Airline News May 2005.

Position:Taxes and fees
 
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Some big airlines leave out taxes, fees when quoting ticket prices. Following the lead of discounters, large airlines have begun quoting ticket prices without including taxes and fees, the Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. The trend makes it more difficult for consumers to compare prices, he writes. The new policy also shows travelers how much they pay in taxes and fees. May 31, 2005

ERAA (European Regions Airline Association) is continuing its vociferous campaign against the European Commission (EC) with regard to passenger compensation due to delayed flights. The European Ombudsman has given the EC until 31 July to answer charges that Brussels is carrying out a campaign of misinformation, leading to widespread confusion among passengers and incorrect media reports. The ERAA says the new law is ambiguous and that claims by the EC regarding the number of complaints are misleading. According to the EC's own figures, the level of complaints represents 20 a day, in other words less than one a day per member state. "When put in the context of about 1.5m passengers who travel in Europe every day, this means that only one passenger in every 75,000 is complaining to the EC," said ERA Director General Mike Ambrose. http://www.eraa.org http://www.europeancommission.com May 27, 2005

IATA (International Air Transport Organization) has issued passenger and cargo figures for the first four months of this year for the world's airlines in advance of its annual gathering which takes place in Tokyo this week. Passenger traffic growth of 8.7% shows that demand for travel is strong. Slower cargo growth of 4.7% reflects a general slowdown in global economic activity. Capacity expansion in all regions for the first quarter was below traffic growth, maintaining load factors at 73.6% for the period. http://www.iata.org May 27, 2005

High traffic, new FAA rules cause delays for private jets. Some private jet customers are encountering problems similar to those they experienced on commercial airlines, the Wall Street Journal reports. Heavy traffic and new Federal Aviation Administration rules that limit pilots' flying time have increased delays. May 24, 2005

Air fares, hotel rates climb ahead of busy summer travel season. Anticipating a strong demand for summer travel, airlines and hotels have lifted their prices, the Dallas Morning News reports. Tom Parsons of BestFares.com said air fares are now more than $100 higher than they were a year ago. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study indicates hotel rates have jumped 4.5%. May 24, 2005

Pilot who flew into restricted Washington airspace loses license. The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked the license of the pilot who flew his small plane into Washington's restricted airspace, the Washington Post reports. Hayden L. "Jim" Sheaffer must wait at least a year to apply for a new license. Sheaffer's error prompted the evacuation of the White House and Capitol. May 24, 2005

Regional carriers will continue picking up routes from large carriers. Large airlines will continue outsourcing flights to regional carriers as the industry's financial troubles persist, Air Transport World reports. Several regional carriers have invested in larger airlines to help keep them afloat, Raymond James analyst James Parker noted. May 23, 2005

Travelers want punctual, reliable service. Big airlines are catching on to what travelers really want: punctual, consistent service, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Low ticket prices and good safety records are other top concerns, according the Business Travel Monitor by marketing firm YPB&R. More travelers want in-flight entertainment, but fewer say they expect meals. May 23, 2005

Canadians flock to U.S. for travel. The number of Canadians traveling abroad in March accounted for the highest monthly total since 2001, and overnight trips to the U.S., estimated at 1.3 million, reached levels not seen in more than seven years. According to Statistics Canada, about 3.7 million Canadians traveled outside the country, with a record 518,000 trips overseas. May 19, 2005

U.S. objects to European plan to cut aircraft emissions. The U.S. is objecting to a European plan to cut aircraft emissions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The European plan is part of an effort to reduce global warming and to conform to the Kyoto Protocol. The 25 EU nations have been trading emissions rights as part of the plan, but a U.S. official said the U.S. "is not in favor of carbon-dioxide trading." May 19, 2005

Legislation to extend daylight saving concerns airlines. A congressional effort to extend daylight-saving time by two months in hopes of conserving energy, raises concerns with U.S. airlines, the Copley News Service reports. The airlines are worried that a change would disrupt their overseas flight schedules and cost them over $100 million in lost business. "We are pretty concerned," said Diana Cronan, spokeswoman for the Air Transport Association. "We believe it would have a major impact during the period daylight-saving time would be extended." May 19, 2005

U.S., EU to discuss proposed passenger security rule. U.S. and European officials today will discuss a rule proposed by the U.S. that would require all flights bound for the U.S. to be held for an hour while passengers' names are checked against a terrorist watch list, The Wall Street Journal reported. Europeans oppose the rule and say it violates passengers' privacy. May 19, 2005

U.S. objects to European plan to cut aircraft emissions. The U.S. is objecting to a European plan to cut aircraft emissions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The European plan is part of an effort to reduce global warming and to conform to the Kyoto Protocol. The 25 EU nations have been trading emissions rights as part of the plan, but a U.S. official said the U.S. "is not in favor of carbon-dioxide trading." May 19, 2005

U.S., EU to discuss proposed passenger security rule. U.S. and European officials today will discuss a rule proposed by the U.S. that would require all flights bound for the U.S. to be held for an hour while passengers' names are checked against a terrorist watch list, The Wall Street Journal reported. Europeans oppose the rule and say it violates passengers' privacy. May 19, 2005

Cost of travel expected to climb this summer; hotel rates up 8%. The cost of traveling will increase this summer, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. More people are traveling within the U.S. because of the weak dollar and low air fares. Hotel costs are expected to rise 8% from 2004 rates, and occupancy will surpass 2000 levels. May 18, 2005

Airlines offer funeral directors miles for shipping deceased. Airlines are pursuing the funeral-home and mortuary business by exhibiting at trade shows and offering funeral-home directors frequent flier miles, the Wall Street Journal reports. One airline executive said shipping one body generates as much revenue as shipping 1,000 pounds of general cargo. May 17, 2005

Airlines feel the pain of high fuel prices: Airlines really feel the sting of high fuel prices, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Airlines operating out of the Atlanta airport use 2.8 million gallons of jet fuel each day, with Delta Air Lines alone purchasing 2 million gallons. May 15, 2005

Airlines are improving the amenity kits they give to first- and business-class passengers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Airlines believe these kits, which cost up to $8 each, are important extras for top customers. Airlines spiff up bathrooms as they cut perks. Some startup and international airlines are improving their bathrooms even as they cut food service, pillows and legroom, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bathrooms are relatively inexpensive to upgrade but create a sense of luxury even as airlines eliminate perks. May 13, 2005

Discount airlines' market share to grow to 50% within 10 years, study says. Discount airlines will capture half of the U.S. market share during the next 10 years, according to a Standard and Poor's study. Budget airlines hold 25% of the market and are in better financial shape than the legacy airlines. However, they also face high fuel prices and steep competition. May 13, 2005

English may not be the World's most spoken language but it is the most popular. Readers may have also noticed that it is spoken by the great majority of North Americans, although one could argue a somewhat changed version with some words unintelligible this side of the Atlantic and vice versa. In order to help the good citizens of the United States (and presumably Canada), British Airways have come out with its "Brit-Speak" directory, designed to get over this problem. Here are just a few samples: If someone offers afters, they mean dessert; A kip in London is a nap, or a short sleep; half-four means four-thirty; dosh equals cash and to give someone a tinkle is a phone call! http://www.ba.com May 13, 2005

Airlines' top-secret clubs keep elite customers loyal. Some airlines are rewarding their best customers with memberships in new invitation-only clubs, the New York Times reports. These fliers wait in unmarked lounges, receive liberal upgrades and get personal attention. The clubs are so secretive that no airlines contacted would comment on them. May 12, 2005

U.S. airlines oppose proposal to double federal security fee. A proposal by the chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee would double the federal security fee to $5 per segment, Air Transport World reports. The Air Transport Association opposes the increase. President and CEO James May said, if enacted, the higher fee would push some airlines into bankruptcy. Funds from the higher fee would be used to buy explosive detection systems. May 9, 2005

Airlines make the switch to nonperishable snacks. The top airlines have replaced most of their domestic meal service with bagged and boxed snacks, the Los Angeles Times reports. Airlines say the move saves money and...

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