Tag: European airfares

Why European Travelers Get Better Airfare Deals

FlagWorldAccording to recent research, European consumers can find far better deals on airfare than can North American consumers.  This is despite the fact that Europe has significantly higher taxes and fees on air travel.

Why?

In 1997, the EU instituted an “open-skies” policy, resulting in more routes, more airline competitors, and lower fares.  The open-skies policy lowers airfares by creating a single aviation market among all member countries.  The increased competition leads to greater choice and lower fares.  The airline market in North America is more regulated than in the EU, and as a result, both the U.S. and Canada currently prohibit foreign-owned airlines from offering domestic flights.

While the United States and the EU signed an open-skies agreement in 2007, foreign airlines still do not have full access to the U.S. internal market.  The U.S. retains some of the most restrictive laws on the foreign ownership and operation of airlines in the world, starving its airlines of capital and limiting their options for recovery, growth, and participation in a rapidly globalizing industry.

So what do you think?  Should U.S. and Canadian policymakers  follow Europe’s example and establish a true open-skies agreement?  Or, more realistically, should the Canadian government pursue an open skies agreement with Europe on its own?  In which case, I’m catching my next flight to Europe from Vancouver.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Airlines could face steeper fines for bumping passengers and could be required to prominently disclose all fees (including those checked bag fees you love) under new passenger-centric rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The proposed rules would raise compensation to up to $1,300 to passengers bumped from overbooked flights.  The new rules would also address growing consumer confusion over fees ranging from checked-bag charges to a summer travel surcharge that make it increasingly difficult for would-be travelers to comparison shop among carriers.
  • For all the Star Wars fans out there, the Wyndham Orlando Resort is offering a special rate of $69 per night during the “Star Wars Celebration V” at the Orange County Convention Center in August 2010.  Guests can opt to upgrade to a junior suite for $20 more.  Star Wars fans will be minutes away from the Convention Center with complimentary transportation provided.

European Airfares Are Going to Increase

increasing airfaresThe Wall Street Journal reports that airfares to and from Europe may rise in the wake of the volcanic-ash disruption that caused European airports to shut down earlier this month, adding steam to already rising fares this year.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research, a United Kingdom-based economics consultancy, said in a report released Monday that airfares in Europe are likely to rise 5.2% in 2010 from the year earlier due to rising oil prices and airlines trying to mitigate the financial harm of the volcanic crisis.

According to the report, the average ticket in 2010 on British Airways between London and New York would jump to $831, an increase of approximately $41 compared to today’s average price.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • New rules for airlines went into effect today that are designed to prevent long waits on the tarmac without food and water.  By now everyone has heard the horror stories from passengers that have had to  sit on the runway for up to 11 hours without the basic necessities.  The airlines face stiff fines if they leave passengers sitting on the tarmac for more than 3 hours.  We’ll see how the new rules improve the situation – or if they simply cause more flights to be canceled.
  • Reuters reports that LaGuardia Airport, one of the busiest airports in the United States, serving about 26 million passengers a year, is so outdated that it should be completely demolished and rebuilt.
  • The New York Times reported today that the European Union will lift its ban on liquids in air passengers’ hand luggage by 2013 as part of a plan to harmonize and simplify airport security screening procedures that have been a source of confusion and delay for millions of travelers.  According to the E.U. Transport Commission,the new system will require European airports to install new technology at checkpoints capable of detecting liquid explosives.  Hopefully the U.S. is not far behind.