Are seat surcharges contributing to flight delays?

Preferred seat surcharges are a big moneymaker for airlines. At times, these charges are actually as much, or more, than the fare itself. This clearly helps with profits. While not a scientific study, more and more I’m seeing and hearing from clients that these fees have an unintended consequence — delayed flights. Basically, with an […]

How long is too long? Is it time to regulate airline baggage delivery?

For most travelers, with most carriers, the days of free checked baggage are long gone. But, while the traveling public seems to have accepted baggage fees, one would think that along with the fees at least some level of service would become standard. Alas, for now, one would be wrong. Alaska Airlines does stand out […]

Planning a stopover on a European trip? Many airline surcharges just jumped 500 percent

Airlines like to pretend they aren’t cartels and monopolies. Then, they change fares and surcharges, almost in unison. The unannounced latest change for Europe fares might be one of the worst I’ve seen, raising the stopover fee from $100 to $500. Stopover fees can be maddening in general to travelers. These fees drive travel agents […]

Cheap, cheaper and cheapest with no data — fliers’ road to perdition

Ben Baldanza, the CEO of Spirit Airlines, delivered the keynote speech at the ABA Air and Space Law Forum in Montreal. He is the king of ultra-low-cost airlines who is proving the point that airline passengers will put up with all sorts of discomfort with the aim of saving money. Passengers don’t enjoy discomfort. However, it […]

United Airlines’ very sneaky "validation" surcharge

These days, airline passengers have to feel like they can hardly sneeze without getting hit with an airline surcharge. In some cases, passengers don’t even know when they’re getting surcharged, as airlines tweak the fuel and peak day surcharges regularly. Now, United Airlines has introduced one of the sneakiest surcharges of all — a surcharge […]

Your business class ticket isn’t changeable — but, airlines can change your seat

My clients decided on a splurge anniversary trip to Europe. While they aren’t frequent fliers and didn’t have credit card miles, they still wanted it to be special, starting with the flights. So back in May of this year, I booked them on a 90-day-in-advance nonrefundable business class trip. I found flights on United 747s. […]