Saturday, February 13, 2016

How airline fees complicate recovery from winter storms

We found a new angle to the continuing story of how the airlines' lust for revenue from fees is affecting their customers, a topic that I explored in a Nov. 23 column, and mentioned again in my Feb. 15 column ( the one that was mostly about the impact of new PHL-BOS Southwest service coming in June). Today, New York Times business travel columnist Joe Sharkey tied the problem of trying to account for what we're really spending on fees to the multitude of flight cancellations this winter and the resulting need to rebook passengers, sometimes on different airlines.

How airline fees complicate recovery from winter storms

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We found a new angle to the continuing story of how the airlines' lust for revenue from fees is affecting their customers, a topic that I explored in a Nov. 23 column, and mentioned again in my Feb. 15 column ( the one that was mostly about the impact of new PHL-BOS Southwest service coming in June). Today, New York Times business travel columnist Joe Sharkey tied the problem of trying to account for what we're really spending on fees to the multitude of flight cancellations this winter and the resulting need to rebook passengers, sometimes on different airlines. 

"What a mess," Sharkey said, as airlines rebook customers from canceled flights who, for instance, paid extra for a particular seat on a plane but now can't get the same seat on the new flight. Much of the last half of the column is devoted to what our locally based corporate travel guru, Kevin Mitchell , chiarman of the Business Travel Coalition, is trying to do to bring greater transparency to the real cost of airline fees. Read the column here.

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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 tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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