Over at JoeSugarman.com, Joe writes that on his way home from a seminar in Austin, he settled into his first class seat–he’s what United Airlines calls a 1K traveler because he flies over 100,000 miles with them every year–and asked the flight attendant, “Are you serving any meals during our flight?” A few minutes later, he writes, “two armed Austin police officers boarded the plane, looked at me and said, ‘Sugarman, follow us.’” [More]
Last week, a United Airlines flight from Burlington to Washington, D.C. was deemed too heavy to fly, so the company had to decide who to boot off. In a moment of what was almost certainly accidental honesty, they targeted the 20 least profitable customers. We know this was their criteria because they announced it to the rest of the passengers, so those who remained were able to rest easy knowing that all the cheapskates, budget travelers and poor people were gone. [More]
Every month the Department of Transportation issues the Air Travel Consumer Report. This month the report has statistics about tarmac delays — and the numbers aren’t good for Delta, United and their regional partners. [More]
With both Continental and United Airlines ready to say “I do,” a group of peeved passengers has busted into the church prepared to give their reasons for why these two carriers should not be wed. [More]
American Airlines told Bill that he couldn’t acces their international lounge because his flight from the Dominican Republic to Houston, which required a passport and a customs form, didn’t count as an international flight. Bill’s wife had paid $300 to upgrade Bill’s ticket to first class expressly so he could access the lounge, and Bill wasn’t sure what part of “international” American didn’t seem to understand. Yet it turns out American might be right. [More]
Jessica Cabot was born blind, but she’d been on two flights by herself before boarding a United Airlines flight last month, so she figured she knew what to expect. On all three flights, she was told by the flight attendants to remain seated until everyone else was off the plane, and then someone would help her off. That worked the first two times at any rate. [More]
While United Airlines has languished near the bottom of many quality and popularity rankings, Continental’s image has stayed sky-high. And now that the two are merging, will the new United benefit from Continental’s popularity — or will the new airline be derided as nothing more than the old United with a new set of paint? Industry-watchers questioned by Ad Age aren’t very bullish: “Fares will be higher, and service will be reduced,” warns Chris Elliott of elliott.org. [More]
All those little surcharges to your airline tickets sure do add up. A recently released DOT report states that U.S. air carriers raked in $7.8 billion in fees last year, a 42% increase over 2008. [More]
If and when the United/Continental merger is finalized, it’s going to be very good news for Chicago, which will retain its status as the new airline’s headquarters. Cleveland, on the other hand, will lose out, since it will basically be a redundant hub stuck between the airline’s bigger operations in Chicago and Newark. And, Houston, current HQ of Continental? Sorry, pardner. [More]
The NYT says that Continental and United Airlines have agreed to a $3 billion merger that will create the world’s largest airline, eclipsing current front-runner, Delta. [More]
Another battle in the skies, it’s United, which breaks guitars, vs Continental, which leaves you stranded on the tarmac for so long the DOT actually starts to care. [More]
Tonight at 7:30 Eastern the third and final installment in the “United Breaks Guitars” music trilogy hits the streets in a live webcast release party. As you wait for that latest hot joint, relive the magic and catch up on the story of the country singer who watched in horror from their airplane as baggage handlers tossed around his Taylor guitar on the tarmac and broke it, by watching the first two videos: [More]
Bucky Turco got a $250 credit for his next United Express flight after he complained about the two-hour gab fest between two United stewards he endured on a recent trip from SLC to ORD. In that time he learned from the two women such factoids as: Hispanics, Blacks and Asians shouldn’t go blonde, a type of birth control gave one of the stewards’ sister menstrual spots, how getting spit on is the ultimate disrespect, right up there with getting a shoe thrown at you like George Bush did, and more. Too much information! [More]
Alexandros received an update from Orbitz about his trip and realized that United had changed the time of his flight. For various reasons he couldn’t make the new time, so he was lucky to have caught it—not to mention he could have missed the flight entirely had he not seen the change.
Pro rock climber and base jumper Steph Davis is always superstitious about her last “flight.” On any trip, the last jump off the cliff in her wing suit, she’s sure something will go wrong. Recently, her fears came true, but not while hurtling herself off the Eiger. It was her flight on United, who lost $12,418.28 of her gear, including parachute.
United has just announced a program where you can pay $250 to have their normal checked baggage fees waived for a year. The plan covers 2 bags per passenger, up to 8 passengers “traveling under the same confirmation number.” Current fees are $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second, so if you travel solo a lot and always carry two bags you’ll have to make six trips before you enjoy any savings. On the other hand, if you’ve got a big family trip planned in the next year, this may be a way to shave a little off the fee gouging. But only if you’re stuck with United; BestFares.com notes that “SouthWest offers 2 free bags for free and JetBlue offers the 1st bag free.”