For years, regional airlines, government agencies, and pilot groups have warned that new regulations, higher costs of school, and lower salaries had led to a shortage of pilots that could affect the number of flights smaller carriers are able to offer. It now appears that this scarcity of youngsters hoping to someday take flight could result in airlines beginning to run out of pilot in as few as three years. [More]
DOT Gives U.S. Airlines The Go-Ahead To Start Scheduled Service To 9 Cuban Cities (But Not Havana Yet)
After waiting for more than 50 years to carry passengers from the U.S. to Cuba, airlines stateside have gotten the final go-ahead from the Department of Transportation to begin scheduled service to nine cities on the island nation — not including Havana. [More]
Two years ago, regional airlines warned that new regulations, higher costs of school, and lower salaries had led to a shortage of pilots for the companies that typically handle the smaller, regional routes for larger airlines. Now, one short-haul carrier says that lack of pilots is the reason it’s filed for bankruptcy. [More]
Some airlines aren’t living up to their obligation to compensate passengers for damage to their luggage, recent inspections by the Department of Transportation found. Now, the agency is warning carriers that if their policies and trainings don’t fall in line with federal regulations by Jan. 9, they could face fines and other enforcement action. [More]
So many things can delay a flight — weather, traffic, minor technical glitches to name just a few — and yet nearly three-quarters of all flights arrived at their destination on schedule last year. A new study suggests that this achievement might not just be the result of increased efficiency, but of padded schedules. [More]
We’ve previously shared letters from readers who aren’t thrilled with OnTrac, a regional shipping company that Amazon uses for some shipments for Amazon Prime, their all-you-can-buy unlimited free delivery option. Now we’re hearing rumblings of problems with another smaller delivery company, Ensenda. [More]
J.D.Power and Associates released a new survey last week that measured customer complaints among national cellular networks, and although different companies excel in different regions, AT&T is still consistently the laggard when it comes to call connections and overall quality. Of the six regions covered in the survey, AT&T places last in four of them. The only part of the country where it does okay is the North Central Region, where it places third, and where the otherwise highly-ranked Verizon comes in last. [More]
One of our readers just switched over from T-Mobile to AT&T, but he discovered that pretty much everything the salesperson promised him at the retail store turned out to be a lie. At least, that’s what the angry AT&T customer service rep told his wife when she called in to dispute her first bill. [More]
The president and a vice-president for CTIA, a lobbying organization for the wireless industry, spoke recently with CNET about why they think the FCC should leave their members alone. The vice-president, Chris Guttman-McCabe, is a lawyer and as such his answers are useless. President Steve Largent, however, actually has a couple of candid moments during the interview. [More]
Verizon has dropped 10 phones from its list of models that will trigger the high $350 early termination fee. Cnet wonders whether this is Verizon’s way of trying to make its “advanced devices are expensive to service” argument more palatable to the FCC, as the remaining models are all smartphones. [More]
Zagat, the popular consumer feedback-based restaurant review guide, now reviews wireless carriers as well, and they’ve released rankings on the four national carriers. The company surveyed 2,319 wireless consumers and then created Zagat-style scores in a variety of categories. Here are some of the highlights. [More]
Last week AT&T, in yet another of a string of PR failures about the health of its network, made things even worse by publicly blaming its customers for, you know, being customers. Over the weekend, though, a new thread was introduced into the narrative: it’s the iPhone’s fault. Not because it’s too popular, which has been the old complaint, but because the hardware doesn’t work right, and AT&T can’t say anything about it for fear that Steve Jobs will reach down through the clouds and smite them.
That sounds pretty tragic and sad for AT&T, but the problem is nobody knows if it’s true, or if this is yet another strategy to shift the responsibility from AT&T.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just completed a survey of wireless customers and a review of the “tens of thousands” of complaints made to the FCC every year, and they’ve reached a verdict: the FCC needs to step up and provide a better way for consumers to get help. [More]
There’s a new Consumer Reports survey out that ranks cellphone companies by customer satisfaction, and to pretty much no one’s surprise, AT&T comes in last in all 19 cities surveyed. (Verizon came in first.) As AllThingsD notes, the survey “suggests that AT&T’s shortcomings are more widespread than the carrier would have us believe and not simply the product of a high concentration of iPhones in the country’s larger cities.” [More]