Welcome to the end of the line for the DC-10. Sort of. Biman Bangladesh Airlines is the only remaining operator of the type for commercial service and they’re finally making the leap into the 21st century with fleet modernization efforts. That means it is time for a retirement party. And rather than giving the plane a gold watch and sending it on its way (though that watch would improve the IFE options on board) Biman is taking the bird on one last boondoggle of a trip. This week’s episode was recorded in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the night prior to the final scheduled service and we’ve got a couple special guests on the show talking about the journey to get here and why it was important to them to make the trip.
Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren from Airchive.com and Bernie Leighton from Airline Reporter join me for the first half of the show, talking aircraft history, the challenges of chasing a final flight and the pain which jet lag can cause. We also debate how to actually pronounce Biman, who will carry the responsibility for making sure the rear cargo door pressure seal works and why someone would need to import 40 tonnes of green chilies in a single day. In other words, a bit of incoherent rambling, just like always. Also, it seems that Jason didn’t listen to the Apology episode, but we’ll forgive him that transgression.
There are some other news bits on the episode as well, including:
- Club Carlson is changing their program, adding a new tier at the top of the award chart, reducing some elite benefits and also adding some earning options/benefits for award stays. It is definitely a mixed bag on this one.
- Cleveland got cut deeply by United and we talked about that last episode. This time around there are some minor bits of good news for the city. Both Frontier (TTN, SEA, MCO) and Delta (IND, RDU) are adding service to fill in a few of the holes United is leaving. Will it be enough? Probably not.
- Seattle is also going to see more service added thanks to Alaska Airlines adding Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa to their route map. Bonus miles aplenty to be had there.
- Thai Airways now has in-flight wifi on their A330s and A380s. It is crazy expensive and the performance isn’t all that great, but they have the service. Worth it??
- Qatar Airways announced an all-business class offering starting later this spring for the Doha-Heathrow route. The flight will be operated by an A319, furthering the evidence that Qatar has every type of aircraft config possible and they assign them in a manner which will confound even the most experienced aviation geeks.
Enjoy the show!