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BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Pilots for JetBlue Airlines, the nation's sixth largest carrier, voted Tuesday to unionize after rejecting two previous union votes. The more than 2,600 pilots, with a vote of about 71%, agreed to join the Air Line Pilots Assn. International, which already represents more than 50,000 pilots at 31 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Until the vote, JetBlue was the last major airline without union representation. The New York-based airline was founded in 1999. Best airlines, worst airlines: JetBlue tops survey as scores slide “ALPA welcomes the JetBlue pilots,” said Capt.
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BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A national study on customer satisfaction suggests that passenger satisfaction ratings slump after airlines undergo a merger with another carrier. The nation's top airlines received a combined score of 69 on a 1-to-100 scale, below the average scores for banks, insurance companies, gas stations, hotels and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, an annual study released Tuesday. The airlines' score remained the same from last year's customer satisfaction score.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Hugo Marti­n
If you thought airlines could find no new ways to squeeze more passengers into each plane, you are underestimating the resolve of the airline industry. At this month's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, many of the 500 exhibitors were promoting new ideas to cut down on weight - to save fuel - and innovative layouts to fit more seats per cabin. Among the concepts offered at the expo was a set of seats that put passengers face to face; seats that are installed in a staggered, diagonal layout, and lavatories designed to wedge in a few extra passengers in the back of the cabin.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
In the first six months of 2012, the nation's largest airlines collected more than $1.7 billion in fees to check baggage. One way to avoid such fees is to use an airline such as Southwest Airlines, which doesn't charge for the first two bags. Another way is more questionable. Eric Rose, a business consultant who travels frequently, came across the second method on a recent flight on Virgin America. He saw several passengers drag bags that were too big for overhead bins to the gate, only to have the gate attendant send the bags to the cargo hold without charging a baggage-check fee. The move saved the passengers $25 per bag. Rose pointed out the loophole in an email to Virgin America's chief executive, David Cush.
NEWS
January 26, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger, This post has been updated. See below for details
If airfares seem a little higher than usual, it's not because the airlines have raised their prices. The Department of Transportation's long-awaited new rules on what airlines can advertise as posted ticket prices go into effect Thursday. I think of it as the "no surprises" rule. The biggest change: Published airfares (online, on billboards, in print, over the phone) must include all taxes and fees. The idea is that consumers looking for the lowest airfare won't be misled by super-low prices that increase exponentially after fees and taxes are added on. The rule applies to airlines, ticket agents and online travel booking sites like Expedia, Orbitz, etc. Kayak, however, already publishes the total cost of airfares on its site.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Fly from Albuquerque to Tucson on Southwest Airlines for $59, from Asheville, N.C., to Orlando on Allegiant Air for $49, or from Boston to Chicago on Spirit Airlines for only $9. If these fares seem too good to be true, that's because they are. An asterisk accompanies the online ads for the fares, with the fine print indicating that additional fees and taxes apply. In some cases the additional charges raise the final ticket price by 20% or more. Starting Jan. 26, no more asterisks.
BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Airline mergers have put more than 70% of the nation's domestic traffic in the hands of four major carriers. But low-cost airlines still have some influence over airfares. A new study shows that when airlines such as JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest launch service on an existing domestic route, the average price from all carriers drops as much as 67%. It's good news for travelers, but aviation experts say most popular routes are still dominated by the four biggest carriers: United, Delta, Southwest and the soon-to-be-merged American and US Airways.
BUSINESS
April 22, 1998 | Bloomberg News
The Transportation Department granted six small airlines takeoff and landing slots at Chicago's O'Hare and New York's LaGuardia airports. America West Airlines was given five exemptions--each exemption allows the carrier one arrival or departure--at O'Hare, which the airline plans to use to boost the number of daily Chicago-Phoenix round trips to five. Atlantic Coast Airlines and Trans States Airlines each received 16 O'Hare exemptions, and Simmons Airlines got 16 temporary exemptions there.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
  Airline cancellations continued to mount, with a few carriers beginning to cancel flights scheduled for Thursday. Super storm Sandy is now blamed for the cancellation of 18,100 flights, stretching from Saturday to Wednesday, according to the travel monitoring site, Flightaware.com. The canceled flights were primarily to and from storm-ravaged cities along the East Coast. About 50 or so flights were already canceled for Thursday. The website Flightstats.com has animated the effects of the storm on flights in an online video, shown above.
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