Monday, August 31, 2015

Archive: July, 2010

POSTED: Friday, July 30, 2010, 3:26 PM

Congress today passed an important airline safety bill, raising standards for pilots, in response to last year's regional airplane crash near Buffalo. Read more here ...

POSTED: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 12:30 PM

Many air travelers in and out of Philadelphia already know this: For about a month now, Wi-fi Internet access has been free at PHL every day, not just on weekends. The airport made the official announcement a couple of weeks ago, a couple of weeks after it started.

Connect this to the AP story that ran in the Inquirer Travel section Sunday about airline customers not using Wi-fi on planes in-flight as much as airlines hoped or expected -- in part because it's free so many places on the ground. 

POSTED: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 11:28 AM

Anyone who's flown this year already knows it's costing more than it did in the depths of the recession last year. Now a federal agency report confirms fare levels vs. last year in the first quarter. Read more here ...

POSTED: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 11:24 AM

Posting of airline and other travel news has been spotty recently and will resume later today. Here's one story from this morning's announcements: Southwest Airlines reported a  healthy second-quarter profit.

POSTED: Monday, July 26, 2010, 5:23 PM

Perhaps this is obvious but for the record, the AP has a good roundup today about fewer fare diswcounts being offered by the major airlines as they record profits and pack their planes. Read it all here ...

POSTED: Monday, July 26, 2010, 9:01 AM

Today's Winging It column is the next-to-last The Inquirer plans to publish, and it's personal, about all the mixed feelings airlines generate in those of us who like them and need them. Read it all here ...

POSTED: Friday, July 23, 2010, 2:48 PM

This is what we would call a "good read," especially if you're an airline employee. It's on the Huffington Post blog and is by former flight attendant., who starts out in one direction but then heads into what's more important and interesting territory. Read more here ...

POSTED: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 3:55 PM

The Chicago Tribune has a good article today about the success of its hometown airline, United, in generating ancillary revenue from fees that are separate from air fares. The story cites figures from IdeaWorks, the consultancy we've quoted here before, about how much fee income means to airlines worldwide. Read the story here ..

Airline fees were also the subject a good Government Accountability Office report that came in just as I was starting vacation last week. The report details what the federal governmnent is doing to make sure customers know all the fees they will pay before buying a ticket, the fact that fees are not subject to the federal ticket tax, and the lack of clarity in how to get a refund of taxes and fees paid if a nonrefundable ticket is never used. For those who really want more information about air travel -- and that's the point of this blog -- find the GAO report here.  

About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at Reach Tom at

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