Reader Mechpaul is a large man. He used to avoid flying, afraid of what would happen if he was too big for his seat, encroaching on his neighbors’ space and potentially being humiliated and marched off the plane. Instead of approaching his flight with fear, he armed himself with two essential tools: a measuring tape and the Internet. He used these to find out whether he would fit in a United Airlines seat, and to plan accordingly. [More]
The House this week finally passed the Passengers Bill of Rights, ensuring that delayed passengers will have adequate access to food, water, and even restrooms. The ironically delayed piece of consumer legislation has languished for years, but the bill that passed the House still isn’t good enough. Under the House legislation, airlines themselves get to decide what constitutes an “excessive delay,” allowing them to keep stranded passengers on the tarmac for hours. Let’s look at the bill and see what changes need to be made in the Senate…
If you are planning on flying US Airways, make sure you are either grumpy, perturbed, unhappy, or uncomfortable- anything but ‘angry’. As reader James learned, ‘angry’ people get grounded on a No-Fly list.
Over a quarter-million passengers were bumped from flights in the past eight months, a number that is set to grow as airlines try to boost anemic profits by slashing fleets. The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate bumped passengers with cash or vouchers, but savvy passengers can leverage their situation to negotiate heftier payments…
According to the FAA, Southwest flight 438 returned to Dallas’ Love Field on November 17 when the plane “experienced a vibration in the number 2 engine” shortly after take-off.
The USA Today tossed three travel experts in a room and asked them to describe their dream airline. An airline that restores the grandeur of flight by focusing on passenger value and convenience. Pay attention airlines, and consider giving us the following:
The New York Times looks at the country’s most consistently late airplane—American Airlines Flight 1659, from Newark to Chicago—and asks industry professionals about the rapidly deteriorating quality of air travel in the United States. The short answer: it will take at least a decade to upgrade air traffic control systems to handle the new super-busy runways, so unless airlines stop “maximizing” their profits by scheduling flights so closely together or we build more airports, this is the new modern way to travel.
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.