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NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
TripAdvisor this week rolled out a handy new feature to its flight search website that allows consumers to compare amenities such as legroom, Wi-Fi, power outlets and in-flight entertainment before buying a ticket. It also features traveler-generated photos of the airplane inside and out. Here's how it works: Enter your destination search on the Cheap Flights search page. Then filter on what amenities you want -- onboard Wi-Fi, television, power -- or just do a general airfare search and the information will pop up with the list of flights.
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NEWS
March 20, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Los Angeles International Airport will look a little different Tuesday as Alaska Airlines moves into a new space, and other airlines are switching terminals too. Alaska moves from Terminal 3 into a $271-million renovated space in Terminal 6 that includes a bigger lobby, more ticket kiosks and bag-drop areas, six international gates and electrical outlets on half of the seats in the gate area. ("No more sitting on dirty carpeting in the corner," the airline's statement promises.)
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
January 4, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
The U.S. Transportation Department has fined AirTran Airways $60,000 for violating a federal rule that prohibits advertising fares without clearly disclosing additional fees and taxes. Under federal rules, airlines that advertise airfares in the U.S. can disclose government-imposed taxes and fees separately on the same page or an Internet link so long as it is easy for passengers determine the full price. An investigation by Transportation Department found that AirTran advertised $59 one-way fares last fall on several websites.
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
May 4, 2010 | David Lazarus
As expected, United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced Monday that they're climbing into the cockpit together, creating the world's largest carrier. And, as expected, the two companies said this would result in "best-in-class customer service" for passengers. Yeah? Not to be a Gloomy Gus as the wedding bells are still ringing, but can anyone think of a single major merger that's resulted in better service (never mind lower prices) for consumers? Maybe among phone companies?
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
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
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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