April 22, 2014 |
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.
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.
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.
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 30, 2012 |
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.
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 29, 2012 |
In anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the nation's airlines canceled about 9,500 flights on Monday and Tuesday, mostly along the East Coast. The greatest number of canceled flights were from Philadelphia International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, La Guardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the air travel tracking site Flightstats.com. Because the storm is on a path for the nation's busiest airspace, the impact of the cancellations has already begun to spread around the country, including 81 canceled flights into Los Angeles International Airport and 84 into San Francisco International Airport.
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.
January 4, 2012 |
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.
July 16, 2012 |
Just in time for travel to the summer Olympics in London, US Airways has increased bag fees for transatlantic passengers. The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline increased the fee for a second checked bag to $100 from $70 for tickets purchased on or after July 11 or for flights departing on that date. A US Airways spokeswoman said the fee was raised to match higher charges imposed by the airlines' competitors and had nothing to do with the upcoming Olympics. "That's just a coincidence," said Liz Landau, a spokeswoman for US Airways.