But White House has cleared the overhaul for take-off06/06/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
A group representing airline passengers is warning that a proposal to privatize the nation's air traffic control system won't turn out well for consumers.
FlyersRights.org expressed concern as top executives of the airline industry headed to the White House Monday to discuss the plan.
Currently, air traffic controllers are under the direction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But Paul Hudson, president of the consumer group and member of the FAA Aviation Rulem...
Passenger claims he was assaulted aboard a flight in 201506/01/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
For the airlines, the world changed on April 9, 2017.
That's when United Airlines summoned Chicago airport police to forcibly remove a passenger on a Louisville bound flight after he refused to give up his seat to a United employee. Video of the incident was recorded by numerous passengers, sparking world-wide outrage.
Since then airlines have been subjected to intense scrutiny by passengers, fed up with the often unpleasant rigors of today's commercial air travel. Every e...
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 ...
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...
It's time for airlines to stop bullying passengers, lawyer asserts04/13/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Thomas Demetrio, attorney for Dr. David Dao, the United Airlines passenger forcibly removed from a flight Sunday, has laid out his case against the airline.
At a news conference in Chicago, Demetrio accused United, and airlines generally, of "bullying" their customers. But he said the case of his client, the subject of a video that by now may have been viewed by everyone in the world, goes beyond the pale.
Demetrio told assembled media representatives that the case is a s...
Your first step should be to ask for a written explanation of the bumping policy04/14/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The outrage directed against United Airlines' handling of Dr. David Dao, on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, has been building for nearly a week.
On Sunday, Dao refused to give up his seat to a United Airlines employee who needed to get to Louisville, and his attorney says he was severely injured when security personnel dragged him off the plane in front of dozens of smartphone-wielding passengers who recorded the incident and spread it around the world.
In a news con...
American reportedly ups the ante for bumped passengers04/17/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
United Airlines' costly public relations disaster has caused several airlines to re-evaluate policies on how they deal with passengers, according to various published reports citing internal company memos.
Notably, United took the first step, reportedly advising company employees that they are not to involuntarily remove a ticketed passenger to provide room for a United employee in the future.
That's what happened eight days ago, when a 69-year old physician was forcibly ...
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...
The airline continued to struggle through the weekend to get its planes back in the sky04/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Delta Airlines and its customers had a nightmarish weekend, a holdover from the severe weather that battered the Southeast during the middle of last week.
Flight cancellations continued to affect operations through the weekend. The company said things are beginning to stabliize, but it reported that flight crew availability continued to hamper operations because not enough people were within the federally mandated crew rest and duty day guidelines.
"We know this is extrem...
Witnesses say the flight attendant hit a mother holding a baby with a stroller04/23/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Just two weeks after United Airlines set off a social media firestorm by forcibly removing a passenger from a flight, American Airlines finds itself in damage control mode as well.
According to several passengers who were in the process of boarding American Airlines Flight 591 at San Francisco, a male flight attendant grabbed a stroller from a female passenger who was in the process of boarding, while holding her small child.
According to witnesses, the flight attendant t...
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...
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...
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 ...
Estimated traffic is up 4% this spring03/20/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
With an improving economy, you can expect the nation's airports to be more crowded this spring.
Airlines For America (A4A), a trade group representing U.S. airlines, estimates 145 million passengers will fly on U.S.-based carriers between March 1 and April 30. That amounts to nearly 2.4 million a day and would represent a 4% increase over last year.
“There has never been a better time to fly, as evidenced by the record levels of traffic U.S. airlines saw in 2016 and will ...
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...