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New Regulations Proposed to Address Airline Passenger Complaints

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/20/2016, 4:00 AM

The Obama Administration has proposed several new rules designed to address issues that airline passengers frequently complain about.  Chief among them: a regulation requiring airlines to refund checked-baggage fees when luggage is "substantially delayed." The Administration hasn't defined, however, what constitutes a substantial delay. The airline industry argues that the rule is unne...

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 ...

Qatar Airport to Charge Departure Tax to All Passengers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/31/2016, 4:00 AM

Starting on December 1, if you happen to pass through Hamad International Airport near Qatar's capital city of Doha, you're going to be charged a "departure tax" of about $10 (35 Qatari riyals), even if you're only there to catch a connecting flight. The change—which applies to every single passenger flying out of the airport—is designed to boost revenue in the Persian Gulf country followi...

Delta Drops Phone Booking Fee

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/22/2016, 11:15 AM

Delta Air Lines has dropped one of its most onerous fees: the $25 it collects to allow you to make a booking by telephone. Now, people who do not book using the Web—because they don't have a computer, for example, or can't use one—will not be penalized with higher prices. Along with that surcharge, it dropped the $35 to make a booking in person at a Delta counter, something relatively...

New Issues (And Fixes) for iPhone Data Usage

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/05/2016, 12:30 PM

It's not your imagination. Your iPhone is using more data lately. That's because in a recent update Apple quietly added a little feature that will use cellular signals rather than Wi-Fi if the Wi-Fi signal becomes weak. And it will do so even if the Wi-Fi signal is perfectly usable.  Most alarmingly: Your phone will indicate that it's pulling from Wi-Fi even when it's also drawing cell...

Hilton To Charge More To Let You Cancel?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/01/2016, 6:15 PM

Remember last fall, when Hilton started testing a mandatory $50 fee for cancellations no matter how early they were made? Yeah, well, the hotel company finally picked up on what was blindingly obvious to the rest of us: That kind of thing angers customers. Hilton ended that test. In fact, you could say it went down in flames. Instead, the hotel is looking at copying the airlines (and c...

Hilton's New Mandatory $50 Cancellation Fee

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/28/2015, 5:45 PM

The giant Hilton hotel brand is piloting a new way to make life miserable for travelers: It has started charging $50 for cancellations, no matter when they're made.  Under the new rules, once customers have made a reservation, it will cost $50 to get out of it, even if the change is requested weeks before the date.  Previously, most hotels allowed cancellations up until the posted dead...

The Time Has Come to Consider Re-Regulation of the Airline Industry

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/25/2015, 11:30 PM

  In a modern democracy, "regulation" is no longer a dirty word. Unregulated medications can hurt or kill you, unregulated monopolists can destroy competition, and unregulated home construction can lead to disastrous fires. Although a small number of extreme libertarians will disagree with regulation of the above activities or products, the majority of Americans fervently approve ...

A Major Airline Drops the Hated Fuel Surcharge! So Why Won't the Rest of the Industry Follow?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/25/2015, 7:45 PM

One of the greatest lies foisted upon the American public—right up there with "this won't hurt a bit" and "New Coke will be better"—was crammed down travelers' throats a half decade ago. Fuel prices were rising. The airlines put out a tear-jerking sob story in the press, appealing to our better natures to help them survive. They told us that to stay alive, they had to start tacking extra ...

Hilton and Marriott Announce Strict New Fees for Last–Minute Cancellations

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/18/2014, 8:15 PM

Just as Cinderella had to high tail it home before the stroke of midnight, from January 1st on, travelers heading to a Hilton or a Marriott property will have to remember to cancel their reservations by 11:59pm local time on the day prior to arrival. Those who don't make that deadline won't be changed into a pumpkin, but they will be charged for a full nights' stay. This new policy will i...

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