When dead airlines rise, where’s my refund?

It's alive ... maybe! / Photo by Carb B - Flickr
Duncan Fox saw a glimmer of hope when Mexicana Airlines recently announced it would return to the skies. Back in 2010, he’d booked a flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but shortly before his trip, Mexicana filed for bankruptcy protection and then folded.
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Three years later, Alitalia still owes me $528 for my lost baggage and ruined Italian vacation

Noah Markewich’s lost-luggage case had “lost cause” written all over it when he contacted me last week.

Why? It involved Alitalia, the historically troubled Italian airline.

It was more than three years old. Old cases are almost always unsolvable.

And it involved misplaced baggage, which is a problematic complaint category.

Still, Markewich epic, four-page, single-spaced letter is such a stunning documentation of an airline’s awful customer service, that I wish I could publish it in its entirety. It describes how Alitalia ruined his Italian vacation by losing his luggage — and when I say “ruin” it may be something of an understatement.
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US Airways, United are closest to the bankruptcy cliff

current_cash_ratios_q1_2009

It’s no secret that the airline industry has seen better days. But how bad is it this time?

Not as bad as the mainstream media would like us to believe, according to airline analyst Robert Herbst, who publishes the Web site Airlinefinancials.com. And not so good that we shouldn’t be cautious with future bookings, he adds.

In the above chart, you’ll see a few first-quarter numbers for the major airlines as they compare to pre-bankruptcy. None of the airlines are in serious danger of coming close to the dreaded red bar.
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