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UPDATED: Will American Airlines' Scheduling Glitch Leave You Stranded for the Holidays?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/04/2017, 12:00 AM

This post, originally published on December 1, has been updated below. American Airlines discovered earlier this week that a glitch in the internal system used by pilots to schedule vacation time had caused the accidental approval of time-off requests affecting more than 15,000 flights from December 17 to the end of the year. Unexpectedly, many flights were left with nobody to steer the plane. B...

The Travel Industry Steps Up for Hurricane Harvey—And Rewards Those Who Help

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/29/2017, 10:00 AM

As Biblical flood scenes flash across T.V. screens, and the battered residents of Texas brace for a clean-up of massive proportions, help is on its way from the travel industry. We’ve heard about a number major companies that are doing their bit for those affected by the storm and reward travelers who help. Airbnb: To aid those who would give shelter to evacuating Texans, Airbnb is allowing would-...

The Case of the Missing Gift Certificate: Flying in the Age of Monopolies

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/15/2017, 1:15 AM

An airplane aisle separated the haves from the have nots. I’m not writing about the aisle separating business class and economy. No, in this case, the left-side of the plane, on a six hour flight from San Francisco to New York City, was in a 21st century crisis: our seatback monitors were on the fritz. The right hand side passengers were lulled into a stupor by visions of Americans who supposedly h...

Priceline Ditches Its "Name Your Own Price" Program for Airfares. What's the Real Meaning of This Move for Consumers?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/08/2016, 1:30 PM

When Priceline launched its “Name Your Own Price” feature for airfare some 15 years ago, the effect was electric. A major company had pulled back the curtain, letting the public in on a dirty little secret no one in the travel industry wanted them to know: that prices were always negotiable. But this week Priceline announced that it would no longer be offering bidding for airfares. Which ...

American Airlines Makes In-Flight TV Free

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/12/2016, 8:00 AM

Looks like JetBlue and Virgin America have finally forced the monolithic major carriers to up their games. A few months ago, Delta finally recognized one of the things passengers love about its competitors and announced it would make its in-flight entertainment systems free.   Now American Airlines has finally followed suit.   Previously, the airline offered a paltry compliment...

Beware! A New Airfare Gotcha Penalizes Travelers on Multi-Stop Itineraries

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/12/2016, 11:30 PM

TimDorr/Flickr The majority of travelers buy non-refundable airfares for a simple reason: They're vastly less expensive than refundable fares. But those who try to book itineraries with several stops have been finding, in the past month, that they no longer are given the option of purchasing that cheaper form of fare—at least on Delta, United, and American Airlines. Our thanks to ...

The Department of Transportation Is Getting Serious About Airlines Compensating Passengers for Damaged Luggage

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 12/02/2015, 9:15 PM

If you think passengers are being treated disrespectfully by the airlines—what with ever shrinking seats and ever growing fees—consider what their luggage is going through. Recently, a series of video have gone viral, showing baggage handlers hurling luggage onto conveyor belts in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and playing a rough game of "who can toss the bag the farthest" on the tarmac in San Jose, C...

American Airlines Changes Its Frequent Flyer Program, Making It Near Impossible for Average Joes to Earn Miles Just from Flying Any Longer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/24/2015, 12:45 PM

And then there were none. Did you hear a loud groan last week? That was the members of American Airlines' frequent flyer program—well, all but the business travelers—reacting to the announcement that the last major carrier to be giving awards points for miles flown was moving to a points for cash system. It joins Delta, United and pretty much every carrier but Alaska, Spirit and Frontier i...

JetBlue Announces It Will Offer Free Wi-Fi

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/15/2015, 12:15 PM

It's no secret that the major airlines act like lemmings. One adds a baggage fee and the next follows. One throws a sale, and soon the whole pack is in. But for once that may be a good thing, because yesterday JetBlue announced that it would be eliminating one of the most loathed flying fees: Wi-Fi connectivity. It will be offering its "Fly-Fi" for free aboard its entire fleet. An...

The Sky Isn't Falling But Airfares Are: Air Pricing Sees the Biggest One-Month Drop in 20 Years

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2015, 11:15 AM

  For months, the second most popular travel question that's been lobbed my way (after "is X, Y or Z safe?") has been: "Why, with the cost of gas so low, haven't airfares dropped". I always took the cynical road, pointing out that in this age of monopolies, the airlines had no reason to drop their prices since so many of them fully controlled hubs and routes within the United States. ...

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