The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 16 January 2019

A weekly bulletin on transatlantic travel, published every Wednesday at 06:00 GMT.

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United Polaris Lounge Los Angeles
United Polaris Lounge Los Angeles (Image Credit: United Airlines)

Welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 16 January 2019, our weekly update on transatlantic travel from Europe to North America, and our first edition for 2019.

US Government Shutdown

The UK and US Governments are currently rivalling each other for the greatest state of paralysis.

The US Government shutdown means that some 800,000 US Government employees are either not working or working without being paid. Delta has estimated it will cost it $25million in revenue in the first quarter of this year due to fewer Government employees travelling.

The shutdown has also delayed the entry of new aircraft into service by US airlines, including the Airbus A220 by Delta, as there has been no sign-off from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Transport Security Administration employees are required to continue working during the shutdown.

The TSA is providing updates on airport security screening.

Some airports, most notably Atlanta, are experiencing significantly longer wait times.

United Opens Los Angeles Polaris Lounge

United has opened its latest Polaris lounge for international business travellers in Los Angeles.

This follows the template set by Polaris lounges in Houston, Newark and San Francisco with significantly improved seating, pre-flight dining and showers. A new Polaris lounge is due to open at some point at London Heathrow. (United)

The Talk Of The Town: The L-Train

Readers in the UK will be more than familiar with the concept of blanket shutdowns on the Tube and rail network for repairs and upgrades.

They are much less common in the US. The L-Train on the New York Subway which runs from 14th Street on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan under the East River to Brooklyn was due to close for 15 months from 27 April this year for repairs to the tunnel.

This has been pulled at the last minute due to a new plan by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, long a target for ire from weary Subway users, for a less disruptive approach with weekend closures. The official line from the MTA is that the shutdown has been suspended. However, according to the New York Times, this had been previously rejected by the MTA.

The Subway, owned by New York City, with the MTA controlled by New York State, has long been caught in City/State politics. Expect this to run and run.

Also of note this week:

Air Canada completes its acquisition of the Aeroplan programme ahead of a planned relaunch of its frequent flyer programme. (Air Canada)

The New Yorker cover “Big City” by Pascal Campion. (The New Yorker)

Seattle closes its Alaskan Way Viaduct for a planned waterfront development. (CityLab)

Late Post Publication Updates

[Reserved for updates during the day.]

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