February 7, 2014 |
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.
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 1, 2012 |
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.
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.
August 11, 2013 |
Get ready for the takeoff of another super-cheap airline offering ultra-low fares with loads of passenger fees. Industry insiders say the new super discount airline may soon be launched with the help of Indigo Partners, the Phoenix private equity firm that invested in Spirit Airlines in 2006 and helped convince the Florida airline's chief executive, Ben Baldanza, to adopt dirt-cheap fares and abundant fees. Indigo is reportedly negotiating to buy Frontier Airlines from the Denver carrier's parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. Meanwhile, Indigo has started to divest itself from Spirit, with Indigo owner William Franke and Indigo principal John Wilson resigning from the Spirit board of directors Wednesday.
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.
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.
October 19, 2012 |
Americans may be getting fatter, but economy seating on airlines is getting tighter. Legroom on airplanes is going the way of free checked bags, pillows and in-flight meals, travel reporter Hugo Martin writes. If you want more room, get ready to pay for it. Join us for a live video chat at 2 p.m. PDT about the trend. Martin will be talking with Jan Breuckner, a UC Irvine professor who has studied airlines, and Barry Biffle, chief marketing officer of Spirit Airlines. LIVE VIDEO DISCUSSION: Join us at 2 p.m. today While the cheapest seats are getting tighter, cash-strapped airlines are charging premiums for a new category of roomier economy seats with catchy names like “The Big Front Seat” and “Economy Plus.” Spirit's “Big Front Seat,” with six extra inches of legroom, costs an extra $12 to $199, depending on the length of the flight.