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Airline Industry

First Class Dining Policies of the Major Domestic Airlines

August 27, 2014

Over the last few years – and even in recent weeks - major domestic airlines have been attempting to up their First Class dining game, achieving varying degrees of success. With food, wine and cocktail and service options going through some changes this fall, I thought it was a good time to take a look at the landscape […]

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Battle at 30,000 Feet: Seat Reclining vs. Leg Room

August 26, 2014

I just read a story that struck a chord with me. The AP reported that on Sunday, a fight broke out between two passengers over leg room on a United Airlines flight from Newark  that caused the flight to be diverted. A man utilized a Knee Defender,  a gadget that attaches to your tray table and prevents the person in front of you from […]

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DOT Considers Cell Phone Ban, Orbitz Dining Rewards & More

August 9, 2014

Here’s a rundown of points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed this week: Department of Transportation Considers Ban on In-Flight Cell Calls: In response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s December 2013 proposal to overturn technical rules barring in-flight cellphone use (as well as a general public outcry about the potential annoyance of other passengers gabbing away for hours […]

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Airlines Sue the TSA, Hilton Guests Can Choose Rooms & More

August 2, 2014

Here’s a recap of points, miles and travel industry news from the past week: Airlines Suing the TSA Over Security Fee Uncapping: This past Wednesday, July 30, 2014, two airline lobbying groups - Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association – sued the TSA over one key detail of the administration’s recent security fee hike. With Congress’ […]

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Count Change Fees as MQDs/PQDs – the Weekly Wish

July 31, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: count change fees towards elite qualification on United and Delta. It sure seems like 2014 has been the year of the “$” in the frequent flyer world. Delta started the […]

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Delta to Offer Free Entertainment on Domestic Flights

July 30, 2014

America’s number 3 airline is making a ratings grab. Starting this Friday, August 1, Delta Airlines will roll out Delta Studio, the carrier’s own branding of a Gogo wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system called Gogo Vision, and will begin offering free access to movies, TV shows, music and video games on all of its domestic flights that last 90 minutes or more. Delta passengers can access […]

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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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