Unaccompanied minors flying — potential nightmares around every corner

Ned Levi examines Southwest Airlines unaccompanied minor policies and actions, in light of the problems of Chloe Boyce, who was flying on their airline from Nashville to New York. Chloe, a 9 year old was inexplicably taken off her flight in Baltimore and rebooked on a later flight without notifying her mother or anyone else in her family.
By |December 26th, 2011|Columns|18 Comments|

What we’re reading: Venetian and Palazzo to join IHG Alliance, UPS pilots sue to join new FAA rules, Congress to fund TSA checkpoints expansion

Vegas' Venetian and Palazzo plan to join Intercontinental Hotel Alliance, UPS pilots sue to be included in proposed FAA rules, Congress to fund major TSA non-airport checkpoints expansion
By |December 26th, 2011|Today|1 Comment|

Merry Christmas videos, enjoy the holidays — Santa flies through New York, Hallelujah flash mob, Spanair gifts

Here are three of my favorite Christmas videos. Well, the first is here because I enjoy the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular so much. The second, is one of the best flashmobs I have seen on video and it fits right into the Christmas spirit. Finally, a video I posted back in April, but deserves to be posted again; one of the best Christmas surprises ever arranged by an airline.
By |December 25th, 2011|Today|2 Comments|

Weekend what we’re reading: Adopt a TSA puppy, a Spanish Smurf-blue town, Superbowl hotel rates skyrocket

This Christmas eve we take a look at cuddly TSA bomb-sniffing puppies, a cute town in southern Spain that voted to have itself painted blue and then decided to stay that way and finally a look at the remarkable hotel prices in Indianapolis for the Superbowl.
By |December 24th, 2011|Today|2 Comments|

With today’s load factors, holiday travel is just like any other day … only different

With load factors pushing and sometimes exceeding 80 percent, planes and airports can’t get much more crowded than they have been for the last half of this year. In fact, the airlines association has predicted that the numbers of travelers this holiday season will be less (gasp) than last year. But load factors will be up.

It seems that everyone wants to talk about the crush of holiday travel when I’m called for radio interviews between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While, historically, the holidays have been the period when planes used to be fullest and when airports seemed the most crowded, that is no longer strictly the case. A Wednesday in the middle of March or midweek after the 4th of July weekend might see as much traffic as the day before Christmas Eve or the day after New Year. The airlines have seized control of their capacity and simply do not have as many seats to sell today as they had a year ago.

By |December 23rd, 2011|Today|4 Comments|

What we’re reading: Most-followed airlines on Facebook, obesity reduces ferry capacity, ANA will use 787 Tokyo to San Jose

SWA, JetBlue, UAL in top 10 of most followed on Facebook, Washington State ferry system reduces capacity, ANA will fly 787 Tokyo to San Jose

TSA looking for the wrong stuff

Limiting the searches that TSA personnel need to do will save thousands of hours of time, cut budgets dramatically, allow a focus on the most dangerous issues and move passengers through security more quickly and with fewer hassles.
By |December 22nd, 2011|Today|8 Comments|

A Grinch-y post? Holiday vents from travel agents and airline reservationists

Here is a compilation of Grinch-like thoughts many in the travel industry may have contemplated, but won't express to the traveling public, collected from friends and colleagues in the travel business and from a few airline reservationists.
By |December 22nd, 2011|Today|2 Comments|

What we’re reading: What causes delays, FAA set to release pilot fatigue rules, Gulf Air cancels eight 787 orders

What causes delays besides weather, FAA release pilot fatigue rules give airlines two years to comply, Gulf Air cancels eight Boeing 787 orders

A holiday surprise from the travel industry

That’s the funny thing about the travel industry. For a business that, with a few notable exceptions, thinks nothing of offending its customers most of the year, the short-lived transformation during the holidays is incredible. It’s as if someone turned back the clock and made common courtesy and customer service important again.