On-time arrival rates improved as well01/18/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
November was a good month for airlines and -- as a result -- the flying public.
Airlines report they canceled just 0.29% of their scheduled domestic flights in November -- the lowest for any of the 263 months with comparable records beginning in January 1995, and below the previous low of 0.33% in September 2016
In addition, according to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report, the U.S. carriers posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.02 reports per 1,000 passengers in Novemb...
An advocacy group says travelers with severe nut and other food allergies should be able to board early01/17/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Boarding a flight can be an arduous and time-consuming process for air travelers. After waiting in long security lines and finding their gate, the last thing consumers want to do is wait even longer to take their seat.
However, being able to board first can make a lot of difference for some people. Those with disabilities often need the extra space and time to make sure that their flight is safe and comfortable. But one advocacy group says that one type of impairment is ...
Airlines must also more accurately report on-time arrival rates and other measures10/19/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
A new set of regulations passed by the Obama administration will come as welcome news to air travelers who feel they’ve been nickeled and dimed by excessive fees.
Announced on Wednesday, the new consumer protection rules will guarantee refunds on baggage fees if an airline delays returning luggage after a flight.
Additionally, airliners will be charged with more accurately reporting on-time arrival rates, the number of bungled wheelchair requests, and the rate of lost or ...
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 ...
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...
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...
Flights are resuming after 451 cancelations and thousands of delays08/08/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Air travelers are starting the week with a complication that could affect timely arrivals at their destinations.
Delta Airlines experienced a computer outage at its Atlanta headquarters early Monday morning, and as a result its computerized check-in kiosks were disabled at airports around the world. Passengers attempting to use them were instructed to see a Delta ticket agent for a boarding pass.
At midday, Delta said flights had resumed but said 451 flights had been canc...
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 ...
Consumers who preferred the old hold policy will still be able to use it for now, though04/01/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Travel plans change all the time, so it goes without saying that consumers need to be able to change flights or cancel them altogether. By law, all airline companies need to offer consumers one of two options: either they can allow travelers to cancel their flight within 24 hours and dispense a refund or they can put the flight on hold so that the consumer locks in the current price, allowing them to shop around for a better deal.
The vast majority of airlines have adopt...
It's intended to tweak major carriers who now award points based on spending, not miles08/03/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Major airlines have been fiddling with their rewards programs, changing them to award points based on spending rather than miles. Budget carrier Spirit Airlines is taking a different tack in August -- awarding more miles to those who spend less.
“We want to fly in the face of changing loyalty programs and reward customers for saving money, not spending it,” Bobby Schroeter, Spirit’s vice president of consumer marketing, said. It's called the “Save More, Get More” promoti...
Tech problems with Delta also have consumers riled up08/11/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Last month, Southwest Airlines experienced a technological glitch that led to havoc in terminals across the country. The airliner ended up canceling 2,300 flights, with many unhappy air travelers being stranded away from home.
Delta Airlines, meanwhile, continues to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged travelers over its tech meltdown earlier this week.
Now, the Dallas Morning News reports that Southwest’s tech outage could cost it millions of dollars. All told, esti...
The company is compensating passengers experiencing delayed and cancelled flights with a $200 travel voucher08/09/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
The power outage that took down Delta Airlines' entire computer system Monday, forcing the cancellation of about 1,000 flights, has been repaired.
But the airline said the residual effect has spilled over to Tuesday and will force cancellation of another 250 flights.
"We were able to bring our systems back on line and resume flights within a few hours yesterday but we are still operating in recovery mode,” said Dave Holtz, Senior Vice President – Operations and Customer C...