Did Southwest Airlines do enough for fare glitch victims?

It was a weekend that Maryrose Solis would rather forget.
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Southwest’s Laraba says booking glitch “neither the experience nor the impression we hope to leave with our customers”

At this hour, the likely culprit in this weekend’s Southwest Airlines fare-sale drama is a faulty database, which triggered an excess of 10,000 double-bookings. You’ve read the horror stories. I asked Teresa Laraba, the airline’s senior vice president for customers, to explain what went wrong and what customers should do if they’re affected.
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B&B confirmed the wrong rate — do they have to honor the price?

The Pensione Nichols looks like the kind of bed and breakfast I’d want to stay in the next time I’m in Seattle. It’s charming, historical and it’s even recommended by my own magazine.
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Maybe Delta’s best fare guarantee just got a little better

The roundrip airfare between Minneapolis and Washington that Kevin McDonald found on Delta Air Lines’ website came to $386 — not bad. But when he checked Expedia.com, he found the same tickets for $62 less.

Multiply that by four for his entire family, and that’s serious money.
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USA 3000 Airlines meets grounded passenger “halfway” after hurricane cancellation

When Greg Caravelli’s flight to Cancun, Mexico, was cancelled in October because of Hurricane Rina, his tour operator, Apple Vacations, offered a full refund. United Airlines, which was supposed to fly him back home, returned his money. But the airline on which he was flying to Mexico, USA 3000 Airlines, did not.
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Korean Air cancels tickets because of fare error

Here’s a case that’s been keeping me up at night. It’s not just because this one’s about fare errors — one of my favorite topics. It’s also because it raises several difficult questions about ethics, journalism and consumer advocacy.

I’ve spent my career studying errors and have made plenty of my own. But back in September, it was Korean Air’s turn to screw up.
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Is this enough compensation? Rescued from Spirit’s fare club, but still unhappy

Spirit Airlines’ “$9 Fare Club” is probably one of the most controversial legal travel clubs in the country. Scratch that. It is the most controversial travel club in the country.

The problem isn’t that customers are offered lower fares in exchange for joining the club ($59.95 a year) but that they’re automatically renewed, as per the club’s terms. That’s often a surprise, and it seems to be a scam, at least to some customers. Even scammier: Spirit is reluctant to refund the autorenewed $59.99, even though the customer no longer wants to be part of the club.

Rules, says Spirit, are rules.

Meet Judi Breinin, one of the club’s “victims.” Rather than narrating her story, I’ll just replay the correspondence between her and Spirit.
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Weekend survey: Are the latest fare hikes fair?

Here’s a question I’ve been getting a lot since the beginning of the year: Are the current round of airfare hikes justified?

Sure, energy prices are rising with the turmoil in the Middle East. Jet fuel prices are up more than 50 percent from a year ago.

But don’t airlines hedge their fuel purchases? (Hedging allows airlines to pre-pay for their fuel, offsetting the risk of higher prices.)

With airline ticket prices up by an average of more than $50 since the beginning of the year, are carriers just trying to cover their increased costs — or are they exploiting our expectations that ticket prices will rise, when, in fact, they have no reason to?

At least not yet.
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Proposed government rule would force airlines to disclose “full price” of tickets

Today’s sweeping rulemaking proposal by the Transportation Department is so enormous, it can’t be analyzed in a single post. But let’s not bury the lede as they say in journalism: The government wants to do us all a big favor by requiring airlines to post a “full price” — including all mandatory fees.

You can read the entire document here (.DOC).

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