April 24, 2011 |
Question: I have been shopping for fares to London. Cheapoair.com indicated a price of $688, which excluded taxes. When I clicked "book," the price was nearly $900. When I go to British Airways, Travelocity or Orbitz, it clearly indicates "excluding taxes and fees. " Doesn't that seem more honest? -- Tina Yates, Los Angeles Answer: Answer: For now, let's substitute the word "clearer" for "more honest. " We would not want to impugn the integrity of a travel provider.
April 17, 2011
Baggage scofflaws and their scoffers Regarding "Bag-Fee Dodger" [On the Spot, March 27] by Catharine Hamm: My wife and I recently returned from a 15-day cruise. We flew to Miami, Miami to Rio de Janeiro, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Dallas, and Dallas to LAX, all on American. The American Airlines representative's quote in the article about gate agents asking passengers to check excess items is nonsense. At no time was the carry-on bag rule enforced. I saw people carrying oversized bags, two or three bags plus a laptop computer and musical instruments and tennis rackets into the cabin as carry-on luggage.
March 6, 2011 |
Question: My wife and I traveled to Ireland by way of Paris on Aer Lingus. When we got to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, an agent eyeballed our bags and said they exceeded the weight limit and that we owed 600 euros (about $800) total. Can this be right? Chester Tadeja, Chino Answer: Mon Dieu , or, said another way, the airline may be right because it says it's right. Aer Lingus is certain that Tadeja's bags were overweight and says it has the paperwork to prove it. Tadeja says no, that the counter agent just looked at those bags.
January 12, 2011 |
Wouldn’t it be nice to know how an airline may treat you in advance? TripAdvisor thinks so. On Wednesday, the travel website, best known for its user reviews of hotels, added user reviews to its flight search engine, TripAdvisor Flights . Jami Counter, senior director of TripAdvisor Flights, said the website has so far collected more than 3,500 airline ratings from travelers, "and we expect it to grow quickly.” Airlines are rated from 1 to 5 "stars" and also by the percentage of travelers who recommend them.
December 14, 2010 |
Fees that may make fliers gnash their teeth proved to be big money for airlines this year. How big? The top 20 carriers made $2.6 billion in baggage fees and $1.7 billion in reservation cancellation or change fees in the first three quarters of 2010, a Bureau of Transportation Statistics report said Monday. So that may mean more fees are on the way. Continental Airlines, for example, rolled out a new optional fee Monday called FareLock that allows you to "lock in" an airfare that you like for three or seven days – for fees that start at $5 and $9, respectively.
December 13, 2010 |
The sky appears to be the limit when it comes to the money airlines make by charging passengers to check luggage. The 20 largest U.S. carriers collected $906.4 million in baggage-related revenue during the third quarter, a 23% jump from the same period a year earlier, according to data released Monday by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. International fees adopted this year, a rebound in air travel and growing passenger frustration over limited overhead space in airplane cabins all contributed to the skyrocketing fee income, observers said.
October 23, 2010 |
As a frequent flier, I have long wondered about the legality of charging baggage fees for those of us who are disabled and can't use the overhead bins. I have a bad shoulder, and flight attendants will not assist me. It seems to me that airlines should not charge a fee for bags for people who are disabled. Does the Americans With Disabilities Act apply? Audray Johnson Riverside Answer: The Air Carrier Access Act, a cousin to the Americans With Disabilities Act, applies.
October 11, 2010 |
Early next year, Singapore Airlines will begin to install technology in dozens of planes to let passengers surf the Internet and send e-mail from 35,000 feet in the air, the airline announced last week. The circuitry that the air carrier will install in at least 40 long-haul jets by 2013 would also allow passengers to make airborne cellphone calls. But Singapore Airline remains undecided whether to allow cellphone calls. "As we get closer to the launch date, we will decide whether voice calling in the cabin will be activated," said James Boyd, a spokesman for Singapore Airlines.
August 31, 2010 |
Labor Day is nigh and we're heading into the last big surge of vacation travel of the summer. Could there be a better moment for American Airlines to unveil its latest nuisance fee? American's bright new idea is to charge coach passengers extra for a seat in the first few rows of the cabin, the idea being that these are desirable because their occupants can be assured of getting overhead bin space and get off the plane faster after landing. I can certainly understand the desire to get off an American Airlines plane as quickly as possible.
August 30, 2010 |
After more than two years of slumping demand and declining airfares, the U.S. airline industry is beginning to see signs of recovery. But don't expect the airlines to cut you a break on fees. Total passenger numbers in May jumped nearly 3% from the same month last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This May — the latest month for which numbers are available — 82% of seats were filled, up from 80% in the same month last year. Revenue from transporting cargo also soared: 40% for international cargo and 11% for domestic cargo.