AIRLINE

How the airline subsidy fight will affect your next flight

When the Big Three US airlines — American, Delta and United — claim that foreign carriers are being improperly subsidized and that treaties negotiated over the past two-plus decades need to be revoked or renegotiated, the American public needs to be wary.

Believe the airlines at one’s peril when they inform passengers that the frequent flier programs are being “improved,” or seats are being squeezed together with less legroom, “because of passenger demand.”
Continue reading…


Are airlines about to charge your kids more?

If your blood pressure spikes when you think about the words “kids” and “plane” in the same sentence, as you just did (sorry about that), then this story may have a calming effect.

True, there’s no faster way to start a brawl on a flight or an online chat room than by putting the two together. Some passengers feel the interior of a plane should be a designated quiet zone; others treat it as a playground. It’s a conflict as old as commercial aviation.
Continue reading…


FAA funding bill may mean big changes for fliers – or none

An impending fight in Congress this spring over the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill could affect your next flight, for better or worse.

Trade associations call the appropriations bill the most important piece of legislation in the travel industry. The last one, passed in 2012, not only funded the FAA but also turned tarmac-delay rules into law and established an advisory committee for Aviation Consumer Protection.
Continue reading…


Yes, loyalty programs are rigged — but what are you going to do about it?

Remember how easy it used to be to earn frequent flier miles? You’d book a flight on a major airline, go on that trip, and earn miles based on the distance flown — usually one award mile for each flight mile.

It’s not that simple any more.

First, airlines added a class-of-fare bonus so that a purchased first class ticket would earn double miles. Then they started offering their own branded credit cards so you’d earn miles when you purchased your airline ticket on the card, one mile per dollar spent on a ticket on their flights. And then they upped the ante to two miles per airline ticket dollar (their airline, of course) and one mile for every other dollar charged on the card.
Continue reading…


Should airlines be re-regulated?

The days of a freewheeling, lightly regulated airline industry, in which a carrier can charge whatever fees and fares it pleases, may be nearing an end.

A confluence of events is pressuring government regulators to take action that, depending on your point of view, will make air travel less expensive or interfere with a free market, driving ticket prices higher.
Continue reading…