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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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