Airlines will have a difficult time accommodating passengers of flights cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Carriers have cut inventories to the bone to maximize revenue and there are precious few seats available on any scheduled flights, presenting travelers with costly inconvenience if they need lodging. Airlines will not pay for a hotel room when flight cancelations are weather-related. Check with the airline for current storm waivers. Most are waiving the $150 penalty change fee for rebooking a flight cancelled due to the storm. (NYTimes.com, Oct. 29)
Hotels, rental car companies and cruise lines are taking a page from the airline “handbook” of a-la-carte fees and unbundling services, only to add them as surcharges. Airlines have developed a growing list of fees since introducing the baggage fee a few years ago and now charge for early boarding, preferred seats, meals, pillows, Wi-Fi, etc. Hotels now typically add fees for housekeeping, occupancy, gym access, minibar restocking, newspapers, Wi-Fi and much more. Car rental companies list surcharges like concession recovery and facility fees as well as charging for child car seats and navigational technology. To avoid “fee surprise” read the fine print; be an informed consumer. (NYTimes.com, Sept. 24)
For tickets booked on or after Sept. 1, Delta will reduce the value of miles earned in some unpublished fare categories including; group fares, consolidator fares, tour or cruise package fares and student fares. Delta revised its policy to more closely align with that of transatlantic joint-venture partners. (BTNews.com, Aug. 27
Airlines have booted passengers for being inappropriately dressed. The dress code is not published so do not wear T-shirts with four-letter expletives or provocative slogans about terrorists and do not show excessive cleavage. Airplanes are deemed to be private property where free speech rights can be legally curtailed by the crew. (USAToday.com, Aug. 27)
The brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner has arrived at Reagan National Airport for public viewing as part of its “Dream Tour”. This much anticipated aircraft, built of composite materials and a more fuel-efficient engine, is touted as a marvel of modern aerodynamic engineering. Though you may not get the opportunity to fly in it till sometime in 2014, you can see it this week in Terminal A. (WAMU.org, May 7)
| United Airlines began daily non-stop flights between Newark and Buenos Aires on April 6, via Boeing 767-300 planes seating 183 passengers. The carrier operates daily non-stops from Houston to Buenos Aires as well. (Eturbonews.com, April 4)
Alaska Airlines began new daily non-stop flights between the San Francisco bay area and Honolulu Tuesday April 10
Allegiant Air will begin service to Honolulu from Las Vegas, NV on June 29, three times weekly and from Fresno, CA on June 30, once a week.
Allegiant will now charge passengers for their carry-on bags. The fee will vary depending on the route, ranging from $10 to $35. The maximum fee, one-way of $35, will be for passengers who do not check their bags online. (USAToday.com, April 10)
Millions of booking records were merged into a single United reservations system this past weekend as the final stage of combining United and Continental into the world’s largest carrier went into effect. Some passengers who traveled during this process experienced longer check-in times due to technical glitches and did not receive timely assistance from customer representatives. United anticipated some passenger inconvenience citing on-time stats which fluctuated over the weekend but quickly recovered to 90% by Monday. (Travelmole.com, March 8)
Swiss International Air Lines serves 72 destinations in 38 countries all over the world from its Zurich hub. Swiss is dedicated to providing the highest possible quality in all its products and services. Swiss is currently offering winter specials. Fly Swiss, and discover the snow-covered Alps along the way. With Swiss, you pay just one price: the final price. No more. And that one price includes everything. So bring your winter sports equipment along, for no extra charge. Once you’ve flown with Swiss, you’ll know what a difference service makes.
Emirates, the world’s largest international carrier, launches daily, non-stop flights between Dubai and Dallas on Feb. 2 and will introduce daily non-stops between Dubai and Seattle on March 1. The airline is implementing major new expansion plans for the U.S. supporting the deepening business relationships of these economic power centers. Both routes will be serviced by Boeing 777 aircraft offering the highest standards of passenger comfort, with luxurious private suites in First Class, lie-flat beds in Business Class and generously-sized Economy Class seats. All passengers will experience the ICE entertainment system, with over 1,200 channels on-demand, gourmet food in all cabins and seamless transfers to a global network of over 110 destinations through the Emirates state-of-the-art Terminal 3 hub in Dubai.
Spanair, whose main hub is in Barcelona Spain, has halted all operations. The Catalonian regional government can no longer support the airline. The last Spanair commercial flight landed at 10pm on Friday, Jan. 27. Iberia, the largest airline in Spain and other international carriers such as United and Continental are coordinating with the carrier to assist passengers holding Spanair tickets where possible. (Eturbonews.com, Jan. 27)
Virgin Atlantic will debut a brand new Clubhouse for upper-class passengers at the New York JKF Airport in March. Positioned near the Virgin gates in Terminal 4, the 10,000 square-foot space will offer a unique environment, evoking the Virgin Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3. (TravelWeekly.com, Jan. 30)
For the 23rd time, Congress has passed a temporary funding measure authorizing the FAA to continue collecting taxes for airline tickets, until Feb. 17. Legislators compromised on airline labor regulations but have yet to resolve the issues of subsidies for small airports and slot distribution at Reagan National. (BusinessTravelNews.com, Jan. 27)