British Airways

British Airways hints at expanding to US Airways strongholds

In Part 2 of a USA Today interview with International Airline Group’s CEO, Willie Walsh is hinting that he may expand his reach to the cities that American Airlines’ merger partner US Airways held on the east coast.

“I think Austin would’ve worked with the old American,” Walsh said. “But with the new American there are certainly opportunities on the East Coast that we may not have looked at previously. The new American — the combination of US Airways and American — provides us with some opportunities in the markets that US Airways were traditionally strong in. That might be something we look at now.”

Proposed airfare bill is bad for consumers

The chorus about the consumer harm that will be caused by the new Airfares Transparency Act of 2014 continues. The proposed bill, just filed with the House committee, will roll back consumer protections and allow airlines to make comparison shopping for airline tickets more difficult.

This bill channels the doings of the Ministry of Truth from “1984.” In Orwell’s classic novel, the Ministry of Truth was tasked with putting out lies and propaganda. Now, Rep. Shuster and his co-sponsors apparently want to allow airlines to put out lies and propaganda.

This bill represents a potential threat to your ability to obtain accurate and full airfare information. It would be a huge step back from current DOT rules, which are working quite nicely, thank you. Even if you aren’t into politics much, this is one time you will want to contact your representative.

Windfall on the water

Following in the footsteps of airlines charging for ancillary items, cruise lines are beginning to charge for post-departure items such as Internet service to shore excursions to drink packages.

Driven by a rising awareness of how important onboard revenue can be to the bottom line, cruise lines are designing and building ships that offer more opportunities to stimulate impulse buying.

But, in addition, said Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan, “It makes sure we remain relevant to the consumer. You need to keep it interesting.”