What Is the Airline Observer?

Welcome to The Airline Observer, a newsletter dedicated to news and analysis about the global airline business. It covers every facet of the business except operations. 

Who Reads The Airline Observer?

The Airline Observer is tailored for professionals who work in the airline and travel industries. You have busy jobs, and you may not be able to track every headline and development. I do it for you, informing you about the most important news and analyzing it.

Of course, you can read The Airline Observer if you do not work in the industry. I know many outsiders are fascinated by the business, and I welcome all subscribers.

What Can You Expect?

Global airlines produce a lot of news. Executives speak on earnings calls, at conferences, product launches, and terminal events. Meanwhile, investor relations produce a non-stop barrage of filings, including annual and quarterly reports, and investor updates. Then there’s the stuff airlines do in silence that they may not want customers to know about, like make changes to policies and procedures and altering terms and conditions of frequent flyer programs. 

You do not have time (and perhaps the inclination) to follow every development and decide what is important. But I do. I’m obsessed with airline news, so I pledge to spend every day on the phone, listening to investor events and scouring the internet. 

I separate the fluff from the important stuff, and send you only what you need to know, plus analysis. And at times, I break my own news. 

For me, this is not just a job. This is my obsession, and my life’s work. I spend every waking hour thinking, reading, writing, or talking about airlines. Like many of you, I obsess over frequent flyer programs, seat comfort, fare sales, in-flight meals, and flight schedules. If an airline does anything to make its products less enjoyable for customers, I'm often first to know. I write about those topics — and more — in this newsletter.

Who is Brian Sumers?

I’m a professional journalist with more than a decade of expertise covering airlines. I have written for Skift, Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveler, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. I often appear in major media discussing airline news, with recent appearances in the Washington Post, New York Times and Boston Globe, as well as on CNN, ABC News and CBS News.

I attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where I earned a bachelor’s degree. I have a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. 

Ready to Subscribe?

I’m offering a free subscription and two tiers of premium subscriptions to The Airline Observer — ideally, you’ll like The Airline Observer so much that you’ll pay for (or better yet, expense!) a premium subscription, so you don’t miss any content. Premium subscriptions are $10/month or $100/year, and Founding Members can subscribe (and get access to me) for $500/year.

Whether you’re ready to pay or not, please subscribe regardless. This newsletter is my passion, and my labor of love. I want to build a community here, and I am happy with all subscribers – paid or free. 

I’m excited to have you as a reader. Please enter your email to subscribe to The Airline Observer for free, or, if you want to receive every post I write and have special access to me, subscribe for $10/month or $100/year. Thank you for supporting my work.

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Smart airline business news and analysis.


Brian Sumers
Brian Sumers writes The Airline Observer, a newsletter covering the business of airlines, including route networks, revenue management, onboard and airport product, and more.