Please confirm your Email address
Who knows if there will be another major airline merger in 2010? In general, mergers lead to higher fares and less competition, so I guess we should all breathe a sigh of relief. Continental seems to be uninterested in the whole merger game, even though the airline just announced it lost $146 million in the first quarter. That's even worse than its performance in the first quarter of 2009, when it lost $136 million. So even with all those despised new fees, less capacity, and higher fares, airlines are still losing gobs of money. Some valuable further insight for those interested in this article by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Linda Lloyd.
Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Still steamed by the thought of paying for carryon baggage? Right, well, never mind that for just one sec, because here comes news of a fee that's sure to chap the hides of quite a few travelers. European low-cost carrier Ryanair confirms that, yes, onboard toilets will become coin-operated at summer's end. According to the Daily Mail, Ryanair plans to outfit 168 planes with coin-operated lavatories, costing passengers €1 (or £1) per visit. Cabin space will also be reconfigured to add extra seating, though at the expense of two out of the current three restrooms on board. Will one measly coin-operated toilet be enough for 189 passengers? Probably not. But at least you'll have plenty of time to fish around for a coin while waiting in line.
Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, March 24, 2010
As mentioned earlier in the week, Southwest's latest 3-day sale was pretty underwhelming stuff. The only real standout deals were on shorter routes. We imagine this might have something to do with recent capacity cuts, a first for Southwest Airlines. And now comes word that further cuts are in the works for summer. How drastic are we talking here? According to a recent post by BTNonline, as of August 15, the carrier will begin "reducing systemwide daily roundtrips by 58, or about 3.4 percent, from its 2010 peak summer schedule. Though Southwest said some of the changes are seasonal, the cuts reflect the carrier's commitment to newfound capacity discipline and a more dynamic network planning strategy." As airlines struggle to stay in business, or in the case of Southwest, actually profitable, this sort of fine-tuned seasonal schedule switcheroo is something we'll probably be seeing more frequently, and from other carriers as well.
Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Big news from Allegiant Air today, as they announce plans to expand service to Hawaii. The carrier will add 6 Boeing 757-200 aircraft to their fleet of 46 MD-80s, 2 of which will be delivered within the next 2 months and, according to a press release from Allegiant, be placed into service by the fourth quarter. Another plane will be delivered in November 2010, followed by another in January 2011, with the final 2 aircraft put into service in 2012.
This is great for travelers living in and around those smaller markets currently served by Allegiant, where affordable fares to Hawaii are few and far between.
Allegiant hopes to begin service once regulation requirements have been met, so stay tuned for dates and introductory fares.
Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, February 12, 2010
Budget carrier Allegiant Air is shaking things up in Orlando, where earlier this month they relocated 10 of their 31 nonstop scheduled flights from Orlando-Sanford International Airport to the more centrally located Orlando International Airport. It's a surprising move from a carrier such as Allegiant, operating on the 'low cost' model of serving smaller out-of-the-way airports, which, of course, keeps fares down. So why the move? Competition! Allegiant is up against AirTran, who offers service between Orlando and many of the same small second-tier markets.
Allegiant will continue with the bulk of their service (21 cities) operating from Orlando-Sanford.
Posted by George Hobica on Thursday, January 28, 2010
Good news for those living in and near Grand Rapids, MI: discounter Airtran Airways will begin daily flights between Gerald Ford International Airport and both Baltimore and Orlando, beginning May 4, 2010. Read the announcement and view schedules.
Posted by David Landsel, Airfarewatchdog.com on Thursday, January 21, 2010
One passenger thinks so.
Mirko Fischer probably wasn’t expecting to be singled out as a potential pedophile on his British Airways flight out of London’s Gatwick Airport last April.
Fischer, a businessman who was heading home to Luxembourg with his pregnant wife Stephanie, took his seat on the plane – in the middle of the row, between his significant other and a 12-year-old boy he’d never met.
Just before takeoff and without warning, a flight attendant leaned in and gave Mr. Fischer the bad news: He’d need to change his seat. Refusing to do so, the attendant explained that the plane would not depart until he complied. Understandably humiliated and embarrassed, Fischer moved, but that was just the beginning – the 33-year-old hedge fund manager is now suing British Airways on grounds of sex discrimination.
“This policy is branding all men as perverts for no reason,” Fischer told London’s Daily Mail; the case will be heard next month. Fischer says he will donate any compensation he receives to the UK's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Does British Airways really have a policy that demands cabin crew arbitrarily reseat passengers it deems unfit companions for unaccompanied minors on its flights? Like all airlines, it no doubt has strict guidelines that include taking special precautions that the child is not lost in the shuffle. The most typical security measure is to seat solo-flying children as close to a galley and cabin crew as possible, in order to keep an eye on them.
JetBlue spokesperson Mateo Lleras says that the airline will generally try to keep the unaccompanied minor “somewhere close to the front of the plane” and in plain sight.
Tim Smith, a representative for American Airlines, says that the airline does “routinely place the unaccompanied minors in seating areas where our flight attendants can easily monitor and interact with the children.”
American would not, he states, “routinely move male (or female) passengers away from unaccompanied minors without cause.”
Then again, there’s always the possibility that British Airways does not do so either.
New York-based BA spokesman John Lampl couldn’t go into details due to pending litigation, but did supply an official statement from the airline saying that there was an internal investigation currently underway, and that the airline had been “looking at a potential settlement by meeting the customer's claim before this issue received any media coverage.”
But isn't it a bit late for that?
How would you react in such a situation?
Posted by George Hobica on Monday, January 18, 2010
As Gomer Pyle used to say, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise (OK, we're dating ourselves, deal). American has joined the other (except Southwest) major carriers in raising the first checked bag fee to $25 and the second to $35, for tickets purchased after Feb 1, and no, there's no discount for paying the fee online as there is with the other airlines. See statement. This fee applies to travel from or to the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgins. Fees for travel to/from Canada remain the same.
Posted by George Hobica on Sunday, December 27, 2009
$25000 spent on a frequent flyer credit card vs. an Amex Blue Cash cash back card
Posted by George Hobica on Monday, December 21, 2009
Just in time for the holidays, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood handed US airline passengers a long-awaited present in the form of new regulations governing excessive tarmac delays. Two proposed airlines passenger rights bills, one in the House and the other in the Senate, have been languishing all year, despite best efforts of supporters in and outside of government. But while we’ve been waiting—and waiting—for Congress to act, Secretary LaHood seems to have taken matters into his own hands, causing much celebration among those who have spent long hours, or an entire night, stranded in a cramped airplane seat without working lavatories, air conditioning, and water. No surprise, the new rules, which are expected to kick in next April, have already been denounced by the Air Transport Association, an industry trade group.
But as is the case with any regulation, there are exceptions and loopholes, and it’s questionable whether, even if they wanted to, airlines will be physically able to comply with the new rules under certain circumstances.
Airlines can't do it alone