Before plunking down co-pay money, read this first!

Co-pays. Airlines love them. Passengers hate them. Basically, it means that after frequent fliers have plunked down hard earned miles for an upgrade, they need to pay cash money too. They’re not always such a good deal.

United and Continental to announce merger

As we, and half of the airline reporters, have posited, Continental and United Airlines are getting ready to announce their engagement. It happened quickly as we suggested it might in an earlier column. These two airlines had already tried each other on for size about two years ago.

One captain’s war for an airline ticket refund

Capt. Wilson L. Dos Santos is stationed in Iraq, but last month he clicked on Priceline to buy a ticket for his mother to fly from Boston to Fort Myers, Fla. When he realized he’d booked the wrong airport — he should have sent her to Tampa, instead — he tried to cancel the first ticket and bought a second one.

US Airways’ CEO Parker: More consolidation coming to legacy carriers

This week has been bittersweet for US Airways. They started off announcing the break off of merger talks with United Airlines that they never admitted having then released their first quarter financials that showed hopeful improvements. As Doug Parker, the US Airways CEO spoke before their media day gathering of travel writers, he reiterated consolidation, consolidation, consolidation.

Air Canada: “No credit? No food.”

Air Canada has joined in the “cashless” craze, except that the Canadian flagship carrier has gone further. Their version could make travel for some people very difficult indeed.

Airline consumers need total price transparency

There is a battle brewing between airlines and their main GDS distribution systems. There are two main facets to this struggle. Airlines don’t want to pay anyone any commissions for any transactions (their intent is to have sales agents pay them for access to fares) and they want to keep fees hidden from consumers and maintain control of prices, doling them as out, as needed by consumers, rather than allowing a robust competition between airlines on total cost.