We all know how airline fees are going straight up. It’s getting to be an axiom that if an airline can charge a fee, it will.
Increasingly, in the “misery loves company department,” the fees are not just for travelers themselves anymore — they are spreading the pain. Airlines have always charged travel agents for mistakes, known as “debit memos.”
But a more recent development is charging an additional fee on top of the mistake. British Airways, for example, charges agencies a $100 penalty per ticket PLUS whatever they deem the cost of the mistake to be. Sometimes airlines charge, well, just because they can.
It’s the time of year when the travel industry likes to play the weather card. Couldn’t check into your hotel? Blame it on that distant tornado. Flight canceled? It’s the hurricane’s fault, even though it’s hundreds of miles away. A big repair bill for your rental car? Thank last week’s hailstorm.
Usually, the weather — often referred to as an “act of God” in a ticket contract — is a perfectly legitimate reason for a delay or a service interruption. But not always.
Shannon Duane remembers a recent US Airways flight from Jacksonville, Fla., to Charlotte on a holiday weekend. As she prepared to board, she saw a bolt of lightning across the airfield. The airline announced that it would delay boarding for another 15 minutes because of the thunderstorm.
What we’re reading: Crash investigation infighting, Redundant cockpit doors? More Ryanair/Aer Lingus rulings
Friction escalates in air crash probe
Regulatory overload and overlapping jurisdictions make crash investigations more and more difficult. Once upon a time, crash investigators had the upper hand in releasing information. Today, the instant-information culture is making measured investigations more difficult and leads to delays in final findings.
Escalating public pressure for nearly instantaneous details about airliner incidents and accidents has shaken up the previously staid, traditional world of accident investigations. The safety board’s leaders increasingly are turning to Twitter to rush out details of significant findings —sometimes before advising on-site investigators of impending messages.