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.
Despite its name, Continental Airlines Inc. had always omitted one continent from its destinations — Africa. But that’s going to chance in November 2011 when the airline will begin flying nonstop from its Houston hub to Nigeria.
It’s been a rough few weeks for United Airlines. First, they try to incinerate an Olsen Twin, then they left a blind passenger on board after they’d let everyone else off the plane. Now, Continental’s betrothed is having to explain how they managed to not notice a sleeping passenger who remained on board her plane for four hours after it touched down.
A 63-year-old New Jersey man has been charged with abusive sexual contact after he was allegedly caught reaching under a sleeping woman’s blanket on a recent Continental flight from Hong Kong to Newark. Passengers seated behind the man say they saw him reaching under the blanket, so they kicked the woman’s seat to wake her, at which point she alerted the flight crew.
The prevailing attitude has been that impending nuptials between United and Continental will be a disaster for consumers, but the NYT has taken another look and come to some slightly less hysterical conclusions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s being widely reported that Continental Airlines and United Airlines, who have flirted with the idea in the past, could announce merger plans as early as Monday. If so, the deal would make the combined entity the largest airline in the world. But is that a good thing for travelers?
A flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., was diverted to an airport in North Carolina earlier today after what is being described as a threatening message was discovered on the jet’s bathroom mirror.
For the second year in a row, Hawaiian Airlines has topped a study that ranks 18 commercial carriers according to a formula that accounts for everything from on-time arrivals/departures to baggage handling to customer complaints. On the bottom end of the rankings was American Eagle.
Even though the new FAA rules regarding tarmac delays don’t kick in until April 29, both U.S. Airways and Continental say they have already begun observing the regulations.
A ticket agent for Continental Airlines has gotten caught with her hand in the voucher jar, allegedly selling fake ticket vouchers and pocketing the cash… to the tune of $1 million.
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.
Starting next month, airlines delayed over 3 hours where passengers can’t disembark will be fined a hefty $27,500 per passenger. Continental CEO Jeff Smisek said that to get around the fines, they’ll just cancel the whole flight entirely. See, you can’t fine a flight for not taking off on-time if the flight doesn’t exist anymore. [AP] (Thanks to Brandon!)
After yesterday’s story about cyclists being unhappy with United’s exorbitant fee to check bikes on their planes, the folks over at Bicycling wrote to share their breakdown of the best and worst airlines for when you’re taking your wheels with you.
In an announcement this morning, Continental Airlines said that, starting March 17, they will be offering passengers “a new option allowing you to purchase seat assignments for unreserved, Economy Class seats that feature extra legroom.” But instead of readjusting the seats on their planes to allow for more space, they’re really just charging for sitting in an exit row.