April 2010

And the volcano stories just keep on coming. Earlier this week, wrote about a couple stranded in Portugal. Today let’s turn to a hotel guest.

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Co-pays. Airlines love them. Passengers hate them. Basically, it means that after frequent fliers have plunked down hard earned miles for an upgrade, they need to pay cash money too. They’re not always such a good deal.

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As we, and half of the airline reporters, have posited, Continental and United Airlines are getting ready to announce their engagement. It happened quickly as we suggested it might in an earlier column. These two airlines had already tried each other on for size about two years ago.

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US seeks Bombardier Q400 fixes, Airline doubts engine fixes, JAL restructures routes

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Capt. Wilson L. Dos Santos is stationed in Iraq, but last month he clicked on Priceline to buy a ticket for his mother to fly from Boston to Fort Myers, Fla. When he realized he’d booked the wrong airport — he should have sent her to Tampa, instead — he tried to cancel the first ticket and bought a second one.

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This week has been bittersweet for US Airways. They started off announcing the break off of merger talks with United Airlines that they never admitted having then released their first quarter financials that showed hopeful improvements. As Doug Parker, the US Airways CEO spoke before their media day gathering of travel writers, he reiterated consolidation, consolidation, consolidation.

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Air Canada has joined in the “cashless” craze, except that the Canadian flagship carrier has gone further. Their version could make travel for some people very difficult indeed.

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The airline that only three years ago was considered by many to be a basket case has continued its climb in DOT’s quality ratings. From being rated last only three years ago, US Airways has climbed to #2 among legacy carriers and #5 among America’s top 10 airlines.

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Southwest fined $200,000, UA-Continental merger could be bad for Airbus, Boeing delays 787 parts shipment

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There is a battle brewing between airlines and their main GDS distribution systems. There are two main facets to this struggle. Airlines don’t want to pay anyone any commissions for any transactions (their intent is to have sales agents pay them for access to fares) and they want to keep fees hidden from consumers and maintain control of prices, doling them as out, as needed by consumers, rather than allowing a robust competition between airlines on total cost.

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