Virgin Atlantic and British Airways admitted last week to the Department of Justice that they colluded to levy excess fuel surcharges ranging from $10 to $100. Despite the admission, both airlines claim that passengers weren’t really overcharged.
The Department of Transportation is accusing eight airlines of publishing unrealistic schedules. At issue is whether airlines are properly disclosing on-time performance statistics as required.
“We want to understand … how it is possible that a flight could be late 70 or 80 percent of the time and actually not disclose that inadequate rate to the customer,” said Andrew Steinberg, assistant secretary of transportation for aviation and international affairs.
If airlines do not demonstrate improvements within the year, Congress has threatened to unleash a barrel of
monkeys new rules. The Department can start by having a friendly chat with U.S. Airways, operator of Flight 154 from Philadelphia to San Francisco, which arrived late 100% of the time in February. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Remember Erica? She was the lady who raged against US Airways for listing her husband’s delayed flight as UNKNOWN, thus spinning her into a terror-induced seizure of fears about exploding airplaines and raising her children as a single parent.
What are the requirements to be a flight attendant? A cute wiggle. A superhuman patience with the bovanity of humankind. The ability to comfortably work for hours at a time in panty hose.
We rarely do anecdotal stuff here, but I thought this was interesting enough to comment on.
7.50 worth of complimentary drinks at the airport bar. That’s the way customer service is handled in Ireland.
If you’re a Southwest Airlines flier and want the best seats, an entire cottage industry has sprung up. You enter your Southwest Airlines account and password into sites like boardfirst.com, apassonly.com or alineonline.com will automatically check you in online the second Southwest Airlines starts accepting seat reservations. It costs about $5 bucks per use… an excellent deal if you really want to get that extra leg room near the emergency exit door.
Thoroughly filed in the ‘old news’ department, there’s a USA Today article up complaining about just how gosh darn difficult it is to redeem your frequent flyers miles these days. There’s no new information in the article, except a statistic we didn’t know that makes airline stinginess seem even worse: growth in frequent flyer programs increases at a rate of about 13% per year, even as it gets harder and harder to do anything with your points.
All our best correspondents have alliterative names. Consumerist Grant G. decided to use Expedia to book a couple of round-trip flights from Denver to San Francisco. But when his plans changed and he needed to fly back a day later, he was told there would be a $200 extra charge to change the booking.
Apparently, lying to customers is an integral part of United’s strategy for dealing with frustrated travelers. A fter Laura complained to us about United delaying her flight, losing her bags and then unblinkingly lying to her, we received this email from Brian,who details another experience in which United lied to a customer about a lost bag.