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BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Less than two months after Delta Airlines revamped its loyalty rewards program, American Airlines has announced loyalty program changes that offer breaks for some travelers but cut out some freebies for others. Unlike the overhaul made at Delta, American will continue to base its rewards points on how many miles you travel. Delta's program now calculates points based on how much money you spend on air travel. The changes announced Tuesday by American attempt to more closely align the rewards rules of the carrier and US Airways, which are in the process of merging to become the world's largest airline.
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BUSINESS
April 7, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
California-based Virgin America ranked highest among the nation's top 15 carriers in a study that looked at on-time performances, customer complaints and lost bag rates, among other factors. The study, known as the Airline Quality Rating report, also found that the performance of the nation's airlines as a whole improved in 2013 over the previous year. The ratings report was produced by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University and was based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
California-based Virgin America ranked highest among the nation's top 15 carriers in a study that looked at on-time performance, customer complaints and lost bag rates, among other factors. The study, known as the Airline Quality Rating report, also found that airline performance improved in 2013 over the previous year. The ratings report was produced by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University and was based on data collected by the U.S.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Airlines in the U.S. don't have a very good reputation among travelers. Maybe those ever-multiplying passenger fees and ever-shrinking economy seats play a role in that. But American carriers can at least take solace in the news that travelers are pretty happy with airline websites. An annual customer study -- the American Customer Satisfaction Index -- found that airlines ranked near the bottom among all industries, with a rating of 69 on a scale of 1 to 100. But the same index found that airline websites got a satisfaction rating of 80. In fact, airline websites ranked slightly higher than websites for online travel businesses like Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline, which got a score of 77. The highest-rated websites were for credit unions (86)
NEWS
April 6, 2014 | By Julie Makinen, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
BEIJING -- An Australian ship towing a U.S. Navy "pinger" locator has twice picked up sustained signals that may be from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's "black boxes," and searchers are likely to deploy an underwater exploratory vehicle soon to look for wreckage, authorities said Monday. The first acoustic event detected by the Ocean Shield lasted two hours and 20 minutes, and the second lasted 13 minutes, said Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating search efforts from Perth, Australia.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Returning from a recent leisure trip to Miami, Jerry Jorgensen landed in Detroit only to face one of the biggest frustrations of air travel: His bag was nowhere to be found. After making several dozen calls, Jorgensen got American Airlines to return his bag. But the Michigan dairy farmer was not happy. The airline "passed me around on the phone like a hot potato," he said. The good news about lost luggage is that airlines worldwide eventually recover 97% of mishandled bags. That is one of 10 surprising facts about flying with luggage that came out of a new study by international air transport technology specialist SITA.
WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Searchers looking for the data recorders from missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 said Sunday that they were investigating underwater “acoustic events” in two distinct areas of the Indian Ocean - one picked up by an Australian vessel and two others recorded by a Chinese patrol ship. The Australian military vessel Ocean Shield, towing a sophisticated pinger locator lent by the U.S. Navy, reported Sunday morning that it had picked up a signal, said Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating search efforts from Perth, Australia.
WORLD
April 2, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Peter Jackson, the director of the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film series, has lent his personal Gulfstream jet to the team searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Radio New Zealand reported. Australian authorities said Monday that a civilian jet was providing “communications relay” to 10 military planes involved in the search but did not identify it further. Radio New Zealand said Tuesday it received a tip that the civilian aircraft belonged to the director and New Zealand native, and confirmed with his representatives that the G650 aircraft was indeed his. Gulfstream describes the 650 as an “ultra-high-speed, ultra-long-range business jet” that can carry eight passengers and a crew of four on nonstop flights of 7,000 nautical miles.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Airline customers complain about being mistreated daily, but Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg took his grievance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Ginsberg, the court sided Wednesday with Northwest Airlines Inc., now merged into Delta Air Lines Inc., in a case that had put carriers on edge. The ruling strengthens the industry's hand when fighting litigation filed by disgruntled passengers by bolstering a 36-year-old federal law that limits its exposure to such claims.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
While crews continue to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, a global airline trade group reported a steep drop in the number of airline fatalities in 2013, compared to the previous year. The International Air Transport Assn. reported 210 fatalities from commercial airline accidents in 2013, down from 414 fatalities in the previous year. Those 210 fatalities exceed the 239 people believed to have perished aboard Flight 370 last month. The fatality total was also below the five-year average of 517 deaths per year.
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