this is not Boeing’s only biofuel collaboration. It is also working with desert plants in the UAE.

FAA Bans Airlines from Flying over Syria

Growing safety concerns about civil aviation in relation to the Syrian conflict has resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration banning all American airlines from flying over Syria.

Spirit Airlines Dares Rivals to Take ASL Ice Bucket Challenge

In case you missed the ALS ice bucket challenge that has been burning up social media these past few weeks, the idea is to donate and/or pour an ice bucket over your head to help raise awareness and funds for ALS. You then get to nominate others to do the same. So far celebrities, athletes and even Presidents have taken up the challenge – along with, most likely, several of your friends. Now it seems CEOs are also willing to get cold and wet for charity. This week the CEO of Spirit Airlines took the opportunity to challenge fellow airline executives at JetBlue, Delta and American Airlines.

Random Story of the Week: Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Becomes Alaska Airlines’ Chief Football Officer

A week or so ago I read about the new Alaska Airlines commercial that had been filmed at a local middle school, supposedly starring Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.  This week, courtesy of TravelPulse, I got to watch the commercial. And I have to say it’s pretty funny. You can check it out here. Updates

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