Airline Industry

Will TSA Fee Increase Improve Security? Survey Says…

July 23, 2014

On Monday the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fees on airline tickets went into effect. The old fee structure was $2,50 for each leg of a flight with a $5 cap on each one-way trip and $10 cap on each roundtrip. Now there’s no cap on the fee, and the TSA will charge you $5.60 for […]

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FAA Suspends US Flights to Tel Aviv – Options for Travelers

July 23, 2014

After a combat missile launched from Gaza landed approximately one mile from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) early Tuesday, the FAA grounded all U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for 24 hours (through 12:15 pm Wednesday EDT), by which time they will further advise. In the meantime, the European Air Safety Agency has issued a strong recommendation that European […]

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Malaysia Airlines Offers Refunds on All 2014 Flights

July 21, 2014

Like most people, I’m still struggling to comprehend the tragedy that is Malaysia Airlines flight 17. Unlike the last Malaysian Airlines tragedy where endless questions remain unanswered, this incident looks to be exclusively the handiwork of terrorists, and the full effects are yet to be seen. This incident could have happened to any airline, and […]

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TSA Fees, Free Iberia Miles, Etihad Launches SFO-AUH & More

July 19, 2014

Here’s a recap of points, miles and travel industry news from the past week: Reminder that TSA fees go up on Monday, July 21:  In news I shared earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will soon more than double – and no longer cap – the mandatory security fee they charge most airline passengers. On July […]

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Using Air Travel Passes to Maximize International Travel

July 9, 2014

Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele introduces us to the Air Travel Pass, a great way to get around for travelers with multiple regional destinations in mind. The most efficient way to use your points and miles is to see as much as you can with one major international award flight, rather than travel back and forth between home […]

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TSA Bans Uncharged Gadgets on Transatlantic Flights to US

July 8, 2014

If you’re headed to the U.S. on a transatlantic flight, make sure your cell phones, laptops, tablets and more are charged by the time you get to the airport, or you might not be allowed to board with them. As part of the Enhanced Security Measures announced by the Secretary of Homeland Security last week, the […]

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Ticketing Errors, Schedule Mix-ups, and Wrong Destinations

July 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at common ticketing errors, how to avoid them, and how to survive them if they happen to you. As a travel enthusiast and die-hard soccer fan (still smarting from last week’s dramatic US-Belgium result), I couldn’t help but cringe when I read about the Australian couple who thought they had booked […]

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New TSA Fees Will Make Airfare More Expensive

July 2, 2014

Thinking about planning a big trip? Best to book your flights now, before they become more expensive. Starting on July 21, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will more than double – and no longer cap – the mandatory security fee they charge most airline passengers. Formerly this fee was $2.50 for each leg of a flight, with a […]

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The Winners and Losers of United’s New Revenue Program

June 13, 2014

This week United dropped the bombshell that their MileagePlus frequent flyer program would be moving to  a revenue-based earning model starting in 2015. Long story short, moving forward you’ll earn miles based not on how far you fly, but on how much you spend. At a high level, those who spend a ton on their tickets […]

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10 Tips On Being a Better Passenger- From a Flight Attendant

June 12, 2014

Ever wonder what you can do to endear yourself to your flight crew? Want to know why some people get upgrades and preferential treatment and others don’t? Curious about how your in flight etiquette is perceived? Meet Cary A. Trey, an anonymous flight attendant for a major US carrier flying mostly international routes, here to set the record straight on […]

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Standby Rules and Strategies for International Flights

June 11, 2014

What can you do if you need to take an earlier flight to get to your destination on time? Can you switch from an international connecting flight to a non-stop to your destination? Standby rules are pretty clear for domestic flights, but can get murky when traveling internationally. Read on to learn more about the policies of major […]

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3X JetBlue Points, Bonus for LA Marriott Sunday Stays & More

June 7, 2014

Here’s a recap of the top points and miles news from this week: Reminder — Week Four Daily Getaway Deals Start June 9: This coming week the Daily Getaways for June 9-13 will be unveiled daily at 1 pm EDT, and will be available to any US resident age 18 or older to purchase throughout the promotion period until the limited inventory is […]

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Budget Airline PEOPLExpress Returns to the Skies This Summer

June 5, 2014

Beloved 1980s budget airline PEOPLExpress has re-opened for business. Domestic service in the Northeast and Southeast U.S. will begin on June 30th, with fares starting at $76 each way.  PEOPLExpress originally flew from 1981-1987 until it was absorbed into Continental, and was known not only for low fares, but friendly, efficient customer service. In the current climate of fierce (and often frustrating) competition amongst budget airlines, PEOPLExpress has taxied back onto […]

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Do You Take Surveys About Your Travel Experiences?

June 3, 2014

It seems these days that after every flight, hotel stay, customer service call that I make, I am immediately greeted by an email asking about my experience. Whether it is coming from United or Chase, it appears that everyone wants to know my opinion on how they are doing. In one week alone, I received five surveys from […]

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Southwest Merger: AirTran’s Final Flight & End of A+ Rewards

May 27, 2014

It’s official: AirTran is finally coming to an end after what must be one of the longest mergers in airline history. The carrier will operate its final flight as AirTran on December 28, retracing its original Atlanta-Tampa route from October 1993 when it was called ValuJet (it purchased AirTran and took the name in 1997). Southwest […]

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IRS Proposing New Tax Burden on Loyalty Programs

May 23, 2014

In the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan (or business plan), the IRS is currently proposing that travel industry companies pay taxes on the front end of their loyalty program transactions, rather than waiting to pay those taxes until program members make redemptions. This shift in tax timing would mean that travel industry companies would almost […]

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DOT Proposes New Transparency Rules On Airline Baggage and Seating Fees

May 21, 2014

Last month, consumers were up in arms over the possible passage of the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, which would void a 2012 DOT ruling called the full-fare advertising rule that requires airlines to include mandatory taxes and fees in the base price of a flight. Those mandatory taxes and fees include things like TSA […]

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The New Frontier of Airline Fees: Overhead Bin Space and Seat Assignments

April 30, 2014

Following Frontier Airlines’ announcement this past Monday that it will now charge its passengers for placing their carry-on bags in its overhead bins and reserving seats in advance, TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne examines the present landscape of similarly ridiculous airline fees – and finds the worst offenders. In yet another irritating step toward entirely fee-dependent fares, low-cost […]

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Transparent Airfares Act of 2014: Making Airfare Purchases Less…Transparent?

April 28, 2014

This past March, President Obama announced his Fiscal Budget for 2015, which includes a proposal to increase aviation fees and taxes annually by $4.2 billion. Almost two months later, the almost universally unpopular Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 now seems poised to pass into law. This act would void a 2012 Department of Transportation (DOT) […]

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Airline Consolidation Means More Flight Delays and Cancellations

April 26, 2014

I read an interesting article on Bloomberg yesterday that noted a study ordered by Congress found that decreased competition in the airline industry thanks to major airline mergers like those of Continental/United and Delta/Northwest have meant a rise in flight delays and cancellations since 2005. The study looked at 2,500 routes and statistics from 2005-2012. […]

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New Survey: Why People Hate Airlines – And Why United Is The Worst

April 24, 2014

I was perusing Consumerist this morning and came across an interesting article about a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) study on the airline industry. In an industry comparison, airlines ranked near the bottom at a score of 69/100, just ahead of internet service providers, social media and subscription TV services – so way to […]

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Italian Court Cancels Emirates New York-Milan Route – Are Freedom of the Air Routes in Danger?

April 15, 2014

The airline industry is pretty competitive and there are a lot of routes that have seen increased competition in the past few years, including New York and Milan Malpensa. Last year, Emirates muscled in on it with a flight of its own and entered into direct competition with incumbents Delta and Alitalia (both of whom I […]

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What Will Airline Business Class Look Like In The Future – And What Do You Want To See?

April 11, 2014

The Thales Group – a French-based company that designs electrical and connectivity systems used in everything from commercial jets to defense and transportation networks – unveiled its vision of a new “immersive” business class seat at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 earlier this week. The innovative new seat was developed with BE Aerospace and […]

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US Supreme Court Decides Rabbi Frequent Flyer Case – Airlines Can Cut Off Frequent Flyers

April 3, 2014

Back in December, the Supreme Court of the US finally heard the arguments in the case of Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg versus Northwest Airlines (now Delta), and today the Court finally released its decision. To give you a bit of background, the rabbi was a Platinum elite with Northwest, but back in 2008, the airline […]

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