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Airline Fees

BUSINESS
February 10, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
United Airlines has been one of the last major airlines to jump into the business of offering on-board wireless Internet. But it's trying to make up for its tardiness. The Chicago-based carrier offers Wi-Fi in about 3% of its fleet of about 700 planes, one of the lowest rates of any major carrier in the nation, according to a recent study. But United recently became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi Internet for passengers traveling on long-haul overseas flights.
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BUSINESS
January 23, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2012 | David Lazarus
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.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
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.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline recently might assume that air carriers have run out of ideas for new passenger fees. After all, the world's biggest airlines are expected this year to collect $36.1 billion in revenue for food, drinks, wireless Internet service, roomier seats and checked bags. But the airline industry is not resting on its money-making laurels. At a three-day “Airline Information” conference in San Diego last week, airline representatives met with technology firms, marketing companies and others to discuss ways to maximize airline passenger fees.
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