June 2009

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has come out in opposition to the planned addition of Continental to the Star Alliance that includes United Airlines. Their objections are focused on the antitrust immunity provisions that would be applied to international routes.

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When it comes to fees, never underestimate the car rental industry’s creativity. If you do, you might miss the six percent fee that Avis slipped on Monica Huchro’s bill last week.

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In their struggle to turn a profit, airlines have piled on a lot of fees in the last year, from surcharges for checked luggage to extras for confirmed reservations. And just when it seemed they had found every last fee, it looks as if they’ve turned up one more: They’re looking to Fido and Fluffy for a little extra cash. Specifically, to their owners.

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United Airlines by trying to foist credit card fees onto their agents is striking a blow against consumer protections offered by credit cards. Any way United slices their business, they are still, in the end, the service provider and should be liable to credit protections for services not rendered.

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A traveler in her early twenties was flying from Washington to Chicago for an interview. We had been unable to obtain a seat assignment, however we had a confirmed reservation. The client called from the airport and asked if we could help her get on a flight later that day.

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Crowds at Budapest, Hungary foiled Wizz Air’s plan to release a thousand balloons when they found out what was attached.

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Laura Brown is the acting assistant administrator for communications at the Federal Aviation Administration. After the death of Billy Mays yesterday, she was quoted as saying the TV pitchman wasn’t wearing a seatbelt on a plane that made an emergency landing. I asked her about the interview and the importance of seatbelts.

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Last week The Independent newspaper in London released its lists of the weirdest and scariest airport names. They also came up with a list of IATA airport codes that suggest more than simply a collection of runways. Lists like this surface from time to time. They are always fun for travelers.

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You get this: Video uploads to YouTube from mobile phones jumped 1,700 percent in a week. The mobile video revolution has begun. And no one will be more affected than travelers.

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High speed trains are finally coming to the UK and will join other counties in the EU that have rapid rail systems. If you’re coming to the UK, will you take to the rails and see more of the country since if you’re an American, you won’t be forced to drive “on the wrong side of the road?”

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