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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FlyersRights.org
  Strike One!
    FlyersRights Takes Aim At Legacy Carriers

February 24, 2015

It was a big week for FlyersRights!
  

(Mark Shaver / For the LATimes)
Last Wednesday we filed a petition with the Department of Transportation demanding a cap on fees that the airlines charge for changing a flight.

As many of you know, changing a flight can be downright exploitation, especially if you're flying internationally.  

FlyersRights is arguing that the fees go way too far, and the DOT needs to change the rules.

We sent an 18-page petition to the DOT, arguing that the fees - once below $100 - have ballooned as high as $750, and we're calling for DOT to cap the fees at $100.

The agency has not weighed in on airline pricing since the industry was deregulated in 1978. However, we have a fight ahead of us since the DOT has dismissed similar petitions, including one submitted in 2012 by a Delta Airlines passenger who sought a refund or change fee waiver when an airline changes a passenger's scheduled flight.

Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights said, "With consolidation and antitrust exemptions allowing price fixing and capacity restriction for airline alliances, 
reasonable regulation is essential.

He continued, "Many airlines now engage in unabashed rampant price gouging by charging change fees that have absolutely no relation to the cost of service and some have have announced they will continue to raise fees and fares without limit as long as they can get away with it."

As Richard Baxley, FlyersRights' staff attorney explained to USA Today, "DOT has the authority, but they've also acknowledged that in the last 36 years since deregulation, they've never exercised it, they've never denied a price or fee for being unreasonable,"  
  
A spokesperson for Airlines for America, which represents the major airlines said, "The marketplace is working, and the petition doesn't demonstrate otherwise."

So, what do you say? Is the marketplace working? Leave your comment on our Rulemaking petition at Regulations.gov.

(Docket ID: DOT-OST-2015-0031-0001)
Also, please send us your change-fee horror stories!


Wargames
U.S. Airlines Attack Gulf Rivals


Image: Crankyflier.com
 What if foreign airlines could fly within the USA?

Conventional wisdom says that every US airline would be out of business within a week, (or forced to upgrade their service).

That's a real threat for the big three airlines, Delta, United and American, an unholy alliance that recently joined forces to lobby the White House to block access by rivals based in the Persian Gulf. They cited unfair competition from Emirates, Etihad Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Deregulation of the US airlines has led to a big consolidation and fear of competition. Yet, over the last 30 years , the United States signed more than 100 open skies agreements with other countries to remove restrictions on international air travel.

Putting A Dent In Open Skies

The war of words quickly escalated, with Delta CEO Richard Anderson attributing the Gulf carriers with the 9/11 terrorism.

This prompted the CEO of Emirates, Tim Clark, to remark that US airlines can't compete because they're terrible.

The big three US airlines also claimed the Gulf carriers received more than $40 billion in subsidies from their governments since 2004, making competition with them unfair because their costs are artificially low. 

Mr. Clark retorted that it's the US carriers that are subsidized - having all been bailed out by the US government in one form or another and challenged them on where they got the $40 billion dollar number from.

BloombergView points out that the big American airlines receive antitrust immunity to form alliances  with companies like British Airways and Lufthansa to jointly set prices, share profits and schedule service on popular routes like New York to London.

These alliances helped American and European companies get around laws in both places that restrict the foreign ownership of airlines and they raise fares and airline profits by reducing competition. That is what two economists found when they studied the effect of alliances on trans-Atlantic flights between 2005 and 2011, according to a 2012 article in the Antitrust Law Journal.

In sum, the US airlines seem to be reliving the same scenario that the automakers lived in the 80's when the Japanese and Koreans began to enter the US market. Instead of putting out a better product, they're asking for the government to help them maintain their monopoly.  



Letters!

Airlines, TSA have made flying no fun

Let me count the ways why airline travel is no fun anymore. TSA inspections of luggage are now a necessary invasion of our privacy. Passengers often become sick from poorly filtered cabin air. Seat pitch is often so narrow as to not only be uncomfortable but often unhealthy. Food ... there is no food. Paying for your luggage to accompany you is ridiculous. Paying for a window seat is even more ridiculous. Boarding in numbered waves is cumbersome and irritating. Mileage plans offered by the airlines are such a joke that TV ads make fun of them, and fares are often adjusted up or down on a daily basis.

Oh, the joys of airline flight.

(Posted in the Salt Lake City Tribune 2/21/15) 


Re. Ralph Nader's letter to United CEO, Jeff Smisek

Dear FlyersRights:

Apparently Smisek either never observed or listened to Gordon Bethune, CEO of Continental, who, along with COO Greg Brenneman,  pulled the airline back from the brink of a third bankruptcy in 1995 with their famous "go forward" plan.  It's recounted in Bethune's book about it published in 1997, "From Worst to First".  Bethune replaced the infamous Frank Lorenzo, who for almost twenty years, ran the cheapest, worst airline in the business.  Continental was a horrible joke.  Bethune is quoted as saying "Anybody can make a pizza without cheese.  But who's gonna buy it?"  Bethune actually was an airline guy.  He was an airframe mechanic, a pilot, and ultimately ran the 737 Division of Boeing.  Brenneman was a financial wizard.  They made a great team and built Continental into a once again great airline.  It's about revenue from services rendered, not costs.

Smisek was hired to be Continental's General Counsel.  He is a lawyer who doesn't give a damn about employees or customers.  All he cares about is his immediate paycheck, his bonuses, and his stock options, as well as keeping his Bots of Directors happy.  He inherited the top job at Continental when Bethune, then later his successor Larry Kellner retired.  Smisek engineered the United merger secretly then shafted the City of Houston by moving the remaining corporate people to Chicago without any discussion with Houston officials beforehand.  And when Southwest Airlines proposed building a new terminal at Houston Hobby 3 years into the future to service the Caribbean and Latin America, Smisek said it would harm operations in Houston and they'd have to cut back operations at IAH. The day after Houston City Council approved the deal with Southwest over United's objections, United laid off 1200 Houston-based employees in retaliation. So much for future cutbacks.  If the new Southwest flights to Latin America were 3 years away, why was it that United needed to instantly lay off people?

The people who run United Airlines are cut from the same cloth as Frank Lorenzo.  Ruthless, bean-counting, cost-cutting, greedy, and don't really care about good service or their customers.  In the end they will pay dearly for their business stupidity.

-RC

Dear FlyersRights,

Although a long and loyal UA traveler, as you are aware, I am among several people I know who are also long and loyal UA travelers that are concerned w/the direction of UA, under Jeff.  I am going to write him this week about some of the same items Mr. Nader wrote.  Having said this, I am not surprised w/the policies he has implemented, inasmuch, as he did  the same at CO before the merger and his training is finance and economics, to the supply side, aka "trickle down" economics, aka Ronnie-the-Teflon-president-Reagan!!!! 

-MH

Dear FlyersRights,

I understand that families may now be at a disadvantage by not being able to board first.  However, they do permit them to board AFTER the first wave of passengers so that they can still obtain seating together.  They don't have to wait so long that they have to split up. I for one am glad they can no longer board first.  It was getting so bad that other passengers, including those of us willing to pay the $12.50, were at a big disadvantage.  My point was, everything isn't great with any one airline.  But if all you do is criticize, even those airlines that still give the flyer a few breaks, then who is going to listen to you?

Probably not even Congress unless you are even-handed in your approach.
Now, a description of a recent flight experience:  I've not flown Allegiant for 13 years.  Harrah's used to use them for charter flights to their casinos years ago, and I flew them on Harrah's ticket back then.  Well, I saw an ad for $33 each way from Austin to Vegas.  Of course I knew ahead of time that there would be add-ons.  I paid for my seat assignments, my carryon luggage, and early bird boarding.  In fact, on both ends I was the first person to board.  That $66 ticket ended up costing $140.00, but that was still $190 cheaper than the closest competitor.  I should add that the seats don't recline (I'm fat but short, so this doesn't bother me in the least); all beverages and snacks cost $$; but other than that I liked saving that amount of money.

This was the cheapest flight I've ever had for the distance, and I've been flying for 45 years.  The leg room was ample, even on Row 21, although the seating was narrow.  At least I didn't have to use my seat belt extender, ha!    ONE BIG DRAWBACK:  Allegiant, going all the way back to those charter flights 13 years ago and extending to today, has a policy of NOT turning on the air until well into the flight after takeoff.   Both then and now passengers were sweltering on board.  Now THAT I don't appreciate.

-RS
"You're Sitting In A Chair In The Sky!" 
Everything's+Amazing+ +Nobody's+Happy

FlyersRights' Twitter feed gets jammed with industry insiders saying quit complaining and just be AMAZED at the miracle of flight.

Did they get that from comedian Louis C.K.?
(This clip never gets old)

Link of the Week: 

Live web based flight visualizer. (Only works on (desktop) browsers):    
 
Sign our Petition 
for a Passenger Bill of Rights




Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights
with Paul Hudson, President

Consider making a secured donation to FlyersRights.
The loudest advocates and largest organization representing airline passengers

Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:



Send comments and tips to Kendallc@FlyersRights.org or on Twitter @KendallFlyers.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FlyersRights.org
Masters of DeSkies
February 17, 2015


Who's your airline employee working for?  

The trend among the airlines is to outsource as much as possible to third-party vendors, from the pilots and flight attendants at the regional jets, to the baggage handlers and ramp agents

Soon, 'virtual airlines' may be the norm, where the airlines will be mere ticket sellers, and someone else will be responsible for what happens up in the sky, or when something goes wrong.

How do you feel about flying on aircraft with outsourced maintenance? The FAA has said they do not have enough people to sufficiently inspect many maintenance companies in foreign lands.   

United was in the crosshairs of consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, on Friday. He penned a letter to CEO of United, Jeff Smisek, telling him that costs are not the issue -it's service that leads to revenues, and United is awful on that issue.  

Dear Mr. Smisek,  

Two stories have come to public attention about your airline, which invites some serious introspection by you and your fellow executives who make millions of dollars a year.


The first appeared in the January 23, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal titled, "Suddenly Flush Airlines Debate How to Use Cash." 


The article posed the choices: for increased services for consumers and reduced fares; for investors to cut debt and buy back stock. There was no indication of a cash dividend increase. Then this paragraph: "United returned $320 million to shareholders last year through share repurchases, and it said Thursday it could accelerate its buybacks with extra cash flow."

Stock buybacks - really a poor use of productive capital - are favored by executive suites as a way to elevate executive compensation compared to cash dividends.

Now comes the second story that was not so widely publicized. Your subordinates have been instructed to outsource 2,000 union jobs under a vendor bidding process that you will throw against your loyal skilled workers to match, or else.

Twenty-eight stations at airports are affected in this round. You hope to save $2.7 million out of the pay of long-time United Airlines workers (many who make $15 per hour and benefits) on the tarmac at dawn or dusk, and rain, snow or shine.

Do these two stories prod you to wonder what's going on in your monetized mind that excludes common decency and elemental labor management relations? Do you think that vendors' lower paid, inexperienced labor pool is not going to cause you problems down the road?

And does a merged airline (with Continental) planning more unproductive stock buybacks to pile on the $320 million in 2014 have any qualms squeezing 2,000 already hard-pressed workers with families out of $2.7 million (not to mention other similar plans, past and future), astonishingly at a time of record profits? 

Squeezing appears to be your corporate policy tool for your passengers as well - for example squeezing their leg room, squeezing them by innumerable fees and penalties and squeezing their time by delays on the phone in responding to their questions.

Why is it that a far tighter oligopoly of domestic airlines than before deregulation mimics each other's race to the bottom in labor and consumer relations, instead of mimicking better practices by Southwest Airlines with a far more consistent record of profits and no layoffs? Does this perverse behavior also make you wonder?

Mr. Smisek, you're pushing the envelopes in ways that reflect a power trip - that is if you can get away with it, you will. At this point I am reminded of the courteous UAL of the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties with services and attentiveness, with a fine record of domestic maintenance standards. That history should provide you with some contemplation about the role of top management over the years.

Consider this advice: drop the risky outsourcing; treat your employees as Southwest does; and stop ratcheting up the fees for baggage, changes of reservations, etc. Unless, that is, you believe that customer backlash, investigations by media and lawmakers and lower job gratification are not anywhere on your horizon.

Your response is welcomed.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader
PO Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036

Yes, the airline industry has devolved into the customer-unfriendly entities. However, it's not just United (get the irony of that name?) -all of the airlines are laying off employees, outsourcing and charging extra fees.

In January we wrote about the wisdom of United outsourcing baggage handling for all United Express flights in Denver to Simplicity right before the holiday rush to cut costs, leading to weeks of turmoil on the tarmac and baggage claims. The employees with Simplicity were working for $8 an hour. 

This should not be acceptable to passengers. But we've been so drilled down to accept diminished service when it comes to commercial aviation. Soon there will be a generation that never knew how flying used to be, and what has been taken away.


Flyersrights.org Media Advisory

WHAT: Media Briefing on Petitions to Reduce Airfares and End Airline exemptions from consumer protection & antitrust laws.

It will hold a media briefing on its petitions and initiatives to reduce change fees on international flights, to reduce airfares generally due to lower jet fuel costs, to amend the Airline Deregulation Act to remedy numerous abuses, and to curtail airline exemptions from consumer protection and antitrust laws.

WHO: Flyersrights.org, with legal experts on aviation consumer law and rights

Including Paul Hudson, President of Flyersrights.org and Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee

WHEN: February 18, 2015 9:30 - 10:30 AM

WHERE: 218 D Street SE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill)

CALL IN for audio access is 1-605-562-0020 Access Code 656-991-615

Skype access also available.

For more information call 800-662-1859

FlyersRights.org, the largest airline passenger group with 50,000 members and the principal advocate for the 2010 tarmac confinement and truth in scheduling rules, has filed a formal rulemaking petition with the DOT.


                    
                              Sign our Petition 
                                     for a Passenger Bill of Rights


                                   

                                       
                                Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights
                                   with Paul Hudson, President

Consider making a secured donation to FlyersRights.
The loudest advocates and largest organization representing airline passengers

Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:



Send comments and tips to Kendallc@FlyersRights.org or on Twitter @KendallFlyers.


Saturday, February 14, 2015



Flyersrights.org  Media Advisory
WHAT:  Media Briefing on Petitions to Reduce Airfares and End Airline exemptions from consumer protection & antitrust laws.

WHO:  Flyersrights.org, with legal experts on aviation consumer law and rights
Including Paul Hudson, President of Flyersrights.org and Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee
WHEN:  February 18, 2015 9:30 – 10:30 AM
WHERE:  218 D Street SE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill) 
CALL IN for audio access is 1-605-562-0020  Access Code 656-991-615  
Skype access also available.
For more information call 800-662-1859
FlyersRights.org, the largest airline passenger group with 50,000 members and the principal advocate for the 2010 tarmac confinement and truth in scheduling rules, has filed a formal rulemaking petition with the DOT.
 It will hold a media briefing on its petitions and initiatives to reduce change fees on international flights, to reduce airfares generally due to lower jet fuel costs, to amend the Airline Deregulation Act to remedy numerous abuses, and to curtail airline exemptions from consumer protection and antitrust laws.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FlyersRights.org
   TheGame

February 10, 2015
FlyersRights received a reply last week from the major airlines, via their trade group, Airlines For America (A4A), as to why ticket prices haven't come down with the price of oil. 
(AP Photo/Ric Francis)


An A4A spokesperson refuted our concerns and relied on a slipery game of slight of hand and distraction from the issue.

They wrote, "Given your reputations as consumer advocates, I am sure you are aware that we are in the safest period of U.S. commercial aviation history, that inflation-adjusted fares are well below the levels experienced by passengers at the outset of deregulated domestic air service and that service options to customers are expanding."

Now, we weren't challenging safety records, and saying that today's deregulated fares are the lowest since 1978 is dodging the the subject of fees.

Over the past five years alone, the base price of flying has climbed 12%
BIG SQUEEZE: Economy seats can be a tight fit for all but the most vertically challenged. (stuff.co.nz)
not counting extra fees. Today, just bag fees alone can add hundreds of dollars to a family of four's ticket prices.

The A4A letter proceeds, "However, your letter indicates that you are not aware that airlines are adding seats to the marketplace to accommodate demand for travel".

What a clever way to say sardining passengers. And more seats at the same price does not mean lower prices for consumers.

They continue, "In addition, U.S. airlines have been investing $1.1 billion per month of capital expenditures aimed at improving the product, customer experience and environmental footprint. Another outcome of our improving financial condition is that airline workers are enjoying greater job security as well as increases in wages and benefits".

The flight attendants fired last month for pointing out a possible security threat may dispute this.

So, the airline CEO gentlemen's club relies on a slippery game of sleight of hand and false pretences to conceal their real intentions.  

Excluding ownership, fuel makes up the largest percentage of an airline's direct operating costs. As an aircraft ages, its fuel efficiency declines.(ascendforairlines.com)
Then, again, A4A trotted out the line, "When the price of coffee beans falls, no one asks Starbucks why his or her latte does not cost less," they told The Washington Post.

"You want Starbucks to expand its stores and products, give back to its baristas, and reward investors. Airlines are no different," they declared.

That's fine if Starbucks was serving hot oil in their cups. Otherwise, there's no comparison. Fuel represents an inordinately large percentage of airline costs, 30-40%, far more than Starbucks.

Let's take a walk down memory lane, back to 2008, when the airlines first added fuel surcharges -which were portrayed as temporary. When the price of oil fell, the surcharges would come off.
United's chief operating officer, John P. Tague said back then, "With record-breaking fuel prices, we must pursue new revenue opportunities, while continuing to offer competitive fares, by tailoring our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for".

Let's see if we've got this right. Rising fuel prices were given as the reason for an increase in airline tickets. Supply and demand is the reason for maintaining current prices -via service cuts and flight reductions. 

The profit derived from these factors will be reinvested in the airlines, providing more money for contracts, better service, more leg room, etc. Sounds like a win-win situation - if you believe it!


 Your Letters



We used to pay for the space. Then it was taken away and sold back to us as extra. I would have rather ticket prices just steadily increased with rising costs and inflation than to have my flight parted out and sold back to me a la carte. 
If it really cost $600 to fly me to NY comfortably tell me that. I'll pay it and if I feel great about the flight and service, I'll fly the airline again. Don't advertise a ticket for $400 then charge me for my bags, carry on, leg room in the federally mandated exit row, and a stale sandwich while continually pestering me with the opportunity to upgrade myself out of artificially induced discomfort.
  
-ES


Dear FlyersRights,

I've been reading Flyersrights for a number of years and generally agree with what you have to say and hope you are successful with Congress.  HOWEVER.......you continue to criticize Southwest Airlines in your Newsletter for various issues, the latest involves possible safety issues.  At the same time, SW is the ONLY major airline that continues to offer free checked bags and no fees for cancellations/changes.  Those two items are quite expensive with other airlines.  WHY DON'T YOU DO A GOOD story every once in a while rather than continually criticize?!!! 

I was once a supporter of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).  However, it got to the point that it didn't matter to them if a food company or FDA or USDA tried to do the right thing.  All they could do was criticize. 

I'm basically tired of hearing groups like FlyersRights and CSPI do nothing but criticize.  Do your stuff with respect to what rights we should have by lobbying Congress, but for heaven's sake stop killing the GOOSE!!!

-RS

Dear RS,

You are right, Southwest still has free bags, for now, and that is commendable. However they're losing some LUV due to their high cost structure in recent years, and the devaulating their frequent flyer program that awards miles based on the cost of your ticket, not the distance of your flight.  


Kendall Creighton
FlyersRights

Dear FlyersRights,  

It would seem to me that the airlines have a death wish and really want to go out of business by treating customers shabbily with not only too many fees, etc., that make flying too expensive for anyone other than the most wealthy, but also stuffing people into airplanes that are possibly not airworthy. 

Logically, when a business does a bad job of serving its customers, whether providing a service or manufacturing a product, and the customers go away, that business usually winds up going out of business and closing its doors. 

It is time to start a boycott of the airlines that pack people like sardines into the aircraft and force them to either change or declare bankruptcy. People can either stay home or use other means of transportation like driving or taking the train. Business can be done by video hookup and electronic transfer without the expense of having to send people in person. Of course, ancillary industries like hotels, cruise lines, etc. (would also suffer), but pressure from them might force the airlines to look at their practices and make changes.

I signed your petition and hope that, if enough people follow through, the airline industry will change if they want to stay in business.

  
-MM 

Dear FlyersRights,

I believe somebody is going to have to die, or be seriously hurt, during an emergency evacuation before minimum seat size and pitch standards are established.  I hope I am wrong, though. 
Dear FlyersRights,
I just flew steerage iad-den in an older (thick pad seat) UA 737 w/ a full recline knucklehead slob in front of me and a kicking child behind.
Is there a web site that compares seat pitches? I bet there is. At least I had the window-not middle!
-EM


Dear FlyersRights,

I am sure you know this already,  but I just received a message from Delta airlines, telling me all about their new wonderful first class and other high-cost options:

http://www.deltafirstlook.com

And the bottom of the page links me to the new "basic economy" (e.g. only class affordable for most people) class:

 http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/in-flight-services/flying-economy-with-delta/basic-economy.html

Yikes.
   
It looks like things are getting worse again.
Thank you so much for all that you are doing.

-SQ

Dear FlyersRights,
Sometimes they make it right.
On Thursday 5 Feb. we flew Delta Economy Munich to Atlanta and DL Atlanta to Phoenix with four checked bags including skis. In Atlanta we went through the bag pick up, drop off customs Kabuki Theatre. (Returning US citizens no longer have to fill out an itemized customs form!)
While in the air, before arriving in Phoenix Delta messaged and emailed that one of our bags did not make the flight in Atlanta. Before the bags arrived on the carousel in Phoenix, Delta baggage office identified the missing tag (not the item) and told me what flight it was on and when it would arrive in Phoenix.
Friday morning I received an early phone call from baggage delivery and repeated messages and emails from Delta with regular updates reporting bag status. Bag was delivered to our door in Peoria, AZ about 10 a.m.
On another note, food on Delta 130 Atlanta to Munich Economy was inedible but probably typical. Food on DL Economy OUT of Munich was so good I could have eaten another. That was followed by an unexpected excellent mid-flight snack of hummus, crackers, and basil and olive oil olives - go figure.
Now the new Delta Comfort+ seats on domestic flights are something else - waay too narrow. I'm 160 lbs and could not get a hand between me and either seat side to retrieve the seat belts.
-WF
Dear FlyersRights,
Insurance companies have to pay out money when a plane crashes, poor aircraft maintenance increases risk of a crash, thus I expect insurance companies will be interested in linking premiums to maintenance.

In view of your recent "Race To The Bottom" newsletter, I suggest you instigate insurance companies against airlines that don't do proper aircraft maintenance.
-P  

Dear FlyersRights,

I may have already told you all the new Spirit Airlines planes that have been ordered, AirBus, have seating arrangements from 160 to 200 seats - depending on the configuration.  Spirit has orders all 37 planes with 196  (4 less than maximum) those are the Big Front Seats so they can charge an extra fee that could be more than the basic fee to fly.
One of the most profitable changes that Spirit instituted years ago was to change the weight limit from 50 pounds per suitcase to only 40.  therefore it is better to have a carryon and pay an extra $5 and load it with 60 pounds (if you can) then to pay the extra $50 to $100 for the overweight 'checked suitcase'.
  
Newest 'screw the passenger' method by Spirit:
  
If you go online to potentially buy a ticket you MUST put in your email address.  (no one else does that).  If you find a fare/price that seems ok and leave the Spirit web site to check orbitz or another airline and later come back to Spirit - guess what?  The price of that seat that you saw 2 minutes ago is now gone and the price has gone up.  Proof: I did that from one computer using one email address and the fare indeed went up.  Yet at the same time frm another computer and email address the fare was $10 lower or the same as I originally saw.  spirit has now figured the way to get even more revenue if you don't book the moment you see the fare.
  
they have calculated every which way to squeeze money from their passengers.  AND the seats do not RECLINE!
  
Finally: if you don't pay for any seat Spirit will assign one.  that seat is always in a middle seat in the back to "TEACH you a lesson".  Pay even an extra $9 to sit in the back rows but in an aisle row

-OM
Dear FlyersRights,
Another "cute" thing that AA is doing: Award flights to Europe with fewer points are being booked on BA which has a higher fuel tax. The AA flights (which are usually the same (especially when going to London) require more points. The mile-saver awards cannot be found on AA; they are on BA and costs more in tax.!!
-JD

Just that I recently read about the ridiculously high fuel surcharge on BA, especially since fuel prices have fallen.  As far as how AA books their FF awards to Europe, I have no info.
Joel

Joel J Smiler DVM
Hotline Director
www.flyersrights.org

Dear FlyersRights,

I'm wondering if anyone has studied the benefits, if there are any, of shipping your baggage by FedEx or UPS, even the USPS. Any comparisons?

-TR
From The Onion
Airlines Offering Complimentary In-Flight College Courses

In addition to movies, TV shows, and other in-flight entertainment, JetBlue and Virgin America have begun offering passengers complimentary streaming video lectures from classes at top universities. What do you think?
Sign our Petition 
for a Passenger Bill of Rights


Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights
with Paul Hudson, President
Consider making a secured donation to FlyersRights.
The loudest advocates and largest organization representing airline passengers

Getting on a Plane? 
Put This Number in Your Phone:
Send comments and tips to Kendallc@FlyersRights.org or on Twitter@KendallFlyers.

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