September 2009

We have two different newsletters for our readers — a daily listing of our headlines and a weekly (or twice-a-week) newsletter that features our top posts from the previous days. We are polling our readers to see how often they would like once- or twice-a-week newsletter. Plus, what day (or days) would you like to get the newsletter to have time to actually read it.


Once in a blue moon, you come across a hard-luck story with a happy ending that involves an airline doing something nice for a passenger, even though it doesn’t have to. Nancy Pearson’s tale of trying to get to Toronto for a surprise birthday party is one of them.


Ethel Schweitzer’s husband falls ill before a trip to Las Vegas, and the couple cancels their vacation. Now US Airways wants to keep their money. Why can’t it offer them a refund?


At the Hotel32, a boutique hotel atop the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas, you can order room service or get fresh towels without having to talk to a person.

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British Airways is definitely on to something here. I don’t know if it’s good marketing, good PR, good business or what. But it’s definitely good karma. And I got a taste of it last week in New York and London.


Last week, several airlines added a $10 “miscellaneous” charge for flights on on Nov. 29, Jan. 2 and 3. — those are the peak travel days after Thanksgiving and New Years. The news sent the travel blogosphere into something of a frenzy. My colleague Janice Hough this morning predicted the “holiday surcharge” was only the beginning of a new fee orgy.


It’s always fun when I discover something really clever tucked away in a nuts-and-bolts website. Fairmont Hotels, not known as a hotbed of humor, but rather a place where many of the sultans, sheikhs and excellencies of the world choose to stay, has a simple drop-down menu in their reservation form that brought a smile to my face.


At this point it’s hardly a question of “if” there will be new airline fees on tickets, but rather “when” and “what” they will be.


Ned discusses the serious problem of drunken passengers interfering with the operations of the flight crew and endangering the safety of the aircraft. He proposes that the FAA institute a Federal Dram Shop regulation making the airlines and flight crews equally responsible with the passenger for the passengers actions if served while visibly intoxicated.


A United Airlines flight from LAX to JFK returned to the gate after a man got up to use the restroom as the plane was taxiing to the runway. The man refused orders by the flight attendants to return to his seat.