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Why flight cancellations are not the fault of the tarmac-delay rule

Every so often, I hear airline representatives grumble that the thousands of flight cancellations suffered during winter storms are due to the tarmac delay rule. But, with today’s flight rebooking programs, airlines would be canceling flights with or without the tarmac delay rule because it saves them money and makes recovery after a major weather […]


Costly consequences of flight cancellations. How can the travel industry deal with them?

Today, thousands and thousands of flights have been cancelled. Once upon a time, that would be expected news and the end of the story. However, cancellations themselves are not the biggest problem, getting flights rescheduled and fighting airlines fees for flight changes and dealing with canceled non-refundable reservations at hotels and with other travel providers is becoming a burden.


Why airlines need travel agents

Besides the billions in income, airlines benefit from travel agents when things go wrong during travels. Airlines have been cutting staff, which means less customer service. So having travel agents dealing with many customer service and flight rerouting problems is a bonus for the airlines.


Survived an outbound flight problem? What you MUST doublecheck for the return

In a post last week I wrote about a problem with United Airlines’ automatic rebooking system, which when travelers were about to miss a connection, rebooked them 30 hours later. In the end, with human intervention, I got them on a same day connection and all was well. Until it wasn’t — They were flying on a mileage ticket and the return was fouled up.


Automatic rebooking programs can automatically wreck your vacation

Instead of calling or lining up or even going online to have an agent rebook a flight where there has been some kind of travel disruption, travelers now get messages about possible or probable missed connections, along with a new alternate flight. The rebooking systems are good but, by no means, perfect.


In a world of computerized rebookings, humans save a vacation from Isaac

The family had planned a late summer getaway to Turks and Caicos before school started after Labor Day. They were flying from Washington, D.C., and they were careful enough to book flights with plenty of connecting time in Miami in case of weather issues. Tropical storm Isaac still caused problems.


United’s “EasyUpdate” — not so easy with cancellations

Anyone who flies regularly and/or works in the travel industry has had plenty of head-scratching moments about the airlines. Greed — the desire to maximize revenue — is understandable. Incompetence can be accepted as well, although with today’s unemployment rate one wonders, how do some of these people have jobs. But some self-inflicted airline actions leave many of us speechless.