Will be used at automated bag drop for international travelers05/16/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Airlines are under increasing pressure to do something -- anything -- to improve the customer experience. Delta says it may have a way to do that.
The airline said it will test facial recognition technology at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this summer. The technology will be employed at four self-serve bag drops, allowing passengers to check their bags themselves.
One of the stations, for international travelers, will be equipped with the facial recognition t...
The decision bars pilots from participating in any slowdown efforts05/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Yesterday, we reported that Spirit Airlines had taken legal action against its pilots for an alleged slowdown that resulted from a contract dispute. The airliner said that the pilots’ actions put the safety of customers and staff members at risk after a brawl ensued at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after a flight cancellation.
“These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their f...
Travelers will be sorted into one of nine groups under the new policy02/27/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The airline industry has gone through some changes as of late, the most notable being the inclusion of a “basic economy fare.” While Southwest recently derided the fare as being a “huge mistake,” companies like Delta, United, and American Airlines have all jumped on the bandwagon.
Now, American has announced an update to its boarding process that will take the new fare into account. The company says that starting March 1, boarding groups will no longer be called by their...
Consumers will no longer be able to earn miles for one company by flying with the other12/20/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Alaska Airlines’ merger with Virgin America has done a fair job of shaking up the airline industry. Not only is the combined company now the fifth-largest airliner in the United States, but consumers – especially those on the West Coast – have a new option when it comes to traveling anywhere in the world.
However, as one new deal begins another seems destined to fade away. Both Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines have announced that their longtime partnership is coming to...
But the add-ons keep mounting10/26/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Consumers traveling by air this past spring saw the amount they paid for a ticket go down.
The Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports the average domestic air fare dropped to $353 in the second quarter down 9.6% from $390 at the same time a year ago, adjusted for inflation.
The second-quarter 2016 fare was down 26.2% from the average fare of $478 in 1999 -- the highest inflation-adjusted second quarter average fare in 21 years since ...
Trump administration gives approval over bitter industry opposition02/23/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Travel between the U.S. and Europe isn't exactly cheap. That is, unless you get booked on one of Norwegian Air's newly-approved flights between the U.S. and Ireland and the UK, for $65 one-way.
The Trump administration has given the green light for the low fares after a protracted political battle. The application, which the Obama administration called one of the most complicated ever, was bitterly opposed within the airline industry and took three years to complete. The...
Travelers were stranded on runways for hours and not allowed to leave12/16/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
If you’ve ever been trapped on a plane waiting for take-off, then you know just how infuriating and helpless the situation can be. Your frustration may have been compounded by missing connecting flights in other cities, and more than a few invectives against the airline company may have crossed your mind.
While it may have felt grossly unfair at the time, the Department of Transportation (DOT) takes tarmac delays very seriously, and it recently punished American Airlines...
Overhead storage should be free regardless of the ticket price, he says12/06/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Last month, United Airlines released information on its new Basic Economy fare. It immediately garnered attention from regulators and fliers due to a provision that limits the amount of carry-on baggage that can be brought on the plane.
Under the new fare, fliers would only be allowed to bring one small item with them into the cabin, measuring a maximum of 9 inches by 10 inches by 17 inches. The items would need to be stored under the seat, and if it didn’t fit, then the...
Though only certain business travelers will be able to take advantage of it12/09/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Nobody likes being delayed or late, especially travelers that have to make connecting flights in other cities. But worry not! United Airlines will be guaranteeing on-time arrivals for its future customers. . . well, for a select few of its customers, anyway.
The company has announced a new reliability guarantee for its business and corporate travelers, saying that it will get them to their destinations on time. If it isn't able to follow through on this promise, these tr...
The carrier is developing an app for use by disabled passengers01/08/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
United Airlines has been fined $2.75 million for its treatment of disabled passengers and for lengthy tarmac delays.
“It is our duty to ensure that travelers with disabilities have access to the services they need, and that when significant tarmac delays happen, travelers are not left on the plane,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will make sure that airlines comply with our rules and treat their passengers fairly.”
The Department of Transportation ...
Researchers say industry should learn more from close calls01/20/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Airline safety is vastly improved since man first took to the skies. Crashes claiming multiple lives, while not everyday occurrences, were not uncommon either.
Over the years, the air transport industry learned valuable lessons from every accident.
By the late 1990s, airline safety showed vast improvements, by virtue of better equipment and better training. Now, an air disaster within the U.S. is very rare.
But that's not to say there aren't plenty of close calls. What wor...
United will once again let families with children board early02/02/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
There are plenty of people out there who simply don’t enjoy flying. The long lines, security, and often-cramped flights can really give consumers headaches. Luckily, a couple of airlines have recently changed their certain policies to make the process more comfortable.
United Airlines will be stepping up its game when it comes to boarding certain passengers, while American airlines has upgraded its in-flight entertainment to keep travelers happy. Both airlines are adding...
Each suite comes with a fully reclining seat and divider for privacy08/17/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Recently, airlines have been trying to think up new ways to squeeze more passengers on flights. Back in March, United Airlines said it would be adding one additional seat to every row in coach on some of its planes. Moves like this have irked many consumers who think that there isn’t enough room to go around on flights already.
Now, in a surprising reversal, Delta Air Lines has announced that it will be providing “suites” to passengers who want to pay for more privacy. T...
On-time arrival rates were higher and cancellation rates were down06/14/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Air travelers, it appears, were a pretty content bunch in early spring.
According to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report there were just 1,122 complaints about service from consumers -- down 21.5% from a month earlier and off 20.9% from the same month the year before.
The carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 84.5%, an improvement from March's 81.5% mark and April 2015's 81.8% on-time rate. As far as cancellations go, just 0.9% of sche...
However, it was not a good month for tarmac delays07/18/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Complaints about airline service were waaaay down in May from the same month a year earlier.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) says it received just 1,134 complaints from consumers, a drop of 24.0% from May 2015, but up just 1.07% from April 2016.
That's not the only good news. The carriers canceled a minuscule 0.5% of their scheduled domestic flights during the month, the third lowest on record. In May 2015, the cancellation rate was 1.1%, and in April 2016, it was ...
While officials don't expect a shutdown, delays may be prominent for holiday travel11/18/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
It might be a tumultuous Thanksgiving week for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Yesterday, labor leaders at the airport said that “hundreds” of low-wage workers voted to strike and may not show up this coming week, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Around 2,000 non-unionized workers – including baggage handlers, security officers, caterers, and cleaners -- voted on the course of action in protest of unsafe working conditions, unpaid overtime, and retaliation ag...
Ft. Lauderdale shooting raises the issue once again01/09/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The fatal attack at the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., airport Friday has sparked new concerns about passenger safety, with passenger groups, TSA officers and lawmakers all calling for tighter security in non-secure areas -- the parts of airports that are accessible to the general public, which includes baggage claim areas in many airports.
Five people were killed and eight others wounded last week when a man opened fire in a baggage claim area. Authorities say a 26-year-old Ira...