That’s illegal, says the government. Any advertising that states a price for air transportation or an air tour is considered to be an unfair or deceptive practice unless the price stated is the entire price to be paid by the customer to the air carrier or ticket agent for such air transportation, tour or tour component, according to the Transportation Department.
Running an airline without authority is illegal, obviously.
As a lawyer, Sam Wyrick is no stranger to fine print. So when Spirit Airlines canceled his flight during its recent strike, he did what any respectable attorney would do: He read Spirit’s contract of carriage, the legal agreement between the airline and its passengers.
Unfortunately, so had the airline employee he dealt with. And Spirit apparently interpreted its own contract very differently.
“Two Spirit representatives — one on the ground at LaGuardia and one at a call center, had said if Spirit canceled our flight, we would be called and rebooked, on another airline if necessary,” he remembers.
But after it notified him that his flight to Myrtle Beach, S.C., was grounded, the airline changed its tune. It offered him a flight credit and a $100 voucher. (Never mind that Section 9.2 of Spirit’s contract suggests it owes him a refund.)
If you’ve ever complained about air travel — and who hasn’t? — then here’s your best chance in a generation to do something about it.
Tell the government what you think of its proposed new passenger rights rules. You can do it right now, thanks to a new project called Regulation Room.
There’s a lot to comment about. The rules cover everything from tarmac delays to peanuts. If adopted, they could change the way Americans fly more than any single regulation since the airline industry was deregulated in 1978.
US Airways ranked number one in on-time performance, baggage handling and customer satisfaction among the major network carriers for May, according to the latest Transportation Department report — a rare trifecta. It’s even more impressive, considering that just a few years ago, the airline consistently ranked near the bottom of the list. I asked Kerry Hester, the airline’s vice president for reservations and customer service planning, to shed some light on the numbers, and what they mean to passengers. You can read a related interview about US Airways fixation on numbers with Robert Isom here.
How did you do it?
Our employees did it. I am very proud of my 31,000 colleagues who have worked hard to run a safe and reliable airline, while focusing on taking great care of our customers. They deserve the credit for achieving this important milestone.
This was a significant achievement for us that only a handful of other airlines have shared in the past decade. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, but we’ve done it by institutionalizing a culture where our employees understand that every on-time departure, every bag and every customer interaction really counts.
We beat United in on-time performance by just a half percentage point, and bettered Continental by just 10 bags and eight complaints. Simply put, every contact that we have with our customers really makes a difference.
Leading the industry in on-time departures is the key to our success, and we do it without padding our schedule like some other airlines do. Our Express partners also contributed to these results, with record-setting performances in April in on-time departures, on-time arrivals, and completion factor (the percent of scheduled departures that actually departed during the daily schedule) followed by strong results in each of these measures again in May.