Roundup – New Plane, Fee Hike, and Security Threats

By | August 12, 2007
  • Today in the Sky reports that, unannounced, Delta raised fees on August 1st. Same-day confirmed standby has doubled to $50, the direct booking fee has doubled to $20, their $50 change fee is now a $75 change fee. $75 is now also the charge for redepositing unused frequent-flier miles and for booking frequent flier tickets within 20 days of departure. Delta spokesman Kent Landers tells the Journal-Constitution that Delta did not sound out broad customer alerts because the changes were “just adjustments to existing programs.” One pundit commented how surprising it was how much airlines make on fees rather than fares. There is so much competition on fares…few passengers think about fees when making their initial purchase.
  • The TSA searched planes in Charlotte and planes arriving from Charlotte at 15 other airports on Friday in a failed attempt to find a man they said bypassed security there. They noticed sometime around 8AM that a man had slipped past sometime earlier that morning, and officials halted flights, shut down a concourse and searched several planes in an effort to find him. When he couldn’t be located, they screened the 15 flights that left after he went through. We feel safer, don’t you?
  • The Consumerist reports that US Airways cancelled 530 flights on Thursday, 130 out of Philadelphia, their hub. One man spent six hours on a plane on the tarmac only to find his flight canceled. Some passengers were advised they couldn’t get out until today.
  • Also, US Airways is interviewing and firing baggage handlers at Philadelphia after it noticed they falsified overtime records. Fifteen have already been fired.
  • USA Today reports that a cost-reduction program for US Airways has mechanics, fleet inspectors, and other ground crew using three-wheeled bicycles to transport equipment. The program, begun under America West in 2003, is an example of a program that is not only saving money over gas powered transportation, but helping the environment.
  • The Consumerist also reports on an elderly couple whose Southwest flight to Philadelphia was diverted to Baltimore due to weather. The only option was for them to take a train up to Philadelphia, a distance of 100 miles away. They claim they were told by a Southwest agent they’d be reimbursed for the charge. However, when they called, they were refused. Due to the intervention of a Christopher Elliott(who has linked to us in the past), Southwest reversed its decision. However, protect yourself, as airlines rarely change their minds.
  • The Embraer 195, the largest jet ever built by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, has been granted FAA certification. The 195 holds an average of 110 passengers, a range of 2200 nautical miles, and burns up to 45% less fuel than previous jets.