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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: September, 2011

POSTED: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 10:44 AM

A coalition of consumer organizations, led by the grandaddy of them, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, issued a highly critical report yesterday on action by the airline industry on two fronts: Raising fares in August when Congress allowed taxes on airline tickets to lapse, and the ongoing problem of airlines not clearly displaying the total cost of a flight, including all fees, on Web sites before a purchase is made. Read a full report from the Consumer Travel Alliance on the complaints here .... 

POSTED: Thursday, September 15, 2011, 10:35 AM

Anyone who reads Philly.com and / or this blog knows this already, because it's been reported here and in print numerous times over the last three years or so: The performance numbers, and the financial results, show that US Airways is a far different, much-improved airline than it was in the past. Another voice joined the chorus this morning. Here's a USA Today story citing the most recent US DOT report on airline performance and where US Airways stands.  

POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 11:44 AM

The major airlines are making presentations this week at a financial conference in New York, and for the most part they are in a good mood, reporting no slowdown in traffic despite a slowing economy. Read more about it here ...

POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 11:38 AM

UPDATED INFO BELOW

There seems to be only one sure way to avoid coming under suspicion if you're of Middle Eastern descent on a U.S. airline flight: Don't get on the plane, especially on a 9/11 anniversary. Here's the full story, according to the "suspicious" person involved, of what happened when she was sitting in the wroing row of a Frontier Airlines flight on Sunday.

UPDATE: What is linked above is a good AP story on the incident. Even more detail about the experience of a 35-year-old American citizen from Toledo, Ohio, detained in Detroit, can be found on her blog "Stories from the Heartland." Her long, first person account comes first, following by more than 2,000 (!!) comments.This is a really sad story: What can happen when some of us become so paranoid that we prompt law-enforcement or airline officials "just doing their job" to overreact because of a person's appearance.  

POSTED: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 12:10 PM

UPDATED with today's Inquirer story, which includes some good (speculative) news: An analyst's prediction that JetBlue will add PHL-BOS flights after Southwest pulls out.

THE ORIGINAL POST FROM TUESDAY: Of course, this isn't bad news for US Airways but it could be quite unfortunate for those who fly between PHL and BOS for business or fun: Afer Feb. 11, Southwest will no longer fly nonstop or even offer connecting service between the two cities, a route it started just 15 months ago (June 28, 2010).  PHL fliers were overjoyed when it started, since it brought down fares substantially to have nonstop competition from a low-cost carrier for the first time in years. With this cut, Southwest will have roughly half as many daily flights from PHL as it did a few years ago. 

In July Southwest said it was droppng nonstops from PHL to the other two cities that gave many customers some access to the Boston area, Providence, RI and Manchester, NH. Southwest's focus is now on Atlanta, where it's taken over AirTran's operations, and on flying longer routes. More and more, Southwest is becoming like other airlines in its route structure, with flights mostly to its "focus cities" from outposts like PHL.  

POSTED: Monday, September 12, 2011, 3:42 PM

The American Society of Travel Agents in comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, says that the world of airline fees is becoming murkier and less transparent all the time. The agents' organization urged the regulators to make sure that its rule-making, now underway on fees, help consumers by requiring more display of the fees on airline Web sites. Read a little more about it here ....

POSTED: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 5:02 PM

Business has been good for US Airways recently, leading it to start another round of fare increases that other airlines have matched. Read more here ...

POSTED: Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 4:52 PM

A story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution does a good job of backgrounding the issues that led to a partial shutdown of the FAA last month, and explaining how the sticky political points involved could lead to yet another shutdown in a couple of weeks. The article is Delta-centric, since it's Atlanta-based, and is the airline most affected by the labor issues involved. Read on 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 tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

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