April 2010

These days there are so many surcharges and fees on tickets, travelers can be forgiven for getting jaded about just one more, or an increase in any fee. But, from a travel agent and frequent traveler point of view, fuel charges might be the most irritating “added fee.”

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Last fall, for example, British Airways accidentally offered a $40 base fare from North America to India. After taxes and fees were added, the total came to around $500 — still a deal, but not an obvious error to the untrained eye. Thousands of people booked tickets in a two-hour period.

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No gambling required at Harrahs to get points on their bonus cards, AA delays launch or flight from Chicago to Beijing, LaHood tells airlines that they will face maximum fines for violating 3-hour tarmac delay rules

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Now that Spirit Airlines has done the unthinkable, announcing plans to begin charging for carry-on bags this summer — that’s right, carry-on bags — the question everyone seems to be asking is: What’s next?

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But this week, airlines have been indicating their planes are taking off and landing normally. As with many statements made by the airlines, the truth is somewhat in between disaster and normal traffic mode. KLM (serviced by Delta Air Lines) is still in the midst of customer service hell.

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ConsumerTraveler.com in conjunction with the Consumer Travel Alliance is conducting a survey about airline fees. Do they make a difference? What fees are most important to travelers?

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During the past two years, we passengers have been listening to the airlines tell us they are “unbundling” airfares piece by piece. I’ve been listening and have been appalled at their logic. When you take something that is “airfare” and unbundle it, logically its separate parts are still all pieces of the original “airfare.”

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Heads-up display may improve aviation safety, Juneau gets ADS-B, FAA wants no pilot distractions

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Sarnoff Corporation has developed a new iris scanning system that allows passengers to be scanned with only a glance, from a distance.

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In a blockbuster deal that is sure to have significant effects on the consumer rental car market, Hertz has bought Dollar/Thrifty in a $1.2 billion takeover. Hertz will regain its title as the largest rental car firm with this buyout.

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