January 16, 2012 |
After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide. But the TSA does not plan to retest the machines or passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanners. News of the test leaked out after the TSA issued a request last month to government vendors to provide wearable, personal dosimeters, devices that measure exposure to radiation.
January 13, 2012 |
Brent Hopkins, a Michigan marketing manager, was so annoyed that a carry-on suitcase cost him $90 in baggage fees on Sprit Airlines that he launched a business to help other passengers sidestep the charges. Florida-based Spirit Airlines introduced in 2010 a fee of up to $45 for carry-on luggage that cannot fit in the space under the seats. The fee met with outrage, including threats from several lawmakers to impose a special tax on revenue collected from such fees. Instead of fuming, Hopkins created CarryOn Free, an online company that manufactures suitcases that fit the exact dimensions of the space under the Spirit seats.
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.
January 2, 2012 |
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.
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.
November 22, 2011 |
The U.S. Transportation Department has fined a Florida-based airline for advertising $9 airfares for its flights from Los Angeles without clearly disclosing the full price, including taxes and fees. Spirit Airlines, which promotes itself as an ultra-low-cost carrier, was fined $50,000 Monday for violating federal aviation laws and Transportation Department rules that prohibit deceptive price advertising. "We expect airlines to treat their passengers fairly, and we will take enforcement action when they violate our price advertising rules," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. For a short time in June, Spirit launched an advertising campaign to promote Spirit's five daily flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
September 18, 2011 |
Question: I took a trip to Las Vegas last month on Spirit Airlines. The tickets were expensive, but I didn't have time to book ahead of time. What upset me, though, is that the airline charged me $40 each way for carry-on luggage, which was stored overhead. Isn't this an abuse by the airline? Rita Mount, Lake Balboa Answer: Although "airline" and "abuse" go together like love and marriage, horse and carriage, etc., in this case, my answer is a qualified no. It pains me to say this because it's like agreeing with, say, people whose politics don't mesh with yours but who have a valid point.
September 5, 2011 |
In a move to attract new passengers and improve customer loyalty, several airlines have announced new in-flight amenities for travelers, including free pajamas, wireless Internet service and live baseball broadcasts. The latest incentives offered by such carriers as American and Alaska airlines suggest that competition is heating up as travel demand continues to rise. In particular, airlines are battling for prized business- and first-class travelers, who pay the highest airfares.
July 10, 2011 |
If you think flying is tedious, try figuring out what your flight will cost. Fees for bags and optional services, such as seat selection, extra legroom, Internet access, onboard entertainment and other choices can plump up airfares by $100 or more. And you may need radar to find the fees. "I've actually challenged airline executives to find their fees for me, and they can't find them on their own websites," said Charles Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. Help may be on the way. Under a new federal rule dubbed "Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections," each airline would be required to list all its so-called ancillary, or optional, fees on a single Web page, linked from its home page.
June 27, 2011 |
Depending on who you talk to, the new boarding process at American Airlines has either shortened the time it takes to load the planes or caused "complete chaos" in the cabin. The new boarding procedure, launched in May, does away with the airline's long-held practice of boarding passengers starting from the back of the plane to the front. Once the first-class and executive-class passengers and other travelers with priority seating get onboard, the airline gate agents now board coach passengers in the order they checked in, regardless of where they are seated.