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Honesty is the best advertising policy — today, airlines take the first steps

We’ve all seen that “great deal” airline ad, only to discover that with surcharges, taxes and fees, the great deal is not-so-great. Starting today, when airline consumers see an advertised price of $500 that will be the price they pay.
By |January 26th, 2012|Columns|9 Comments|

What we’re reading: Airliner automation, Iberia pilots to strike again, airlines cuts in usage due to fuel costs

Airliner automation — the good and bad, Iberia pilots to strike again, airlines cuts in fuel usage due to costs

International travelers: Watch for a check in the mail!

If you used a US-issued VISA or MasterCard, or a VISA or MasterCard-branded ATM card, to make purchases or withdraw cash in foreign currency between 1996 and 2006, look for a check like the one below in your mail this week.

Mine was delivered yesterday, so yours might have been delivered a few days ago, or might still be on its way. Check your recent mail. It’s easy to mistake these postcards for junk mail.

By |January 25th, 2012|Today|8 Comments|

Spirit twists the truth — when is telling the truth deceptive?

There is a new regulation coming into effect, "Don't mislead passengers." Let's call it the "truth in advertising" rule. Understandably, the airlines are incensed. Spirit Airlines is leading the charge. How dare the government mandate that they tell the truth. After decades of being allowed to mislead the public and bury taxes and fees in the fine print, being forced to be honest doesn't come easily.
By |January 25th, 2012|Today|8 Comments|

Costa Concordia sinking leaves other cruise ship passengers alarmed — and out of luck

“I’m 82, and I couldn’t have made it off the ship without help,” she says. Reading about the Concordia crew’s alleged unpreparedness for disaster has made her nervous about her February cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Magic. Can she cancel her trip now that she is fearful?

What we’re reading: Air Transat disinfected after Cuba flight, ANA 787 service, Delta diverts polar flights

Air Transat disinfected after Cuba flight where passengers became ill, ANA begins 787 long-haul service, Delta diverts polar flights to avoid solar storms

6 questions to ponder before booking a Hawaiian vacation

Six questions travelers should ask themselves before they get started with booking a trip to Hawaii, either when booking themselves with an online booking site or working with a travel agent.

What we’re reading: SWA coming to Memphis, LaHood to resign, US Airways making offer to merge or buy AA

Southwest flights coming to Memphis, LaHood to resign at end of Obama's first term, US Airways making offer to merge or buy AA

Life safety cruise ship regulation reform is essential

As the death toll mounts, the Costa Concordia tragedy horrifies us more and more, especially since it has become apparent the ship never should have hit the rock which tore a 300 foot hole in its hull, and that more timely and decisive action by the captain and crew of the ship might have prevented all loss of life.

I have been researching cruise ship safety for some time, beginning with a review of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. I think the Concordia tragedy has clearly shown regulation reform must be the order of the day to better ensure the safety of all on the seas.

By |January 23rd, 2012|Columns|32 Comments|

What we’re reading: Five cruise ship disasters that changed travel, cruise safety revisited, checks ordered on A380 fleet

Five cruise ship disasters that changed travel, cruise safety revisited, checks ordered on A380 fleet because of wing cracks