January 29, 2012 |
New federal regulations aimed at giving airline passengers the true price of their tickets when booking a flight may provide some travelers with an unpleasant surprise. The new U.S. Department of Transportation rules that took effect last week require airlines to include taxes and fees in their advertised prices. But travel experts say they may have the unintended effect of reducing airline ticket sales by scaring away passengers with prices that suddenly seem much higher than in the past.
January 16, 2012 |
After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide. But the TSA does not plan to retest the machines or passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanners. News of the test leaked out after the TSA issued a request last month to government vendors to provide wearable, personal dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to radiation.
December 2, 2011 |
Officials have promised to make changes before the Christmas travel season in an effort to prevent airline passengers from suffering the nightmare of being trapped for hours on a tarmac with no way to reach an airport gate. “We can move pretty quickly on this,” Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt said after a forum with airlines, airports and government officials on ways to prevent a repeat of an October incident that left hundreds of passengers stranded in Hartford, Conn..
November 27, 2011 |
With the busy holiday travel season in full swing, federal lawmakers, passenger rights advocates and airlines are squaring off over one of the thorniest issues in flying today: baggage fees. The bottom line is that you will probably get no reprieve from the fees any time soon. A Louisiana senator proposed legislation last week that would allow airline passengers to check one bag for free on each flight. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said the bill is meant to protect passengers from excessive fees.
November 16, 2011 |
More passengers toting more carry-on bags clog Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and frustrate air travelers, according to a U.S. Travel Assn. survey released Wednesday. "The recent trend of most airlines charging separate fees for every checked bag has resulted in airline passengers 'carrying on' substantially more baggage per person," the organization's president and Chief Executive Roger Dow told a Senate committee this month. "The increased volume of carry-on baggage is causing significant checkpoint congestion, negatively impacting security and causing significant strains on TSA personnel and resources," he said.
October 31, 2011 |
JetBlue Airways Corp. and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines could face huge U.S. fines after their passengers sat for hours in jets stranded on a snow-covered tarmac near Hartford, Conn., this weekend. The U.S. Transportation Department is investigating the JetBlue reports and "several other possible delays" but couldn't comment immediately on American Airlines. Under rules in place since April 2010, most tarmac delays at U.S. airports are limited to three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights, the agency said.
September 14, 2011 |
Smoking electronic cigarettes would be explicitly banned on all domestic and international commercial flights in the U.S. under a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Current federal law prohibits passengers from smoking any tobacco product on a commercial plane but does not single out the use of electronic cigarettes. Most electronic cigarettes do not burn tobacco but use a lithium battery to heat up a liquid nicotine solution, creating a vapor that can be inhaled to deliver the chemical directly into the lungs.
August 31, 2011 |
The scenario is all too familiar: A love affair that started out wildly romantic and adventurous grows bitter and dreary over the years. Communication breaks down. Disappointments replace dreams. And before you know it, the relationship seems unsalvageable. Is there a couple's counselor in the house? Counselor: OK, let's just start by listening to one another. No interrupting, no name-calling. We'll start with you, Airline. What would you like to say to your Passenger? Airline: When we first met, you treated me like a hero who swept you off your feet.
August 30, 2011 |
Despite the outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars and a vast reorganization of federal agencies since the Sept. 11 attacks, major gaps remain in the government's ability to prevent and respond to a terrorist strike, according to an assessment by the former heads of the 9/11 Commission. The report, which will be released Wednesday, warns that the nation's ability to detect explosives hidden on passengers boarding airplanes "lacks reliability. " It describes emergency communications used by first responders in urban areas as "inadequate.
August 24, 2011 |
Airline passengers bumped from domestic flights are eligible to receive as much as $1,300 under new federal rules that increase the amount of compensation in such cases and require carriers to refund checked-baggage fees for lost luggage. The Transportation Department rules are the latest to be imposed by federal regulators over the last two years in response to several notorious cases of flight delays, including a 2009 incident in which passengers were stranded for nearly six hours on a plane in Rochester, Minn.