air travel


Days Of Delta Delays Are Worse Because They Can’t Just Put You On American Anymore

After canceling more than 1,800 flights in the last two days (with another 150 at least expected today), Delta finally says it expects to resume normal operations later this afternoon. That’s probably a relief to Delta staff and any passengers with flights planned for the back half of the week. But for the thousands and thousands of passengers left in the lurch so far, relief has proven slow to come. Slower, in fact, than it would have been in the past. Why?



Why Your Airline Has To Make Sure Your Plane’s Coffee Maker Works Before You Can Take Off

Wings are pretty vital to an airplane. Engines, flight instruments, landing gear, yeah, these are all things you definitely want to be sure are mechanically sound before you find yourself hurtling at 500 miles an hour six miles above the surface of the Earth. Yet even the most devoted caffeine addict would probably rather take off on time than wait three hours for the plane’s coffee maker to get fixed — so what’s the deal when you have to camp out on the tarmac because the plane can’t make you a cup o’ joe?


Steven Depolo

Pilot Who Failed Drug Test Can’t Try To Use DNA To Prove He Was Clean

Imagine you’re one of the many American workers subject to random tests for the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system, and a test turns up high levels of heroin and cocaine. If you contend that the lab must have mixed up your urine sample with someone else’s should you be able to demand a DNA test to prove your innocence? If you’re a pilot, the answer is no. [More]


Man Accused Of Groping Unaccompanied Minor On American Airlines Flight

Yet again, we find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to write about an airline passenger accused of inappropriately touching another person on their flight. In the case of a recent incident reported on an American Airlines flight, a man allegedly groped a 13-year-old girl traveling alone. [More]

JetBlue Waives Airfares For Family Members Of Orlando Massacre Victims

JetBlue Waives Airfares For Family Members Of Orlando Massacre Victims

In the wake of this weekend’s horrific violence at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where at least 49 people were murdered and dozens more injured, JetBlue is offering to provide free airfare to the family members and domestic partners of the victims who need to travel to or from Orlando. [More]


American Airlines Stops Announcing Gate Info During Flights, Because You’re Not Listening Anyway

When was the last time you were flying and actually listened to the pilot or cabin crew member rattle off the information about arrival and transfer gates. These days, you probably have that gate info anyway because your phone, laptop, tablet, watch, garter belt, and pinky ring are all connected to the internet. Even if you didn’t have the foresight to sort out this info on your own, you’re probably not listening because you’ve got your headphones on and don’t want to be bothered. [More]


Travelers Have Left $4.32M Behind In Airport Security Bins Since 2008

When you’re fumbling through airport security — putting your shoes and belt back on, finding your glasses again, stowing your laptop back in its bag — do you make every effort to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind in the plastic bins? Maybe you’re not doing as thorough a job as you think, because someone is leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in loose change behind every year. [More]


An Improved Spirit Airlines Still Comes In Last In Customer Satisfaction Survey

A year ago, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines made its debut in the American Customer Satisfaction Index with a thud, coming in dead last among airlines in the annual survey.  But even with a 15% improvement over last year’s score, Spirit still couldn’t escape the cellar. [More]


Senate Votes Against Minimum Legroom, Spacing Standards For Airline Seats

Earlier this year, Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) said he would try to get federal regulators to come up with limits for airline seat size and spacing. But yesterday, his fellow senators shot down that effort. [More]

(David Transier)

Alaska Airlines Gives Passengers $100 Credit After Flight Disrupted By Drunk Traveler

When a flight is diverted to deal with a disruptive passenger, those left on the plane often receive little, if anything, in the way of compensation for the delay. But travelers on a recently interrupted Alaska Airlines flight received a financial apology from the airline. [More]


Preventing Bug Splatter Could Save Airlines Billions On Fuel

When you’re flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, every little bit of wind resistance can result in the use of additional fuel. So if there’s a way to stop aircraft from becoming covered in dead bug goo, it could end up saving the airline industry a lot of money. [More]

Skip Nyegard

New Bill Aims To Limit “Ridiculous” Airline Fees For Checked Bags, Cancellations

Most airlines now charge fees for everything from checked bags to changing your itinerary, resulting in billions of dollars of revenue for carriers and annoyance for travelers. And the fees are going up, with baggages fees up 67% since 2009, and cancellation charges up by 33% for domestic flights. Newly introduced legislation aims to curb these fee hikes. [More]

Mike Mozart

It’s Official: No More Smoking E-Cigarettes On Planes

Four months ago, the Department of Transportation banned e-cigs from being checked in baggage after a couple dozen fires and explosions. Now, the agency is taking another step toward safety by actually banning the devices from being used during flights. [More]

You Can Use Amazon Payments Instead Of Your Credit Card On Southwest Flights

You Can Use Amazon Payments Instead Of Your Credit Card On Southwest Flights

Southwest Airlines could have partnered up with a number of online payment services to let passengers log in to their accounts instead of pulling out their credit cards to pay for in-air WiFi and entertainment, including on their own devices. [More]

Airbus Patents Adjustable Seats For People Of Every Size, In-Seat Storage That Eliminates All Legroom

Airbus Patents Adjustable Seats For People Of Every Size, In-Seat Storage That Eliminates All Legroom

Airbus — the company that patented the concept of stacking passengers on top of each other in a crowded tube flying at hundreds of miles per hour thousands of feet above the ground — has recently applied for a pair of airplane seat patents that simultaneously look to increase customer comfort while stripping away what little room remains. [More]

Are Airlines Deliberately Making It Too Difficult To File Complaints?

Are Airlines Deliberately Making It Too Difficult To File Complaints?

When you ask someone “How was your flight?” you never expect to hear too many positive things. At best, you’ll get an “Oh, fine,” but often the question will spark a detailed list of everything that went wrong. And yet, only about one out of every 43,000 air travelers in the U.S. ever file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. And airlines aren’t exactly leaping at the chance to tell customers how to file this sort of complaint. [More]


Don’t Get Stuck Paying For A Flight You Can’t Take; Know Your Airline’s 24-Hour Cancellation Policy

You can spend months, and thousands of dollars, putting together a trip abroad, but no matter how much effort you take to avoid travel trouble, unforeseen circumstances can force you to change your plans. Thankfully, most airlines flying to and from the U.S. have a policy that lets passengers cancel tickets within 24 hours of booking. Note that we said “most airlines” — not all. [More]


24-Hour Cancellation And Hold Policies For Major U.S. & International Airlines

Update: In March 2016, American announced that it was phasing out the hold option and transitioning to the 24-hour cancellation window option.