Coal for consumers this Christmas from airlines and regulators

This festive holiday season is starting off dismally for consumers. Between mergers that are stripping competition from the airways and delays at DOT that hurt transparency of airline ancillary fees, consumers are getting a dose of coal for Christmas.

Are lax rules slowing down airline ticket refunds?

Kathleen and Eugene Bianucci paid $5,770 for a pair of round-trip tickets on Virgin Atlantic Airways. A few days before their trip, Kathleen broke her leg and had to be hospitalized for a week. Her doctor grounded her for six months. An airline representative promised her a full refund. Virgin, which had extracted the five grand from her credit card in just a few seconds, balked at returning the money.

A bad day for British airlines

Every so often it doesn’t seem like the airline gods are cooperating with even the airlines. British Airways (BA) just had two back-to-back emergency landings and Virgin was faced with a passenger who slashed his throat. Not a stellar day.

Virgin America brings passengers increased baggage fees

If you didn’t make reservations before now, expect to pay extra for checked luggage on Virgin America. Unless you’re booked in first class or or in main cabin select, the first suitcase, which can weigh up to 70 pounds, will set you back $25.

Virgin Atlantic grounds all massages

Virgin Atlantic has eliminated all in-flight beauty therapy services, including massages, which it has provided to its premium class customers for nearly two decades.

Virgin Atlantic halts all-premium plan

Sir Richard Branson has reversed course on a plan to launch an all-premium-class carrier, citing changes in the market and concerns over the Open Skies deal between the United States and European Union.