Airline News July 2005.


Jul 30, 2005

Seats matter to savvy airline travelers. Experienced travelers know the worst seat on a commercial airline is the seat next to the lavatory, writes The Washington Post's Keith L. Alexander. While most airlines have seats next to the facilities, others configure their planes to avoid them. Frequent fliers often visit, a Web site devoted to seat placement, to learn which seats are located next to a restroom, which seats do not recline and which offer the most legroom. Jul 26, 2005

Fliers face stingy skies as airlines trim perks. Commercial flying has morphed from a luxury experience into a no-frills affair. Airlines have dropped free pretzels, meals, pillows and magazines. Meanwhile, the number of customer complaints climbed 37% last year, according to the Department of Transportation. Jul 24, 2005

Soaring demand means few free seats for airline workers. Airline employees are struggling to take advantage of free flights this summer because of strong demand for air travel. Many large airlines are seeing record numbers of paying travelers, which means fewer free seats for employees. Jul 21, 2005

Business fares hit five-year low in first quarter, Amex says. Business fares hit a five-year low in the first quarter, averaging $202 for a one-way trip, according to American Express Business Travel Monitor. Average fares have declined 13.7% from the same period a year ago. However, fares may be on an upward swing: In April, the average domestic fare increased to $210 for a one-way ticket. Jul 20, 2005

Battling high fuel prices, Maxjet pushes back launch. High fuel prices have prompted Maxjet to push its launch date back. The airline plans to offer low-cost service to London from New York and from the Washington area. "The fuel issue is hurting everybody in the airline industry," said Mike Malik, Maxjet's chief marketing and information officer. "But when you're starting out it hurts even more." The company now hopes to start operating flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport in November and from Baltimore-Washington International Airport in March. It still needs final certification from regulators. Jul 20, 2005

High demand for travel makes voucher redemption difficult. Many airline travelers are having trouble redeeming vouchers they received after volunteering to be bumped from flights. Some airlines say holders of vouchers compete with frequent fliers for available seats. High demand for air travel has made award seats scarce. Jul 15, 2005

Fuel sensor malfunction cancels Discovery's launch. NASA canceled the launch of the space shuttle Discovery Wednesday two hours before the scheduled liftoff. Flight controllers blamed a sensor that monitors the flow of liquid hydrogen into the shuttle's external fuel tank. Engineers will decide how to fix the malfunction today. Officials said they may reschedule the launch for Saturday, but said that date could change. Jul 14, 2005

Record fuel costs threaten industry, says ATA, industry experts. A group of airline industry experts yesterday told a federal Senate subcommittee that airlines have reduced costs to the point that were it not for higher fuel prices, some would be reporting significant profits. The Government Accountability Office is scheduled to release a report on the airlines in September. Jul 14, 2005

Poll finds many workers make fewer business trips. Nearly half of business travelers participating in a recent poll said they travel less for business than they did five years ago. Corporations have cut back on travel allowances in the past few years and issued stricter travel guidelines. However, the poll of 1,000 people found 36% of business travelers travel more frequently. Jul 13, 2005

North American airlines face steeper road to recovery. Five years after the...

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