When low cost carriers compete, that’s your chance to snare a really cheap airfare. That time is now – but you’ve got to be quick as many are expiring soon.
To launch its new service from Newark Liberty International Airport, Southwest is offering one-way fares as low as $69 to and from Baltimore, $119 to and from Denver, and $139 to and from Houston and Phoenix.
Meanwhile, JetBlue Airways launched The-Deals-Are-In-The-Air Sale, valid on routes throughout the country for those who book by today. One-way fares are as low as $39 one-way to and from Las Vegas and Long Beach, Calif. and Burbank, Calif.
Lastly, AirTran Airways is conducting the “Take Yourself To A Ballgame” sale where it’s offering travel to all of the airline’s destinations with special low fares available through April 14th. The lowest price sale fares are valid for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with other sale fares available for travel on all other days of the week.
Here’s some more news you can use:
- American Airlines late Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Orbitz Worldwide and its prime stakeholder Travelport Ltd, claiming the travel agents have established a costly stranglehold over the way the airline’s airfares are distributed and seeking damages related to their “monopoly.” Travelport controls three out of the five companies that distribute tickets globally, but American says their distribution channel is costly and the airline has developed AA Direct Connect as an alternative.
- And as if Orbitz didn’t have enough airline tussles, today they informed partners that, “at the direction of US Airways, effective April 14, 2011, Orbitz Worldwide will no longer be able to provide US Airways fares, schedules, or seat availability.” This goes for all Orbitz subsidiaries as well, including Cheaptickets.com. Similar to American Airlines, this is over distribution costs.
- This video of a TSA agent giving a 6-year old girl a serious pat-down is causing quite a stir – and rightfully so. Not only did the girl get super-frisked, but she was then lead to another area of the security checkpoint to have a drug test perform. You can’t help but shake your head.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that starting in April, U.S. airlines will be required to let travelers leave airplanes that have been sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours, provided doing so doesn’t jeopardize safety and security or disrupt airport operations. Airlines that violate the rules face fines of up to $27,500 per passenger.
Under the new rules, carriers must provide passengers with food, such as pretzels or granola bars, as well as potable water within the first two hours a plane is delayed. They also must maintain working lavatories. They also are barred from scheduling chronically delayed flights and required to provide passengers with each flight’s on-time record.
The new measure is tougher than many in the aviation industry expected and represents a significant victory for passenger-rights advocates. Many airline executives had argued against setting a time limit for delays, saying large numbers of travelers could be stranded if carriers cancel flights out of fear of penalties that they otherwise would have flown.
The new rule leaves airlines and airports with little time to resolve a host of logistical issues. One problem is that aircraft lined up for takeoff can’t easily pull out of the line of planes when they reach the time limit. And returning to the gate may create a whole new set of headaches for passengers, who may find themselves stranded overnight rather than for several hours.
Here’s some more travel news you can use:
- Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, the American Society of Travel Agents and the U.S. Tour Operators Association have all filed suit against New York City to stop the extension of a hotel tax on their clients, according to legal documents. They allege that a law enacted in June to extend the city’s hotel room occupancy tax to “third-party travel intermediaries” is “unconstitutional and illegal,” as the city “has no inherent power to tax.” The law, which came into effect in September, was passed as part of a measure by New York to solve a budget shortfall amid lower tax receipts due to the global economic downturn.
- A fight broke out between passengers waiting at the busy Delta terminal at JFK, but no one was injured before police arrived. The incident arose after some passengers were booted from an overbooked Haiti-bound flight. Delta’s website shows that its scheduled 9am flight to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, departed nearly two hours late – and there’s reports of frustration on Twitter on other Delta flights as well. Snow storms are likely to blame for the delays.
In early October, we noted that American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways added $10 surcharges to airfare for flights on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and for Jan. 2nd and 3rd – the busiest days for holiday travel. Well, let’s now make that $20 each way! Delta, American, United, US Airways and Northwest Airlines all announced that they have boosted their surcharge on some routes.
This could have a real financial impact for those traveling with large families during the holidays. For instance, a family of five would have to add $200 to their total cost of travel. That’s not insignificant. In fact, it may be enough to keep some people at home this year.
What do you think? Are these surcharges enough to sink your travel plans? Or will you be flexible around the holidays and travel on off-peak dates?
Here’s some more travel news you can use:
- Omni Hotels have launched a 72-hour sale for stays between Dec. 2 and Feb. 10, excluding New Year’s Eve. If you book by Thursday (11/5), you can get up to 40% off a room in cities such as Austin, Chicago, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Diego, New Orleans, San Antonio, Houston & Tucson. Of course, the offer is subject to availability and can not be combined with other special offers.
- Another day, another bird strike that diverts a plane. This time it was a Delta Air Lines flight from Phoenix bound for Salt Lake City that was forced to make an early landing after it was hit by a flock of birds. Airport authorities reported that the windshield of the plane was cracked, but nobody was injured. According to FAA records, there have been 600 bird strikes nationwide this year and bird strikes cause 600 million dollars in damage to aircraft every year.
- The state of Florida is suing online travel reservation companies over hotel taxes, the latest in a string of lawsuits nationwide claiming the sites owe local authorities millions of dollars. Attorney General Bill McCollum sued Expedia and Orbitz today, claiming they failed to pay Florida the full amount of taxes collected on hotel room rentals through their sites. Consumers are charged a rate when they book a room online, and the company later reimburses the hotels a lesser amount, allowing them to pocket service fees. The taxes are paid on that less expensive rate, prompting legal action by cities and states that claim they’re being cheated out of millions of dollars in tax dollars.