February 10, 2013 |
Airline travel fees - including charges to check a bag and to board early - have become so prevalent that travelers almost need an advanced degree in mathematics to calculate overall trip costs. Last year at least 36 airline fees increased, and 16 others were redefined, bundled or unbundled with other services, according to a recent study by the consumer travel website Travelnerd. One bright spot in the Travelnerd study of 14 U.S. airlines is that most fee increases were only $5 to $10 each.
January 23, 2013 |
Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways became the latest airline to report strong profit for 2012, another signal of a resurgence of the nation's airline industry. US Airways, which has pushed for a merger with American Airlines, reported Wednesday a record profit of $537 million for the year or $2.79 per share, compared with a profit of $111 million in 2011. For 2012, total revenues for US Airways reached $13.8 billion, up 5.9% over 2011, with revenue per available seat miles up 3.9% and the average percentage of filled seats at 82.9%, compared with 82.3% in 2011.
January 21, 2013 |
Domestic airfares have been climbing steadily since 2009, and there was no letup last year. But the uptick in ticket prices was not as steep as in the last few years. Domestic airfares increased 4.2% in 2012 compared with the previous year to an average of $427 per ticket, according to Airlines Reporting Corp., an Arlington, Va., company that completes the financial transactions between 16,000 travel agents and 187 airlines. The good news is that the fare increases have been shrinking.
January 21, 2013 |
The add-on fee trend among the nation's airlines continues as Southwest Airlines announced Monday a new $40 fee to let passengers board early. Southwest, the nation's most popular domestic carrier, already charges $10 for its Early Bird Check-In service, which improves a passenger's position in the boarding queue. But the new $40 fee guarantees that passengers get to be among the first 15 in line, letting them stow away carry-on bags in the overhead bin and pick seats with more legroom.
January 20, 2013 |
Domestic airfares have been climbing steadily since 2009, and there was no letup last year. But the uptick in ticket prices was not as steep as the last few years. Domestic airfares increased 4.2% in 2012 compared to the previous year, to an average of $427 per ticket, according to ARC Corp., a Virginia-based company that completes the financial transactions between 16,000 travel agents and 187 airlines. The good news is that the fare increases have been shrinking. In 2010, domestic airfares rose nearly 13% and climbed 8.5% in 2011, according to federal statistics.
December 16, 2012 |
Los Angeles is home to many stylish, exclusive nightclubs that draw some of the hippest crowds. But the city's airport does not have such a cool reputation. In fact, a survey of 1,500 fliers last month ranked LAX as one of the nation's three most stressful airports. That may be changing. California-based Virgin America last week opened at Los Angeles International Airport a new passenger lounge, dubbed the Virgin America Loft. It is bathed in purple and red mood lighting and furnished with upholstered, wheel-shaped seats, flat-screen televisions and cozy couches built for two. In addition to high-end snacks, the lounge offers guests a menu of aviation-themed drinks, including Lofty Lemonade, Jet Stream Spritzer, Runway Ruddy Mary and Mile-High Margarita.
December 11, 2012 |
Remember when you liked to fly? Bill Knauer does. Knauer, 76, of Laguna Niguel, spent his career in the food industry. He hopscotched all over the country peddling his wares. Fun fact: Knauer says he was the young Swanson executive who introduced TV dinners to Los Angeles in 1959. "I had to fly all the time back then," he told me. "It was very enjoyable. " Not anymore. What follows won't be a news flash to today's air travelers. But Knauer's recent experience with US Airways struck me as a fairly typical example of how a struggling industry has gone out of its way to treat its customers like litter-box leavings.
December 5, 2012 |
Facing a drop in parking revenue, the managers of the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank announced plans Wednesday to raise parking rates at several lots. A decline in passengers and the closure of an off-site parking lot has led to the decline in parking revenue over the last year, according to airport officials. "The decision to raise rates in certain lots comes in the face of falling parking revenue that could affect our ability to supply the level of comfort and convenience our passengers desire," said Dan Ferger, executive director of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
December 3, 2012 |
Spending by international visitors to the U.S. continues to rise, setting a new record in September. Foreign visitors spent $13.9 billion traveling to and visiting the U.S. in September, a 4% increase over the same month in 2011, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Spending by international visitors has been growing steadily for the past three years, with tourists from China, Brazil, Australia and South Korea, among a few other countries, generating the biggest boost in revenues.
December 2, 2012 |
In the Nov. 25 On the Spot ("High Alert When Children Fly Solo"), a parent of a 9-year-old who flew alone from LAX to Boise, Idaho, pondered what the airline fee was for because no services were rendered. Readers responded with several takes on the issue, including whether any child should fly alone. Here are some of their thoughts. Rebecca Keenan of San Diego notes that at one time in her life she flew more than 100,000 miles a year. "I would fly on red-eyes, the last flight of the day and flights in between," she said.