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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.
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TRAVEL
November 4, 2012 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times
Question: Several readers have asked for information about what to do when a relative who plans to make an airline trip dies before the trip can be taken. Does nonrefundable mean nonrefundable? Answer: When airlines say "nonrefundable fare," they usually mean it. Except when they don't. Don't get excited. This doesn't mean you'll get your money back if, say, you change your mind about going to (fill-in-the-blank place) because you're worried about (fill-in-the-blank anxiety-inducing issue)
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 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.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Fly from Albuquerque to Tucson on Southwest Airlines for $59. Jet from Asheville, N.C., to Orlando, Fla., on Allegiant Air for $49. Fly 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, signifying that additional fees and taxes apply. In some cases the additional charges raise the ticket price 20% or more. Starting Jan. 26, no more asterisks. A new U.S. Transportation Department rule requires that from then on, all advertised airfares include the non-optional fees and taxes, including fuel charges and the Sept.
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 4, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Faced with higher fuel prices, airlines have come up with a variety of fees to make money on top of airfares. Take Spirit Airlines, whose website lists 72 fees in eight different categories, including baggage fees, seat fees and onboard food and drink fees. Spirit, the first U.S.-based carrier to impose a fee for carry-on bags, this week announced that it will soon begin charging $100 if passengers show up to the gate with a carry-on bag instead of paying ahead of time. That's up from $45. LIVE VIDEO DISCUSSION: Join us at 2 p.m. today Airline industry reporter Hugo Martin will discuss airline fees with George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com , a low-airfare alert and air travel advice website.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
If you have amassed reward miles but don't want to hassle with flying, United Airlines now lets you spend your rewards on music or movies. The Chicago-based airline recently created a digital media store -- the first in the industry, according to the airline -- that lets members use reward miles to buy or rent songs and movies. TV shows will come to the store soon. For example, United's MileagePlus members can buy Justin Bieber's latest hit, "Boyfriend," for only 150 miles. Or buy the whole album, titled “Believe,” for 1,375 miles.
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