May 4, 2010 |
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?
January 26, 2012 |
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.
May 26, 2013 |
The cost of flying might be going up, but this time it's not the airlines raising prices. The Obama administration has proposed raising the taxes on air travel by about $14 per flight, a move airlines strongly oppose. Higher taxes are needed to help reduce the deficit, pay for improvements at the nation's airports and add thousands of new immigration and customs officers to reduce wait times to process foreign visitors, the administration says. Airlines say higher taxes will backfire and hurt the economy.
October 29, 2012 |
Flight cancellations caused by Hurricane Sandy soared to nearly 14,000, leaving thousands of passengers from the East Coast to the Golden State stranded at airport terminals or hotels. Most of the cancellations were at airports feeling the brunt of the storm, including Philadelphia International Airport, La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, among others on the East Coast. For example, Newark, Liberty and La Guardia each had more than 1,000 flights in and out of the airports canceled Monday, according to the air travel monitoring site Flightstats.com.
May 3, 2012 |
A hundred bucks for a carry-on bag? Welcome to the brave new world of air travel. Spirit Airlines, which has never been shy about reaching into passengers' pockets, now charges $45 for a carry-on. Come Nov. 6, people who wait to pay the fee at the boarding gate will pony up a C-note. This means the cost of your carry-on could be even higher than the cost of your ticket. If you pay for your carry-on at an airport kiosk, the fee will jump to $50 from $40. Meanwhile, larger pieces of luggage checked at the airport will cost between $8 and $10 more, while the fee for bags checked online will rise by between $2 and $5. Spirit also will increase a handful of other fees by between $2 and $10. Not surprisingly, Spirit's average revenue from fees per passenger in the first quarter topped $100 for the first time.
October 28, 2012 |
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.
April 22, 1998 |
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.
October 4, 2012 |
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.
August 12, 2012 |
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.