We’ve been looking over the Department of Transportation’s spiffy new report about “tarmac strandings” (or “long on-board delays” as their now being called,) and have located some pretty interesting stuff.
American Airlines announced that beginning next week, they will begin testing credit card only flights out of San Francisco. Jet Blue has said that it will stop accepting cash on flights next quarter. Other airlines that already don’t accept cash: AirTran, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Midwest, ATA Airlines, Virgin America and Hawaiian Airlines. [Kansas City Star]
Despite what may be the most frustrating summer ever for airline travelers, 8 airlines have decided to raise their fares. Why? Jet fuel prices are up 24% this year.
The Wall Street Journal bought day passes for several US airline lounges and reviewed each one to see if the lounges were really worth the hefty price of admission. Here is a summary of the results:
A $5 (each way) fare hike survived through the weekend with all five major carriers adopting it, according to USAToday:
Bankrupt Delta Air Lines was the first to raise fares last week on flights within the continental United States. The move was quickly matched by rivals.
American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner says he’s unaware of what happened in Nebraska, and it isn’t American’s responsibility. “Trans States is responsible,” he says.
The New York Times has an article today about the ways in which elite flying status is having a larger impact on the travel experience. Elite passengers are subject to fewer fees, get priority boarding, and enjoy privileges that regular passengers don’t. “United is testing a new check-in and boarding procedure at San Francisco International Airport that completely separates elites from other passengers. Frequent fliers are checked in, screened and boarded in their own lines. The new program, tentatively called Airport Premier Services, will be added at United’s hubs in Chicago and Washington in early 2007, and at an undetermined number of other airports later in the year.”
American and Delta have rated rates in the face of higher fuel costs, the airlines said yesterday. US Airways and Continental did not match the hike, and United and Northwest said they are studying it.
CBS2 Chicago is reporting that American and United, O’Hare’s biggest carriers, are urging people to rebook flights in and out of Chicago. “Because of the weather both American and United are allowing passengers to rebook their flights without penalty, and some have already taken advantage of that.