Malaysia Airlines Offers Refunds on All 2014 Flights

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…

Enterprise Rolls Out New Enhancements to Its Loyalty Program

Driven by a highly competitive rental car market, Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently announced some sexy new enhancements to its Enterprise Plus loyalty program, including points earning/redemptions in Europe, the option of receiving an e-receipt following a rental, and status match opportunities. First launched in 2012, the Enterprise Plus program earns its members one point per qualifying dollar spent on Enterprise rentals, and free rental…

TSA Bans Uncharged Gadgets on Transatlantic Flights to US

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…

New TSA Fees Will Make Airfare More Expensive

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…

Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website…

Budget Airline PEOPLExpress Returns to the Skies This Summer

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…

New Aircare Program for the Traveling Gambler

Air travel is full of pitfalls like missed connections, flight delays, lost baggage, and cancellations (this past winter actually saw the worst cancellation record in U.S. aviation history), and while travel insurance and airline policies, government regulations, and credit cards offer compensation for some of them, a fleet of loopholes could leave you stranded on the proverbial tarmac….

IRS Proposing New Tax Burden on Loyalty Programs

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…