If you loved American Airlines' decision to charge for blankets and pillows, you're bound to go nuts over today's announcement: Starting with tickets bought on February 22, you won't be able to fly stand-by on the Fort Worth-based carrier unless you're willing to pony up $50 for a confirmed seat. Now, this won't apply to everyone -- George Clooney's good to go; so too other "elite frequent fliers, travelers in first or business class, military personnel and people who bought pricey coach tickets," according to the Associated Press. Everyone else, pay up or sit down: "In announcing the change, American played down the $50 and said it was improving the boarding process by eliminating the gaggle of would-be standby fliers who flock to the desk before flights."
The announcement comes just as stories are stacking up on the runway about a pending announcement from the Federal Aviation Administration concerning a possible fine -- anywhere from $10 to $20 million, according to media guesstimates -- over the 2-year-long MD-80 investigation. Our old pal Tim Wagner tells the AP that AA doesn't know what fines the media's referring to and that, look, "the airline has long said the safety of its aircraft was never jeopardized."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.