Airline Adds Kid-Free Areas on Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/14/2016, 4:00 AM

IndiGo, a budget airline based in India, has added designated "Quiet Zones" to its flights, banning children under 12 from sitting in rows 1 to 4 and 11 to 14. (As on most airlines, kids are also excluded from exit rows.) The idea is to provide a little calm for customers traveling sans rug rats—though let's be honest: any squalling infant worth his formula has the lung capacity to belt pa...

Airline Facing Complaint for Weighing Passengers Before Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/12/2016, 1:00 PM

Two businessmen from American Samoa have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation because they were weighed before boarding a Hawaiian Airlines flight in Honolulu. The passengers were then assigned seats so that the plane’s load would be evenly distributed.  The airline says it was merely following the manufacturer’s guidelines for safely flying a Boeing 767 aircraft in...

New Communication System for Pilots and Air-Traffic Controllers Will Make Flights Faster and Safer, FAA Says

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/20/2016, 4:00 AM

Federal Aviation Administration officials say that a new communication system used by pilots and air-traffic controllers is helping flights move with more speed and safety.  The system, called DataComm, sends text messages and computer file transfers about flight routes, traffic, and weather directly to the cockpit, replacing back-and-forth radio conversations between pilots and controller...

Airlines Reaping Windfall from Checked-Baggage Fees

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/19/2016, 4:00 AM

Your luggage is making the major airlines a fortune. According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, passengers have paid an estimated $26.2 billion in mandatory baggage fees since 2007, around the time when many carriers began charging extra to check your first bag.  As the Daily Mail points out, that's enough money to buy United Airlines, currently valued ...

Spirit Airlines Shrinking Size Allowed for Carry-On Personal Item

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/16/2016, 4:00 AM

Air-travel horror-story generator Spirit Airlines has quietly reintroduced a policy it dropped last spring due to customer outrage. Starting on April 1, the one personal item you're allowed to bring onboard for free must be no larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches—40 inches total—and that includes handle and wheels. Up to now, that item, such as a purse or backpack you can fit...

New Apps Let You Turn Your Luggage Into a Courier Service

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/12/2016, 4:00 AM

Airline baggage fees have turned luggage space into a valuable commodity. And now there are apps to help you sell it.  A startup called Airmule and a new rival, Grabr, connect customers in need of a delivery service with users who have space to fill in their suitcases. With Grabr, you can search to see if anybody in the city you're flying to wants anything from the city you're flying from,...

Air China Removes In-Flight Magazine with Article Deemed Racist

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/09/2016, 4:00 AM

State-owned Chinese carrier Air China says it has removed from its planes copies of its in-flight magazine that contained an article many have found racist. In a guide to London, the September issue of Wings of China offered this piece of advice (in English) to out-of-town visitors: "London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly p...

Low Fares to Havana Now on Sale from Spirit

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/02/2016, 4:00 AM

Fast on the heels of JetBlue operating the first flight in more than 50 years from the United States to Cuba, Spirit Airlines has begun offering, as of yesterday, its ultra-low fares for its own upcoming service to the Caribbean island nation. One of 10 U.S. airlines granted permission from the Department of Transportation to fly to Cuba, Spirit will be connecting Fort Lauderdale and Havan...

The Fees Travelers Love....At Least for Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/01/2016, 7:15 PM

Discuss the mechanics of travel with most folks and the talk inevitably turns to fees. Sometimes you can actually feel the room heating up as travelers rail against having to pay extra to choose a seat, change a flight, carry on a bag (or check one) or pony up the dreaded “resort fee" at a hotel. And the higher those fees are, the more the temperature rises. But there are a different clas...

American Airlines Puts Responsibility for Improving Service on . . . Passengers?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/01/2016, 4:00 AM

American Airlines has embarked on a novel, verging-on-shameless new marketing campaign gently reminding passengers to stay civil in the skies.  Because "great flyers make the best of their situation," the ads encourage polite behavior such as ceding armrests to the person in the middle seat and asking those in your row for permission before you raise or lower the window shade. American...

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