Kathleen and Eugene Bianucci paid $5,770 for a pair of round-trip tickets between San Francisco and Dublin this year on Virgin Atlantic Airways. A few days before their trip, Kathleen, a fitness instructor from San Bruno, Calif., broke her leg and had to be hospitalized for a week. Her doctor grounded her for six months, and when she told the airline about the accident, a representative promised her a full refund. Read more “Are lax rules slowing down airline ticket refunds?”
Did the federal government just kill tarmac delays?
You could be forgiven for thinking so after reading this morning’s news release from the Transportation Department, which declared that for the first time since it began keeping records on tarmac delays, it recorded no delays of more than three hours in October. That’s down from 11 flights in Oct. 2009.
There’s no word on delays of less than three hours, although it seems our attention is likely to focus on them soon.
I’ll skip the Ray LaHood soundbite. Needless to say, the DOT is pleased with itself.
The long-awaited sequel to this summer’s controversial tarmac delay study has just been released. In it, aviation analysts Darryl Jenkins and Joshua Marks claim 384,000 more passengers were stranded by cancellations last summer, and an additional 49,600 air travelers experienced gate returns and delays. It calls on the Transportation Department to clarify its three-hour turnback rule — a rule the DOT insists is a resounding success.
I asked Jenkins about the study and its conclusions this morning. Here’s our interview.
You’ve analyzed flight cancellations based on last summer’s data. What’s the bottom line for passengers?
The online travel agency Ultimate Fares faces $600,000 in government fines for failing to include taxes and service fees in its airfares, a U.S. Department of Transportation Administrative Law Judge has ruled. The fine would be the largest ever assessed for advertising violations, according to regulators.
Ultimate Fares is no stranger to complaints. You don’t have to look far to find customers who call it “101% fraud” and accusing it of having a “very bad reputation.”