Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 30 May 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.
New York Subway Upgrade
The New York Subway has had well documented problems of late, particularly with regard to derailments and ever increasing delays, to such an extent it has planned placed in a “state of emergency”
Whilst the Subway can claim to have the advantage of operating 24 hours day (thanks to it having twin tracks) and is more affordable than The Tube, it falls far short in many other areas.
The Tube has long accepted contactless payments. However, the Subway is still stuck with Metrocards which easily stop working. The Subway has only very recently installed countdown clocks on platforms. And why are there so few maps on the platforms? On the trains, driver announcements are inaudible.
The President of New York City Transit Andy Byford has in the past week issued a new plan “Fast Forward” to modernise the city’s transport.
The proposals include a signifiant upgrade to Subway cars and signalling systems. These were originally planned to take place over 40 years. It is now proposed these are done in 10. This is likely to involve the temporary closure of lines, something that we are of course familiar with in London.
Note that funding for this plan has not yet been confirmed and it is subject to approval by the Metropolitan Transport Authority.
As per an extensive investigation by The New York Times last year, the Subway is mired in local politics as it owned by New York City, but the MTA is overseen by the state of New York.
New United Polaris Lounge – Newark
Staying in the New York region, United is expected to open its latest Polaris lounge in Newark on Monday 4 June 2018.
At the time of “going to press”, there are no preview images are available. However, based on the most recent Polaris lounge in San Francisco it should be very impressive.
BA Transatlantic Basic Economy
Following the launch of basic economy fares earlier this year, BA has now extended these fares.
Basic economy is now available on all journeys booked in the UK to the US and Canada, and all journeys booked in the US and Canada to London.
California High Speed Rail
It is more than ten years ago we can first recall plans to build a High Speed Rail line in California.
Overseen by The California High Speed Rail Authority construction of High Speed Rail is now underway. However, this is not without questions over delays, budget over-runs and considerable opposition in the local press.
Rod Diridon Senior, Chair Emeritus of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board defends the status of the project (Mercury News)
Also of note this week:
Something we have to admit to having missed last week. Aer Lingus has now stated direct flights from Dublin to Seattle (Aer Lingus Blog)
CBC on WestJet’s fractious negotiations with its pilots to avert potential strike action. (CBC)
After weeks of teasing, Delta’s new staff uniforms are now being rolled out in public. (Delta)
Virgin Atlantic is giving visitors to its home in London Heathrow Terminal 3 a chance to win a VIP trip to New York later this summer. (Virgin Atlantic)
Late Post Publication Updates:
Virgin Atlantic has confirmed its Summer 2019 schedule from Manchester. It will launch a new route to Los Angeles, operating three times weekly from Sunday 26 May 2019. This appears to be replacing San Francisco. Virgin will also fly to Boston three times weekly from Saturday 25 May 2019 and Las Vegas four times weekly from Sunday 31 March 2019. Atlanta and New York JFK will also continue to be served daily.
[Reseved for updates during the day.]
The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday at 06:00 BST. If you have any comments, suggestions or tips then please drop us a line at mail [@] londonairtravel.com