Coping with flight delays and cancellations

If you fly enough, eventually you’ll be scheduled on a delayed or canceled flight. Last year, more than 766,000 flights (~22 percent) in the US were delayed (arrived or departed the gate 15 minutes or more late), while more than 98,000 flights (~2.9 percent) were canceled. About one-third of cancellations occur due to maintenance or […]

Why Delta and American ending their interline agreement matters to you

“Interline agreement” is one of those jargon terms that might seem pretty meaningless to outsiders. So anyone reading that Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have ended their interline agreement might shrug and say, “so what?” Much of the time, interline agreements don’t matter. Until they do. Unfortunately for consumers, they matter most when things […]

Should airlines pay us for schedule changes when they change them?

At this point, travelers are pretty much resigned to paying change fees when they change any sort of discount airline tickets. Even on Southwest, which has no fees, you can end up paying a much higher fare when your plans change. And fair enough, as the airlines say, they DO sell refundable and changeable (albeit […]

My bag was checked on a flight that didn’t exist

Frequent fliers and regular readers of Consumer Traveler are by now familiar with most of the things that can go wrong with joint tickets on airline partners. But, this recent Lufthansa/United debacle for one of my clients was a new one and resulted in his bag being checked onto a flight that didn’t exist; and, hadn’t existed for months.

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.

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.