How “special” do your circumstances have to be for a refund?

No question about it, airlines have some of the most restrictive rules in American business. In the travel industry, nothing compares to the fine print in an airfare. Read more “How “special” do your circumstances have to be for a refund?”

You can do something about smaller seats and substandard service now

This week’s top story was Charlie Leocha’s takedown of airline seat “densification” and what it means to you.

His recommendation? If you want more generous seats, fly Southwest Airlines.
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Let’s bring back a little compassion to travel

I don’t know how we lost it. But if there was one thing I could fix about the travel industry, it would be to bring back the compassion that once defined it.
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Nice work, US Airways! A story of compassion with a happy ending

I don’t think of this as a “good news” kind of blog. There are countless corporate sites that specialize in slick posts stripped of meaning, and this isn’t one of them. But sometimes, travel companies really do right by their customers, and when that happens, they deserve recognition.

Such was the case with Dani Djamal’s mother, who was trying to change her flights on US Airways.

She needed to change her departure date from August to October on her flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles as she had to accompany me in the hospital after an accident.

When the US Airways rep on the phone told me there was a change fee of $150, I asked her to waive it. I explained that I was admitted into a hospital in Flagstaff for two months and her presence was important for me.

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Believe it or not, the travel industry still cares about you

On a recent flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix on US Airways, Sarah Andrus left her jacket underneath the seat in front of her. “It was a gift from a friend and unique,” recalled Andrus, a director for an Olean, N.Y.-based manufacturing company. “I called the airline with low expectations of recovering my jacket, but I thought I’d give it a try.”

She was lucky enough to get through to a US Airways employee named Tanya, who understood her predicament. “I followed her instructions to the letter, and heard back from someone within two hours. They had found my jacket and would keep it until my return flight,” Andrus said.

Frequent travelers can be forgiven for thinking the travel industry doesn’t care about them, but simply wants their money. Last week’s report that airlines had collected $2.1 billion in fees in the second quarter — an increase of 13 percent from the previous quarter — while continuing to suffer from near record-low customer-service scores, does little to improve that image.
Read more “Believe it or not, the travel industry still cares about you”