No More Mistake Fares

Say goodbye to the days of unexpected mistake fares that allows for $15 tickets to San Juan or $51 transatlantic first class tickets. Up until this new ruling on May 8, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to honor mistake fares because “it is an unfair and deceptive practice … to increase the price of that air transportation … after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer … then the seller of air transportation cannot increase the price of that air transportation to that consumer, even when the fare is a ‘mistake.’” With the new ruling, the “Enforcement Office will not enforce the requirement of section 399.88 with regard to mistaken fares … so long as the airline or seller of air transportation: (1) demonstrates that the fare was a mistaken fare; and (2) reimburses all consumers who purchased a mistaken fare ticket.”

Alaska & JetBlue Top Airline Satisfaction Rankings

J.D. Power on Wednesday release their annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study, and Alaska Airlines was the top North American airline for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Delta Air Lines and American. On the low-cost airline side, JetBlue was tops for the 10 consecutive year, followed by Southwest Airlines and WestJet. The rankings were based on seven criteria including costs and fees; in-flight services; boarding, deplaning and baggage; flight crew; aircraft; check-in; and reservations.

Goodbye US Airways

Come October, US Airways will officially be no more. The American Airlines and US Airways merger, that’s been almost two years in the making, is finally coming to a close as American plans to shut down US Airways flights starting in July. “American executives designed the gradual fade-out to avoid the kind of technological glitches and massive flight delays that plagued United Airlines after it abruptly switched to Continental’s computer systems in 2012.” If you’ve been a loyal fan of US Airways, don’t fret, as the repainting of US Airways planes won’t be completed until the middle of next year, and possibly even later for US Airways Express planes.

Co-Pilot Found with Four Times Legal Alcohol Limit

This past Monday an intoxicated co-pilot was found to have more than four times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, causing his airline to have to cancel the flight. Police Inspector, Thomas Aleng said the pilot had 375 microgrammes of alcohol in one litre of breath, far higher than the legal limit of just under 90 microgrammes for pilots. The Netherlands’ National Police Corps declined to release the name of the pilot, airline or flight destination. I’m just curious as to why pilots are even allowed to drink before a flight.

China Blacklists Travelers

Back in March, there were rumblings that China was planning to create a blacklist for unruly Chinese tourists, and now the blacklist is real, and so far there are four names on the list. The Chinese government, apparently tired of the bad name these travelers are giving the rest of the country, has put into law for these bad eggs with some major consequences, including a travel ban from two to 10 years, and notifying the “police, customs, border security, transportation agencies and credit agencies.”

Airlines Photography Policy

Here’s one airline rule that most travelers are not aware of: they might not like you taking photographs or videos of the plane, cabin or crew, as two unlucky travelers recently found out the hard way. Arash Shirazi was flying on American Airlines from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles when he took a picture of the plane with his phone. He was stopped by the gate agent who accused him for being a security threat. While American doesn’t have a policy about photography, their newly updated internal policy allows for “employees at the airport … to stop passengers from taking pictures.” The second traveler, Steven Leslie, encountered a similar situation with JetBlue when he was flying from Albuquerque to New York. He decided to film an encounter with a JetBlue crew and a family traveling with a sick child (who were eventually escorted off the flight) because he didn’t feel the situation is right. When a crew member noticed what Mr. Leslie was doing, he was asked to delete the video, and when Mr. Leslie refused, he was escorted off the plane as well. He eventually was rebooked on a later flight nine hours later. So, the takeaway? Just listen to airline employees and crew members if you don’t want to get into trouble.

Random Story of the Week: Lifetime Ban for Indecent Exposure

Imagine going on vacation, exposing your privates to the crew, and finding yourself facing a lifetime ban from the airline, as that is precisely what happened to a vacationing 22 year-old from the U.K. The perpetrator’s alleged behavior happened during his flight to Majorca, Spain on Jet2 (a low cost British airline), and found out he was banned when he was trying to fly back to the U.K. In a statement released by Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, “We carry millions of families every year so this disgusting behaviour will not be tolerated. We pride ourselves on giving our customers a friendly and relaxing flight experience so we will take action against anyone who causes offence and disruption to our crew and passengers.”

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Kim has been hunting flight deals and writing travel articles for over 13 years. His articles have appeared in the Boston Herald, Chicago Daily Herald, and Frommer’s Budget Travel, among other publications. Amsterdam, Bangkok, Rome, and Sydney are some of his favorite destinations and he aspires to one day live in Italy. La dolce vita!

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