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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: July, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 9:16 AM

The people who manage travel for corporations and other organizations are steamed these days about the difficulty they have in knowing the true cost of the airline service they have to pay for, given how much fees imposed by airline aren't transparent to customers. The managers have a great point, since they represent the airline industry's best customers, the ones spending the most money.

From the annual conference of the managers' trade group, the Global Business Travel Association, which closes today in Boston, here are two excellent stories, one about its leaders demanding more full-cost transparency of air service, from a travel agents' magazine, and another a column by the NY Times Joe Sharikey that tallies how much revenue airlines get from fees now. Yes, some airlines wouldn't be profitable without fee revenue but the plea from those paying them is: Give us more information about the full cost of our tickets.

POSTED: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 5:21 PM

That time of the year again, with airlines reporting second-quarter earnings. Southwest was among the first, revealing a good quarter despite high fuel costs. Not a big surprise given how much airlines have trimmed their available seats and raised ticket prices this year.

Yesterday, American's parent AMR reported its first second-quarter operating profit since 2007 but still lost money on a net basis as it struggles through Chapter 11 reorganization. More on that here... 

And here for the archives is yesterday's story about Spirit Airlines anticipated launch of service next year from PHL. No additional comment ... let the airline's record speak for itself.

POSTED: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 5:04 PM

Here in the midst of earnings season, it sure looks more and more likely that US Airways and American could become one big airline in the not-too-distant future. Almost daily there's a new development, or a report that looks like something new, as in a meeting today of the carriers' CEOs. Read about it here ...

POSTED: Monday, July 16, 2012, 10:28 AM

Thje Inquirer's Linda Loyd has an informative story today about questions that some analysts still have about the wisdom of Delta Air Line's purchase of the former ConcocoPhillips oil refinery at Trainer, PA. Read on here....

POSTED: Friday, July 13, 2012, 3:20 PM

We've posted articles in the past about the problem of families not being able to sit togetther on airline flights because of widespread holding "better" seats back for additional fees. Now Airlines fro America trade grup says a proposed federal rule requiring airlines to accommodate families' need isn't necessary because families can plan in advance, and besides, airlines are highly competitive anyway. Of course, were that true, the legislation wouldn't have been proposed in the first place.  Read on about that issue here ..

A related opinion column by the NY Times's Joe Sharkey earlier this week addresses the same problem, but this time for adults traveling together who couldn't get adjacent seats, while other, single travelers are paying extra to sit in aisle seats near the front. If you've paid for an "upgrade" (in the loosest sense of the word) of this sort, does airplane etiquette require you to give up your seat to allow a couple to sit together? Find that piece here ...

Whether you have direct experience with this issue or not, tell us what you think. 

POSTED: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 12:20 PM

Recall that great made for TV story about Spirit over last weekend, the one about taking 19 hours to get a planeload of passengers from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale? Here's a good recap, witth opinion from the Motley Fool, about the airline's approach to doing business. I would disagree only with the headline ... when was Spirit a great airline?

POSTED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 6:48 PM

Here for the record is Linda Loyd's Inquirer story yesterday on American saying it's got to think about merger ... and we know what that means ...  Read on here ...

POSTED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 2:27 PM

Very little is likely to be more helpful in the years ahead for PHL air travelers than what Amtrak has planned for the ground in the Northeast. Amtrak's latest updates on its high-speed rail plans have been all over the news, but here for the record, the archives and additional promotional purposes is The Inquirer's story on what all should hope comes to pass. and Paul Nussbaum's sidebar on Amtrak president Joe Boardman calling for more NY tunnel spending.

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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