Four big carriers hike airfares again


Four big airlines hike fares again — Travelers buying summer tickets may be in for sticker shock on airfares to Europe and within the United States. The four biggest U.S. airlines — American, United, Delta and Northwest — raised most airfares Wednesday, citing record-high fuel prices. United raised fares 3% across the board, Northwest raised domestic fares 3%, and American and Delta raised fares $5 each way. (USA Today)

Hot topic on the Tripso boards — Jowly Junk-It Airlines

Canada orders Lufthansa to compensate travelers — The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered German airline Lufthansa to pay $13,455 to nine people who bought tickets from a Vancouver travel agency that went out of business. The CTA also directed the airline to compensate the travelers for any expenses they incurred as a result. (CP)

Commentary from Christopher Elliott – This sets an interesting precedent for consumers whose travel agencies go out of business. I wonder if this kind of rule would ever fly south of the border?

Unions call for boycott of new Boston hotel — Boston’s local hotel workers union is calling for a boycott of the InterContinental Boston hotel and Residences at the InterContinental, the shiny, mirrored-glass building that is going up at 500 Atlantic Ave. and set to open next summer. Janice Loux, president of the Boston Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union, Local 26, said this week that a disagreement over whether the new hotel will be operated by union employees is continuing. (Boston Globe)

This summer, plane attire is changing — It’s the beginning of another summer travel season, and passengers at some of the busiest airports look little different than if they were shopping at a mall, their increasingly casual wardrobe of T-shirts and shorts having eclipsed any remnants of the golden era of travel, that time before airline deregulation led to cheap tickets, when dressing for the airport meant dressing up. (The New York Times)

With oil prices up, is US Airways merger on? — In pitch after pitch for his airline’s proposed merger with US Airways the past month, America West Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker has hammered home this point: The combined airline will make money with oil at a pricey $50 a barrel. As oil prices have surged even higher this week, the question naturally becomes: Can it make money with oil at $60 a barrel? (Republic)

Disabled woman gets settlement from Go — A disabled woman has told how she won Å“170,000 after being “humiliated” by airline staff who tried to “force her” into a plane seat. Lin Berwick, 55, of Sudbury, Suffolk, said she had suffered serious damage to her back, legs and shoulders as a result of the way she was treated on a Go flight from Edinburgh to Stansted in September 2001. (Independent)

Southwest’s “Ding!” gets new spots — Omnicom Group’s GSD&M has created four commercials to air nationally for Southwest Airlines’ online booking tool known as “Ding.” As with previous GSD&M work for the client, the new spots use situational humor to grab the viewer’s attention. (AdWeek)

Australian court quashes DVT case against airlines — The Australian High Court on Thursday rejected an airline passenger’s bid to sue Qantas and British Airways for allegedly causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during long-haul flights. The High Court, Australia’s top court, ruled a civil lawsuit by Sydney man Brian Povey should be struck out, ending a case that was seen as a test case for hundreds of similar cases of DVT, also known as economy-class syndrome. (AFP)

Briton accused of rampage in Key West hotel — A British man has been accused of going on a violent rampage through a Florida hotel, raping a chambermaid and battering a second woman with a hammer as he tried to escape. Mark Holmes, 31, faces up to 60 years behind bars after being arrested and detained in a high-security US jail. The construction worker left his alleged victims highly traumatised and severely injured, police said. (Scotsman)

American needs 15 years to fund pensions — American Airlines told lawmakers Wednesday it would support legislation that allows 15 years to reach full funding on employee pension plans. The airline sent about 300 employees and executives to Washington to lobby for pension-plan reform, an issue that could force some of its competitors – most notably Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines – into bankruptcy. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Alaska, Southwest in Seattle tussle — Alaska Air Group came out swinging yesterday against a possible move by low-fare giant Southwest Airlines from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Boeing Field. But if its rival moves to the lower-cost airfield, Alaska said, it may shift some of its own flights as well. (Seattle Times)

Correspondents: John Frenaye, Stephanus Surjaputra.