When Stephen Oualline and his daughter arrived at the gate in Kona, Hawaii, for their Alaska Airlines trip San Diego, they were told that the plane had already departed. After a rebooking and an unplanned overnight in Oakland, Calif., Oualline wanted the airline to reimburse him for the money he spent to get them home, but it refused. Now he wants us to help him — but can we?
The 2018 Airline Quality Rating is useless. Research released yesterday by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University doesn’t help real airline passengers.
SSSS! Behold the four letters that you don’t ever want to see on your boarding pass. If you find the Secondary Security Screening Selection stamp on your ticket, you should know that the TSA agents will be treating you to an extra-thorough and specialized security screening. Lucky you!
But how, and by whom, are passengers selected for this additional form of screening? After Jo Freeman’s recent unpleasant close encounter of the TSA kind, she wants to know.
If you thought 2017 was a challenging year for airline passengers, just wait until you see what’s ahead.
No one likes having their flight canceled.
Especially in the middle of winter, seated in a plane, waiting for takeoff on the Chicago airport tarmac, a day after Christmas.
When Ahmed Abdulrahim cancels a flight within 24 hours of booking it, he assumes he’ll have the money soon. Months later, he’s still waiting. Can his airline issue his refund?
If it seems as if airlines are getting away with more passenger-unfriendly behavior, maybe it’s because they are.
The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is responsible for enforcing federal consumer-protection regulations, is on track to punish significantly fewer airlines this year, issuing 18 consent orders for $3.1 million in civil penalties. By comparison, the DOT had 29 orders worth $6.4 million for 2016, which included a $1.6 million fine against American Airlines for violating its tarmac delay rules handed down in mid-December. Barring a last-minute flurry of penalties, 2017 will be a much quieter year for the department.
Kim and Joe Christiana were headed home to Baton Rouge, La., from their son’s wedding when they got an unexpected change in their itinerary.
Imagine a world where your cruise line or airline pays you if it fails to keep its schedule, you aren’t penalized for a canceled reservation if your hotel is able to resell the room and ticket change fees are related to the actual cost of changing your flight schedule.
After Samantha Gomez is denied boarding on a flight from Philadelphia to Palm Beach, Florida, she asks her airline for compensation. Why won’t it pay?
Is it illegal to use a camera on a commercial flight? No. But if you’re planning to fly soon, be wary of that urge to whip one out and photograph your plane cabin.
The U.S. Transportation Department surprised the travel world last month by suspending the creation of an important new consumer-protection regulation.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering a proposal that would require airlines to notify passengers if they allow the use of mobile wireless devices, such as smartphones, to make telephone calls and to send messages while in the air.
The government is also seeking comments on whether to prohibit airlines from allowing voice calls on such devices and you have until Feb. 13 to give it a piece of your mind, and I suggest you do.
Americans don’t agree about many things – but cell phone use on aircraft may be an exception.
Kendra Thornton is an unlikely candidate for government aid, but when Frontier Airlines recently denied her a seat on a flight from Chicago to Denver, that’s exactly what she got.
Ask travelers what the federal government did for them this year, and you’ll probably get a shrug, at best — or a rant about sequestration, national park closings and the Transportation Security Administration, at worst.
Kathleen and Eugene Bianucci paid $5,770 for a pair of round-trip tickets between San Francisco and Dublin this year on
Did the federal government just kill tarmac delays?
The long-awaited sequel to this summer’s controversial tarmac delay study has just been released. In it, aviation analysts Darryl Jenkins and Joshua Marks claim 384,000 more passengers were stranded by cancellations last summer, and an additional 49,600 air travelers experienced gate returns and delays. It calls on the Transportation Department to clarify its three-hour turnback rule — a rule the DOT insists is a resounding success. I asked Jenkins about the study and its conclusions this morning. Here’s our interview.
As someone who is currently being sued, you might think I’m the last person who would support a new rule that would allow more people to file a lawsuit against an airline.
If you’ve ever experienced a flight delay — and who hasn’t? — then you know that getting reliable updates from your airline can take an Act of Congress.
Spirit Airlines’ decision to begin charging passengers for carry-on luggage — and lowering some fares to a penny — has caught the attention of the federal government, as many predicted it would. In part one of our exclusive interview with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, we talk about fees, consumer protection and the future of airline service
Are the government’s airline cops about to get tough on crime? The Department of Transportation says it is, and now there’s new evidence that it’s following through.
The Department of Transportation yesterday claimed to be a leader in the administration’s open government initiative, which is supposed to transform the federal bureaucracy into a “transparent, collaborative, and participatory government” that touches the lives of citizens.
Last week’s story about how the Transportation Department has adopted a more pro-consumer attitude didn’t include the recent fine against United Airlines and news of its new Web site.
The online travel agency Ultimate Fares faces $600,000 in government fines for failing to include taxes and service fees in its airfares, a U.S. Department of Transportation Administrative Law Judge has ruled. The fine would be the largest ever assessed for advertising violations, according to regulators.
And it’s the wrong answer. In a recent column about luggage, I suggested that a simple rulemaking by the Transportation Department could compel airlines to include one piece of checked luggage as part of the base fare. I recommended that readers write the DOT to let it know they supported such action.