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Articles by Paul Riegler

American Airlines Flight Attendant Dies En Route to St. Louis

American Airlines Flight Attendant Dies En Route to St. Louis

An American Airlines flight attendant died from a heart attack while working on a flight headed for St. Louis.
Joseph Tormes, known as Joe to friends, was working the flight along with his wife, Elsa Jett-Tormes, who also works for the airline.
The airline announced his death in a memorandum to employees on Monday.
“We know that many of you worked with Joe and know you will miss him deeply,” the airline said …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T SEL

Introducing the redesigned 2020 Volkswagen Passat.  If you liked the recent editions of the Passat (and there’s a lot to like), you will undoubtedly like the new one as well.
We last looked at the Passat some two years ago in GT form, a vehicle that offered tighter handling and a sporty and more powerful V6 powerplant. The 2020 redesign focused on updating the exterior design, bringing it a bit more …

United Airlines Issues Layoff Notices to 36,000 Workers

United Airlines Issues Layoff Notices to 36,000 Workers

United Airlines warned 36,000 employees, approximately 45% of its customer-facing workforce, of impending layoffs that would happen on or after October 1 of this year.
Flight attendants and gate agents account for 26,000 of the 36,000.
“After months of aggressive cost-cutting and proactive capital-raising, today we updated employees about a topic we’ve always dreaded and the action that was always a last resort in the context of this COVID-19 pandemic: involuntary furloughs,” …

Gogo to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi Earlier During Take-Off

Gogo to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi Earlier During Take-Off

In-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo said that, starting July 20, 2020, passengers using its air-to-ground offering in flight could begin to use the service at 3,000’ altitude.
The move, the company said, will give travelers an additional 15 to 20 minutes of online time during many flights.
The company feels that the change in service will benefit shorter flights in particular.  Twenty-five percent of Gogo-equipped regional jet flights are under 60 minutes in …

Happy Fourth! Celebrate the Holiday with Our Photo Essay of Patriotic Sunsets

As is our custom, we at FBT celebrate Independence Day in the United States, the Fourth of July, with captivating and patriotic sunsets.
While we’ll be listening to the Boston Pops perform last year’s concert (due to the cancellation of this year’s due to the pandemic), accompanied by some star-spangled fireworks, there’s nothing like a beautiful sunset to gaze upon. As the sky changes to a vivid red from white and blue, Conductor …

July News Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Past Month’s Headlines

It’s July, we’re halfway through the year, and it’s time to see how up-to-date you are with travel, aviation, and coronavirus news from the past month. What a month it’s been!
Take our travel news quiz and you could win a piece of airline and travel history including items from Pan Am, Cunard, and TWA.
In last month’s quiz, which was one of the more difficult ones, the question asking what Boeing’s …

U.S. Car Sales Plummet Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Car Sales Plummet Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Automakers in the United States reported a 30% drop in car sales in the second quarter. Stay-at-home orders and plant shutdowns contributed to the decline.
The drop was the biggest recorded fall in sales since the 2009 recession, when multiple automakers went bankrupt.
Most dealerships in the United States have been closed during the pandemic, although some have started to reopen in areas where the virus is under control.
General Motors, the largest U.S. …