Researchers say reducing the amount of contact between passengers could be the key09/08/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
When major disease epidemics strike, airlines are often forced to shut down travel between countries to stop outbreaks from spreading. But a recent study by Florida State University (FSU) researchers shows that changing boarding procedures could drastically reduce transmissions rates.
Ashok Srinivasan, a computer science associate professor, and his team found that the current zoned boarding procedures used by many airlines plays a major role in the spread of disease. To...
Landing jet nearly crashed into four other airliners last month08/03/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Airline crashes, once almost commonplace, are now pretty rare. Better training, better equipment, and enhanced safety protocols have saved countless lives in the last two decades.
But that's not to say that there haven't been some extremely close calls, the most recent occurring last month at San Francisco International Airport.
A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveals an Air Canada jet that was landing at the airport very nearly crashed into ...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
Meanwhile, a recent rash of cancellations leads to brawls between travelers05/09/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
It’s been a pretty rough stretch for Spirit Airlines over the past week. CNN reports that the company has canceled over 300 flights in the past seven days, and tensions among travelers are beginning to boil over.
On Monday, a brawl involving consumers and airline staff took place at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after passengers on nine canceled flights angrily approached the front ticket counter, cutting in front of others who were waiting in line. Dep...
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...
Travelers taking a transcontinental flight may be treated to a free meal on an upcoming trip12/08/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
At the beginning of the month, we reported the results of a study by New York’s Hunter College that assessed which airlines had the best food. While Virgin America took top honors, Delta Airlines came in a close second for its low-calorie and vegan options.
While having high marks on food quality is nice, many fliers today must pay extra for an in-flight meal if they’re flying coach and going on a long flight. However, Delta has recently said that it will be testing comp...
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...
According to TripAdvisor's top 10 list, only two are based in the U.S.04/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Travel site TripAdvisor.com has named what it considers the 10 best airlines in the world. Unless you do a lot of international travel, you might not get to enjoy most of them.
Coming out on top is Emirates, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It's followed by Singapore Airlines, and then Brazil's Azul.
It's only in the fourth spot that a U.S.-based airline -- JetBlue -- makes an appearance. It's followed by Air New Zealand, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Thailand-b...