An airline seat dispute quickly spirals out of control

Economy class airline seats are small and getting smaller — of that there is no doubt. But if you do have doubts, consider what happened to Deana Worth on a recent American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Miami.

Worth purchased her economy class seat, believing she’d have an adequate amount of legroom, as she has in the past. But times change. She found herself on a Boeing 777 with about 31 inches of seat “pitch” — a rough measure of leg room.
Read more “An airline seat dispute quickly spirals out of control”

Are airlines about to charge your kids more?

If your blood pressure spikes when you think about the words “kids” and “plane” in the same sentence, as you just did (sorry about that), then this story may have a calming effect.

True, there’s no faster way to start a brawl on a flight or an online chat room than by putting the two together. Some passengers feel the interior of a plane should be a designated quiet zone; others treat it as a playground. It’s a conflict as old as commercial aviation.
Read more “Are airlines about to charge your kids more?”

FAA funding bill may mean big changes for fliers – or none

An impending fight in Congress this spring over the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill could affect your next flight, for better or worse.

Trade associations call the appropriations bill the most important piece of legislation in the travel industry. The last one, passed in 2012, not only funded the FAA but also turned tarmac-delay rules into law and established an advisory committee for Aviation Consumer Protection.
Read more “FAA funding bill may mean big changes for fliers – or none”

He had the promise in writing, but it didn’t matter

Abraham Feuer wants US Airways to keep its word. Nothing more.

That’s not an unreasonable request for any passenger. But you’d think US Airways would give it special consideration when it comes from someone like Feuer, who is a rabbi.
Read more “He had the promise in writing, but it didn’t matter”

Should airlines be re-regulated?

The days of a freewheeling, lightly regulated airline industry, in which a carrier can charge whatever fees and fares it pleases, may be nearing an end.

A confluence of events is pressuring government regulators to take action that, depending on your point of view, will make air travel less expensive or interfere with a free market, driving ticket prices higher.
Read more “Should airlines be re-regulated?”

What to do about the ‘circumstances beyond our control’ excuse

The excuse had a familiar ring to it.

Craig Zimmett’s daughter, Alissa, was supposed to fly from Miami to Gainesville, Fla., but she didn’t. Instead, her commuter flight took an unexpected detour to Jacksonville, Fla., after pilots were erroneously notified that some airport communication systems in Gainesville had stopped working. The airline said these circumstances were beyond its control.
Read more “What to do about the ‘circumstances beyond our control’ excuse”

Do you have the right to lean your economy class seat back as far as it goes?

Remember last summer’s debate about recline rage on planes?
Read more “Do you have the right to lean your economy class seat back as far as it goes?”

How refundable are airline fees? Not so much

The North American airline industry collected an estimated $8.2 billion last year from fees for items such as checked baggage, premium seat assignments and early boarding privileges — a $700 million increase from 2013. But are they keeping more of your money than they should?
Read more “How refundable are airline fees? Not so much”

Oh, you want a comfortable airline seat? That’ll be extra

Bob Bradenbaugh thought he’d booked an economy class seat when he flew from Miami to Barcelona on American Airlines recently. It turns out he’d only bought half a seat.
Read more “Oh, you want a comfortable airline seat? That’ll be extra”