February 21-27: DOT Sides with United, Smoking Ban Turns 25, Missing Pooches and More

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline travel news — from DOT’s ruling over United’s mistake fare, the 25th anniversary of the smoking ban on airlines, and Frontier’s new routes from Cincinnati, to missing pets and bags, Southwest’s Airline of the Year Award protest, and award-winning director slamming airline. Enjoy!

DOT Rules in Favor of United over Mistake Fares

Bad news for everyone who bought United Airlines $70 first and business class mistake fares earlier this month, as the U.S. Department of Transportation have decided not to take action against United for cancelling all the mistake fare reservations, citing that the customers acted in “bad faith” in attempting, and successfully, to purchase those super low fares.

Cincinnati to Lose Its “Most Expensive Airport” Title?

Come spring, Frontier Airlines will add 29 new weekly flights from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, doubling its number of flights out of there. This is no doubt good news for everyone who flies in and out of Cincinnati, as the airport has long been ranked in the top 5 most expensive airport in the U.S. because of Delta Air Lines’ stronghold, which at one point operated more than 80 percent of the flights. But with Delta continuously cutting flights from Cincinnati and low-cost carriers such as Frontier and Allegiant filling in the gap, perhaps it will just be a matter of time before Cincinnati will have much cheaper airfares.

25th Year Anniversary of Airline Smoking Ban

Time sure does fly! On February 25, 1990, a new federal law banned smoking on domestic flights less than six hours, which set the precedent that eventually led to a ban on smoking at restaurants and workplaces. Not everyone was completely onboard with the then-new smoke free policy, as there have been attempts to create a smokers’ airline like Smokers Express in 1993 and Smoker’s International Airways in 2006. Needless to say, neither airline lasted very long.

Missing Pooches and Bags

Think an airline losing your bag is bad? How about if they lose your furry, four-legged friend? Yup, Delta somehow misplaced five Westminster show dogs that were flying from New York’s JFK Airport to Seattle. And over at American Airlines, more than 5,000 bags were left at Miami International Airport due to a mechanical issue, flying to various destinations without alerting the passengers that their bags have been left behind.

Thankfully, the doggies and most of the displaced bags have been reunited with their owners.

Southwest Wins Some, Loses Some

Sometimes, you can’t win them all. Southwest Airlines’ won Air Transport World’s 2015 Airline of the Year Award on Wednesday. However, members of Transport Workers Union Local 555 don’t feel the Southwest is worthy of the award, picketing outside the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. where the award ceremony was being held. Contract negotiations between Southwest and the union has been going on since 2011.

Random Story of the Week: Celebrities versus Airlines

Over the past few years celebrities have been more vocal in their displeasure over airline services, taking to news outlets and social media to complain about their experience. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of “Inherent Vice,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Boogie Nights” has taken it one step further by slamming American Airlines while accepting the Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit. We like to think there’s a place and time for everything, but hey, it’s his award.

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