As an engineer, I’ve had semesters of advanced math. But there are days when even I can’t understand airline math.
James Meickle, a 14-year-old boy on his first flight alone, found himself marooned in Albany, N.Y., on his return trip home from Lake Placid, N.Y., recently.
How he made it back to his mom, Taaron Meickle, and his family in Reston, Va., goes a long way towards countering a struggling airline industry’s reputation.
In 2013, Aktarer Zaman, a 22-year-old Bangladeshi-born engineer who grew up in Brooklyn, founded a site called Skiplagged.com that allowed air travelers to find secret savings on their tickets.
Using published online routes and fares, the site allows passengers to search for so-called “hidden city” deals.
Can United Airlines cancel a trip of a lifetime without offering any compensation?
Susana Parodi would like to know. Come to think of it, so would I.
Samantha Levey became so violently ill at Mexico’s Guanajuato International Airport, she was not able to board her United Airlines flight home. Levey was alone, stranded, afraid, and could not speak the language.
A United agent, Victor Cisneros, compassionately came to the rescue, spending hours of his own time at her side while in the airport’s medical facility. He did not just comfort her, but arranged medical care, an overnight stay and new comped tickets for her flight home when she was well.
Yes, airplanes can be hacked, just as power plants can be hacked.
No, it’s not a widespread problem right now. Yes, we should talk about it before it becomes a widespread (and quite deadly) problem. No, we shouldn’t be harassing and detaining people who research these problems for a living.
But we are.
And that makes us all less safe. A lot less safe.
Today’s story from the front lines of consumer advocacy is about the airline industry’s latest trick: a sleight-of-hand involving your loyalty program account balances.
Just like a wiley magician, United Airlines first reveals your miles — make sure you look closely!
Then you can almost hear the incantation: “Hocus, pocus!”
And then “poof!” — no more miles.