Tag: flight attendant strike

It’s a Summer of Airfare Surcharges

airfare surchargeNearly every major airline – with the exception of JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines – is treating each day this summer as a peak travel day, which means additional fees on the price of every ticket.  According to a report, the airlines will charge $10 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, $20 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays and $30 on Sundays.  And these charges apply only to one-way tickets, so if you’re flying round trip, the surcharge is double.

Unlike baggage fees, which are charged separately, peak travel surcharges are added to the base airfare price and a 7.5% sales tax is applied.  It’s very similar to how fuel surcharges are added to the price of your ticket.  Essentially, they are a hidden cost.

The peak travel surcharges will drop off in the last week of August as the busy summer travel season winds down.  So, if you’re looking to take a trip but don’t want to pay top dollar, perhaps it’s better to travel late, than never.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • According to a recent report, in the not-too-distant future, travelers will have “digital personalities” that will identify them before an air fare search begins.  Carriers will be able to “see” shoppers and deliver their search results, intelligently and in real time.  For instance, let’s say you are executive platinum on American Airlines and you’re looking to book a flight at AA.com.  American’s site would know to waive your baggage fees.  Or maybe you’re not executive platinum, but the carrier has lost your bag twice in the last few months, so it would know to waive the bag fee for your next flight.
  • Although the threat of a potential flight attendant strike is still months away, American Airlines is actively making its contingency plan for staffing flights.  The airline has sent letters to area managers asking for volunteers to complete flight attendant training, in case a resolution with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants is not finalized in time to prevent a strike.
  • According to the USA Today, airline passengers who get frustrated and kick a wall, throw a suitcase or make a pithy comment to a screener could find themselves in a little-known Homeland Security database.  The TSA says it is keeping records of people who make its screeners feel threatened as part of an effort to prevent workplace violence.

Continental Says: “No Food For You!”

The Soup Nazi

Continental Airlines, the last carrier to provide free meals for economy class fliers, announced that they will finally start charging for in-flight meal service beginning this fall.  No more free breakfasts and sandwiches, hot meals and desserts in coach.  Passengers will continue to get a free (small) snack and beverage on even the shortest flights, but all other food will now cost you.

Continental will still have free food in coach on international flights, as well as domestic flights longer than six hours.  Currently, Continental flights lasting less than two hours have free pop or juice and a bag of pretzels or biscuit cookies.  Flights of two to 3 1/2 hours have a small sandwich roll or a muffin in the morning. Flights over 3 1/2 hours have a free hot sandwich or other hot meal, or breakfast in the morning.

The airline also announced that it will debut new lunch sandwiches for first-class passengers (such as a chicken parmesan Tuscan sandwich) and updated first-class dinner pasta dishes (such as spinach & cheese cannelloni with pomodoro sauce) on April 1st.  No foolin’!

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • British Airways is preparing for a major strike by flight attendants, and many critical flights between the U.S. and the U.K. could be canceled.  6,000 flight attendants are expected to walk off the job in protest over pay and staffing levels.  The first three-day phase of the strike is planned to start this Saturday.  As a result, half of all flights to JFK are likely to be scrapped.
  • American Airlines has filed for a temporary exemption from the DOT’s new rule that limits the time passengers can be held on the tarmac, saying delays caused by the closure of the main runway at New York’s JFK airport could cost them millions in fines.  JetBlue and Delta asked for exemptions last week.  Those three airlines are the largest operators at JFK.